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Clouds Return; Colder Again Monday

| 7:22 am January 25, 2015

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

Didn’t the sunshine feel good yesterday? Even with the sunshine, temperatures across Central Alabama only managed to make the upper 40s with a few spots tipping into the lower 50s. We start the day out with sunshine, but clouds will be on the increase this afternoon and into tonight. Look for afternoon highs to climb into the upper 50s. A fast moving upper level storm system along with a surface low will move by us tonight and early Monday and it will bring some moisture with it, enough so that we’ll put rain chances in for tonight with the potential to hear a little thunder. Not enough instability for a severe weather threat, but perhaps some thunder.

As the upper short wave goes by early Monday, the temperatures will begin falling. Monday is likely to be one of those days where the temperature at 12:01 am is the high for the day. I expect temperatures to struggle to stay in the 40s during the day, so look for daytime temperatures to be in the lower and middle 40s.

We should see a warmup for the middle of the week as the upper air pattern shifts slowly into a weak ridge. But another fast moving short wave passing by on Thursday promises to bring some clouds to the northern half of Alabama. That short wave will be followed by yet another one Saturday which will see some clouds and perhaps some small chance for rain. The effects of all of these short waves will be to establish a long wave trough position over the eastern US.

By the time we move out into Week 2 or voodoo country, the GFS is suggesting a major long wave trough over the eastern US that will definitely be cold if this feature comes to verify. With a trough that deep over the eastern US, we could be looking at some record cold temperatures from the Central Plains to the East Coast. But you know how voodoo country can be, that feature may be gone or dampened in the runs tomorrow. We’ll have to watch and see.

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 have the latest forecast for you this evening on ABC 3340 as I fill in for Meaghan Thomas. James Spann will be back with the next Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Sunshine Returns

| 6:52 am January 24, 2015

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

The clouds and rain of the last 36 hours or so are exiting the state of Alabama and we should see a fairly rapid clearing during the morning. While the sunshine returns, it will remain on the cool side with highs rising only into the upper 40s for most locations.

We should see a fairly nice warmup on Sunday with highs climbing about 10 degrees with values reaching the upper 50s. But another trough will be coming down the pike providing another shot of cold air for Monday. While the system will be dry with just some clouds we should see highs once again struggle to climb out of the 40s.

A gradual warmup begins on Tuesday as the upper trough moves off the East Coast of the US returning us to a more zonal and warmer flow aloft. But there is no lack of impulses moving through the flow, so we’ll see clouds from time to time though the week stays essentially dry.

By next Saturday, a strong short wave will be digging into the Central Plains states that should bring us another round of wet weather for Sunday, perhaps beginning late Saturday. We’ll have to watch the timing on this system should it speed up or slow down. This system has some potential for producing another soaking for Central Alabama. Now we are verging into voodoo country, so no specifics yet, but this system also has some potential for producing some winter weather for some parts of the Southeast US. Too early for any specifics, but something to watch.

The overall flow pattern remains pretty active into Week 2. The pattern goes from a pretty chilly look around February 1st to a mild look around the 4th to another wet look around the 8th. So no lack of weather to keep us busy.

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 anticipate posting the next Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Sunday morning. You can always check back for updates here. Enjoy the sunshine and Godspeed.

-Brian-

WeatherBrains 469: Better Than a Thong

| 5:15 am January 20, 2015

WeatherBrains Episode 469 is now online (January 19, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Paul Suffern, NTSBPaul Suffern is a senior meteorologist investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB. He has been with the NTSB since January, 2011, serving in the Office of Aviation Safety. He has served as a meteorologist investigator in more than two hundred accidents, including Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco, Caribbean Airlines flight 523 in Guyana, Southwest Airlines flight 1919 in Chicago, and a few hundred of general aviation accidents in the United States.

Guest panelists for this episode are Chris Dunn, Chief Meteorologist, KPHO CBS-5, Phoenix, AZ, and Jay Prater, Managing Meteorologist, KAKE-TV, Wichita, KS.

Chris is chief meteorologist for CBS 5, KPHO-TV, in Phoenix, AZ. Before moving to Arizona, Chris worked in Miami and Ft. Myers, FL, and Chico, CA. In addition to a BS from Cal State Chico, he has a master’s in aviation safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He holds the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation and the NWA Seal of Approval.

Jay is the managing meteorologist at KAKE-TV in Wichita, KS, where he’s been forecasting for 11 years. Prior to Wichita, he worked in Nashville, TN; Huntsville and Birmingham, AL; and Panama City, FL. He’s a extra-class amateur radio operator, and most germane to this episode, he is a licensed private pilot with endorsements for tailwheel, high-performance, and complex aircraft. He’s the proud owner of a Cessna Skyhawk. He holds the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation and the NWA Seal of Approval.

Dunn & Prater on WeatherBrains

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 81 at Del Rio, TX, and -8 at Gunnison County, CO
  • NO thunderstorms forecast across the vast US for next three days
  • The weather is Q U I E T !
  • Big ice storm in the Northeast US over the weekend
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer has once again let work get in the way of her weekly report! Working the early morning shift is a bear!

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: Radar is one of the most important tools we have in unlocking the mystery of the atmosphere, but like any good tool, it does have some limitations. This episode of 101 talks about how the radar beam can bend more than we want or less than we want.

    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 469:

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

    NTSB Web Page

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Aviation Weather Center

    Brian Peters – TAF Forecasts

    John Scala – California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe

    Kevin Selle – Wichita Mountains

    Rick Smith – FlightAware, Live Flight Tracking

    James Spann – Aviation Safety Network

    Paul Suffern – Southwest Aviation Weather Seminar

    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

    Gorgeous Weather

    | 1:47 pm January 18, 2015

    The Alabama sky remained clear this afternoon after the passage of a cold front that went through the state very early this morning. With the help of the suns energy, highs across Central Alabama were topping out around 60 degrees – very nice for the middle portion of January. The satellite image of the Southeast US tells the story quite well.

    g13.2015018.1915_MGM_vis

    A clear sky tonight will allow temperatures to fall into the 30s by daybreak on Monday. Looks like our next shot at some precipitation will not come until Friday – maybe as early as Thursday evening.

    -Brian-

    Sunny but a Little Cooler Today

    | 7:18 am January 18, 2015

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

    A few clouds marked the passage of a cold front through Alabama overnight, but the sky was clearing as an upper trough was moving quickly by. Fortunately, the really colder air will be staying well north and northeast of us, so we’ll only see temperatures fall back a little with highs today in the upper 50s. Those lower 60s yesterday sure felt good!

    The upper air flow pattern goes nearly zonal Monday and Tuesday as we await the next short wave that will be digging into the long wave trough position on Wednesday. This will once again bring a cool down to Central Alabama as a series of impulses will move through the long wave trough gradually reducing temperatures until the colder air arrives on Thursday and Friday when highs will struggle to get out of the 40s. Looks like the upper 40s for highs on Thursday and maybe even colder for Friday.

    The forecast becomes problematic for Central Alabama on Thursday and Friday. With a strong short wave coming out of Texas Thursday and into Friday, a surface low will form along the Gulf Coast and move off the Southeast US coast by Friday afternoon. With the overnight lows Thursday night into Friday morning in the 30s, we might see a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow as the precipitation starts during the overnight hours along and north of the I-20 corridor. While I fully expect surface temperatures to be above freezing, cold air aloft could support an initial mixture of precipitation. At this time, I do not expect this to cause any major issues, however, should temperatures be only a few degrees colder, the situation would change. Also, there continue to be differences in the various models, so we’ll have to watch carefully on how future model runs handle this situation.

    We should warm up a little on Saturday and Sunday as the upper flow goes nearly zonal for the Southeast US with the colder air to our north and northeast.

    Voodoo country continues to show an active pattern with a fairly low latitude short wave around the 29th of January that promises some wet weather. That event is followed quickly by a major short wave trough moving through the Central US that could bring thunderstorms and a round of winter weather to the Southeast US. This is much too far out for a specific forecast, but something we’ll surely want to keep an eye on in future 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)

    I hope you enjoy the day. James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    The Warmup Continues

    | 7:22 am January 17, 2015

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

    Some high cirrus clouds were traversing the Central Alabama sky this morning, but those should pass returning us to clear weather by afternoon. It was nice to see the sun yesterday and to warm up into the lower 50s. Looks like we should warm into the upper 50s with some spots warming to 60 degrees today.

    But a cold front is expected to pass through Central Alabama on Sunday bringing another shot of colder air to the area. Without a good return of moisture, the front should come through dry with only a few clouds to mar the sky. Highs Sunday will dip back into the lower half of the 50s.

    The upper trough pushing the front through on Sunday will move quickly east into the Atlantic bringing another nice warm up to Central Alabama for the first of the week. Highs by Monday and Tuesday should once again come up into the range of 57 to 61.

    Another surge of chilly weather arrives on Wednesday and Thursday as yet another trough digs into the eastern US. This one will be a bit colder than the trough on Sunday and bring temperatures back a good bit. Looks for lows in the upper 20s by the end of the week with highs only in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Fortunately, it appears that this one will also arrive essentially dry with just some clouds.

    Clouds and the threat of rain arrive for the weekend with the approach of a low latitude short wave coming across Texas. The biggest rain threat will be along the Gulf Coast, however, we’re edging into voodoo country, so we’ll have to watch future computer model runs to see exactly how far south that short wave goes. With a chance of rain on Saturday we’ll also see temperatures close to seasonal values for the latter part of January.

    And there appears to be no rest for weather forecasters for the last week of January. The GFS promises another cold eastern US trough around the 29th of January followed by another one for the first of February. We all know this is voodoo country, but the system around February 1st could produce some winter mischief for the Southeast US. It’s much too early to be specific on any kind of winter weather threat or on the location, but the pattern forecast by the GFS certainly suggests someone will have an issue.

    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 morning. Enjoy the warmth of today and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    WeatherBrains 468: The View from Atlanta

    | 5:15 am January 15, 2015

    WeatherBrains Episode 468 is now online (January 14, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

    Katherine ProcivTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a recommendation from show alum Chris White. Kathryn Prociv obtained her Masters and Undergraduate degrees from Virginia Tech. Currently she is a weather content producer for The Weather Channel, specifically supporting the AMHQ production.

    Kathryn Prociv has loved weather since age six. Like most kids, Kathryn was afraid of thunderstorms until her fear transformed to awe one day when a green funnel cloud screamed over her head while caught outside in a severe thunderstorm. The rest is history, and she has since dedicated her life to the science of meteorology. Kathryn received both her B.A. and M.S. at Virginia Tech in geography with an emphasis in geospatial technology and meteorology. Her master’s research investigated the influence of the Appalachian Mountains on the intensity of supercell thunderstorms and associated tornadogenesis. While a lover of all weather, severe weather is her passion. A member of the Virginia Tech Hokie Storm Chasers 2010-2012, Kathryn has intercepted nearly a dozen tornadoes on the Great Plains. Her most notable intercept includes the Bowdle, SD, EF4 tornado on May 24th, 2010. She is currently teaching meteorology and geography at Northern Virginia Community College and is a meteorologist and contributor for the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. She is a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), National Weather Association (NWA), an amateur radio operator (KK4BWP), and a SKYWARN Spotter. Her hobbies include local storm chasing, playing guitar, and amateur photography. If there is a storm approaching, you can find Kathryn outside with camera in hand!

    Tony RiceIt is hard to call tonight’s Guest Panelist a Guest any longer. Tony Rice is a fixture. We welcome our resident astronomer, Tony Rice, to the show.

    Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 81 at Pompano Beach, FL, and -34 at Van Buren, ME
  • Relatively quiet weather pattern across the US
  • No severe weather outlooked for next 4 to 8 days
  • Fairly cold from Idaho to Maine
  • Not a single watch, warning, or advisory anywhere in the US
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center: This episode goes back about 7 years to a segment on radiosondes. These are so important to sampling the atmosphere, and since a listener asked a question about this, it seems a great topic to kick off the year of 2015.

    WeatherBrains 101:

    Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 468:

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

    AMHQ on The Weather Channel

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Variety story on Weather Channel Morning Mix

    Bill Murray – Ensemble Prediction Systems

    Brian Peters – United States Tornadoes, Past, Present and Future

    Katherine Prociv – Not Ready for It! Earth Cam

    Tony Rice – Astronomy 2015 Days

    John Scala – NCDC State of the Climate page

    Kevin Selle – El Nino Theme Page

    James Spann – NOAA Investing in New Supercomputers

    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

    Unsettled Weather Through Thursday

    | 9:50 am January 11, 2015

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

    Thanks to a combination of clouds and an easterly air flow at the surface, temperatures stayed above freezing overnight. Some light rain was occurring across the northwest quadrant of Alabama, however, a dry layer near the surface was keeping some of the precipitation from reaching the ground. We should remain cloudy today with the primary shot of precipitation coming this evening and into the first half of Monday. Even with the clouds, temperatures should reach the 48 to 52 range across Central Alabama, just about typical for early January.

    The weather will remain unsettled with clouds and chance for rain through Wednesday. The next short wave approaches us on Wednesday once again bringing a chance for rain and showers to the area through about midday on Thursday. This system is coming in on the latest computer model runs a bit further south, so rain chances for Central Alabama will be less than chances across South Alabama. With a somewhat zonal flow across the Southeast US, we should see temperatures that will be about typical for this time of year with lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s.

    Once the major trough goes by on Thursday, we will see a minor cool down for Saturday morning, but with the upper flow going nearly zonal, we should not see any major swings in our temperatures. The surface high will move east of us net Sunday which once again opens up the Gulf for another round of precipitation as we verge into voodoo country for Monday or Tuesday.

    The next round of precipitation comes our way for the start of Week 2, or voodoo country. The upper air pattern takes on another distinctly cold look for the 24th of January but the fast flow means the cool down does not last very long with ridging developing around the 26th ahead of another short wave coming out of the southern Rockies. So no lack of weather systems to keep the weather office busy.

    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 first thing on Monday morning. Stay dry and I hope you have a great day. Godspeed.

    -Brian-