Category: Alabama’s Weather
Several strong storms continue this morning across Central Alabama. These storms are producing heavy rainfall, small hail, gusty winds, frequent lightning, and window shaking thunder. Numerous reports across the area of the very loud thunder associated with this morning’s storms. All storms remain below severe limits at this time.
The activity continues to slide off to the east and the more intense storms remain south of Interstate 20. Locations in Bibb, Chilton, Hale, and Greene Counties are seeing the worst of the weather right now. The storms continue to slowly weaken as the move through the area.
A few strong, non-severe storms are moving through West Alabama tonight. Though these storms are strong, producing heavy rainfall, frequent lightning, small hail, and gusty winds, they remain below severe limits.
Portions of Tuscaloosa, Greene, Hale, Pickens, and Sumter Counties are being impacted. Interstate 20/59, and Highways 11, 43, and 82 will be impacted along with the communities of Tuscaloosa, Moundville, Aliceville, Eutaw, and Duncanville.
This activity should continue to stay below severe limits as it moves off to the east.
Showers and storms are now moving into the state. Even though this cell has been severe, it continues to weaken as it moves east. The NWS in Birmingham has decided not to issue a warning for this storm at this time.
It will be producing gusty winds and some hail, and these should stay below severe criteria, but expect very heavy rainfall and frequent lightning. This storm will be affecting locations across southern Pickens County affecting Pickensville and Aliceville.
…SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SOUTHERN PICKENS COUNTY UNTIL
1115 PM CDT…
AT 1023 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAS TRACKING A STRONG
THUNDERSTORM 12 MILES NORTHWEST OF PANOLA…OR 14 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
PICKENSVILLE…MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.
HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF NICKELS IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM…ALONG
WITH HEAVY RAIN AND FREQUENT DANGEROUS LIGHTNING.
LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE…
TORRENTIAL RAIN…WHICH MAY FLOOD LOW LYING AREAS SUCH AS DITCHES AND
UNDERPASSES…IS ALSO LIKELY. DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE ON A FLOODED
Strong and a few severe storms continue to move across northern Mississippi this evening. These storms will be entering into Alabama over the new couple of hours. The storms are moving-in a few hours earlier than originally forecast and are maintaining some very strong updrafts. This could allow for some of the storms to maintain severe criteria as the enter the state and could still pack a bunch into western portions of Alabama.
With the ongoing severe storms moving in, the SPC considered extending the severe thunderstorm watch currently over Mississippi, into the first few rows of counties in West Alabama. After a discussion with SPC, the NWS in Birmingham decided not to issue a watch for Alabama. Dew points and instability are much lower in Alabama than in Mississippi. The storms will continue to weaken as they head east, but portions of West Alabama could see hail and gusty winds.
First off there is a very dangerous tornado warned storm moving across Central Mississippi. The NWS in Jackson is tracking a confirmed tornado well north of Jackson and northeast of Yazoo City. The storm currently is in Holmes County near the town of Lexington as is approaching Interstate 55. This storm continues to move off to the east-southeast and besides producing the tornado, hail to the size of golf balls is possible.
For us in Alabama, we will continue to watch the storms to our west, but the atmosphere over Alabama is more stable than over Mississippi. Instability values are higher to our west as dew points are in the mid 60s. Over Alabama there are only in the mid-50s, which are not ideal for severe storms. We are expecting the storms to be weakening as they approach the state later tonight.
The SPC maintains portions of Northwest Alabama in a slight risk for severe weather. The areas outlined in green remain under this risk until 7 AM tomorrow morning. Locations from northern Pickens County, up through Fayette, Winston, Morgan, and Limestone Counties, and areas to the north and west are in this threat. As the storms approach the state, we could see some of them produce some hail and gusty winds.
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RADAR CHECK: Nothing on radar over Alabama this afternoon; the sky is partly sunny and temperatures are generally in the low 80s. We do note strong storms forming over much of Arkansas, where a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued.
A band of showers and thunderstorms will enter the northwest corner of our state around midnight tonight; they could pack a punch initially as they impact places like Muscle Shoals and Russellville, but the storms will weaken rapidly as they move deeper into Alabama during the pre-dawn hours tomorrow. Just a few scattered showers are likely for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden between 3:00 and 8:00 a.m.
TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Once those early morning showers end, tomorrow will be a mostly sunny day with a high between 77 and 80 degrees.
Look for the warmest weather so far this year over the weekend; a good supply of sunshine Saturday and Sunday with highs up in the mid 80s… a nice summer preview. High clouds will begin to increase Sunday afternoon ahead of storms west of Alabama.
SPC maintains severe weather risks for Sunday and Monday… the threat Sunday is west of our state, but much of Alabama is included in the Monday risk.
THE ALABAMA SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: The new 12Z global model runs are slower, suggesting the main action will come late Monday night and during the day Tuesday. With a slow moving, cut off upper system like this, the slower solution is probably correct, and it could very well be Tuesday before we have our primary severe weather threat in Alabama.
As we have discussed here this week, it is simply too early to be able to identify the mesoscale features of this system that will ultimately determine the magnitude of the severe weather threat. Seems like the severe weather parameters are maximized west of Alabama Sunday… no doubt we will have some risk of severe weather here, but the shear, instability, and wind fields are not exactly “overwhelming”, and it could very well be that flooding is the primary impact.
A very slow moving band of storms, feeding off very high precipitable water values, will bring rain amounts of 2 to 4 inches to North Alabama, and some flooding problems are very possible. It might be late Tuesday night, or even Wednesday before the rain gets out of here.
We will be able to be much more specific about the timing, and the modes of severe weather to expect tomorrow morning. But I really do think the slower idea has very good credibility, so our biggest day could very well work out to be Tuesday.
See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.
COOLER AIR FOLLOWS THE RAIN: Models have backed off on the strength of the upper trough over the eastern U.S. over the latter half of next week, and also on the amount of cool air that reaches Alabama. Highs could drop into the 60s by Thursday and Friday.
WEATHER RADIO UPDATE: Important note concerning the Birmingham NOAA Weather Radio situation…
NWS technicians have successfully installed a temporary fix to the Birmingham transmitter. While not returning to full power and coverage, we hope that this fix will provide coverage to a good number of radios that may not have been able to receive a sufficient signal from a backup transmitter. There are technical issues as to the type and length of cable, as well as the height of the tower that will limit our capabilities until the permanent replacement can be installed. We are still hoping to have that happen on or about May 3rd.
To allow NWR Birmingham radio users to check/confirm reception on their radios, we will be conducting tone alert tests on the BIRMINGHAM TRANSMITTER ONLY at 6 PM CDT tonight (Thurday), and again at 11 AM and 6 PM CDT Friday and Saturday. For all other transmitters, we will conduct the regularly scheduled weekly test Saturday at 11 AM CDT. If NWR listeners receive the test signal, their radios should activate for any warnings that are issued. Note that not all weather radios are configured to alarm for the weekly test; users may need to be near their radios at those times to confirm receipt of the test signal. If they do not receive the test signal from the Birmingham transmitter, they may need to reprogram their radios to one of the backup transmitters. Our webpage has all the specific information needed to do that.
At this point, we do not anticipate any significant changes to the status of the transmitter in the near term. We truly appreciate all the offers to assist us in fixing the tower, however, we are bound to existing contracts and the Federal contracting regulations for the maintenance and repair of the transmitters. While it is highly unlikely, if anything changes in that regard, we will let everyone know.
GULF COAST WEATHER: Look for sunny days and fair nights through Monday… showers and storms return Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the low 70s, but 80s are likely just a few miles inland. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab this afternoon is up to 71 degrees.
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…
I had a great time today visiting with the first graders at Faucett-Vestavia Elementary in Northport… be looking for those kids on the KIDCAM at 6:00 p.m. on ABC 33/40 News! Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….
The SPC maintains a risk for severe weather across much of the Lower Mississippi Valley today. The risk area does come as far east as Alabama and includes much of the northwestern portion of the state, which has been outlined in green. The risk is valid until 7 AM Friday morning.
We are seeing some convection ongoing to our west, with a few severe storms. Heading through the rest of today, we are expecting additional showers and storms to develop and some will become severe. This activity is then expected to head east through the evening hours and should impact portions of Northwest Alabama after midnight tonight.
Areas around Red Bay, Florence, Haleyville, Decatur, and Huntsville could see some strong and locally severe storms overnight as this activity heads into the state. Hail and gusty winds will be the main threats. However, as these storms enter the state, they will be weakening and should not cause too many problems. This activity is expected to begin rapidly dissipating during the early morning hours as it pushes into and across Central Alabama. We are not expecting any severe weather for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, or Gadsden. The left-over convection should only be some scattered showers that will affect the area during the pre-dawn and early morning hours.
Once these showers push through in the morning, we are expecting improving conditions with mostly sunny skies and highs near 80 for you Friday.
The National Weather Service has been working diligently to repair serious equipment with the Birmingham NOAA Weather Radio broadcasting from Red Mountain overlooking downtown Birmingham. Through some extraordinary measures, they have been able to get the broadcast back on the air on a limited basis. I’ve posted their statement below for all the information.
NOUS44 KBMX 241619 AAA PNSBMX ALZ011>015-017>050-260415- PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL 1119 AM CDT THU APR 24 2014 ...BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO IS BROADCASTING ON A LIMITED BASIS... THE BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.550 MHZ...IS NOW WORKING ON A LIMITED BASIS. A TEMPORARY ANTENNA HAS BEEN INSTALLED. HOWEVER...THE TEMPORARY ANTENNA IS CLOSER TO THE GROUND AND OPERATING AT LOWER POWER. THIS MEANS THAT AREAL COVERAGE AND QUALITY OF RECEPTION...INCLUDING TONE ALERTS...WILL LIKELY BE REDUCED. A PERMANENT FIX MAY NOT OCCUR UNTIL ON OR ABOUT MAY 3RD. IN THE MEANTIME...NWS BIRMINGHAM WILL CONDUCT TONE ALERT TESTS FOR THE BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER AT 6 PM CDT THURSDAY APRIL 24TH...11 AM AND 6 PM CDT ON FRIDAY APRIL 25TH AND SATURDAY APRIL 26TH. IN ADDITION...WE WILL CONDUCT THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED WEEKLY TEST FOR ALL OTHER CENTRAL ALABAMA NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTERS AT 11 AM SATURDAY APRIL 26TH. THESE TEST MESSAGES WILL ALLOW THOSE THAT DEPEND ON THE BIRMINGHAM TRANSMITTER SITE TO DETERMINE IF YOUR WEATHER RADIO WILL RECEIVE AND ALARM FOR ACTUAL WARNING MESSAGES. IF YOU RECEIVE THE TEST MESSAGES...YOUR RADIO SHOULD ACTIVATE AND ALARM FOR ACTUAL WARNING TONE ALERTS. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THE TEST MESSAGES...WE RECOMMEND YOU USE A BACKUP NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER. BACKUP NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTERS ARE: TUSCALOOSA...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.400 MHZ... ONEONTA...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.425 MHZ... ANNISTON...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.475 MHZ...AND CULLMAN...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.450 MHZ. FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON BACKUP TRANSMITTERS FOR YOUR COUNTY...PLEASE GO TO OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX KEEP IN MIND THAT NOT ALL BACKUP TRANSMITTERS WILL TONE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC COUNTY...SO PLEASE STAY WEATHER AWARE DURING THE OUTAGE. FINALLY...CERTAIN WEATHER RADIOS WILL BEGIN TO BEEP CONSTANTLY IF A WEEKLY TEST DOES NOT OCCUR AT LEAST EVERY 10 DAYS. THE LAST WEEKLY TEST OCCURRED ON APRIL 19TH. THIS MEANS THAT IF THE TRANSMITTER IS NOT OPERATIONAL BY APRIL 29-30...CERTAIN WEATHER RADIOS WILL BEEP CONSTANTLY UNTIL A WEEKLY TEST CAN BE CONDUCTED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE. WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THIS OUTAGE MAY CAUSE. $$