Find us on Google+
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.

rss feed

WeatherBrains 514: How Many Times Have You Done That?

| 5:15 am November 24, 2015

WeatherBrains Episode 514 is now online (November 23, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Dr. Henry NeemanOur Guest WeatherBrain for this show is Dr. Henry Neeman. Dr. Neeman is the Assistant Vice President, Information Technology – Research Strategy Advisor and Director of the OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research (OSCER), as well as Associate Professor, College of Engineering and an Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Computer Science at The University of Oklahoma. He received his Ph.D. in UIUC’s Department of Computer Science in May, 1996. Before UIUC, he went to the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, where he got a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Statistics. He also obtained his MS in Computer Science.

Tim HartWe also have the Information Technology Strategist at OU and Business Manager for a program called IRADS. He is retired military and has been with OU since 2007. Tim Hart, welcome to the show!

Also joining us is Elliot Robertson. He is an information technology analyst at OU and a technical advisor for IRADS.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 84 at San Diego (Miramar), CA, and -6 at West Yellowstone, MT
  • Tropical Atlantic is quiet as the 2015 hurricane season winds to a close
  • Next 7 days appear free of severe weather across the Lower 48 states
  • And for the rest of tonight, no thunderstorms anywhere in Lower 48
  • Oklahoma warming up after a chill and getting wet
  • But weather turning messy around Thanksgiving
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer said something about family coming and cleaning, so the email bag input gets put off until next week.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: No, the 101 professor is NOT swearing. There really are crepuscular rays. Find out where the word gets it origin and what these things actually are.


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 514:

IRADS – Integrated Robust Assured Data Services

OU Meteorology

OU Supercomputing Center (OSCER)

Amazon and NOAA Announce Big Data Project

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

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – World War II Weathermen Recognized

Brian Peters – Tensions between NOAA and Congressman

Elliot Robertson – Gets the fog horn as he draws a blank!

Henry Neeman – Top 500 List

James Spann – Tornado Counts and ENSO Phase Strength

John Scala – November 21-22, 1992, Tornado Outbreak

Rick Smith – Accessibility in Emergency Public Information

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

Tim Hart – Fishing Deluxe

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. 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.

Travel Plans? Here’s the Rain

| 3:04 pm November 23, 2015

Got travel plans for Thanksgiving Day? Here’s a look at the probability of precipitation across the United States for Thanksgiving Day from 6 am to 6 pm. Looks like a large swath of the Central US from Central Texas across eastern Kansas and northeastward into Lake Michigan will see the best chances for precipitation, most of that rain. There is also a bullseye in Wyoming and much of that is likely to be snow.


Whatever your travel plans might be, please be safe in all that you do. Happy Thanksgiving.


Nice But Cool Late November Day

| 2:11 pm November 22, 2015

I’m not sure you could ask for a prettier day than what Central Alabama has going for it today. Pretty until you step outside or take a gander at an outdoor thermometer. As you can see from the observations from across Central Alabama, temperatures have risen only into the middle and upper 40s. And there continued to be a brisk north wind.


I think you’ll agree that the sky is a beautiful blue today, and as the satellite image shows, the state was enjoying clear skies from border to border, both north and south and east and west.


The trough aloft will continue to migrate eastward today, tonight, and Monday, so after another morning with freezing temperatures, we should begin to see a warm-up that will carry into the Thanksgiving holiday. By Thanksgiving we will see lows in the 40s and highs well into the 60s. We’ll probably begin to see some clouds on Thanksgiving Day as the next system develops off to the west of us. That system is expected to bring our next shot at rain late Friday or Saturday.


That does mean that if you are making plans to attend the Iron Bowl in Auburn, you’d be wise to consider taking some rain gear. I’m not expecting any kind of all day rain, but showers appear to be a possibility during the game. We’ll be watching this system evolve and adjust the forecast as need as we get closer to the event.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


The Chill Has Arrived

| 7:10 am November 22, 2015

Central Alabama is waking up to the chill we promised along with a fairly stout north wind. Temperatures this morning were in the 30s across all of North and Central Alabama, but because the wind stayed up overnight and into this morning, frost formation was kept to a minimum. That won’t be so on Sunday as a surface high pressure settles into Alabama and Mississippi allowing the wind to go calm. That along with a clear sky will allow excellent radiational cooling, so temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s across all of North and Central Alabama. There is a good possibility that some of the typically colder locations will see morning lows around 18 or 19. With the likelihood of a freeze, the NWS has posted a freeze warning from 9 pm tonight through 9 am on Monday. If you have any plants that are affected by freezing weather, you will need to take protective action for them. Also, please remember our animal friends and be sure they have a sufficiently warm place tonight and early Monday.

The broad trough aloft will move off the New England coast during the day Monday, so the warm-up will start quickly. Even with the warm-up beginning we expect to be around freezing for lows on Tuesday morning. By Tuesday the warm-up has really gathered some steam as the upper ridge comes into play from late Tuesday through the end of the week. A short wave trough will scoot by on Wednesday, but with little or no moisture to work with, there won’t be any rain and all we’ll see is some passing clouds. Thanksgiving Day should be partly cloudy for Central Alabama with highs in the 60s.


But by mid-week we’ll begin watching a deep trough and closed low coming into the Four Corners area of the Southwest. A surface storm system (low pressure) will generate some snows for the Rockies, and it will slowly move northeastward into the Great Lakes by Friday. Because the upper pattern is forecast to shear out north of the Gulf of Mexico ridge, the cold front should not reach us until Saturday, perhaps as early as late Friday. Unfortunately this is likely to bring rain to the area including the Iron Bowl as Alabama and Auburn meet for the 80th edition of one of the greatest rivalries in college football. Kickoff time is 2:30 pm CST, and for now, we need to mention showers for at least the first half of the game. This doesn’t look like a severe weather event with the best dynamics well north of the state, but if you have plans to be on the Plains, you will want to take the rain gear. We’ll be watching future model output and will refine the forecast as the event draws closer.

If you are heading toward the beach, weather will be improving today as the rain has moved east, but the air is much cooler thanks to the cold front that pushed through the region. Today and tonight will be quite chilly. Highs today are only in the 50s with lows tonight falling into the 30s. The warming trend will start Monday and continue through the Thanksgiving holiday. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here . The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

Week 2, or voodoo country, appears to stick with an active pattern. We’ll see a minor trough on Monday, November 30th, to close out the month, with a fairly deep trough forecast for December 2nd. That trough deepens across the eastern US on the 4th promising another round of freezing temperatures. By the time we reach the 7th, the pattern has gone nearly zonal for the southern portion of the US, so our weather should be fairly pleasant with temperatures about as expected for the first part of December.

I had a great time visiting with folks at Thanksgiving in the Street in Tuscaloosa yesterday. I certainly appreciated their invitation plus I got to enjoy another Thanksgiving meal. James Spann will be here on Monday morning with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Stay warm and Godspeed.



There’s a Chill on the Way!

| 7:07 am November 21, 2015

A cold front was positioned early this morning to cross the Mississippi River with a low pressure cuter located over southern Illinois. Snow was causing some travel issues from eastern Iowa across the southern portion of Lake Michigan and much of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. No snow for Central Alabama, but with the front expected to move briskly across the Southeast US today, we are expecting a major chill down as temperatures fall from the 60s into the 30s for Sunday morning. Cold air will continue to flow into the Southeast Sunday with the afternoon highs struggling to get out of the 40s. A freeze warning was posted for just about all of Central Alabama from 9 pm Sunday night to 9 am Monday morning.

Little frost is expected tonight and early Sunday since we expect the wind to stay up in the 6 to 12 mph range. This will keep the layer of air near the ground mixed and should be enough to keep frost from forming. But that all changes on Monday morning as the surface high settles over the Southeast US allowing for good radiational cooling with the wind dropping off to near calm. Cold air advection, calm wind, and good radiational cooling will allow them temperatures on Monday morning to fall into the 20s for most of Central Alabama. You’ll definitely need a jacket and perhaps some extra time to scrape the ice off your windshield for those parking cars outside.


As you might expect with conditions becoming so cold, there is no areas of severe weather forecast by SPC. And the tropical Atlantic remains quiet with about 10 days left in the 2015 hurricane season.

If you are a football enthusiast, you know that Alabama and Auburn are both at home this weekend, but they’re probably looking a little ahead to the big IRON BOWL showdown next weekend. But for today, Alabama hosts Charleston Southern at Bryant-Denny Stadium with a 3:00 pm CST kickoff; the sky will be a mix of sun and clouds with a small risk for a shower during the game. Temperatures falling from around 67 degrees at the start of the game, into the lower 50s by the final whistle. At the same time Auburn will host Idaho at Jordan-Hare Stadium. There will be some scattered clouds along with a small risk of a shower. Temperatures near 63 at kickoff, dropping into the lower 50s by the end of the game.

If you’re taking your football with a taste of sand, it looks mostly dry from Dauphin Island all the way to Panama City Beach for the whole Thanksgiving week. Nights will turn cold Sunday through Tuesday with morning lows in the 40s. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

Late Monday the upper air pattern begins to shift as we start a nice warmup for Thanksgiving week which will remain dry. Monday our upper flow begins to go from northwesterly to westerly as a ridge develops over the eastern half of the US in response to a digging trough over the western US. This pattern will remain through Black Friday so we stay with a southwesterly flow allowing our highs to climb well into the 60s with morning lows in the 40s for the latter half of the week.


The ridge is progged to force the western trough to lift out across the Great Lakes, but as the surface low moves into Canada, a cold front will drag into the Southeast US beginning Friday. Due to the position of the surface low and west-southwest flow aloft, the front will be taking its time moving across the Southeast US, so I expect to see our best rain chances to come late in the day Friday and into Saturday. Since this is verging on voodoo country, the timing for the rain may need to be adjusted for increases or decreases in the speed of the primary features.

Voodoo country remains active. A closed low digging all the way into northern Mexico around December 3rd will keep the Southeast US in fairly mild temperatures. But that all changes around the 5th of December with the transition of a deep trough across the eastern US which could spell another period of cold temperatures in the 5th through 7th time period.

I’m going to be heading the Chaser down to Tuscaloosa for Thanksgiving in the Street on the west side of town. Maybe you’ll have a chance to come by and say hello. I plan to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here first thing Sunday morning. Enjoy this day and the great temperatures since colder weather is just around the corner. Godspeed.




| 3:30 pm November 17, 2015

The title of this post is not a code word or special password. Rather it is the name of a research project that will be undertaken over the next couple of years across the Southeast US. VORTEX stands for Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment. The SE indicates that the project will be done in the Southeast US. The name VORTEX is not new to most weather enthusiasts as it was the name of two projects, VORTEX-I and VORTEX-II, that took place in the Central and South Plains area several years ago.

This research program will attempt to understand how environmental factors characteristic of the Southeast United States affect the formation, intensity, structure, and path of tornadoes here. VORTEX-SE will also delve into the best methods for communicating forecast uncertainty related to these events to the public and evaluate public response. So VORTEX-SE is unique in that besides the physical science there is also a major social science component to the project.

Rather than try to rehash the information on the project here, I’m going to refer you to a web site where you can get the full lowdown on the project. The web site is The project comes under the auspice of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), so the VORTEX-SE project is found as part of their web site.