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Birmingham NOAA Weatheradio Getting an Upgrade

| 9:54 am June 29, 2016

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From our Partner John DeBlock at the National Weather Service Birmingham.

Some notes from John:

1) NWS Birmingham will upgrade NOAA Weather Radio systems at Noon on Tuesday to replace aging equipment.

2) NOAA Weather Radio listeners do not need to do anything on their receivers.

At Noon on Tuesday, NWS Birmingham will “flip the switch” on an upgrade to the software and hardware systems in our office that processes our text products from text to voice, and broadcasts the messages over the phone lines to the 10 transmitters in Central Alabama.

The system currently in place (Console Replacement System, or CRS) is based on technology from the 80s, and the custom built equipment has long passed its usage time and MUST be replaced.

The new system (Broadcast Message Handler, or BMH) replaces that hardware based system with a software system that works on an off-the-shelf PC. We have already successfully tested the new BMH on both the Birmingham and Montgomery transmitters without any significant issues, and we have every reason to believe this switch will be uneventful.

Perhaps the most important piece of information for you is that NOAA Weather Radio listeners do not need to change a thing on their receiver to continue to receive our broadcasts. The way the transmitters and receivers work has NOT changed.

Having said that, with any change or upgrade, there will be an adjustment period as we fine-tune the software to our local operations. Most notably, some of the pronunciations of local towns and other geographic references may need to be adjusted. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to work out all the mispronunciations ahead of time, as automated voice software often will pronounce words differently when they are spoken in context.

We will work as diligently as possible to correct mispronunciations as we become aware of them. For instance, the system generated my last name as “Delaware Block”! I have been assured that it has been corrected.

If you have any problems, please call the NWS forecast staff at 205-664-3010 and then press option 2. Alternatively, feel free to refer them to me at (205) 664-3010, extension 223, or Meteorologist-in-Charge Jim Stefkovich at (205) 664-3010, extension 222.

Similarly, if you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact our staff, Jim or myself at the numbers above.
Thanks for all you do!

John

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Drier Air Slowly Works In From The North

| 6:25 am June 29, 2016

QUIET WEATHER: Dewpoints will slowly drop over the northern half of Alabama over the next 24 hours, meaning the air will be drier and more stable. Accordingly, we expect most of the scattered showers and storms to come over the southern half of the state each day through Friday.

Understand the chance of a shower over North Alabama is not zero, but the chance of any one spot seeing rain is so small we won’t mention it in the forecast. Days will be partly to mostly sunny, nights mostly fair. The high today and tomorrow will be close to 90, with low 90s Friday afternoon.

Down across South Alabama, showers and storms are possible, but they will be pretty widely spaced.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: Moisture levels will slowly rise, and we will mention the chance of widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise, partly sunny, hot, humid weather will be the story with highs in the 92-95 degree range. We do expect to see an increase in the coverage of scattered showers and storms Monday as a surface front approaches from the north. Still, Monday won’t be a “wash-out”.

Then, the rest of next week looks like we will deal with very routine summer weather. Partly sunny days with the risk of afternoon/evening storms in scattered spots. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the holiday weekend.

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Interesting to note the Northern Hemisphere has been hurricane-free since Jan 16, the second time on record (since 1950) this has occurred.

AT THE BEACH: Pretty standard summer weather continues on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through the Fourth of July weekend. About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day with the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, with 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid to upper 80s. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

Photo below was taken early this morning at Navarre Beach from @cindiglenn

cindiglenn_2016-Jun-29

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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I have a weather program this morning at Stephens Elementary in Alexander City… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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Mostly Dry Tomorrow Through Friday

| 3:25 pm June 28, 2016

RADAR CHECK: As expected, the majority of showers and storms across Alabama this afternoon are south of I-20; drier air is filtering into the northern counties. Heat levels are way down; temperatures are in the 80s in most places thanks to a persistent cloud cover.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 3.20.29 PM

Tonight will be mostly fair; showers over Central and South Alabama will end soon after dark.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: These days will be generally shower-free over the northern half of the state; we expect mostly sunny days and fair nights; highs will be generally in the low 90s, and humidity values will be a bit lower tomorrow and Thursday. Any showers will be confined to the southern counties of the state, and even there they will be pretty widely scattered.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: Not much change Saturday and Sunday; moisture levels will slowly rise, and a few afternoon showers or storms could pop up, but they should be few and far between. Days will be partly to mostly sunny with a high in the low 90s. Scattered showers and storms will be a little more numerous on Monday (July 4), but even then it won’t be a “wash-out”.

Then, for the rest of next week we expect very routine summer weather with partly sunny, hot, humid days and the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs will be in the low to mid 90s, close to average values for July in Alabama. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: All remains quiet across the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the Fourth of July weekend.

AT THE BEACH: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach with the daily threat of scattered thunderstorms. Highs will be close to 90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. Very typical weather for late June and early July. The sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 87 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

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Midday Nowcast: Cloudy, Cooler, and Some Showers Possible

| 12:04 pm June 28, 2016

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Currently on the visible satellite image, clouds are stretching across much of north and central Alabama, with a few also covering the skies in the southwestern part of the state. The rest of the state are enjoying mostly clear skies.

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Currently on the radar, a decent shower is located over the north and central parts of Greene County and stretching over into west-central Hale County. A few more light showers are located in western Marion and extreme northern Lamar Counties, with another shower located in northwestern Marshall County.

TODAY’S WEATHER: For most areas in Central Alabama, skies will be mostly cloudy. A weak stationary boundary that stretches across the state from west to east is located near the I-85 and U.S. 80 corridor. It will start to move southward as a front will be making its way into the state later this evening. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop around and along the boundary, especially south of I-20, but instability for Central Alabama will be capped and storms will not be all that strong. Afternoon highs will be held in check today and will only reach the upper 80s to near 90.

CODE YELLOW AIR QUALITY: The Air Quality Index for the Birmingham Metropolitan Area will be in the “Code Yellow” (moderate range) for ozone and particulate matter. People who are unusually sensitive should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.

TODAY’S CLIMATOLOGY FOR BIRMINGHAM: The normal high for June 28th is 89, while the normal low is 68. The record high for today was set back in 1931 at 104. The record low was set back in 1968 at 53.

WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER: For the northern half of the state, partly to mostly sunny skies, with drier air and generally rain-free. Afternoon highs will be at or near 90. Any shower activity will be confined to the southern parts of the state, and even there they should be isolated in nature.

HEADED TO THE BEACH: Routine summer weather continues through the Fourth of July weekend on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores. About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily with the risk of scattered thunderstorms. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid to upper 80s. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

THE TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the holiday weekend.

WEATHERBRAINS: This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. Last night, we talked Oklahoma weather with the folks from OK First. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

ADVERTISE WITH US: Deliver your message to a highly engaged audience by advertising on the AlabamaWX.com website. The site enjoyed 10.2 MILLION pageviews in the past 12 months. Don’t miss out! We can customize a creative, flexible and affordable package that will suit your organization’s needs. Contact me, Bill Murray, at (205) 687-0782 and let’s talk.

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Drier Air Arrives Tonight

| 6:17 am June 28, 2016

RADAR CHECK: We have a few light showers over North Alabama as the begins… moving east…

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We will maintain the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms today, but by afternoon, drier air will cover the northern third of the state, and the highest coverage of showers and storms will shift down into the areas south of I-20.

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The high today will be close to 90 degree, but come places won’t get out of the 80s since showers are forming earlier in the day.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Dry air will cover the northern half of the state on these three days, and we expect generally shower-free conditions with partly to mostly sunny days and fair nights. Highs will be close to 90 tomorrow and Thursday, with low 90s Friday. Showers will be confined to the southern part of the state, and even there they should be pretty widely spaced.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: Moisture slowly returns, but it still looks Saturday and Sunday will be mostly dry with only widely scattered afternoon showers. Scattered showers and storms should be a little more numerous on Monday (July 4), but even then it certainly won’t be a “wash out”. Temperatures will be seasonal for early July with highs in the low to mid 90s.

Then, the rest of next week looks very routine for mid-summer with hot, humid days and the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs will be in the 90s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet, and tropical storm formation it not expected through the holiday weekend.

AT THE BEACH: Routine summer weather continues through the Fourth of July weekend on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores. About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily with the risk of scattered thunderstorms. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid to upper 80s. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
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I will be doing a safety meeting for ALAGASCO today in Gadsden… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

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WeatherBrains 545: Longhorn in the Office

| 5:15 am June 28, 2016

WeatherBrains Episode 545 is now online (June 27, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

James Hocker, OK-FirstOur first Guest WeatherBrains is James Hocker, OK-First Program Manager. In this capacity, James serves as a lead instructor at all OK-First classes, develops training content, provides input and direction for software and tool development, and manages the program budget. The program is about 20 years old. James has B.S. and M.S. degrees in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Andrea Melvin, OK-FirstAnd our second guest WeatherBrains also comes from OK-First. Andrea Melvin is the Outreach Program Coordinator for OK-First. She serves as instructor at many OK-First certification and re-certification classes and develops laboratory exercises and case studies for use at OK-First classes. Andrea has a B.S. degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 124 at Death Valley, CA, and 31 at Leadville, CO
  • Severe weather along eastern slope of Rockies
  • June 23, 2016, Tornado killed 99 in China
  • Atlantic Basin quiet for now
  • Tropical cyclone in Arabian Sea
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is AWOL again but we have to let her off on this one since her excuse is the horrific weather in her area during the last week.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: This occurrence has not happened for nearly 50 years and will not happen again until 2062. It was the coincidence of a June full moon and the summer solstice and the moon has a special name.

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 545:

OK-First web site

NWA 41st Annual Meeting

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

Picks of the Week:

Justin Gehrts – Twitter feed for NWSPodunk

Nate Johnson – OK Mesonet Twitter

Bill Murray – Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product

Brian Peters – Your chance to own “Dorothy” from Twister

Rick Smith – Science of Mammatus Clouds

James Spann – GOES Project Science

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.

Audible.com graphic

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Flash Flood Warning for Jefferson County

| 5:07 pm June 27, 2016

Storms continue to intensify over the Birmingham Metro and some areas have picked up 1 to 2 inches of rain. The NWS has gone ahead and issued a flash flood warning.

The bright green polygon is the warning.

Remember, turn around, don’t drown.

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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR…
NORTHEASTERN JEFFERSON COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 800 PM CDT

* AT 506 PM CDT…DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING
HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. UP TO ONE INCH OF RAIN HAS
ALREADY FALLEN. FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY WITH
ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAINS.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE…
BIRMINGHAM…HOOVER…VESTAVIA HILLS…HOMEWOOD…MOUNTAIN BROOK…
GARDENDALE…FAIRFIELD…FULTONDALE…CENTER POINT…PINSON…
TARRANT…MIDFIELD…BRIGHTON…KIMBERLY…LIPSCOMB…MORRIS…
TRAFFORD…COUNTY LINE…B.J.C.C. AND BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD
DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

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Drier Air Arrives Wednesday

| 3:36 pm June 27, 2016

RADAR CHECK: Another afternoon of scattered, strong, slow moving storms across Alabama. Some spots are getting very heavy rain…

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 3.27.18 PM

But, of course, some are getting no rain at all. Pretty much feast or famine when it comes to rain on summer afternoons in Alabama. Away from the storms, temperatures are in the low 90s. Showers and storms will fade away later tonight.

TOMORROW: A surface front will push into North Alabama; the best chance of showers and storms will be along and south of U.S. 278, or south of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden. We can’t promise rain for everyone, but like recent days some communities will see a heavy downpour. Best chance of a shower or thunderstorm will come during the afternoon and evening hours, and the high will be close to 90 degrees.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRDIAY: Dry air drops in from the north, and the chance of showers on these three days for the northern half of the state is very small. Scattered storms are still possible over South Alabama, but even there they should be pretty widely spaced. Highs will be close to 90 degrees Wednesday and Thursday with slightly lower humidity values; low 90s are likely Friday. Days will be mostly sunny, nights mostly fair.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: Moisture levels will slowly rise, setting up a very routine mid-summer weekend. Partly sunny, hot, humid days and the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” Saturday through Monday with highs in the 91 to 95 degree range. Chance of any one spot getting wet each afternoon will be about one in three, with potentially higher chances Monday.

TROPICS: All is quiet across the vast Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

AT THE BEACH: We project about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily this week on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores with the chance of a passing shower or thunderstorm from time to time. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with 90s inland. The sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a warm 87 degrees.

Too early to be specific about next week, but for now we don’t see anything out of the ordinary. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT…. you can watch it live here.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

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A Little Relief Ahead

| 2:04 pm June 27, 2016

Our Satellite Expert, Sheldon Kusselson, promises some rain from all this high moisture air over Alabama ahead of a cool front that will bring a little relief from the super muggies by Wednesday and Thursday.

Alabama Wx blog for June 27, 2016

Thanks Sheldon!

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Midday Nowcast: Hot With Strong Storms Possible This Afternoon

| 11:56 am June 27, 2016

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Skies across Central Alabama at this hour is mostly clear, and almost everyone is currently. I say almost because shower activity has started developing, as a shower is currently on the Cullman-Morgan County line just north of West Point.

Radar

It is generally drifting to the southwest and could affect West Point and South Vinemont if it holds together.

Temps

Temperatures across the area are already well up into the 80s, and those will be expected to climb into the low to mid 90s today.

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TODAY’S WEATHER: A cold front will be approaching the northern parts of the state by the late afternoon hours, and with the boundaries that are left over from Sunday, scattered showers and thunderstorms can be expected. A few storms could be strong to severe from 2PM-9PM. The SPC has defined areas north of a line stretching from just below Tuscaloosa to just below Birmingham to just below Gadsden under a Marginal Risk for severe storms through the day. Wet microbursts and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning will be possible with these storms. Localized flash flooding could occur as the precipitable water values are expected to be over 2 inches over much of North Alabama, which means some places could receive up to 2 inches of rain. Otherwise, skies will be mostly sunny to partly mostly cloudy across the area, with afternoon highs in the low to mid 90s. Heat indices could reach or exceed 100F, so please take it easy outside.

CODE YELLOW AIR QUALITY: The Air Quality Index for the Birmingham Metropolitan Area will be in the “Code Yellow” (moderate range) for particulate matter. People who are unusually sensitive should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.

TODAY’S CLIMATOLOGY FOR BIRMINGHAM: The normal high for June 27th is 89, while the normal low is 68. The record high for today was set back in 1988 at 100. The record low was set back in 1974 at 50.

TUESDAY’S WEATHER: As the front slowly pushes through North Alabama, a good chance for scattered showers and storms will remain likely along and ahead of the front. Areas along and south of the I-20 corridor will have the better chances for rain. Otherwise, a mix of sun and clouds with afternoon highs at or near 90.

HEADED TO THE BEACH: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily this week on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores with the chance of a passing shower or thunderstorm from time to time. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with 90s inland. The sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a warm 87 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

THE TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

WEATHERBRAINS: This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. Tonight, we will be talking Oklahoma weather with the folks from OK First. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

ADVERTISE WITH US: Deliver your message to a highly engaged audience by advertising on the AlabamaWX.com website. The site enjoyed 10.2 MILLION pageviews in the past 12 months. Don’t miss out! We can customize a creative, flexible and affordable package that will suit your organization’s needs. Contact me, Bill Murray, at (205) 687-0782 and let’s talk.

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