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Settling Back into a Summer-like Pattern

| 6:59 am August 31, 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.

After a wet start to the Labor Day weekend, showers should be less numerous across Alabama with the better chances for seeing an isolated storm across the northern third of Alabama generally Birmingham and northward. Some patchy fog was occurring thanks to the widespread rain yesterday, but it should burn off by 9 am or so. The sky will contain a mixture of sun and clouds as we see highs climb mainly into the lower 90s. The upper air disturbance that moved out of the Northwest Gulf yesterday and produced a good rainfall event for a sizable chunk of the state especially the western half was moving into the Ohio River Valley today where a number of flash flood watches were posted for heavy rain.

As this disturbance pulls northeastward, the upper ridge will build into and across the Southeast US for the next week pretty much settling us back into a summer-like pattern with daily shower and storm chances thanks to daily heating. As the upper ridge remains the main feature, high temperatures should reach into the lower and middle 90s, generally the 92 to 95 range, for most of the week.

Good looking forecast for the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. While there will be some passing storms possible each day, there will still be plenty of sunshine. Highs at the beach will be near 90, with morning lows near 80. For the week ahead, the weather looks fairly typical along the northern Gulf Coast for the first week in September. Water temperature at Perdido Pass was 85.9 degrees.

Tropics are generally quiet with just one area of disturbed weather moving westward across the Yucatan Peninsula. Conditions are expected to be favorable for strengthening of this system on Monday and Tuesday as it moves out of Yucatan and into the Southwest Gulf of Mexico. The upper ridge across the Southeast US should keep it moving westward into Mexico.

Looking out into voodoo country, the ridge remains the big player for the Southeast US into Week 2, but the GFS is still setting the stage for a substantial rain event around the 12th and 13th of September with a strong trough moving across the Central US that could bring a cold front to the Southeast US.

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

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

I’ll be filling in for Charles on Good Morning Alabama on Monday, Labor Day. James Spann will have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Showers Today Falling Off Sunday

| 6:47 am August 30, 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.

Moisture increased overnight keeping our temperatures up a bit. But those same clouds will help to keep the afternoon highs today mainly in the upper 80s for most spots. Showers and storms will be possible throughout the day and radar showed several showers across western sections this morning from near Demopolis to Muscle Shoals. An isolated strong thunderstorm is possible as CAPE values reach the 1500 to 2500 j/kg range. The most likely impact would be potential of damaging wind.

The unsettled weather today is the result of a weak upper level disturbance moving out of the northwest Gulf northeastward across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. This disturbance will enhance showers over this area with an east-to-west gradient in showers. This will put better chances for showers across western Alabama and a little less coverage of showers across eastern sections.

The disturbance coming out of the Gulf will move quickly northeast ahead of a trough coming across the Upper Mississippi River Valley Sunday and Monday. As this trough move across the Great Lakes area, ridging will occur across the Southeast US. This should return Central Alabama to a summer-like pattern with daily chances for showers for the first part of September.

An area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is moving steadily westward. While conditions are expected to become conducive for some development, the area is very close to land, so any strengthening in likely to be limited. The track of this area of weather should take it into the Southwest Gulf early next week where additional development could occur. The ridge across the Southeast US is likely to keep the westward motion and take the disturbance into Mexico.

Auburn kicks off their season with a game against Arkansas at Jordan-Hare Stadium at 3:00 pm. The sky will be mostly cloudy, and there is a 50/50 risk of a shower or thunderstorm during the game. Kickoff temperature near 86, falling into the lower 80s by the final whistle. You should take rain gear in case a shower wants to roll through the Plains.

Alabama will play West Virginia in the Georgia Dome, so no rain concerns for the game; you may need some rain gear getting to and from the game with a shower or thunderstorm possible in Atlanta during the afternoon and evening hours. The high in Atlanta will be in the mid to upper 80s.

UAB opens with a home game against Troy at Legion Field in Birmingham (11:00 a.m. CT kickoff)… mostly cloudy with 86 degrees at kickoff, rising into the upper 80s by the fourth quarter. A passing shower or thunderstorm is possible during the game, but much of the game is likely to be dry.

For beach goers, about 3-6 hours of sun with a few passing thunderstorms in the zone from Panama City to Gulf Shores. Sunshine will be a little more plentiful Sunday and Monday as storms become more widely spaced. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s.

Looking well into the future, a strong trough is expected to move across the Central US around the 11th which could bring a good rain event to Alabama. But the ridge returns for some warm weather for the middle of September.

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 post the next Weather Xtreme Video by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Enjoy the day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

WeatherBrains 478: Everyone Gets an Outflow

| 5:25 am August 26, 2014

WeatherBrains Episode 448 is now online (August 25, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Our Guest WeatherBrain this week is a returning Guest in the form of Dr. Marshall Shepherd. Dr. Marshall was one of the panelists on WeatherBrains 384. J. Marshall Shepherd is a meteorologist, professor at the University of Georgia’s Department of Geography, the director of the university’s atmospheric sciences program, and was the president of the American Meteorological Society for 2013. Dr. Shepherd has a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology (1991), Master of Science degree in Physical Meteorology, and a Ph.D. in Physical Meteorology, all obtained at Florida State University. For a complete list of his many accomplishments and undertakings, go here. Dr. Shepherd is the host of a new show on The Weather Channel called Weather Geeks.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 111 at Death Valley, CA, and 28 at West Yellowstone Gate, MT
  • Cristobal meandering in the vicinity of the Bahamas (just east)
  • Another tropical wave in the South Atlantic 1100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles
  • Nice wedge pattern bringing cooler/drier air to the Southeast
  • Kevin Selle makes a comeback as the salt on the popcorn
  • Special appearance by Matthew Selle
  • Lots of action in the tropical Pacific
  • Snow reported in Billings, MT
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: Air exerts a force, so this week our 101 segment looks at air pressure. Air pressure can change through a couple of different ways, so we look at that, too..

    TWIWH: Bill Murray is AWOL for this episode.

    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 448:

    Florida State University Meteorology

    Press release on Weather Geeks

    American Meteorological Society Insights

    WeatherBrains teeshirts

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – GOES-14 SRSOR Imagery

    Brian Peters – Earth Observing System Data and Information System

    John Scala – Lightning in super slow motion

    Kevin Selle – Android App Hobbles NWS Web Page

    Marshall Shepherd – Weather Geeks TWC Facebook Page

    James Spann – Rumor about Hurricane Heading to New Orleans

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – Gets the Fog Horn

    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, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Audible.com graphic

    Heat Breaking; Tropics Active

    | 6:56 am August 24, 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 August heat is abating somewhat today thanks to a couple of features. First, a dissipating cluster of thunderstorms that moved into the western sections of the Tennessee River Valley of Alabama early this morning will help to provide some extra clouds. And second, the wedge or cold air damming is bringing a backdoor cold front into Central Alabama from the east. A heat advisory was still in effect for West Central Alabama where heat indices may still approach 105 degrees. But our actual highs will be down a few degrees as this August heat dips a tad. Look for highs to be in the 93 to 97 range with cooler values in the eastern sections. Showers should become likely this afternoon and evening with good moisture in place and the various boundaries adding to the lift. Isolated damaging wind gusts with these storms are possible, but this is not expected to be a major severe weather event.

    The backdoor front will push westward helping to dry out our atmosphere plus bring in some cooler air from the east. Storms will be less likely on Monday and I think we dry out for Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The upper ridge dampens with time as we proceed through the week. A fairly strong trough will approach the Southeast US in the Thursday/Friday time frame as moisture values come back up. This will produce another chance for showers for Friday and Saturday. But highs are only expected to be in the lower 90s, so no excessive heat returning.

    Beach goers should note that there is a heat advisory for Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida. Isolated showers today will become more scattered Monday but still expect to see 4 to 8 hours of sunshine. Highs along the immediate coast will be in the lower 90s. Water temperature at Perdido Pass this morning was 87 degrees.

    In the tropics, we’re anxiously watching the development of tropical storm Cristobal. The Hurricane Center anticipates it to intensify slowly and it was named Cristobal in a 7 am CDT advisory. Yesterday there was some concern for a more westward track, but today it appears that there is a weakness in the subtropical ridge which will allow a more north-northwest track today and Monday. This should keep the developing storm further from the coast of Florida and that is surely welcome news.

    Looking out into voodoo country and Week 2, the upper air pattern shows a ridge over the Southeast US around the 4th of September with another fairly strong trough moving across the eastern US around the 8th. While the ridge means it will be warm, the ridge does not appear overly large, so I do not expect to see any excessive heat.

    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 up first thing Monday morning with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Be sure to check with the Blog for the latest weather information for Central Alabama. Have a great day and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Depression Forms in Southeast Bahamas

    | 4:42 pm August 23, 2014

    Tropical Depression 4 has formed in the Southeast Bahama Islands in the vicinity of Turks and Caicos. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft found a well-defined central circulation this afternoon. Since conditions are favorable for additional development including light to moderate shear and sea surface water temperatures near 30 degree Centigrade, the National Hurricane Center expects the system to become a tropical storm in the next 24 to 36 hours and will be named Cristobal. And since conditions appear to favor intensification, the system could become a hurricane by Tuesday.

    TD 4 Track Forecast

    The graphic above shows the official track published by NHC. This morning I noted that the GFS was a bit further west of many of the models and it continues to be that way. Looking at a plot of all the models shows that several of the models are now projecting more of a shift westward closer to Florida. If these are correct, and with the various discrepancies, confidence is not especially high right now, then the east coast of Florida could be facing the risk of tropical storm or hurricane conditions in 3 to 4 days. Hopefully the storm will stay at least a couple of hundred miles offshore before it begins to fully recurve to the northeast.

    -Brian-

    Hot But Relief in Sight

    | 6:53 am August 23, 2014

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

    It’s going to be another hot day for much of Central Alabama as highs reach the 95 to 100 range with heat indices of 105 degrees. The NWS has a heat advisory for much of Central Alabama west of I-65 since it appears likely that East Central Alabama will only nudge the heat advisory criteria. Just be aware that it is hot and adjust your activities to account for the heat – no sense in overdoing it. Stay hydrated, too.

    While the upper ridge remains the big player in the upper air pattern, we’re also watching the thunderstorm complex that was located just north of Nashville. HRRR model data suggests it or at least a boundary from it will reach into the Tennessee River Valley this afternoon which could be the focus for additional thunderstorm development.

    The pattern is slow to change over the next several days, but there does appear to be some heat relief in sight thanks in part to the developing tropical system over the Bahamas. The latest models suggest bringing it very close to the East Coast of Florida and then recurving along the Southeast US coast. This together with a slight westward movement of the upper ridge will actually bring a “wedge” pattern – cold air damming – though I might call is cool air damming in this season. The result is some drying and cooling of the air for us bringing temperatures well down into the 90s. The sinking motion on the west side of the tropical system, whatever it is, will help to keep us dry.

    The ridge is gradually replaced by the end of the week with a strong trough coming across the Central Mississippi River Valley which should also help to guide the tropical system out into the Atlantic.

    The tropical system just north of Hispaniola is likely to develop into a depression or storm in the next 24 to 36 hours as it enters an area of conditions more conducive for development plus getting some distance from the terrain of Hispaniola. The current track is across the Bahamas and along the Florida East Coast, but the question will be how close it comes to Florida. The latest model clustering generally keeps it away from Florida, however, the GFS was bringing it right along the eastern peninsula. With the relatively weak flow in that area, we’ll have to watch it carefully for small changes. This system is likely to become Cristobal.

    For beach goers, the best chances for rain along the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida appear to come on Monday. Otherwise, a fairly typical 20 percent chance of showers and storms each day of the weekend. Highs will be in the lower 90s this weekend and near 90F the rest of the week. Lows will be in the 70s.

    Voodoo country or Week 2 appears to be featuring an elongated ridge across the southern tier of the US. The good news for us is that that pattern does not forecast any excessive heat. For those wanting rain, the bad news is that that pattern only means scattered mainly afternoon showers and storms.

    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 hope you have a great weekend. Be mindful that it will be hot, so take it easy on outside activities. I plan to have the next Weather Xtreme Video on Sunday morning by 8 am or so. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    WeatherBrains 447: Dogs Days of Summer

    | 5:15 am August 19, 2014

    WeatherBrains Episode 447 is now online (August 18, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

    Tonight’s Guest Panelist is a recommendation of WB Alum Kevin Myatt. He is a leader on the Virginia Tech stormchasing team. Chris White, welcome to the show.

    And tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a fixture in television weather in the Mid-South area. Dave Brown is Weather Director and Chief Weathercaster at WMC TV in Memphis, TN, a position he’s held for the past 37 years. This past June, Dave celebrated 52 years of broadcasting, and he has spent that entire time in and around the Memphis area. Dave has a degree from the University of Memphis and holds both the AMS and NWA broadcaster seals. And while he is well-respected for his meteorological abilities, he also spent nearly 40 years as a member of what many aficionados call one of the best announcing teams ever in professional wrestling. Yes, I said professional wrestling. Rick Smith grew up watching this guy and is excited to talk to him tonight! Dave Brown, welcome to WeatherBrains!

    Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 117 at Death Valley, CA, and 30 at Boca Reservoir, CA
  • Two disturbances were moving across the South Central Atlantic and not expected to develop in the next couple of days
  • Westerlies running along northern tier of US
  • MCV moved across North Alabama today
  • Summer showing up after a mostly cool summer
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is working the early morning shift a-g-a-i-n, so the mail bag is postponed until the next show.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: It’s really still there, but the band of cloudiness that often delineates the ITCZ – or Inter-tropical Convergence Zone – has been tough to find due to drier air and Saharan dust this year. So what is the ITCZ – besides tough to say fast – and what are some of the characteristics of it? That’s the topic for this week of 101.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of August 18th.

    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 447:

    Virginia Storm Chase link

    WMC-TV Weather Page

    Astronomy Links:

    * MAVEN mission
    * Science@NASA on the Jupiter/Venus conjunction
    * ISS pass predictions

    Picks of the Week:

    Dave Brown – Fly Bys App

    Bill Murray – Bows Out Early

    Brian Peters – Satellite Liaison Blog

    John Scala – Camille/Katrina SLOSH run comparison

    Rick Smith – NWA Annual Meeting Agenda

    James Spann – MCV Satellite Loop 1-minute Intervals

    Chris White – NWS Baltimore/Washington Sep. 17, 2004, Tornado Event

    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, Rick Smith, Aubrey Urbanowicz, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Audible.com graphic

    Warm as Moisture Creeps Up

    | 6:51 am August 17, 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.

    Lower 90s were the highs across Central Alabama yesterday, and moisture levels have crept up as evidenced by dew point observations this morning. So the relatively cooler weather of the last several days has become more typical of mid-August with highs today mainly in the lower 90s. With moisture up, isolated showers will be possible driven by afternoon heating.

    Monday and into Tuesday our rain chances become better as showers should become more widespread and numerous thanks to the short wave trough now over Southeast Missouri passing across the Southeast US. Clouds and the presence of showers should help to hold temperatures in check in the 88 to 92 range. The short wave trough passes late Tuesday and Wednesday as an upper ridge builds across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. With some moisture sticking around, we should drop back to isolated afternoon showers for the latter half of the upcoming week as heat values rise into the middle and perhaps upper 90s. Showers should be limited so many of us will remain dry.

    The ridge sticks with us into the weekend, so the forecast will continue to mention the possibility of isolated showers during the afternoon and early evening hours. It will remain warm with highs mainly in the middle 90s with some spots edging into the upper 90s.

    For beach enthusiasts, showers will be scattered along the coast through Tuesday with showers becoming more isolated by the middle of the week. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s along the coast with lower 90s inland. Look for 4 to 6 hours of sunshine through Tuesday with 7 to 9 hours for the end of the week. Water temperatures in the Gulf continue to be in the middle 80s.

    Tropical Atlantic is still relatively quiet with a small area of disturbed weather west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Some gradual development of this system is possible as it moves westward across the South Central Atlantic.

    Voodoo country has become a land of mixed messages. The GFS shows a trough around the 27th of August over the Middle Mississippi River Valley but not nearly as strong as we’ve been seeing for the last month or so. But by the first of September the pattern becomes an elongated ridge across the southern tier of the US. So warm but not extremely hot.

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

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

    James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. I’ll be at Magnolia Manor in Helena this afternoon helping to introduce the newest Helena Belles. Have a great day and Godspeed.

    -Brian-