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WeatherBrains 464: Lift My Parcels

| 5:15 am December 16, 2014

WeatherBrains Episode 464 is now online (December 15, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

We don’t have one guest WeatherBrain, nor two guest WeatherBrains, but three guest WeatherBrains.

James Aydelott, KOKI-TVFirst is James Aydelott, Chief Meteorologist from KOKI, Fox23, in Tulsa, OK. James grew up in Tulsa and is a fourth generation Okie. His great grandparents moved into Indian Territory before 1900 and his grandfather was born in Howe. His parents were both teachers in Tulsa Public Schools. James has always been fascinated by the severe weather that seems to hit Tulsa with fearsome regularity. James’s dad piled the family in the station wagon and toured the damage after each round of severe weather, and all that destruction made quite an impression on him. After graduating from Tulsa’s East Central High School, James headed to the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in meteorology.

James has worked in Sherman, TX, Savannah, GA, Wichita, KS, Dallas, TX, and Tulsa, OK, seeing and forecasting everything from tornadoes to hurricanes to blizzards. He has years of tornado chasing experience and is a severe weather and Doppler radar expert. James is an instrument-rated pilot and enjoys flying his Cessna Cardinal. James and his wife Robyn have two children and golden retriever, Mia, who also loves to fly. He also likes to cook and has even been a celebrity chef in Tulsa’s own Chef Fest. James is involved in Tulsa’s Iron Gate Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, and Tulsa’s Restore Hope Ministry.

Steve Piltz, NWS Tulsa, OKGuest WeatherBrain number 2 is Steve Piltz, Meteorologist in Charge of the Tulsa NWS office. Steve has been with the NWS for over 26 years, the last 13 years as MIC at the Tulsa office. The Tulsa office covers 25 counties in Oklahoma and seven in Arkansas.

Shelby Hays, KOCO-TVAnd Guest WeatherBrain number 3 is Shelby Hays. Shelby is a WB Alum, having appeared on shows 443, 423, and 403. Shelby joined the KOCO 5 First Alert weather team in November, 2014, where she will be the weekend meteorologist. She is a native Oklahoman who grew up wanting nothing more than to be a meteorologist. From a very young age Shelby was fascinated by storms. It began with fear but grew into a passion for learning about the weather. One of the reasons she loved weather so much was that it’s always changing. She knew this would provide for a rewarding career. Shelby pursued her dream at one of the finest meteorology schools in the world, the University of Oklahoma. She spent her time in college studying weather and also studying the television business. Shelby completed internships in both Oklahoma City and Nashville, TN. She graduated from OU with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology. She also spent time in New York City at Good Morning America learning from ABC Meteorologist Ginger Zee. Shelby began her broadcast career at KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, AR, as the weekend morning meteorologist. The chance to come home to Oklahoma City was a dream come true for Shelby.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 84 at Edinburg, TX, and 3 at Conrad, MT
  • Storm system moving through Great Lakes area
  • Another cold wave coming down the eastern side of the Rockies
  • Weather relatively quiet, but tornado in Oklahoma on Sunday
  • Small tornado in southern Mississippi today
  • 2014 may go into the records as a low end year for tornadoes
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: We’re going to go full tilt into the topic of tilted troughs in this episode of WeatherBrains 101. You’ve got three kinds of tilted troughs, neutral, positive, and negative. Be sure to listen to see which one is the most ominous.

    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 464:

    KOKI-TV Fox 23 Weather web page

    NWS Tulsa, OK, web page

    KOCO-TV Weather web page

    Doswell and Lemon 1979 paper on thunderstorm evolution

    Doswell paper on human in forecasting

    Picks of the Week:

    Shelby Hays – KOCO-TV Weather App

    Nate Johnson – A Day at the Weather Channel

    Bill Murray – No Pick this week

    Brian Peters – Weather forecasts for Rose Bowl

    John Scala – Localized snow event in Chicago, IL

    Kevin Selle – No Pick of the Week

    James Spann – Mike Smith Blog post on Ginger Zee story

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – Capital Weather Gang Tweet on Gemini meteor shower

    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

    Clouds and Sun Today

    | 7:20 am December 14, 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.

    Some low clouds moved into northern Alabama overnight creating an interesting temperature contrast across Central Alabama. Near sunrise, there was a 21 degree difference in temperatures from Tuscaloosa at 47 and Anniston at 26. Vic Bell reported a low of 23 at Black Creek for the coldest reading I could find. This makes the temperature forecast today a bit difficult. I think the clouds will stick around this morning but we should see some sunshine by afternoon. The clouds will hold temperatures down some so I’m only expecting the upper 50s for most areas, perhaps lower 60s south of the Birmingham area.

    The surface high in place this morning will slide to the east today with the next weather system taking shape to our west. As the high slides east, a trough kicks our of the southern Rockies on Monday taking the surface low into the middle Mississippi River Valley and bringing a front across the lower portion of the Mississippi Valley. Clouds should increase Monday with the showers and rain holding off until the very late afternoon and evening.

    This system zips by briskly so I think much of the rain chances will be confined to the nighttime hours. By Tuesday at midday the trough has moved into the eastern Great Lakes area and the front has cleared the area. We should see the rain end for most folks by daybreak though it might linger a little beyond that for the eastern section of Central Alabama. We’ll cool down some for Wednesday and Thursday as the coldest air remains well to our north, but our highs should fall back into the 50s.

    Wednesday and Thursday will be dry with another weak ridge influencing our weather. The next system, however, will be taking shape Thursday and bringing us some wet weather for Friday and the first half of Saturday. Friday is likely to be a fairly warm day as a warm front moves north and good southerly flow is established. The upper storm system opens up and moves by on Saturday afternoon, so that should bring an end to the rain by the middle of the day on Saturday. Sunday should be dry and colder once again with highs dropping back into the middle 50s.

    Rainfall with the first system is expected to be fairly light with a half inch or less for most locations. The next system for Friday and Saturday could bring a bigger rain event to the area.

    And voodoo country has a somewhat different look to it on this run – so what’s new? Yesterday it looked like a warm and dry Christmas for Central Alabama, but the run today continues to show a fairly warm pattern but it could be wet with a strong weather system coming across the Southern Plains. And the pattern will remain active with another system ab out three days later bringing more wet weather for the 28th and 29th. But maybe all this will change in the next few model runs.

    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 return with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning posting it by 7 am or so. Enjoy the day and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Warmer & Dry for the Weekend

    | 6:18 am December 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.

    If you are looking for really cold weather, you won’t find it around here this weekend. Sure, we’re starting the day off on a rather nippy note with readings in the 20s across the Tennessee River Valley and Northeast Alabama while much of Central Alabama was around 30 degrees. With a good supply of sunshine expected our afternoon highs should climb to around the 60s degree mark.

    We stay dry on Sunday as the upper ridge builds across the eastern half of the country. Sunday will also be a tad warmer with highs in the lower and middle 60s.

    Our next shot at rain comes Monday night and early Tuesday. This is a relatively fast moving system so the timing on the rain and showers should be between about 6 pm Monday and 9 am Tuesday. Rainfall amounts are expected to be less than half an inch since we don’t really establish a good moisture return with this system.

    An upper ridge will dominate the pattern in the middle of the week with dry weather Wednesday and Thursday and highs returning to the 60s. By Friday, a strong trough will be edging closer to us out of the southern Rockies, so Friday will be warm with rain chances and clouds returning. That trough moves by Saturday, so our weather should be improving as the rain moves out in the morning and early afternoon. Highs will drop back into the 50s, but there is not any extreme cold with this system.

    The weather pattern this time of year is typically pretty fast and we are seeing that. Looks wet for the 23rd of December, but dry for us for Christmas day. The upper air pattern suggests Christmas day could be quite warm. But another chill down and wet weather are projected for the 27th-28th or so.

    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 Ashley Brand
    J. B. Elliott Bill Murray Brian Peters
    E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

    Off to Helena United Methodist Church for the Festival of Three Kings. I get to be that jolly fellow from well north of here. Then it’s off to Cahaba Heights UMC for a rehearsal for their Sunday Christmas program, followed by an evening with friends at a Christmas party! I’m already tired and the day has just begun! I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video by 8 am or so on Sunday. Enjoy this lovely weekend as the Christmas holiday looms closer. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    November Climatological Notes

    | 11:13 am December 9, 2014

    December, 2014, began on a warm note for Central Alabama, that in sharp contrast to what we saw during November. November was quite cold across Central Alabama, in fact, the National Weather Service in Birmingham said it was the coldest November experienced since 1976 in many places.

    So, just how cold was November for Central Alabama? In Birmingham, the average temperature was 48.9 degrees. This value was 5.5 degrees below the 30-year average and was the eighth coldest November since 1896. It was also the coldest November since 1995 when the average temperature was 47.9 degrees. The coldest November on record for Birmingham occurred in 1976 when the average for the month was 45.4 degrees.

    In Anniston, the average November temperature was 47.6 degrees, which was 5.9 degrees below the 30-year average. This was the fifth coldest November in Anniston since 1903, and the coldest since 1976. Anniston’s coldest November occurred in 1976 when the average temperature was 45.4 degrees.

    Tuscaloosa’s average temperature in November was 49.2 degrees, or 5.8 degrees below the 30-year average. This was Tuscaloosa’s fourth coldest November since 1948, and the coldest since 1976. Tuscaloosa’s record cold November occurred in 1976 when the average temperature was 46.8 degrees.

    Further south, Montgomery also had a cold November, with an average temperature of 51.0 degrees, which was 5.5 degrees below the 30-year average. This was Montgomery’s fourth coldest November since 1872, and the coldest since 1976. Montgomery experienced it’s coldest in November, 1976, when the average temperature was only 48.0 degrees.

    You may recall that the record cold of November, 1976, was followed by a very cold winter season in Central Alabama. Could that happen again this year? The current outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicate that the first half of December is likely to be rather mild, but there are indications that the second half of the month could trend colder. And the even longer range outlook for January through March projects increased chances for below seasonal temperatures across all of Central Alabama.

    And the winter of 1977 also included two snow events, both in January. Looking at the most recent cold November, 1995, it was followed by two snow events in Central Alabama, one in January, 1996, and one in February, 1996. So if you like snow, there is some cause that we could see a couple of snow events as we go into 2015.

    -Brian-

    WeatherBrains 463: Football Brains

    | 5:15 am December 9, 2014

    WeatherBrains Episode 463 is now online (December 8, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

    Kathryn MilesKathryn Miles is an award-winning science writer and the author of three books: Adventures With Ari, All Standing, and Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy, which was published by Dutton earlier this year. Her essays and articles have appeared in dozens of publications including Best American Essays, Ecotone, The New York Times, Outside Magazine, and Popular Mechanics. Miles holds a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and currently serves as a faculty member for the graduate programs at Green Mountain College and Chatham University.

    Gary Szatkowski began his career with the National Weather Service in 1980 after graduating from St. Louis University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology. Gary has worked at duty stations for the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma City, OK and Washington, DC. Since 1997, Gary has been the Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service Office in Mt. Holly, NJ. The Mt. Holly office provides weather forecast and warning services for the residents of New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and northeast Maryland. As Meteorologist-in-Charge at the Mt. Holly office, he is responsible for all products and services provided by that office. Gary is a member of the American Meteorological Society & the National Weather Association. Gary has been recognized as a ‘Hurricane Sandy Hero’ by the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper and received the Weather Hero Award for 2012 from the Weather Research Center for his work during Hurricane Sandy.

    Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 82 at Corona, CA, & Yorba Linda, CA, and -19 at Masardis, ME
  • Another shot of cold air moving through the Central US
  • Wet in Northwest and along Mid-Atlantic States
  • Bill, John, and Aubrey out for this show
  • Snow in the some of the mountain areas
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is out working the early morning shift – sleep is for sissies, Aubrey. Look for the complete email bag next week. But James handles an email that came in during the show.

    And Nate has some weather news, brief as it is.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: There have been a slew of sun dog pictures from listeners thanks to the cirrus across the Southeast US yesterday. Since sun dogs are one of my favorite sights, I figured it would be a great time to talk about them even though they were the topic back in May, 2007.

    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 463:

    Link for Kathryn Miles books

    Mt. Holly, NJ, NWS web site

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Why Did NORAD Track Santa

    Brian Peters – Sun Dog & Moon Dog photo gallery

    Kevin Selle – Twitter picture of foggy tower cam

    Rick Smith – Snow crystal information

    James Spann – CIMSS GOES Realtime Derived Products

    Gary Szatkowski – BAMS article on hurricane risk

    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

    Noticeably Cooler

    | 7:04 am December 7, 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.

    The cold front which moved through Central Alabama yesterday morning producing a line of thunderstorms and some heavy rain has moved off the Southeast US coast this morning and colder air is filtering into Central Alabama. Clouds overnight helped to keep some of the heat of the last several days trapped, so morning lows this morning were generally in the middle 40s. Clouds are expected to hold tough with some breaks allowing peeks at sunshine this afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 50s which is about typical for this time of year though they will feel colder since we’re coming off a nice run of warmer than average weather where highs and lows were about 15 degrees above the 30-year averages.

    The week ahead should be dry as moisture is not likely to return, but that doesn’t mean the forecast will be any less challenging. The upper air pattern evolves from a weak ridge today to a fairly deep trough over the eastern US by Tuesday. This will bring colder air again into the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. But on Monday we’ll have to deal with the potential of a wedge setting up that could keep the eastern sections of Central Alabama somewhat chilly.

    The troughmoves off the coast Tuesday as ridging develops slowly from Wednesday through Friday. By Saturday the ridge is becoming the primary feature for the eastern US, so I expect to see us warm back up into the lower 60s by next weekend. Wednesday and Thursday mornings are likely to be our coldest as morning lows dip back to just below freezing. But by next weekend the lows should be back into the 40s.

    Looks like the next decent shot at rain will come around the 15th of December as we edge out into voodoo country. Another substantial trough moves into the Mississippi River Valley and could bring a round of thunderstorms with some potential for severe weather. This is voodoo country, but the GFS takes the trough positively tilted on the 15th so we’ll have to keep an eye on the evolution of this system. We go dry again with another wet system around the 22nd.

    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 be back in the saddle with the next Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. I hope you have a great Sunday and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Rain/Storms Ending This Morning; Clouds Remain

    | 6:59 am December 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.

    As I am writing the Blog post this morning, a line of showers with embedded thunderstorms was traversing Central Alabama. The leading edge of the line stretched from just south of Piedmont to Helena to south of Aliceville. The line was moving eastward and much if not all of the precipitation should be exiting Central Alabama by very late morning. But the clouds should hang in there, so don’t look for any sunshine until Sunday. The temperatures today will not be changing much with readings in the 60s for our highs – a tad cooler than recent days. Rainfall amounts will likely be between a half inch and three quarters of an inch for most spots.

    With the front well east of us on Sunday, we should see a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures considerably colder than recent days. The highs Sunday will be in the upper 50s which is actually about typical for early December. But since our temperatures have been running 12 to 17 degrees above seasonal averages, it will feel colder.

    The week ahead will be dry and cooler than our most recent week. The upper air pattern will feature a substantial trough over the eastern US but conditions remain dry with the Gulf of Mexico essentially cut off. A series of reinforcing shots of colder air will keep us at or slightly below seasonal values through much of the week. Look for highs mainly in the 50s and morning lows mainly in the 30s.

    A nice ridge signals a bit of a warmup next Saturday with highs returning to the 60s.

    The weather pattern remains active as we look forward into voodoo country. Another colder, wet system is likely around the 16th with another very deep trough shaping up to our west by the end of the forecast period around the 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)

    I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted by 8 am or so on Sunday. I will be emceeing the Helena Christmas parade today at 1 pm from the reviewing stand at the Helena Baptist Church on Highway 261. Be sure to avoid the area early this afternoon since the parade shuts down a section of Highway 261. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Record Warmth

    | 2:32 pm December 4, 2014

    While November started on a cold note, December has started on an unseasonably warm note for Central Alabama.

    At 2 pm, the temperature at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport was 75 degrees, only 3 degrees away from the record of 78 set in 1998. But for Anniston and Tuscaloosa, their 2 pm readings were already tying the record highs. The record high for Anniston is 75 degrees which was set in 1982. And in Tuscaloosa, the record is 76 set in 1961.

    It’s highly likely that both of these stations will establish new record highs for this date, but getting an additional 4 degrees at Birmingham is not as likely.

    And just to put it all in perspective, these temperatures are way above our record lows which range from 19 in Birmingham to 21 at Tuscaloosa.

    -Brian-