Author Archive: 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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WeatherBrains 553: Most Exposed Guy

| August 23, 2016 @ 5:15 am

WeatherBrains Episode 553 is now online (August 22, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Jeremy Scott SmithOur Guest WeatherBrain for this episode is a Senior Meteorologist at FedEx Global Operations Control Center, Jeremy Scott Smith. He’s also a contributor for Ray’s Weather Center, covering the Appalachian Mountains of NC at VA, a former meteorologist at the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve with 10 years of experience in aviation meteorology. He has 2.5 years on the media side with a B.S. from Mississippi State and he is working toward a M.S. at University of North Dakota in Space Science.

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a suggestion of listener and contributor Tony Rice. Jeremy, welcome to the show!!!

Greg DubinJoining Jeremy as tonight’s second Guest WeatherBrain is a flight dispatcher for a major legacy carrier in the U.S., Greg Dubin. Since he is not an official spokesperson, we will call his employer “Global Airlines.” Depending on how tonight’s show goes, he will be entering the WeatherBrains Guest Protection Program. He has spent many years in flight operations including several as a dispatcher. He is a ham radio operator, loves aviation and traveling, and, of course, weather. Greg, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Jeremy, we want to thank FedEx for being the Title Sponsor of the upcoming National Weather Association WeatherReady Fest at the Nauticus Science Museum in Norfolk on Saturday, September 10th.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 113 at Death Valley, CA, and 27 at Stanley, ID, Bondurant, WY, & Yellowstone National Park South Entrance, WY
  • Tropics have heated up
  • Have Fiona, TD 7, and a disturbed area approaching Leeward Islands
  • Some heat in northern Rockies
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Do you have any idea what a WEA is? I suspect that most people do not, so this episode is a description of what a WEA is and when you can expect to see one. If you want even more information about WEAs after you hear this episode, you can find an informational document here.

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 553:

FedEx USA

Ray’s weather center

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

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – Aviation weather site

Brian Peters – Boston Globe article about tornado in Concord

Kevin Selle – #WeLoveWeather Twitter account

Rick Smith – Louisiana flood raises questions

James Spann – NHC pronunciation guide

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, 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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Numerous Showers/Storms Again Today

| August 21, 2016 @ 7:19 am

Much of the northern half of Alabama is waking up to a cloudy sky while the southern half of the state remained mostly clear. Showers were a bit more active this morning across the Tennessee River Valley ahead of a cold front sinking slowly southward into the Southeast US as the strong upper trough moves through the Great Lakes region. I expect to see showers and storms become numerous again across much of Central and North Alabama today as many of us will see measurable rain. The presence of more clouds and numerous showers should help to keep temperatures confined to the upper 80s for highs.

BMX

For beachgoers, there is going to be a standard summer pattern with more sun than clouds, but there will be those daily chances for showers and thunderstorms in the forecast. Highs along the beach will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 87 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

The threat for severe storms is somewhat limited over the next three days. There is a marginal risk today along the Mid-Atlantic States northward across eastern Pennsylvania into New York. No areas of severe weather are outlined on Monday. By Day 3 or Tuesday there is a large area of marginal risk from Kansas northward to Minnesota.

But the tropics are alive! Fiona has managed to defy forecasters by maintaining her strength at tropical storm force. Fiona had entered a region of increased westerly shear, so the low level center has become clearly exposed. The track will take the storm westward before recurving to the north around Bermuda. The intensity is expected to fall off on Tuesday as the storm drops into the depression category.

The area about 1200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, Invest 99L, is beginning to look a little less ragged and has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next five days as it enters an area with conditions more favorable for development. Long range track is still suggesting it may reach the Bahamas late in the week. Invest 90L is looking fairly good as it emerges from the African continent. Model guidance is suggesting this storm will move west for the next couple of days before turning more northwestward into the Central Atlantic following along more closely to Fiona.

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The upper trough responsible for bringing the front into the US will move into New England on Monday putting an end to the forward progress of the front. GFS MOS guidance has backed off on bringing the dew points down as much, so the front may stall out closer to Central Alabama than South Alabama. It still looks like we will see some drop off on the dew points, so I’m cautiously optimistic that Monday will be dry with showers mainly across South Alabama.

As the surface high slides across the Mid-Atlantic States on Tuesday we should see a northeasterly flow bring drier air into the Southeast US, so Tuesday still looks to be a dry day with slightly less humidity. But the upper ridge builds in quickly on Wednesday and the surface flow here will come back around to the south wiping out the drier air and bringing chances for showers and storms back into the forecast. It looks like showers and storms will be driven by the heating of the afternoon, so they should be fairly scattered with most people remaining dry. The highs Wednesday should be back around 90.

The upper ridge is forecast to remain in place over the Southeast US well into the weekend with a broad surface high in place. This keeps those daily chances for showers and storms in the forecast along with highs in the lower 90s. We will be contending with Invest 99L as it approaches the Bahamas. The GFS seems to be more bullish on bringing the tropical system into the Bahamas, stalling it, then taking it northeasterly into the Atlantic. The ECMWF, on the other hand, has little in the way of a tropical system in the Bahamas preferring to keep everything well out in the Atlantic. So a good deal of uncertainty as to the future course of Invest 99L.

Looking into voodoo country which is what we call the long range, the GFS features a large upper ridge across the southern tier of the US around August 31st. But that ridge breaks down around September 3rd with the development of a trough over the eastern half of the country. The trough does not last long with the ridge over the southwestern US pushing back into the eastern part of the country by September 5th. This would surely suggest that the heat is not yet behind us for the year.

James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. You’ll find notes about the Alabama weather scene here throughout the day, so check back often. Be smart with the thunderstorms today, and don’t take any risks when lightning is occurring. Lightning death toll across the US is up to 27 and we don’t want any of our audience to become 28! Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Showers Popping

| August 20, 2016 @ 11:58 am

As the radar image shows, showers are beginning to pop across Alabama. Most of the popping appears to be across the western and southern sections of Alabama with a rather void area of showers in the very center of the state. All of these showers were moving fairly steadily toward the northeast.

bmx

The previous run of the HRRR that goes out this far has done a pretty fair job at getting the convection under way. The only problem is that HRRR has too many showers in the center of the state and in the eastern sections when compared to the actual conditions. Still not too shabby.

hrrr_ref_georgia_3

Looks like showers and thunderstorms will be numerous today so most locations stand a pretty fair chance of seeing some rain. Please be mindful of the lightning threat. Lightning deaths in the US have climbed to 27 for this year.

-Brian-

Tropical Questions

| August 20, 2016 @ 11:48 am

As I noted in the Weather Xtreme Video, we are going to have a lot to watch over the next 10 days as the disturbance labeled Invest 99L moves westward across the southern Atlantic. A lot to watch and a lot to talk about!

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As you can see from the satellite image above, 99L is still somewhat ragged. There’s kind of a hint of a circulation, but there is very little convection and most of the convection is a long way from what has been identified as the center. But as the NHC forecasters mention, it is moving into an area that is much more favorable for potential development. In fact, NHC puts a value of 50 percent on formation within 5 days. That number could go up.

AL99_current

The spaghetti chart of numerous models contains quite a spread from 72 hours out. The spread is not too bad for the first 72 hours.

gefs_AL99_2016082006

And then there are the runs from the GFS ensemble runs. It has a much closer packing on the future course for much of next week. Closer until it gets into the Bahamas. Once it reaches the Bahamas, even the GFS seems to be offering two tracks, one into the Gulf and one recurving along the east coast of Florida. Since I don’t think it is going to split and go both directions, we’ll have to wait and see which path the storm actually takes. The last ECMWF model run, the one that ran off 00Z data, favored the recurving path.

By the way, if this storm strengthens enough to be names, that is, achieves tropical storm status, it will be Gaston.

Over the next week or so, anyone with an interest in weather will be anxiously waiting for the next model run. I know I will.

-Brian-

Wet Weekend; Drier Monday

| August 20, 2016 @ 7:09 am

Showers and thunderstorms are likely to occur across much of Central and North Alabama this weekend, so the somewhat wet pattern will continue. The highs today and Sunday should be in the upper 80s being held down by a good supply of clouds as well as fairly numerous storms. But that is expected to change on Monday when a front, albeit weak, makes it way through North and Central Alabama pushed southward by a surface high located over Ohio River Valley. While I was holding out some hope that we would see a couple of days with cooler temperatures, it looks like that might not happen, but we should see an air mass change as much drier air is pushed into the Southeast US with dew points dropping into the lower 60s. This should break the long streak of lows in the 70s as lows dip well into the 60s.

For beachgoers, you will see about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine over the weekend and not next week with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach. Highs on the immediate coast will stay in the 87-90 degree range, with lower 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

The severe weather threat across the US is down significantly with only a small area in Michigan where there is a slight risk of severe storms. Day 2 that risk area moves into New York and the Mid-Atlantic states but peaks only as marginal. For Day 3, there are no severe weather risk areas outlined.

day3otlk_0730

But while severe weather across the continental US is waning, the tropical Atlantic is becoming more active. There are three areas under the watchful eye of meteorologists this morning. Fiona is struggling in the South Central Atlantic and barely hanging on as a tropical storm. The system is very shallow, so it is likely to be downgraded to depression status later today or Sunday. The track keeps it in the Atlantic but moving more westward due to the shallow nature of the storm.

Across the deep South Atlantic we have two disturbances. The first one is about 700 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It is expected to continue moving westward and is expected to gradually increase in strength with fairly good prospects that it will become a depression or tropical storm by the middle of the upcoming week as it gets into the eastern Caribbean. This one even shows up on the long range GFS projections. A second area of disturbed weather is just about to emerge into the South Atlantic from Africa. This disturbance actually presents a little better than the first one and it is expected to gradually develop as conditions become more favorable for storm formation.

Back in Alabama, the weak front is going to bring an air mass change to the area for Monday and Tuesday. Both days should be dry with highs climbing to around 90 as the upper ridge develops over the Gulf of Mexico. But as the surface high shifts eastward into the Atlantic, the wind will come quickly around to the south once again putting showers back in the forecast for Wednesday and the rest of the week. The upper ridge will be the prevalent upper air feature for out weather for the second half of the week and into next weekend. So there will be some chance of showers and thunderstorms each day. I expect highs to dance around the 90-degree mark with some days getting into the lower 90s. Morning lows will rise into the 70s again.

But as we get to next weekend and peek into voodoo country, the GFS has some interesting projections that will surely fuel a great deal of speculation for week 2. The GFS brings a tropical system, the first system discussed above, across the southern tip of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. The storm crosses the Gulf into Louisiana. But the ECMWF appears to take the same system east of Florida recurving it into the Atlantic. So, as we see often, there is a great deal of variation on what this system will do. But it’s presence will give weather enthusiasts a great deal of fodder for water cooler discussions.

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I expect to produce the next Weather Xtreme Video by 7 am or so on Sunday morning. Stay tuned to the blog for updates on the Alabama weather scene. Stay dry and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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WeatherBrains 552: This Show Has Meat?

| August 16, 2016 @ 5:15 am

WeatherBrains Episode 552 is now online (August 15, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Our guests include the leaders running the 2016 NWA Annual Conference which will be in Norfolk, VA. There is a link in the web site section to the NWA conference page. These guests include Janice Bunting, Trevor Boucher, Michael Vescio, and Trisha Palmer.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 121 at Death Valley, CA, and 31 at 1 mile east of Dillon, CO
  • Record flooding in southern Louisiana from a weak upper low
  • Severe weather this evening across Indiana
  • Some life in tropical Atlantic
  • Tony Rice out – reasons amazing!
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is out and actually flying back to her home.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: We continue to look at some of the myths associated with lightning. The death toll from lightning in the United States has reached 25 and is rapidly approaching the 10-year average of 31. And there are so many myths about lightning. Striking twice in one spot as well as how close will the next strike be to the last one.

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 552:

Obituary of Gil Clark, hurricane forecaster

NWA 2016 Annual Conference

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

Picks of the Week:

Trevor Boucher – See a Flash, Dash Inside!

Janice Bunting – Weather Ready Nation Summer Safety Campaign

Nate Johnson – Weatherman versus weather app

Bill Murray – SPC Mesoscale Analysis Pages

Trisha Palmer – stolen from Rick!

Brian Peters – Rebuttal to Mr. Spann’s POW

Kevin Selle – Fire tornado in Oregon

Rick Smith – Psychology of dealing with unprecedented events

James Spann – Age of TV Weathermen is Over

Michael Vescio – Forest Service article

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, 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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Shower Chances Down a Little

| August 14, 2016 @ 7:10 am

Not quite as much stratus clouds across Alabama this morning with the day starting out in the lower 70s. There was fog once again mainly across the southeast quadrant of Alabama. Like yesterday, the radar was clear this morning. Fortunately that weak upper low that has brought record rainfall and flooding to southern Louisiana has drifted a little further west, so we should be back to a more typical pattern of isolated showers generated in the heat of the afternoon. A front remained to our northwest stretching from East Texas across the Ohio River Valley into northern New York. Highs should be in the 89 to 92 range across Central Alabama, pretty typical for the middle of August.

If you are headed toward the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida, the weather continues to improve as a more typical summer pattern with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms is the forecast for the week ahead. Highs along the beach will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 83 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

Tropical Atlantic remained quiet this morning. In the eastern Pacific, there are now two areas of disturbed weather, however, neither is likely to develop into a storm for several days.

two_atl_2d0

Even the severe weather outlooks remain fairly tame. There are two marginal risk areas today from northern West Virginia to southern Maine and in western South Dakota. Day 2 has a marginal risk area in the eastern Dakotas. Day 3 sees the action pick up a little with a slight risk area in southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania surrounded by a marginal risk that stretches westward into the Ohio River Valley. There is also a marginal risk area centered on Iowa.

Unfortunately the rain is not over for southern Louisiana and East Texas. That weak upper low that has been responsible for so much rain – some places reporting as much as 26 inches as of yesterday – is going to keep rain falling for East Texas and Southwest Louisiana northward along the front into southern Illinois for the next few days. Amounts will be around 5 inches in Southeast Texas with 6 to 7 inches in an area from southern Arkansas to southern Illinois. These are also the areas where flash flood watches can be found.

Slightly drier air over Alabama today through Tuesday should help to keep any showers that develop pretty isolated. Temperatures will rise into the range of 89 to 92 each day through Tuesday.

Our attention will be on the front to our northwest that will sag ever so slowly into our area by Wednesday and Thursday. This should increase rain chances once again. That together with more clouds as moisture levels rise should keep our highs in the upper 80s.

Another front may make its way into the Southeast by next weekend as the upper flow becomes more northwesterly with the development of a long wave trough over the eastern half of the country. It still looks promising for us to see that first front with a real air mass change around the 22nd which is just edging into voodoo country. Again the presence of more clouds and more numerous showers should keep highs in the 80s, maybe a day or two in the lower 80s (partially wishful thinking).

Unfortunately that air mass change may not last long. The GFS is suggesting slight ridging around the 25th of August with substantial ridging just to our west around the 29th. This certainly means that the summer heat may not be over just yet, but that first front of some significance gives us additional incentive to get through the heat of late August and early September.

James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing Monday morning. I’m excited to be emceeing the introduction of the newest Belles for the Helena Belles this evening. This is a tremendous service organization and I’m so honored to have a small role in their activities. I hope that you enjoy your day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Fewer Showers for the Weekend

| August 13, 2016 @ 7:10 am

Low stratus clouds cover much of Alabama this morning, but there is one thing that is different – the radar shows very little echoes this morning, the first time in nearly a week. There is also good news for those looking for slightly drier conditions – that upper low that has been producing record rainfalls across the Lower Mississippi River Valley, especially Louisiana, has moved further from Alabama reducing its impact on us. Moisture is expected to remain the highest today across the western half of Alabama, so showers should be more numerous there and less numerous across the eastern half of the state. Clouds will again hold temperatures down with highs primary in the upper 80s, but just like yesterday, some spots will climb into the 90 to 92 range.

The weather gradually improves over the weekend with increasing amounts of sun and fewer showers and thunderstorms by Sunday. A more typical summer pattern with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms is in the forecast for the week ahead. Highs along the beach will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. Onshore flow has increased the rip current risk to high today. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

Tropical Atlantic is quiet today and expected to remain that way for the next several days. The Eastern Pacific is fairly quiet, too, with just one area of disturbed weather to be watched.

SPC has a marginal risk for severe storms today from southern Indiana to Vermont. Day 2 identifies a marginal risk over southern New England. On Day 3, the marginal risk shifts westward to the eastern sections of the Dakotas and Southwest Minnesota.

Last week, the GFS did a pretty good job of identifying this was upper low that has produced the record rainfalls over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. That low will continue to be the focus for additional high rainfall amounts as it slowly weakens through the beginning of the week. Central Alabama will see a slight reduction in the overall moisture content in our atmosphere, so showers and thunderstorms will be less numerous Sunday and into Monday. Temperatures will creep up again with highs in the lower 90s Sunday and Monday.

94ewbg

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we’ll see a trough move across the Great Lakes region which will help to drag a cold front into the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys. It does not appear likely that the front will actually pass through the Southeast US. Instead, it is likely to hangup to our north over Tennessee. But with the front in close proximity, we should see the chances for showers and thunderstorms edge upward somewhat. They will still be driven primarily by the heat of the afternoon. High temperatures will be bouncing around the 90-degree mark while lows will stay in the lower half of the 70s.

By Friday and into the weekend, the upper air pattern shows more ridging as the frontal boundary washes out. This returns us to scattered afternoon showers and storms with highs in the 88 to 92 range.

The long term look is promising with a fairly strong trough coming across the Mississippi River around the 22nd of August. This could bring a pretty good chance for that first front and a hint at Fall. That one is followed by another one around the 25th of August. And we end the long range period with a nice trough along the East Coast with a ridge along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. With this pattern, we should stay out of any extreme heat.

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 7 am or so on Sunday. I hope that you have a great day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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WeatherBrains 551: Mr. Bammer

| August 9, 2016 @ 5:15 am

WeatherBrains Episode 551 is now online (August 8, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Our guest WeatherBrain tonight is Tony Rice. Tony is an information security engineer and Virginia Tech alumni working at a telecommunications company in Research Triangle Park, NC. His career has spanned various areas of research and development in software engineering, analytics, and information security.

Tony speaks in area classrooms, museums and libraries. He also helps broadcast meteorologists across the country share the night sky with their viewers. He is also a frequent guest on local television news in Raleigh, NC, discussing current NASA missions and astronomical phenomenon, and he has been known to hold impromptu sidewalk astronomy sessions with passers-by.

His proudest moment so far is leading an event with the National Park Service at the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk, NC, for over 800 visitors on the Space Shuttle program leading up to the launch of the final mission.

Tony is also the voice of our Astronomy Outlook.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 117 at Death Valley, CA, and 29 at Denio, NV
  • Small areas of slight risk across North Central US
  • Tropical Atlantic remains quiet
  • Heat continues in OK and N TX
  • Deep South highs in the 80s with numerous storms
  • Earl crossed into Pacific to become Javier
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is out tonight but she’ll handle the incoming messages from our listeners when she returns.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Last week we took a look at the lightning deaths so far for 2016. Unfortunately, 2 more people have been added to the statistics, both struck on the beach. In this episode of 101 we’ll take a look at a couple of well known myths about lightning.

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 551:

WeatherBrains 159: Dave Schwatrz

NBC Stations get Mobile Radar Trucks

Spot the Station (ISS)

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

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – Clear sky forecasts

Bill Murray – Gets fog horn

Brian Peters – Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Tony Rice – Juno mission

Rick Smith – Discussion on evacuation versus staying ahead of hurricanes

GOES-14 SRSOR Imagery

James Spann – NOAA Satellites and Information real-time tropical products

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, 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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Unsettled Weather Ahead

| August 7, 2016 @ 7:34 am

Alabama is starting the day out with a mix of sun and clouds as the satellite image showed clouds still leftover from the convection that occurred yesterday. Fog was the most widespread across the Tennessee River Valley and less noticeable across Central and South Alabama. The surface map from the Weather Prediction Center folks showed a front lying across Central Alabama this morning, but that front was extremely hard to locate. That feature along with the upper air weak low in the Northeast Gulf and afternoon heating will combine to create rather unsettled weather across the Southeast US for the foreseeable future. With more clouds and showers/storms becoming more numerous, we should see high temperatures held down so that highs today will be primarily in the lower 90s. Spots that might see sunshine last a little longer, or if showers are a little slower to develop, we could see some highs reach the middle 90s.

The precipitable water (PWAT) value from the sounding at the Shelby County Airport last night came in at 2.16 inches. This is very high, so stronger storms could produce some torrential downpours with the potential for us to see isolated flash flooding. Just like our lack of skill with where storms will develop there is little skill on being very specific about the locations where flash flooding might occur. And PWAT values are forecast to remain high for the week ahead. So keeping rain gear handy would probably be a good idea.

p120i

Beachgoers will also see unsettled weather this week along the Northern Gulf Coast. Starting today, the amount of sun goes down to about 4 to 6 hours daily through much of next week. Thunderstorms will become likely due to the area of unsettled weather in the Gulf and high temperatures should be in the 80s. While there will be better than average chances for rain this week, there will still be periods of sun. Rip currents could be an issue, so make sure you pay attention to the flags posted along the beaches. The sea water temperature at Perdido Pass at Orange Beach was a very warm 88 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

SPC has a very small area of slight risk identified in Montana with a marginal risk area southward into Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle area. Day 2 shows only a marginal risk area in the North Central US. Day 3 features a slight risk in North and South Dakota.

Tropical Atlantic is somewhat quiet with two areas of disturbed weather until scrutiny. One is associated with the upper low in the Northeast Gulf and the other area is approaching the Bahamas. Neither of these areas is expected to develop much in the next few days.

The upper low in the Northeast Gulf is going to keep the weather across much of the Southeast US unsettled for the week ahead. The GFS meanders the low along the Gulf Coast for the next 5 to 7 days. I took a quick look at the ECMWF, and it does much the same but by later in the week takes it further west and a little further south than the GFS. So the bottom line is that we are going to see a rather wet period ahead. Most days will start dry with showers and thunderstorms forming in the late morning or early afternoon. Supported and strengthen by the afternoon heating, some of these storms will continue past sunset with most of them dissipating in the 10 pm to midnight time frame. The only exception to this will come in and close to the lowest pressure aloft. Since precipitable water values remain high and this weakness in the flow is forecast to stay in the neighborhood for the week ahead, the probability of rain will remain high with thunderstorms likely just about every day this week starting today.

Temperatures will be held down by the clouds and the presence of numerous storms. I expect today to be the warmest day with highs in the lower 90s. For the rest of the week all the way to next weekend, highs will be held mainly to the upper 80s. Morning lows will not change much with values in the lower and middle 70s each day.

But the heat is not over by any stretch of the imagination. The upper ridge builds in strong again around the 16th of August. It maintains itself through the 18th and 19th, but the GFS is still hanging onto the idea that we’ll see a weak front with the promise of some cooler and drier air around the 22nd August. This idea has been consistent on the GFS for several days now, but the inconsistency has been just when the strong trough and surface front occur.

I had a great time visiting with folks in Gadsden yesterday at the Kids Town Alive at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts. I sure appreciate the invitation and especially the cookie with my name on it!! James Spann is expected to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted her by 7 am or so on Monday morning. Check back often for updates on our changing weather. Have a great day, and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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