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A Warmer Day

| 7:31 am March 29, 2015

* * * Production issue so there is no Weather Xtreme Video this morning * * *

Clouds held in a bit longer than I expected them to so much of the southern sections of Central Alabama avoided a freeze this morning, but the temperature contrast was pretty large with low dipping into 20s across Northeast Alabama where the sky cleared overnight. Look for a dry day today with a partly cloudy sky and temperatures warming about 10 degrees over yesterday with highs climbing into the lower 60s.

Dry weather does not last long as a fast moving cold front promises to bring showers and perhaps a little thunder to Central Alabama for Monday. Because the front is moving rather quickly, I expect the better rain chances to come in the morning with much of the area drying out by mid afternoon as the front moves into South Alabama. In spite of the front, I expect the highs to climb even warmer Monday with highs mainly in the upper 60s.

The deep trough over the eastern third of the country will move into the Atlantic but another fast moving upper level disturbance will move quickly across the Great Lakes dragging the front across the Southeast US. By Tuesday and Wednesday, the upper flow will become more nearly zonal as a series of weak disturbances move through the southern stream. This will help to keep to keep the weather a bit unsettled as the front moves back northward as a warm front. Despite the clouds and showers we should see highs mainly in the 70s for much of the week ahead.

Another strong trough will move out of the Rockies late in the week by Friday and into Saturday. This will bring yet another cold front into the area for late Friday and Saturday, but we should dry out by Sunday. Temperatures will drop back for the weekend with highs in the 60s.

AT THE BEACH: Chilly at the Gulf with temperatures dropping into the 40s this morning along the coastline from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach. Look for a mostly sunny daytoday; highs will be in the 60s today and back in the low 70s Monday. A few widely scattered showers could show up for the week ahead, but there will still be some decent intervals of sunshine each day. Showers and storms will be more possible Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but even then it won’t rain all day.

Looking out into voodoo country, the pattern starts week 2 with weak ridging that gets stronger around April 8th. A trough, not as strong as what the GFS was depicting yesterday, still promises some stormy weather beginning on the 8th and continuing through the 9th. Another deep trough around the 11th has a stormy look to it and may provide another late season shot of cold air – though not as cold as the current system.

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 had a great time in Gallant yesterday at the open house at the volunteer fire department there. James Spann will have the next discussion and video first thing on Monday morning. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Late Season Chill Continues

| 7:30 am March 28, 2015

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.

A late season chill brought temperatures into the 30s across Central Alabama with some of those typically colder spots dipping all the way into the upper 20s. It will be another somewhat chilly day today even with the sunny start as highs climb only into the lower and middle 50s. A fast moving disturbance in the deep trough over the eastern US will bring back clouds this afternoon with a small risk for showers or light rain late this afternoon and into early Sunday morning.

It will be another chilly start to the day Sunday with a freeze warning for much of Central Alabama. Sunday will be partly sunny with temperatures warming into the upper 50s and lower 60s as we recover from another cold morning. The dry weather does not last long as another cold front promises to bring another shot of rain to the area Sunday night and early Monday. But this front does not pack much of a cold punch as the stronger westerlies stay well to our north.

The week ahead remains somewhat unsettled with some chance for rain thanks in part to a series of weak disturbances moving through the generally zonal flow. This should allow us to warm for much of the week ahead until another cold front brings another drop in temperatures for the weekend, though this cool down does not appear to be as significant as the current event.

AT THE BEACH: Chilly on the Gulf sands with temperatures dropping into the 40s this morning from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores. Look for mostly sunny days and fair nights through Monday; highs will be in the 60s over the weekend, and back in the low 70s Monday. A few widely scattered showers could show up Tuesday and Wednesday, but there will still be some decent intervals of sunshine both days. Showers and storms will be more likely Thursday of next week, but even then it won’t rain all day.

Looking out into voodoo country, the spring tends to be a time with a lot of action as the upper flow remains fairly active. And that seems to be the screaming message for week 2. The GFS is showing a very vigorous system around April 8th that could produce a severe weather episode for the Central and Eastern US. That system is followed by another fairly substantial chill down. While March has been rather quiet for severe weather, April is out biggest month, so the forecast looks reasonable.

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’ll be taking the Storm Chaser to Gallant today for an open house at their new storm shelter. The next Weather Xtreme Video should be posted first thing on Sunday morning. Have a great day, stay warm, and Godspeed.

-Brian-

WeatherBrains 478: Why are We at the Days Inn

| 5:15 am March 24, 2015

WeatherBrains Episode 478 is now online (March 23, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a WeatherBrain alum, having appeared on show numbers 199 and 330. Mike Smith is the Accuweather Enterprise Solution Senior Vice President. In 1981, he founded Weather Data, Inc., the Wichita, KS, private weather forecasting firm that provides weather forecasting, consulting, and weather risk management to companies and organizations around the US, Canada, and Mexico. The company was acquired by Accu Weather in 2006. Mike also wrote the books, When the Sirens were Silent and Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 91 at Miami (Kendall-Tamiami), FL, and -23 at Mount Washington, NH
  • Severe weather in March rather quiet, says SPC
  • System promises midweek storms
  • Slight risk of severe weather in Central US for Tuesday
  • Nation’s weather a bit warmer than a month ago
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer dips into the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: On a recent promotions stop for the station where I work, I had a question about lightning at the top of thunderstorms that I thought would make an interesting topic for this 101 segment.

    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 478:

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

    NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed

    Patrick Marsh Data Mining Tornado Emergencies

    Joplin Tornado Service Assessment

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Journalists Deciding about Candidates

    Brian Peters – Photos from Tropical Cyclone Pam

    John Scala – Easter Sunday 1913 Omaha Tornado

    Kevin Selle – No pick

    Mike Smith – mike smith enterprises blog

    James Spann – Periscope

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – Vegetable Planting Schedule

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

    | 7:20 am March 22, 2015

    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.

    Rain moved into Central Alabama during the latter part of the afternoon yesterday, a little faster than I expected to see it move in. Periods of light rain overnight produced rainfall amounts of around a quarter of an inch for most locations. The surface low was located in southern Louisiana this morning and will be moving eastward along the Gulf Coast through early Monday morning. Temperatures today will not be changing a great deal with readings remaining fairly steady or rising just a tad as values stay mainly in the 50s with a gloomy look to the day.

    There is a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms across South Alabama, Southwest Georgia, and Southeast Mississippi today along the front and just ahead of the surface low. That risk area will shift into North Florida for Day 2 or Monday. Lapse rates for the development of strong thunderstorms appear to be weak due in part to the cloud shield, but a fairly strong southwesterly flow in the layer between 700 and 500 millibars may be enough to enhance thunderstorms along the boundary lying along the Gulf Coast.

    The surface low and the associated upper short wave will move east Monday with precipitation chances ending for much of Central Alabama during the morning Monday. Weak ridging aloft promises us a dry and very nice March day for Tuesday.

    From Wednesday through into the weekend, the GFS remains focused on developing a substantial trough over the eastern US by this weekend. While we have officially entered the spring season, it looks like we’re going to have to contend with at least one more round of cold weather that may include some freezing temperatures for morning lows this weekend. A series of disturbances moving through the westerly flow will carve out a deep trough by Saturday pushing another round of cold weather out way. But it is late March, so in fairly typical fashion, the trough moves fairly quickly eastward allowing our temperatures to moderate fairly quickly as we edge out into voodoo country. We’ll need to watch carefully to see just how cold it will get on Saturday and Sunday morning, but at least with the information at hand today, it looks like we could see freezing temperatures each morning, so it may be necessary to protect plants and pets.

    Looking out into voodoo country, the strong trough moderates fairly quickly as we move into April with ridging across the eastern US for the start of April. But the westerlies remain busy with a parade of disturbances moving through the flow keeping the weather fluid. No specific signs of any significant cold or heat, but if you’ve been around much you know how the patterns in voodoo country can change.

    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)

    Had an enjoyable time out of Aldridge Gardens yesterday with other folks from the television station with Paws in the Park. The dogs seemed to know it was their special day and I saw so many different breeds. James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. Stay dry and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Clouds with a Rainy Sunday

    | 6:28 am March 21, 2015

    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.

    Central Alabama finds itself between systems today, so while the clouds will hold tough with some peeks at the sun here and there, we should be mainly dry today with highs around the 70-degree mark. A surface low on a stationary front along the Gulf Coast will move east Sunday bringing a wet day to Central Alabama. We may hear a little thunder on Sunday with a marginal threat for severe weather across southern Mississippi and Alabama as the front moves inland as a warm front. The primary threat will be damaging wind but an isolated tornado is possible along with isolated large hail. Clouds should hold temperatures down a bit with highs mainly in the lower half of the 60s.

    The surface low moves eastward away from us on Monday and an upper trough moves across the Southeast by midday, so rain chances should come to an end late on Monday morning. We may see some sunshine by very late afternoon with highs climbing well into the 60s.

    Then with weak ridging aloft, we should see a couple of dry and mild days with highs climbing back into the 70s. But the GFS is forecasting a fairly substantial trough to dig into the eastern US Thursday and Friday. This strong trough should bring a cold front and some rain chances back into the forecast for Thursday with colder but dry weather for the weekend. With a trough digging back into the eastern US by Friday and Saturday, we should see temperatures over the weekend drop back with lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s.

    The trough dominates the pattern for the beginning of voodoo country so March will be ending on a cool note, but the GFS continues to promote an active southern stream in the westerlies, so we may well stay somewhat wet as April gets underway.

    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 will be participating along with other folks from ABC 3340 in Paws in the Garden today at Aldridge Gardens. The event benefits the Shelby County Humane Society and Aldridge Gardens so come on out and say hello. I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted Sunday morning. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    WeatherBrains 477: Tales from a Disaster

    | 5:30 am March 17, 2015

    WeatherBrains Episode 477 is now online (March 16, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

    Kim Cross, authorOur guest for this show is award winning author, Kim Cross. Kim and her family huddled in their storm shelter as the Tuscaloosa tornado of April 27, 2011, barreled toward Birmingham missing their neighborhood by only a few miles. After writing an article for Southern Living that captured the timeless stories that would ring true long after the storm had gone, Kim set about writing a book to tell the story of the biggest tornado outbreak on record in the Southeast US.

    Kim started writing for her local newspaper while in high school. Kim studied journalism at the University of Alabama and after obtaining her journalism degree, took on a graduate fellowship at UA. She gained value reporting experience working for numerous newspapers including the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the St. Petersburg Times and worked on the staff of Southern Living and Cooking Light for nearly a decade before taking time off to tackle the book. Her book took about four years and was published on March 10, 2015. It is available wherever you can find books and at the link below.

    Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 99 at Death Valley, CA, and -5 at Whitefield, NH
  • Much warmer across the vast US
  • Large wildfire near Woodward, OK
  • Grand Isle, NE, hit 90 today
  • Late season cold snap possible
  • Monster Tropical Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is back and tackles the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    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 477:

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

    What Stands in a Storm availability

    Florida bans wording “climate change”

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Temperature Scale Fahrenheit versus Celsius

    Brian Peters – Gets the Fog Horn!

    John Scala – Need for Tornado Drills

    Kevin Selle – Seeing White in Boston

    Rick Smith – Fake and Overused Weather Pictures

    James Spann – SPC Sounding Climatology

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – How to Make a Cloud Light from Paper Lanterns

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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