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Brian Peters

Brian Peters

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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AM Sprinkles along with Clouds

| 7:23 am May 28, 2016

Sometimes weather patterns get stuck and seem to remain in one pattern for a number of consecutive days. Chock our late May weather up to just that. But even though the overall pattern is not changing and hasn’t changed much this week, Alabama is waking up to cloudy skies along with some light echoes on radar. So look for clouds together with a few sprinkles this morning. Enough rain that you’ll probably need your windshield wipers a little, but rainfall amounts will be very light with rain gauges posting amounts less than a tenth of an inch only in scattered spots.

Clouds are likely to remain with us this afternoon, but because of the clouds, it looks likely that the afternoon high will be held down a good deal with highs mainly in the lower 80s. While I expect nearly all of us to stay dry, there is still the outside chance of an isolated shower this afternoon. If you find yourself headed to the Hoover Met for the SEC Baseball Tournament, be sure to take your sunscreen. Even though we’ll have cloudy skies, the ultraviolet radiation can still create a nasty sunburn. You can get your tickets by clicking right here.

Heading to the beach, the weather is going to be great. Expect mostly sunny days, fair nights through Memorial Day from Dauphin Island across Gulf Shores and east to Panama City Beach. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the lower 80s while inland locations will see upper 80s. Sea water temperature at Perdido Pass in Orange Beach was 80 degrees. Get your detailed beach forecast here.

While the weather pattern for Alabama is not showing much change, that is not the case for the Southwest Atlantic. Tropical depression Two formed late yesterday afternoon and is likely to cause some soaking rain along with strong breezes along the Southeast US coast especially for the Carolinas. There is a possibility that this depression will gain enough strength to be named. If it does, it will be Bonnie, the second named storm for the 2016 season which does not officially begin until June 1st!

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Depression or tropical storm, it is not likely to have much effect on Alabama weather as we stay on the dry side of the system.

Looking at the model projections for Central Alabama, there is not much change all week for us until late in the week. It will continue to be warm with an upper ridge that weakens but stays in place keeping the main traveling weather systems well to our northwest. This means we should see highs in the lower 90s for much of the week ahead. The heat and moisture combination make it imperative that we mention the potential for isolated thunderstorms each day. But the chances remain low and most of us will remain dry.

But that pattern is expected to undergo a change late next week and into the weekend. By Thursday and Friday, a strong upper low will move across the western Great Lakes dragging an upper trough across the Southeast US as the upper ridge is pushed well out into the Atlantic. This pattern change will do two things for us. First, the chances for showers and thunderstorms should go up a good deal for Friday and Saturday. Second, the upper pattern shifts to a northwesterly flow as the trough moves by, so we should see a significant drop in our temperatures with the afternoon highs around 80 on Friday and Saturday.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS keeps the trough over the eastern US through Monday, June 6th, and then begins a gradual shift to an upper ridge by Thursday, June 9th. This means that we should see our highs return to the lower 90s with only limited chances for showers mainly during the heat of the afternoon. But the GFS suggests that by June 12th we may see another strong trough coming across the Central Plains that will bring us another break in the heat.

Thanks so much for remaining a blog viewer. I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday. Enjoy the day whatever you plan to do. I’m hoping to see a little of the action at the SEC Baseball Tournament this afternoon. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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WeatherBrains 540: Your Pop Filter is the Same Size as Mine

| 5:15 am May 24, 2016

WeatherBrains Episode 540 is now online (May 23, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain #1 is Jane Cage, the former Chairman of the Joplin Citizens Advisory Recovery Team and head of the Joplin Proud Committee. Jane Cage, welcome to WeatherBrains.

And tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain #2 is a broadcast journalist who is writing a book on the Joplin tornado and how it relates to the larger picture of disaster recovery. Likes loitering, trading insults with his girlfriend, and frozen yogurt. Steve Holmes, welcome to WeatherBrains.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 102 at Persimmon Gap, TX, and 21 at Walden, CO, & Bondurant, WY
  • Nearly a week of severe weather for central US
  • Warm across much of the country
  • Active weather keeps Rick Smith busy in Oklahoma
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: It’s only a little more than a week to the start of the 2016 hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin. So many weather enthusiasts will be watching the official National Hurricane Center forecasts for any storms that form. And that forecast has a cone that widens in time. So what is that cone and what does it mean?

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 540:

Joplin Proud

Telestar by the Tornados (found by WeatherBrains listener Scott)

Apical Ballooning Syndrome

To subscribe to the new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Jane Cage – Tuscaloosa, AL, Recovery

Steve Holmes – Fatal tornado in India

Nate Johnson – Prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic

Bill Murray – Center for Satellite Application and Research

Brian Peters – new Joint Typhoon Warning Center page

Kevin Selle – No Pick

James Spann – Tornado warning for Val Verde

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Close and far Martian oppositions

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

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A Nice Sunday but Warmer Weather Ahead

| 7:11 am May 22, 2016

The day starting off on a pleasant note with morning lows dipping into the upper 50s. Thanks to high pressure centered off to our northwest, we will see some slightly drier air settle into the state on northerly wind flow. Look for highs around the 80-degree mark, but it will feel even nicer with that drier air.

For any beach goers, you can expect mostly sunny days and fair nights through the week ahead all the way from Dauphin Island to Panama City. Great weather for the rest of the Hangout Music Festival today. Highs on the immediate coast will be 80 to 82 degrees. The water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 79 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

Today is the final day of the golf tournament at the Greystone Golf and Country Club. Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures are what you can expect for the final round of the tournament today. No threat of rain as drier air settles into the area. Be sure to have the sunscreen handy. Click here for Regions Traditions Tickets.

College baseball heats up the Hoover Met for this week with SEC Baseball Tournament starting Tuesday and running through Sunday, May 24th to 29th. The weather looks pretty good for the tournament although it will be getting warmer as high temperatures reach the 87 to 90 degree range for most days; there could be isolated afternoon showers from Wednesday through the end of next week, but nothing widespread is anticipated. If heading out to the Hoover Met, be sure to take the sunscreen! Click Here For Event and Ticket information.

The upper ridge just to our west is separating two troughs, one over the West Coast and one over the East Coast. It is that trough that will be the primary feature in our weather pattern for about the next week. This will allow temperatures to climb well into the 80s with most locations reaching highs in the range of 87 to 91. This will be one of the first prolonged periods of warm weather, so be sure to be careful working in the heat and don’t overdo it. Without any specific feature in our weather pattern besides the ridge, I expect the warm afternoon temperatures will generate widely scattered thunderstorms in the afternoons starting Wednesday and running to the end of the week.

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With the ridge firmly in place over the eastern half of the country, the threat for severe weather will remain to our west primarily across the Central Plains states and into the Ohio River Valley states.

The ridge begins to show signs of weakening around Friday and Saturday as the deep trough over the western states sends a strong short wave northeastward. This short wave trough will beat down the ridge into next weekend, so showers are likely to become more numerous as we head into the next weekend. But there is no indication that we’ll see anything more than scattered thunderstorms.

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Remember the discussion yesterday about week 2 or voodoo country. Well that very interesting feature along the Gulf Coast is completely out of the long range model projections. In fact, there is a suggestion that June could start with a little less heat. And that is followed by the potential for a strong trough coming across the Mississippi River around the 5th and 6th of June bringing the potential for some widespread rain.

I want to thank the folks at Altoona for the warm reception Meaghan Thomas and I had yesterday at the Altoona Festival. It’s always nice to chat with folks about our favorite topic, the weather.

James Spann should have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. Check back here often for updates on the Alabama weather scene. Enjoy the day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Nice Weekend but Getting Hotter Next Week

| 7:19 am May 21, 2016

A cold front was making its way slowly through Central Alabama this morning. As a result, there were a couple of showers showing up on radar near Albertville and in the area from Jacksonville to just northeast of Piedmont. Isolated showers along with a low stratus deck will continue through the mid-morning hours, but by early afternoon the threat for showers should diminish and the sky clear as the weak front pushes much further south of Central Alabama. The high today should reach near 80 degrees.

Not much change in the weather pattern for Central Alabama as the trough moves to the East Coast while the ridge to our west inches closer. Look for sunshine and highs around 80 degrees once again.

For those headed to the beach, there may be an isolated storm today, but look for mostly sunny days and fair nights Sunday through much of next week from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island; great weather for the rest of the Hangout Music Festival. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the lower 80s with lows around 70 degrees. Water temperature along the coast was running around 78 degrees. See a very detailed beach forecast here.

Mostly sunny and warm weather is expected at Greystone today and Sunday with afternoon highs around 80 degrees. A great weekend for golf. Find out more information and purchase your tickets here.

Don’t forget that the SEC Baseball Tournament is coming up at the Hoover Met May 24th through the 29th. The weather looks pretty good during the tournament; there could be isolated afternoon showers from Wednesday through the end of next week, but nothing widespread is anticipated. Heat levels crank up with afternoon highs in the 87-90 degree range on most days. Find out more information and purchase your tickets here.

Monday through Thursday, the upper ridge to the west today will move over the eastern US setting up a pattern for some rather warm days as highs climb toward the 90-degree mark. I think we stay dry until around Wednesday and Thursday when we may begin to see the potential for the afternoon heat to create isolated thunderstorms. Even so, most of us will stay dry, but the afternoon highs will be well into the upper 80s and some spots could see a high of 90 to 92.

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While we see an upper level ridge as the primary feature in the pattern for the eastern half of the country, a deep trough will be the primary feature over the western US. This keeps the biggest threat for organized severe storms to remain in the Central Plains through much of the upcoming week with a surface low in Kansas Friday and Saturday. With the strong ridge holding and a strong short wave ejecting out across Kansas and Nebraska on Saturday, we should stay warm with thunderstorms becoming a little more numerous but still mainly scattered.

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Looking into voodoo country, and the GFS has a very interesting feature that actually starts on Saturday, May 28, and continues all the way to June 2nd. The GFS develops an upper closed low in the vicinity of South Florida on Saturday the 28th and moves that feature to the Alabama/Northwest Florida coast on Monday, May 30th. It then holds it together along with a surface low moving them both westward along the Gulf Coast through June 2nd before stalling it off the Texas/Louisiana coast for a couple of days. That feature then gets picked up by a strong trough moving out of the North Central US around June 6th. Interesting to note that the European has no such feature at all! So, is this real or simply voodoo? Only time will tell, but this is a good time to remind everyone that we’ve already had Alex, so should this feature come alive as the GFS suggests, it would be named Bonnie. Being a realist, the chances are quite high that this feature will disappear in the GFS run tomorrow morning – so stay tuned.

Meaghan Thomas and I will be heading to Altoona today for a community event where we’ll focus on severe weather safety. If you can, come on by and say hello. I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here first thing on Sunday morning. Have a blessed day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Fall-like Day for Central Alabama

| 6:26 am May 15, 2016

The front that we saw yesterday morning well northwest of Alabama moved through the state during the day yesterday, so most of Alabama is waking up to a cool morning. Most places across North and Central Alabama were in the 40s this morning, temperatures more like Fall than late Spring. The day should see passing clouds from time to time from convection that occurred west and northwest of us. Temperatures today should reach highs in the lower 70s for most locations.

Monday will be another nice day as we warm up. Morning temperatures will dip into the lower and middle 50s with a few 40s across the northeast part of Alabama. Highs under a partly cloudy sky should move back toward the 80-degree mark.

Gorgeous weather is expected along the Gulf Coast today and through much of the week ahead. Scattered showers and storms return by midweek, but there will still be plenty of sunshine to work on those tans. Afternoon highs will be around 80 on the immediate coast. Sea water temperatures along the coast were running about 79 degrees. For the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner click here.

Regions Traditions golf tournament tees off this week at the Greystone Golf and Country Club. The daily threat of scattered showers and storms are in the forecast and it will be warm. Click here for Regions Traditions Tickets.

The SEC Baseball Tournament returns to the Hoover Met from May 24the to 29th. Way to early for event specific forecast, but looking at the long range models shows a few dry days are expected, with at least one passing storm system that could delay some games. A lot to watch the next couple of weeks. Click here For Event and Ticket information.

Tuesday the surface flow really comes around to the south with moisture increasing across the area as dew points climb back into the upper 50s. There’s still some question as to whether or not we see widely scattered showers on Tuesday, and I think most of us remain dry. Highs should be in the lower 80s.

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The upper flow goes nearly zonal or slightly southwesterly from Wednesday through the start of the weekend helping to provide moisture aloft. That combined with low level moisture, heating of the day, and embedded short waves in the flow, we will have the potential for showers or a thunderstorm just about each day. Lows will be in the 60s with highs in the lower 80s, so it will be fairly typical as we push toward the latter part of May.

Rainfall through the end of this coming week does not appear to be be very heavy as the main rain threat remains well to our west but just east of the trough in the southern Rockies.

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By next Sunday, the GFS remains consistent with the model run yesterday morning with a closed low developing over the South Carolina/Georgia area and becoming detached from the main westerly flow pattern. This pattern carries us into the first portion of voodoo country. But just as we saw yesterday, the GFS keeps that closed low east of Alabama, so we stay on the dry side of the closed low. Afternoon heating may be enough to generate showers from day to day. That closed low finally weakens and moves out around the 24th of May, but it appears to be replaced by a trough over the Central US around the 27th of May which could spell another round of wet weather.

Special thanks to everyone who came out for the Buck Creek Festival this weekend. It was a stupendous festival with great weather and some great music. Mark your calendar for next year – May 12 and 13, 2017!

James Spann will have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video here on Monday morning generally by 7 am. Enjoy another great day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Coolish Day for Mid May

| 7:25 am May 14, 2016

What a pleasant feeling to step outside this morning and feel some cooler, drier air in place across North and Central Alabama. Many spots across northern Alabama dipped into the 40s this morning which most reporting stations in Central Alabama were in the lower 50s. And this cooling trend will continue today with the arrival of a cold front moving into and through the Southeast US from the northwest. The arrival time of the front will make the high temperature forecasts somewhat challenging since it will be moving through around the middle of the day. Locations south of Birmingham will warm into the 80s while points from Birmingham northward should be capped out in the middle and upper 70s. Only a few passing clouds are expected with the front but you may also notice a distinct wind shift as the wind goes around to the northwest behind the front and becomes noticeably breezier.

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High pressure settles into the Southeast US tonight and Sunday, so I expect to see some chilly temperatures as the morning lows Sunday morning will be well down into the 40s. These values will be a good 10 degrees cooler than what we typically see in the middle of May. The air will also be noticeably drier with dew points potentially reaching the upper 30s. For highs Sunday, those will also be about 10 degrees cooler than our 30-year averages with highs in the range of 68 to 72.

If you are headed to the beach, you can expect mostly sunny days and fair nights from Gulf Shores to Panama City through the weekend. Highs will be around 80 degrees are in the forecast. Water temperatures were in the range from the mid 70s to lower 80s at various locations from Dauphin Island east to Panama City. See a very detailed beach forecast here.

The Regions Traditions golf tournament returns to beautiful Greystone Golf and Country Club next week, May 18-22. A little too early for event specific forecast, but there appears to be the threat of showers and storms each day. Find out more information and purchase your tickets here.

Monday and Tuesday we begin the process of bringing moisture back into the Southeast US as the surface high moves off the Southeast US coast bringing the surface flow back around to the south. I believe we will stay dry as we start the week with a somewhat benign upper flow that gradually becomes southwesterly by mid week adding the element of additional moisture aloft.

For the latter half of the week, our upper air pattern will remain in a west to southwest flow as a deep trough takes up residence along the West Coast of the US. Weak short waves will move eastward in this upper flow, and with a weak frontal boundary also across the Southeast US, we will have a moisture laden atmosphere that should result in daily chances for showers driven mainly by diurnal heating but also focused with those transient weak short waves. This far out, it’t very difficult to pinpoint the exact time when these short waves will bring the best chance of showers, so the forecast for the latter half of the week ahead will be a little fluid. Temperatures will once again get back to seasonal values with highs around 80s and lows in the 60s.

The GFS is showing one short wave by next Saturday to be stronger and that may bring about a much better chance for showers. But the timing of this feature could easily change a good deal since we are verging on voodoo country.

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The upper air pattern continues to be quite changeable as we move out into voodoo country or week 2. The pattern has a disturbing look to it from May 22nd through the 25th as the GFS is depicting a closed low meandering over Georgia and South Carolina. As James notes from time to time, upper closed low, weatherman’s woe! We’ll have to watch future model runs to see if this feature continues to be depicted. But the current model run finally dissipates that feature around the 26th but brings in a fairly deep trough into the picture across the eastern US around the 27th. This would spell a possible wet period along with some cooler weather to close out May.

Due to travel plans with an early flight, I’m not sure about the Weather Xtreme Video for Sunday morning. I will try to post a discussion even if I can’t get the video done. Enjoy this fabulous May day. Don’t forget to come out to the Buck Creek Festival in Helena. Be sure to come by the stage area and say hello. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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WeatherBrains 538: I Lost Out to Swedish Meatballs

| 5:15 am May 10, 2016

WeatherBrains Episode 538 is now online (May 9, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

We’ll be hosting Eric Berger, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and now with Ars Technica for this episode. He wants to get our thoughts about the questions for a piece he’s writing for AT that has to do with the future of weather forecasting. Ars Technica is an online information source covering primarily technical topics.

Eric Berger, Ars Technica

Eric Berger is the senior space editor at Ars Technica, covering everything from astronomy to private space to wonky NASA policy. Eric has an astronomy degree from the University of Texas and a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri. He previously worked at the Houston Chronicle for 17 years, where the paper was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 for his coverage of Hurricane Ike. A certified meteorologist, Eric lives in Houston.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 98 at Death Valley, CA, and 10 at Mount Washington, NH
  • Fairly extensive severe weather ongoing centered on Arkansas
  • Risk of severe weather over Central Mississippi River Valley into Ohio River Valley next two days
  • 2 fatalities in Oklahoma earlier today
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Probably every single listener or viewer of WeatherBrains has seen a rainbow. But how many of them have seen a moonbow? That’s right, I said moonbow. Just what is a moonbow and how can you see one. Get the full low down in this episode of WeatherBrains 101.

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 538:

Ars Technica web page

Space City Weather

Commercial interests may negatively impact transmission of vital weather data

Don’t forget to vote for Ginger Zee on Dancing with the Stars

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – Article about Amateur Cloud Society

Brian Peters – National Geographic Kids freaky weather facts

Kevin Selle – Retweeting makes you forget

James Spann – Podcasts surge

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Freddy the Forecaster and the Terrible Tornado

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

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Gorgeous Warm Day for Alabama

| 3:20 pm May 8, 2016

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Satellite image shows a clear sky across nearly all of the Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. The clear sky has allowed temperatures to climb into the middle 80s across the area, so it is warm. The average high for this time in May is 80 degrees, so we’re running just a tad warmer than what we would typically expect.

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There is absolutely no active weather to discuss for the Southeast US, but we can’t say that for parts of Texas and Oklahoma. The SPC has issued a tornado watch for parts of Oklahoma and a severe thunderstorm watch for parts of West Texas. Both of these are in effect until 9 pm this evening. I’m sure additional watches will be required before the evening is over.

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Our weather stays dry to start the upcoming week, and then we turn showery for several days, mainly Tuesday and Wednesday. As the wind comes around to the south as the surface high pressure system moves out into the Atlantic, moisture will increase. I think the main factor will be the heating of the day to produce showers for Central Alabama. That changes on Thursday as a weak cold front is expected to approach and move through Alabama. This should bring a pretty good uptick in the potential for some rain. But the current projections suggest the front will move on Thursday evening or early Friday morning paving the way for some warm, dry weather for next weekend and at least a small drop in the humidity.

-Brian-

Beautiful Day for Mother’s Day

| 7:25 am May 8, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day! Alabama was waking up about 5 to 7 degrees warmer this morning than yesterday morning with readings in the 50s. A clear sky this morning should see some afternoon clouds with lots of sunshine and those afternoon highs climbing into the middle 80s. Across the Central Plains from western Oklahoma northward through much of Central Kansas there is an enhanced risk of severe storms, so Mother’s Day will be somewhat stormy in the Nation’s breadbasket. Aloft, the big ridge has weakened somewhat, but it remained pretty strong as it gradually moves eastward with a ridge axis along the Mississippi River later today.

Gorgeous weather today and tomorrow along the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. You can expect lots of sunshine along with afternoon highs mainly in the lower 80s. Scattered showers and storms return to the forecast for much of the week ahead, but much like here, no all day rains are expected with plenty of time to catch some sun. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 73 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

PROFESSIONAL GOLF BACK IN BIRMINGHAM: The Regions Traditions Golf Tournament returns to beautiful Greystone Golf and Country Club May 18-22. Way too early for a specific forecast just yet, but you’ll find the latest forecast for the event when it gets within range for reasonable forecasts. Click here for Regions Traditions Tickets.

The big trough over the Rockies will shed one piece of it Monday as a strong closed low moves nearly due north thanks to the blocking of the ridge over the eastern US. This will bring an round of severe storms to the area centered primarily on Arkansas but affecting parts of Missouri, Northeast Texas, and eastern Oklahoma. Monday is a transition day for the Southeast US as a strong southerly flow sets up increasing the moisture across our area. While we should see more clouds, I believe we’ll stay free of showers.

Showers and storms become an issue for us on Tuesday with the potential for scattered showers and storms to remain with us into late Thursday. While all of the upper air dynamics are taking place well to our north, warm afternoon temperatures and plenty of moisture will require mentioning daily chances of showers for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It seems that our best rain chances are likely to come on Thursday with the approach of a cold front. Due to the scattered nature of the storms even with the approach of the cold front, rainfall is likely to remain relatively low with amounts of half inch or less.

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From Thursday into Friday, the upper air pattern becomes a trough over the eastern half of the country. This will help to force the fairly week front at the surface through the Southeast US Thursday or very early Friday morning. This should sweep the moisture out of the state as dew points drop back from the lower and middle 60s into the 50s. There is enough instability that we will probably hear some thunder, but with the best dynamics well north of Central Alabama, we should not have to deal with any kind of serious severe weather threat.

With the trough established in the East, the upper air flow remains northwesterly for Alabama into the weekend while surface high pressure promises to bring good weather with lows mainly in the upper 50s and 60s and highs in the 80s.

Looking further afield, voodoo country was pretty tame yesterday, but as we see quite often, there is a big change for week 2 on the latest computer model run. The GFS keeps the eastern US trough in place through May 19th. From the 19th to the end of the period around May 23rd, we see the pattern evolve as the ridge moves east displacing the eastern US trough with the development of another strong trough and closed low in the Central Plains states. While it is 372 hours out, the pattern the GFS is projecting around the 23rd of May is certainly one that would be favorable for a fairly significant round of severe storms potentially from the Central Plains into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Remember, we’re not making a specific forecast, but trying to establish trends based on what the patterns show.

James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. Enjoy your Mother’s Day. Stay cool and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Warming Trend Setting In

| 7:17 am May 7, 2016

Another cool morning across the Southeast US, and probably the last cool morning for at least a while. Our morning lows average around 57 for early May, but most of Central Alabama saw lows about 10 degrees below those averages. A warming trend begins today with highs climbing to near 80 today and into the 80s for much of the week ahead while lows will warm into the 60s.

Good weather continues for the weekend as we remain dry under a surface high pressure system along with an upper ridge aloft. That upper ridge will slowly migrate east warming up the eastern half of the country. It is this same upper ridge that brought very warm temperatures all the way to Minnesota yesterday where Two Harbors set a record with 93 degrees and Minneapolis-St. Paul broke the old record of 89 with a high of 90. Two Harbors tied McAllen, Texas, for the Nation’s warmest reading yesterday.

At the beach, gorgeous weather will continue along the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida through the weekend. You can expect lots of sunshine along with afternoon highs mainly in 70s with a few 80s possible just inland. The water temperature was running in the upper 70s and lower 80s at various locations from Dauphin Island east to Panama City. You can find the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

The Regions Traditions Golf Tournament returns to beautiful Greystone Golf and Country Club May 18-22. Way too early for event specific forecast, but today’s long range model data output suggest that weekend will be warm with a scattered showers and storms possible. Of course, this may change as we get closer to the event. Click here for Regions Traditions Tickets.

The upper ridge will keep the start of the week warm and dry, but that changes for Tuesday as the ridge gets beaten down by a trough coming out of the Rockies. It is this trough coming out of the Rockies on Sunday and Monday that will set the stage for severe weather in the Central US. SPC has an enhanced risk for severe weather on Sunday from about San Angelo, TX, northward across Oklahoma, KS, and into Central Nebraska. The severe weather risk shifts slightly southeastward on Day 3, Monday, into Arkansas, Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and Northeast Texas.

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For us in Alabama and the Southeast US, moisture will increase Tuesday and Wednesday under strong southerly flow. This means the introduction of showers for these days.

With the traveling weather systems well to our north beating down the ridge, our flow aloft gradually goes northwesterly while at the surface, the remnants of a front gradually wash out on Thursday. With a solid ridge to our west for Friday and Saturday, we should remain in a northwesterly flow regime. Both the GFS and the Euro depict a weak frontal system coming through the Southeast US on Thursday just in time to bring a dry but warm end to the week and into the weekend. While there are minor differences in the two models, the overall agreement to the major features gives a slight boost in the confidence to the forecast that far out.

One word of caution, however. Northwesterly flow patterns can result in creation of large mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) over the Central Plains states which can then travel long distances and produce a serious threat in the form of heavy rain and potentially severe weather. The GFS and Euro do not show anything of that nature at this time, but we must also remember that these global models do not always handle these small scale features very well. As weather forecasters, we have to remain vigilant and watch for this type of feature to develop and forecast it from then.

Looking out into voodoo country, the upper flow remains northwesterly for us in the Southeast US well into week 2. By the latter part of the week, the pattern morphs into a broad general ridge over the middle of the country. This pattern keeps our weather somewhat docile and warm.

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday. Enjoy your Saturday. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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