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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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Cold Today, Warmer Sunday, Wet Monday

| 7:15 am February 13, 2016

The expected weather for Central Alabama runs the gamut from cold to wet over the next several days. Alabama is waking up to a clear sky with temperatures in the vicinity of freezing while the Tennessee River Valley counties are in the 20s. A surface high was centered Minnesota and Iowa while aloft we have yet another fairly deep trough over the eastern US with ridging along the Rockies. This pattern was allowing bitterly cold air to invade the northern portions of the US from the Dakotas to New England with lots of single digit temperature readings. The watch/warning map included a band of winter weather advisories from the Dakotas southeastward to Central Illinois. Wind chill advisories and warnings covered much of the Great Lakes area, all of New England, and much of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

The upper air pattern will change fairly quickly as the upper trough moves quickly out into the Atlantic and the upper flow flattens over the Southeast US. This will allow us to warm up nicely for Sunday as temperatures climb nicely into the 50s after a very brisk morning with lows well down in the 20s. Clouds will return Sunday with the sky expected to become cloudy by late afternoon and evening. Then the wet weather arrives.

A fast moving upper trough will move from the Missouri/Kansas border on Monday into the Atlantic by Tuesday. This will bring a weak surface low from northern Louisiana to the Mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday. This opens the way for some thunderstorms on Day 3, Monday, mainly along the Central Gulf Coast from Southeast Louisiana to the western Florida Peninsula. SPC has this area outlooked with a marginal risk for severe storms. Given that the main dynamics are further north and the warm sector won’t have much time to develop, the threat for severe weather should be low, but not zero. Temperatures will recover nicely despite the clouds and rain with highs Monday in the middle to upper 50s.

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A stronger trough come into the western Great Lakes area on Tuesday with a strong surface low over Illinois. This sets up yet another snow storm for the Northeast US for Wednesday, but with moisture very limited, the from coming through the Southeast should be dry. Tuesday should be a fairly warm day for Central Alabama with highs around the 60-degree mark. That dry front is going to knock temperatures back again for Wednesday but only a little with highs in the middle 50s.

Ridging aloft becomes the main story for our weather pattern for Thursday and Friday. Another trough that remains well to our north on Friday and Saturday will bring another cold front into the area on Saturday. At least for now, it looks like only small chances for some showers on Saturday with highs in the lower 60s.

Looking out into voodoo country, a strong trough dives into the eastern US on Tuesday and Wednesday, dropping out temperatures back again. Ridging will again moderate our temperatures before another trough dives through the Great Lakes toward the Mid-Atlantic States by the 28th of February.

Thanks for tuning into the Alabama Weather Xtreme Video. I plan to have the next edition posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday. I’m looking forward to some meet-and-greet time today as ABC 3340 participates in the World of Wheels at the BJCC. If you plan to be there, be sure to look up our booth. Enjoy your day and stay warm. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Super Today – Sharply Colder into Tuesday

| 8:00 am February 7, 2016

The second Sunday of February will be a super day for Central Alabama as we continue to enjoy the warmup before another Arctic chill down. Alabamians are waking up to a clear sky with nary a cloud to be found. But the morning is also starting with another chill as morning lows bottom out in the 20s. But with plenty of sunshine today we should see the highs across Central Alabama warm nicely well into the 50s – upper 50s for most locations. But then changes begin to take place.

But before we discuss those, it’s interesting to note what is happening just off the southeast coast of the US. A strong closed low moved along the Gulf Coast last night and will be emerging into the Southwest Atlantic today generating a surface low in the vicinity of Florida. Today that surface low will “bomb out” as we say as it undergoes deep intensification. To “bomb out” a surface low must drop 24 millibars in 24 hours, and it sure looks like this one will do that. Because of this deep intensification, hurricane force wind is expected to occur in the offshore waters with storm or hurricane force wind warnings from offshore of Florida all the way to New England for the next 36 to 48 hours.

Fortunately, that system will not have an impact on our weather, but right behind that closed low comes a deepening trough that will open the flood gates for cold air to surge southward into the Southeast US. Later tonight and into Monday, clouds will increase so that Monday will become a mostly cloudy day. Temperatures will be a bit tricky to forecast since highs and lows will not be occurring at their typical times. Morning temperatures will probably bottom out near 40, rise a little through late morning, and then begin to fall with the arrival of the cold air. So the high for the day will likely come in late morning, or perhaps even between midnight and 1 am. Our low for the day is likely to occur between 11 pm and midnight Monday evening. Temperatures during the afternoon are likely to be falling.

On top of that, it looks like this system will be bringing some moisture with it. Precipitation is likely to begin as light rain from late morning through the middle of the afternoon before enough cold air arrives to bring about a mixture of light rain and snow flurries. The mixed precipitation should change over to all flurries Monday evening and stay flurries through midday on Tuesday. With the warm ground we’re not likely to see anything stick. The exception to that comes in the northeast part of Alabama where we might see a little snow sticking at higher elevations.

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Tuesday is also likely to be a raw day with a northwest wind at 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts and highs from the Interstate 20 corridor northward only in the 30s. Areas south of the Interstate 20 corridor could see highs in the lower 40s.

Wednesday follows along with Tuesday for being a cold day but we’ll have the benefit of some sunshine. Lows will be well down in the 20s with highs in the 40 to 43 range. It may feel a little warmer thanks to a reduced wind.

The overall upper air pattern begins to transition out of the deep trough over the eastern US on Thursday and Friday. We should see some gradual warming with temperatures rising into the lower 50s, still chilly when compared to 30-year averages for early February. Saturday and Sunday will see ridging aloft so that weekend highs should be well into the 50s.

Yesterday the outlook for voodoo country seemed a little quiet, but the quiet is definitely gone on the latest GFS run today. A strong upper trough should bring wet weather to Alabama on Monday, February 15th. Another fairly high amplitude trough develops by the 18th which will bring another round of chilly weather to the East, but not as chilly as the one starting this week. And then a new trough/closed low comes out of the northern Rockies around the 20th. So the parade of storm systems should continue into the latter part of February.

I had a wonderful time at the “Wild About Chocolate” fundraiser for the Alabama Wildlife Center last night at the Harbert Center. It was a privilege to meet the newest member of their team, an unnamed red-tailed hawk. The injuries he sustained in a collision with a vehicle prohibit him from being able to return to the wild, so he will become part of their educational team. And he was absolutely gorgeous. I hope the auctions, both silent and not silent, were able to raise enough money to keep the Wildlife Center funded to continue their great work.

James Spann is expected back on Monday with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Enjoy the super weather on this Super Bowl Sunday. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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More Cold Air Ahead

| 7:31 am February 6, 2016

It’s another chilly morning across North and Central Alabama. Temperatures were mainly in the upper 20s just before sunrise. Vic Bell, our Skywatcher at Black Creek in Etowah County, observed a low of 23 with heavy frost this morning. But after the chilly start, we should see temperatures rise into the lower 50s across Central Alabama along with the presence of some clouds advancing over the Southeast US from the system just to our west.

As the upper air pattern shows, that system will dive into and across the Gulf of Mexico today and Sunday generating a surface low over the Florida Peninsula that will intensify rapidly as it moves into the Southwest Atlantic. The intensification of the surface low on Sunday should be pretty spectacular, something meteorologists refer to as “bombogenesis.” That not so technical terms refers to the explosive intensification of a surface low which deepens by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. This one sure looks like it will qualify. Fortunately for us and much of the East Coast of the US, it will be offshore enough to keep the impacts to the marine areas. Storm warnings were posted Sunday into Monday for the offshore waters from Southeast Georgia to New England.

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The upper air pattern over the eastern half of the country takes on a decidedly colder look as a high amplitude trough develops on Monday. This together with the departing surface low in the Atlantic will generate clouds in addition to plunging us into another short term ice age. This brings the potential for snow flurries or perhaps a little light snow especially to the higher elevations of Northeast Alabama, northern Georgia, and the southern Appalachians from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. It’s worth mentioning that these patterns don’t typically result in significant snow events for us. And it’s interesting to note that the GFS is more bullish on the potential for snow than the Euro is.

Monday could well be one of those days in which the temperature peaks during the morning and falls during the day. Tuesday is shaping up to be a raw day with our highs struggling to get to 40 degrees after morning lows in the 20s.

Wednesday through the end of the week sees a gradual warming trend with high temperatures pushing into the lower 60s by Friday and Saturday. This occurs as the upper air pattern becomes less amplified as the deep trough moves off into the Atlantic and surface high pressure settles into the area from the north. With much of the upper air action a good deal further north by Saturday, we could see a weak cold front approach the Southeast US on Saturday. The GFS wrings a little moisture out of this front, but the air may be too dry for more than sprinkles. Plus this is verging on voodoo country, so we’ll keep the forecast dry for now. This front will not have much upper air support, so while the air will be cooler it is not expected to be as cold as the Monday/Tuesday system.

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Voodoo country is showing some signs of slightly slower action. There is a fairly strong short wave trough coming through the Central Plains on Monday that could bring us some wet weather. But the overall pattern remains nearly zonal with an absence of short waves or significant troughs until we get to the very end of the period around February 21st. By then we have a complicated pattern with a closed low over the Southwest US with a fairly deep trough over the eastern third of the country.

Thanks for checking out the weather on the blog. I’m really excited about going to the Alabama Wildlife Center’s fund raiser tonight titled “Wild about Chocolate.” It’s nice to mix a great cause with some decadent chocolate! Plus Brenda Ladun of ABC 3340 will be the evenings emcee. I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Enjoy the day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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WeatherBrains 524: Groundhog Ensemble

| 5:15 am February 2, 2016

WeatherBrains Episode 524 is now online (February 1, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Jason Bowman, My Weather ConciergeOur Guest WeatherBrain for this episode is Jason Bowman. For over 30 years, he has been studying and forecasting the weather. Over the past 10 years, he’s found that social media has provided atmospheric scientists and broadcast meteorologists with the ability to follow our passion, as well as share our knowledge to keep people safe and also entertained. Like many atmospheric scientists, Jason was born with the love of the weather. At a young age, Jason would create winter forecasts for his family and classmates, dreaming for the day he could provide millions with their personalized weather conditions.

In 1992, Jason went to the State University of New York in Albany. Jason forecasted at WNYT, the NBC affiliate in Albany NY. After graduation in May, 1996, Jason shifted his focus to the advertising industry, working for organizations such as National Geographic and MTV. While fine tuning his business management skills, Jason would continue to forecast on the Facebook page he created prior to Hurricane Sandy in 2012. With rapid growth of the Facebook forecast page, Jason co-created My Weather ConciergeĀ®, a new and unique mobile weather app, powered by a group of tremendously talented forecasters. My Weather Concierge provides you with handcrafted weather forecasts for cities across the country, 365 days a year with direct access to their forecaster to help them through any weather related situation. Planning a trip? Getting married? Safety of children at camp or on snow days for school. Jason’s goal for the mobile app was to provide a personalized forecast for any occasion.

In late winter of 2015, Jason was approached by The Weather Channel to appear on a new video based show called “Weather Gone Viral” and appeared on STARS XM SIRIUS as a weather expert to discuss the Blizzard of 2014. Today, Jason continues to develop his mobile platform forecasting center and is a winter weather expert and a Long Range Forecasting Analyst.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 95 at Cotulla, TX, and -21 at Old Faithful, WY
  • SPC has enhanced risk area for Day 2 in the Southeast US
  • Same storm kicking up blizzard from Colorado to Wisconsin
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer has her hands on the pulse of our email and comments from listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: This week on the 101 episode we take a look at the latest on the polar orbiting satellites under the name of Suomi-NPP. What does that name stand for and just what do the polar orbiting satellites provide?

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 524:

My Weather Concierge

John Huntington’s Snow Time Lapse

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

Picks of the Week:

Jason Bowman – Shoutout to Mayor of New York City who dropped Charlotte, the groundhog

Nate Johnson – GOES 1-Minute Data

Brian Peters – SPC Interactive Tornado Outbreak site

John Scala – Meteorological Model Ensemble River Forecasts

Kevin Selle – Gets the fog horn!

James Spann – SPC state-by-state outlook graphics

Aubrey Urbanowicz – NCDC Groundhog Day web site

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, 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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Easy to install and affordable. Get your’s today!

You can monitor your data on iOS 4 or higher, Android 4.0 or higher, or a Windows Phone 8.0 or higher.

WeatherBrains 523: Between Storms

| 5:15 am January 28, 2016

WeatherBrains Episode 523 is now online (January 27, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s guest on this slightly delayed episode of WeatherBrains are Jeff Piotrowski and John Huntington. This will be Jeff’s fifth appearance on our podcast having appeared in Episodes 384, 354, 289, and 282. John Huntington is also a repeat guest having been on Episode 290. Both of our guests were at ChaserCon 2016 along with our own Rick Smith.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 83 at Opa Locka, FL, and -23 at Antero Reservoir, CO, & Crested Butte, CO
  • What a difference a week makes
  • Snow storm is gone but some of that snow is still around
  • Lower 48 snow cover stands at 44 percent
  • SPC has defined severe wx area for Day 7 (next Tue-Wed)
  • This could mean a severe episode for Lower Mississippi River Valley
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is just like the Post Office – neither rain nor sleet nor snow shall keep her from the email bag and those wonderful emails from our listeners. But a cold or some other bug has taken her out before the show reached the email segment. But we also have an audio file from our Estonia correspondent.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: This week in our 101 segment we take a look at one of those early pioneers who studied lightning. G. W. Richmann also became the poster child for lightning safety. Listen in to learn how he accomplished this feat.

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 523:

Human Element in Weather Forecasting by Chuck Doswell

Chaser Con 2016 recorded sessions

John Huntington Photography

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

Picks of the Week:

John Huntington – Coney Island Cam

Bill Murray – Incredible snow time lapse

Brian Peters – NASA’s web site on Suomi-NPP

Jeff Piotrowski – 3 inch hail in California

John Scala – Summary of DC Snowstorms (scroll to bottom)

Kevin Selle – Tornado Pod

Rick Smith – Time Lapse of Washington, DC, Snowfall

James Spann – Over Reliance on Models?

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Summary of Snowzilla by Capital Weather Gang

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, 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.

Audible.com graphic


WeatherBrains is a proud affiliate of NetAtmo Weather Stations.

Easy to install and affordable. Get your’s today!

You can monitor your data on iOS 4 or higher, Android 4.0 or higher, or a Windows Phone 8.0 or higher.