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Return to Summer-ish Weather Ahead

| 6:59 am July 20, 2014

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

Our weather pattern continued to somewhat complex with a weak front draped across Central Alabama with moisture values high to the east and south of the Birmingham area. A weak short wave moving across northern Mississippi was helping to produce showers across South and East Alabama where dew points were in the lower 70s. Some fog was being reported across the northwest portions of Central Alabama. As the weak short wave moves by today, showers remain possible with the greater risk once again generally east and south of the Interstate 59 corridor. Clouds will once again limit daytime heating but most areas will see the middle 80s with some upper 80s possible.

As we get into the upcoming work week, a summer-like pattern with some moisture in place will keep the potential for daily showers in the forecast through the middle of the week. Moisture levels slowly work up as does the heat so showers may become a bit more widespread into Tuesday and Wednesday. I expect afternoon highs to climb into the 88 to 92 degree range.

The next big challenge in the forecast will be the approach of yet another front Thursday and Friday with the deepening of another trough over the eastern half of the country. As I’ve noted before, we don’t usually see fronts plowing through the Southeast during July and August, but this summer seems to be the exception. Our major two long range models are in fair agreement on the idea of the front going all the way to the Gulf but the GFS was more bullish than the European which was washing the front out. The approach of the trough and the front could signal an increase in showers and thunderstorms for the end of the week, but we’ll have to watch for adjustments to the forecast.

The upper flow with the deepening trough also goes north to northwesterly, so there is some risk for large clusters of storms to form over the Central US and move into the Southeast US, but it is certainly too early to be that specific – just wary to that kind of development.

There is little change in the overall pattern of the trough in the East and the ridge in the West, so we continue to hang onto the idea of little extreme heat for the Southeast US as we stay somewhat unsettled.

Beach bound folks will see some decent rain chances today, but the weather should become more seasonal this week as showers return mainly during the afternoon, and most likely along the sea breeze front as it moves inland. Cloudy today with 4 to 6 hours of sunshine but more sunshine early this week with 6 to 8 hours likely. Highs will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. Water temperatures along the coast are in the lower 80s and likely to hold there.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Still Cool for July

| 6:51 am July 19, 2014

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

From the National Weather Service, we note that there were several record low maximum temperature values set in Central Alabama yesterday.

SITE        JULY 18 HIGH  OLD MINIMUM HIGH  YEAR
----------  ------------  ----------------  ----
ANNISTON         80               82        2009
BIRMINGHAM       76               79        1906
TUSCALOOSA       75               86        2012

Yesterday was not your typical July day with clouds and widespread rain over Alabama keeping temperatures in record territory. The heaviest rain was over the northern and western counties where some spots received over one inch of beneficial rain. Many places saw around half an inch of rain.

A weak surface low was situated over Northeast Mississippi this morning, as the upper trough supporting the rain will weaken over the weekend bringing showers and thunderstorms down to more scattered variety with the better rain chances across East and South Alabama. The sun will peek out at times today, and the afternoon will be warmer as our high returns to the mid 80s.

Sunday should be brighter and drier with a mix of sun and clouds and a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. The high Sunday should be up in the mid to upper 80s as we dig out of the “July deep freeze”, as James dubbed it.

The weather returns to more of a summertime routine for the first half of the week with partly sunny weather Monday through Wednesday with the usual risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs should be in the 87 to 90 degree range. Once again the GFS is signaling an increase in showers and storms over the latter half of the week as another a surface boundary approaches from the north. Fronts typically do not reach the Southeastern US in mid summer but given the track record of this July, I’ll have to put some weight on this occurring. The ECMWF is also in fairly good agreement on the front approaching, too.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Showers and storms are likely today with only limited sunshine, but look for improving weather Sunday and into next week with about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day along with a few scattered thunderstorms. Highs will be in the mid 80s today, with upper 80s Sunday through much of next week along the immediate coast from Panama City over to Gulf Shores. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the lower 80s.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is still very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected for the next five days. There remains a steady train of tropical systems in the western Pacific.

Voodoo country continues to stick with the idea of the trough in the East and the ridge in the West which keeps the summer heat away from us.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

I plan to post the next Weather Xtreme Video on Sunday morning. Enjoy another cooler July day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Another Hot One But Change Ahead

| 7:05 am July 13, 2014

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

As the upper ridge loosens its grip we will see another hot and mostly dry weather day for Central Alabama on this Sunday in the middle of July; highs will be in the 92 to 95 degree range with hazy sunshine. A few afternoon showers or storms will kick off in afternoon heat, but they should be fairly widely spaced much like we saw yesterday. A weak convergence boundary could set up along or just northwest of the Interstate 59 corridor where we may see the greatest threat for those isolated showers.

The ridge slides west into early next week, and models continue to develop a strong long wave upper trough for mid-summer over the eastern half of the nation. Afternoon showers and storms are possible Monday, with showers and storms to become likely Monday night and Tuesday in advance of a cold front pushing into the Southeast from the north and northwest. There is fairly good agreement between the GFS and the European in bringing the frontal boundary through Central Alabama, so this adds to the overall confidence in seeing a mid-July cold front make it into the region.

Much like July 4th and 5th, I expect to see some dry, continental air invade Alabama Wednesday and Thursday with lower humidity and cooler nights. Lower humidity is always refreshing in July. But unlike the model runs yesterday, moisture levels don’t stay down long and they begin rebounding on Thursday and into Friday putting showers back in the forecast. A short wave trough moving across the Central US Friday will aide in moisture return from the southwest and perhaps bring us some good rain chances for next weekend.

For those headed to the beach, look for 7 to 9 hours of sunshine along the Alabama Gulf Coast through Monday with widely scattered storms. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and sea water temperatures are mostly in the lower and mid 80s along the Alabama and North Florida shoreline. Showers and thunderstorms will be more likely along the coast by Tuesday.

Voodoo country looks really hot with a 600 height contour over the western half of the US with a deep trough situated over the East Coast. This pattern would bring a northwesterly flow to the Middle Mississippi River Valley, so will always have to be cautious about the development of long-lived MCCs – Mesoscale Convection Complexes – coming out of the Central US.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

Thanks for staying tuned to the Blog. James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video update on Monday morning. Watch the heat today and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Hot Weekend, But…

| 6:57 am July 12, 2014

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

An upper ridge will mean hot and mostly dry weather for Central Alabama today and Sunday; highs will be in the 92 to 95 degree range with hazy sunshine. A few afternoon showers or storms will fire up in afternoon heat, but they should be few and far between.

The ridge moves west into early next week, and models continue to develop a strong, long wave upper trough for mid-summer over the eastern half of the nation. Afternoon showers and storms are possible Monday, with showers and storms to become likely Tuesday in advance of a cold front pushing into the Southeast from the north. Nice to see fairly good agreement between the GFS and the European which adds to the overall confidence in seeing a mid-July cold front make it into the region.

Much like July 4th and 5th, I expect to see some dry, continental air invade Alabama Wednesday through Friday with lower humidity and cooler nights. As James noted yesterday, we might make a run at record lows early Thursday morning with temperatures reaching the 58-62 degree range. Highs over the latter half of the week will be in the 80s with low humidity levels. Lowered humidity is always refreshing for July.

Moisture levels come back Friday and into next weekend returning showers to the forecast.

For those headed to the beach, look for 7 to 9 hours of sunshine along the Alabama Gulf Coast through Monday with only widely scattered storms. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and sea water temperatures are mostly in the lower and mid 80s. Showers and thunderstorms will be more likely along the coast by Tuesday.

Voodoo country features the 594 heat bubble over the western half of the US with a long wave trough situated over the East Coast. This pattern would bring a northwesterly flow to the Middle Mississippi River Valley, so will always have to be anxious about the development of long-lived MCCs – Mesoscale Convection Complexes – coming out of the Central US.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

I anticipate posting the next Weather Xtreme Video by 7:30 or 8 Sunday morning. Stay cool and Godspeed.

-Brian-

WeatherBrains 441: Plenty of Time for a Snafu

| 5:15 am July 8, 2014

WeatherBrains Episode 441 is now online (July 7, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Kim RunkTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is currently serving as Acting Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) Operations Proving Ground (OPG) in Kansas City, MO. His career in operational meteorology spans more than 35 years, first with the US Air Force, then with NOAA and the NWS. Kim Runk, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Three WCMs are on the show tonight, including Kim, of course Rick and a retired WCM in Brian. Going to put Rick and Brian in the hot seats with Kim tonight for a little world of WCM discussion.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 119 at Death Valley, CA, and 38 at Stanley, ID, and Snake River, WY
  • Severe storm risk from Nebraska eastward to southern New England
  • Since our last show, Hurricane Arthur came and went along East Coast
  • Tropics quiet for now
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is out again, so the mail bag is getting heavy.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: This episode of WeatherBrains 101 puts in a plug for child safety in hot cars. Did you know that 15 children have died this year already from heat stroke brought on by being left in an unattended automobile. There needs to be more attention drawn to this danger of hot weather.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of July 7.

    Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 441:

    NWS Operations Proving Ground Charter

    NOAA Testbed and Proving Grounds

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Lamp Simulates Thunderstorm

    Bill Murray – Kim Runk’s Video on Culture Change in the NWS

    Brian Peters – Kids and Cars on Heat Stroke

    Kim Runk – @nwstornado – any NWS tornado warning will have this hashtag

    Rick Smith – Leading Culture Change in the NWS

    James Spann – Joint Typhoon Warning Center

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Rick Smith, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Audible.com graphic

    Some Clouds as We Warm Up

    | 6:49 am July 6, 2014

    An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

    We’re closing out the Fourth of July weekend with another great day of mostly sunny weather as our highs return to values typical for early July with highs reaching near 90. Our atmosphere remained very dry aloft but moisture levels will creep up today and into the first of the week as we see the low level flow come around to the southeast and then the south. Some early morning clouds passing Central Alabama plus a slight uptick in the humidity means a slightly milder start to the day than that truly refreshing start we saw yesterday morning with lows dipping into the 50s generally along and north of the I-20 corridor.

    The good news is that the overall upper air pattern retains the ridge in the West and a general trough over the East which keeps the heat in check. The trough deepens somewhat in response to a strong short wave moving through the westerlies across the southern tier of Canada. Unlike the last front, this trough should signal the approach of a cold front from the north on Wednesday that is likely to get into the area before stalling out like many fronts do in the summertime.

    With the humidity levels up, we should see a return to showers and isolated thunderstorms from Wednesday through the end of the week and into next weekend. Daytime heating is expected to be the main driving force in shower development with rain chances becoming the best on Thursday.

    The trough pulls out to the northeast by the latter part of the week with ridging building again over the Central Mississippi River Valley, leaving a warm and unstable air mass in place across the Southeast with daily chances for showers or thunderstorms.

    Beach goers continue to see a good supply of sun along the Alabama and Northwest Florida beaches with afternoon highs reaching the upper 80s. Scattered showers return to the forecast into Tuesday and the rest of the week with moisture levels up. Gulf water temperatures were still running in the range of 82 to 84.

    Tropics remain quiet now that Arthur is gone.

    The longer range model projections maintain the idea of the ridge in the West and the slight trough in the East through the middle of July, but major ridging was back in the picture by July 21st.

    And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

    James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
    Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

    Thanks for tuning into the Weather Xtreme Video. James Spann will be back from his vacation with the next edition of the video on Monday morning. Enjoy the end of the July Fourth weekend. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Not Your Typical July Morning

    | 6:32 am July 5, 2014

    An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

    It is definitely not your typical July morning with some great early morning temperatures dipping into the 50s across North and Central Alabama. Black Creek Skywatcher reported a nice 54 this morning and it was 58 at Coker and 59 in Helena. Savor the drier and cooler air as the projections are for upward trends in both humidity and heat for the next few days.

    Arthur has been downgraded to a tropical storm and was losing tropical characteristics as it affected Nova Scotia this morning. Elsewhere, the tropics remain quiet.

    And the weather pattern is somewhat quiet, too, as we see moisture and heat levels gradually return to values more representative of early July. The upper air pattern of a weak trough over the eastern US with the main westerlies across the northern tier of the US remains in place for much of the week ahead. This means that we’ll see temperatures gradually creep back into the lower 90s. These wonderfully low dew points will also climb upward into the middle and upper 60s by the middle and latter part of the week.

    A strong short wave moving across southern Canada at mid-week will deepen the trough over the East enough to allow the approach of another cold front. But as the front approaches, the troughiness across the East begins to lessen, so it does not appear likely that we’ll see another frontal passage for Central Alabama. But with warmth and humidity up, we’ll see a return to primarily daily showers for the latter half of the week.

    Beach goers are also enjoying the benefits of this great weather pattern with beach weather nearly perfect with plenty of sunshine and afternoon highs in the upper 80s. Gulf water temperature reports continued to show values in the middle 80s. But showers return to the forecast by mid-week as moisture levels rise.

    Voodoo country remained somewhat the same on this run from yesterday with a large upper ridge in the West and general troughiness across the East. This keeps us on the eastern periphery of the heat bubble so we should be warm with daily showers but the extreme heat stays to our west under this scenario.

    And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

    James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
    Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

    Filling in for Meaghan Thomas on ABC 3340 News this weekend, so you can catch the latest forecast at 6 and 10 pm this evening. The next Weather Xtreme Video will come by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Enjoy one more day of lower humidity for July. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    A Drier and Cooler Fourth of July

    | 6:38 am July 4, 2014

    An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

    It’s fabulous weather for the Fourth of July and the weekend with some lowered humidity and cooler air for us to enjoy. Fireworks displays tonight should have no problem from the weather, something we usually have to deal with.

    The overall synoptic weather pattern featured a sprawling high pressure system at the surface centered over Chicago with the tight circulation of Hurricane Arthur beginning to move away from the Mid-Atlantic Coast of the US. Aloft a fairly strong trough for early July was moving across the eastern Great Lakes with ridging along the Rockies. The combination of features allowed for a drier and somewhat cooler air mass to settle into Central Alabama with temperatures below our seasonal values for early July. And those humidities are great with dew points falling into the upper 50s.

    So July 4th will be fantastic and the weekend will follow that example with a gradual warm up. With a slight troughiness over the eastern half of the country with the ridge anchored along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, we won’t be seeing any major changes in the weather for Central Alabama. Temperatures will gradually return to season values with lows in the lower 90s by Sunday and into next week. Morning lows will be in the 60s through Tuesday and into the lower 70s for the rest of week. Moisture values increase slowly during the first of the week, so I expect us to stay dry until Wednesday when we re-introduce the possibility of daily showers. Those daily chances will stay in the forecast through the end of next week.

    Beach goers will enjoy a great Fourth weekend, too, with warm weather, lots of sunshine, and no chance of showers until Monday. Highs will be in the upper 80s and morning lows in the lower 70s for the next several days with the Gulf water temperature running in the middle 80s.

    The GFS continues to keep us guessing about the long range. The latest run continues with the idea of strong ridging over the Central US but toys with keeping a slight trough along the eastern coast of the US that should keep extreme heat at bay.

    And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

    James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray
    Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

    Thanks for staying tuned to the Blog as your weather source. The next Weather Xtreme Video will come Saturday morning. Godspeed.

    -Brian-