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Category: Alabama’s Weather

Occasional Showers/Storms

| 3:46 pm May 25, 2015

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; we will resume the “two a day” schedule tomorrow**

RADAR CHECK: The stronger storms have shifted into East Alabama this afternoon…

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 3.37.07 PM

Storms in East Alabama are not severe, but they are producing a good bit of lighting and heavy rain as they move east. A few passing showers and storms remain possible through the night across our state as moist air stays in place.

TOMORROW: SPC maintains the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for a decent part of North and Central Alabama, with a “marginal risk” all the way down to the coast…

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It remains to be seen if some of the high surface based instability forecasts can be reached; clouds could very well be locked in place much of the day, limiting the buoyancy of the atmosphere. Wind fields are not especially strong, so for the moment we remain rather unimpressed with the overall severe weather threat tomorrow, but if the sun breaks out during the morning, things could get active during the afternoon and evening hours. The rain tomorrow would be heavy at times, and some localized flash flooding issues are certainly possible.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: While showers and storms remain possible on these three days, they should be more scattered in nature, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. The sun will break out at times, and the high will be in the mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: Pretty much the same story for Saturday and Sunday… a mix of sun and clouds both days with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will remain mostly in the mid 80s. Same setup for early next week.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine tomorrow with a few passing showers and storms likely from Panama City west to Gulf Shores, but then 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily from Wednesday through the weekend with only widely scattered showers and thunderstorms each day. Highs will remain in the low 80s, and sea water temperatures are also generally in the low 80s.

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 on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

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

Stronger Storms Over Northwest Alabama

| 12:01 pm May 25, 2015

Here is the radar at noon:

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Strong thunderstorm continue late this morning over Northeast Mississippi into Northwest Alabama, from Monroe County MS into western Marion County in Alabama. An areal flood advisory was just posted for Marion County where minor flooding is likely. Others are moving through Lawrence and Limestone Counties.

Further southwest, other strong storms are approaching Starkville MS.

None of these storms are severe, but they are producing heavy rain and lightning as well as some gusty winds.

A flash flood warning is now in effect for Monroe County MS, which includes Aberdeen and Amory. A likely tornado touched down in Amory around 9 a.m. It also caused damage in Smithville, a community hard hit on April 27, 2011.

All of this activity is associated with the disturbance that is currently pushing into southern Tennessee. The southern end will continue to push slowly east into West and Northwest Alabama.

To the south, showers and storms were passing just south of Selma moving northeast.

Over South Alabama, widespread thunderstorms have developed and are pushing northward. They extend from Citronelle to Evergreen to Florala.

All of this activity is forecast to increase in coverage and intensity through mid-afternoon as it all moves north. Although significant severe weather is not expected, we can rule out a few strong storms and there could even be a couple of warned storms. The main threat will be damaging winds.

It is a day of outdoor activities across the state as we honor our veterans. Be alert to the weather through the afternoon. Have a source for weather warnings and keep an eye to the sky for storms that are below severe limits. They will produce deadly lightning, strong gusty winds and very heavy rains.

Wet Weather Pattern Returns

| 7:00 am May 25, 2015

PATTERN CHANGE: After only about a third of an inch of rain for the entire month of May, showers/storms returned late yesterday afternoon, soaking parts of Central Alabama with over one inch. And, that moist air will stick around for a while with an upper trough to the west, meaning a good chance of occasional showers and storms.

In fact, it is raining early this Memorial Day over parts of West Alabama…

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We might hold in the 70s all day today due to clouds and occasional showers. While a strong storm is possible this afternoon, organized severe weather is not expected through tonight.

TOMORROW: SPC has defined the standard “slight” severe weather risk of much of North and Central Alabama, with a “marginal” risk for the entire state…

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No doubt we will deal with showers and storms at times tomorrow, there are really more questions than answers about severe weather. On the positive side for severe storms, the high resolution (4km) NAM ramps up surface based instability values over West Alabama to around 4,000 j/kg tomorrow afternoon. Not sure this is realistic since we will probably have clouds over the state much of the state. Higher storm relative helicity values are over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama, but overall wind fields look weak, and I am less than impressed with the risk of organized severe weather.

WEDNESDAY: Not much change; moist air, upper trough to the west, so the sky will be mostly cloudy with occasional showers or storms… the high will be in the low 80s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Showers and storms should begin to thin out on these days, with the better chance during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, a mix of sun and clouds both days with a high up in the mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: The last weekend of May looks pretty routine for this time of the year; partly sunny, warm days with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs Saturday and Sunday will remain mostly in the mid 80s. The same pattern continues next week as June begins.

AT THE BEACH: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine from Panama City over to Gulf Shores today and tomorrow with a few passing showers and storms likely. Then, 8 to 10 hours of sunshine each day Wednesday through the weekend, with just a few widely scattered showers and storms around each day. Highs on the immediate coast will remain in the low 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 78 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. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

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Just one Weather Xtreme video today as we are on a holiday schedule, but I will post fresh forecast notes later this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Showers and Storms Moving in on Birmingham Metro

| 5:19 pm May 24, 2015

Showers and storms that appeared they were going to stay mainly west of I-65 have gone rogue this afternoon and will impact a good bit of Shelby and Jefferson Counties over the next couple of hours.

Strong storms are currently occurring over western Jefferson County over Maytown and Sylvan Springs as well as up near Forestdale. They are lined up along US-78 to Jasper, Carbon Hill and Eldridge.

Others are over Northwest Alabama’s Marion County, mainly north of Hamilton, approaching Hackleburg.

Lots of lightning, but not severe.

Further south, a severe thunderstorm warning remain in effect for parts of Bibb and Chilton Counties. The strongest storm in this warned area is northeast of Maplesville, heading toward Jemison. Winds could reach severe limits with this storm (60 mph or greater). There is the possibility of some small hail as well.

Trees and powerlines were just reported down in Maplesville.

Additional storms are over eastern Bibb and western Chilton moving into southwestern Shelby Counties as well. Here is an image from the National Weather Service showing the wall cloud of these storms approaching their office at the Shelby County airport just a few minutes ago.

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These storms will affect the following areas:

Montevallo and Calera immediately
McCalla and Hoover Met by 5:20-5:25
Alabaster and Pelham by 5:30
Hoover/Ross Bridge by 5:45
Vestavia by 5:50
Homewood by 6 p.m.

There is already some lightning around the Hoover Met now.

Showers and Storms Moving North Through West Alabama

| 3:04 pm May 24, 2015

A warm humid airmass covers Alabama and the Deep South this afternoon. The cumulus field over Georgia was about as uniform and beautiful as you will ever see with fairly stable conditions in place over the Peach State. To the west over our state, there was more vertical development in clouds thanks to higher moisture levels, a little more upper level wind energy out ahead of the western trough and interactions with the outflow boundaries from last night’s Texas storms and the seabreeze front off the Gulf Coast.

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Showers and storms had fired over southeastern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama. These storms look like they will work northeastward, remaining mainly west of I-65 through 7-8 p.m. when they will move into Tennessee. They will reach the Tuscaloosa area between 4 and 5 p.m. with a good bit of lightning.

Wind shear is virtually absent and mid level lapse rates are poor, so significant strong storms are not expected, but we can’t rule them out because there is a good bit of dry air aloft, which thunderstorms like in order to produce damaging winds

Temperatures at we approach mid-afternoon are just above 80F in the I-20 corridor, limited by the cloud cover. The mercury will rise another couple of degrees before the day is out.

Wet Weather Ahead

| 6:53 am May 24, 2015

After several days of great weather, moisture will be on the increase with showers and thunderstorms possible beginning this evening and continuing for much of the week ahead. This is in stark contrast to the relatively dry May we’ve seen in Central Alabama so far.

Special thanks to Joe Miller for the picture he posted via Twitter of a sample of the flooding in Oklahoma.

Joe Miller pic of elk city flooding

While our weather will be turning wetter, I do not expect to see the magnitude of flooding that Oklahoma has experienced over the last several days. But QPF forecasts suggest that we could see 1 to 3 inches of rainfall over the next 5 days as this weather system moves slowly by.

The upper trough over the southern Rockies will be ejecting northeastward over the next several days. This will increase our rain chances starting late today and continuing for much of the week ahead. The upper trough should move by us by Wednesday throwing us into a pattern of scattered showers as a relatively moist air mass remains in place across the Southeast US.

SPC has mentioned the potential for severe thunderstorms on Tuesday, Day 3, across a large section of the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys as this trough moves by. CAPE values soar to around 3,000 j/kg during the afternoon Tuesday, so it looks like all modes of severe weather will be possible.

Once the primary trough moves by at mid-week, the weather settles into a daily shower regime with highs staying mainly in the 80s and lows in the 60s, fairly typical for late May.

For beach goers, you will enjoy plenty of sunshine today, so be sure to pack the sunscreen. Scattered showers return today and for much of the week, but there will be 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day. Highs along the coast will be in the range from about 82 to 85 degrees. Water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 78 degrees. There is also a moderate risk of rip currents with the onshore flow for the next couple of days.

By the end of the week, weak ridging will occur across the Southeast US, but without an air mass change, scattered showers remain possible. The next trough begins to take shape on Saturday over the Central Plains which could spell another round of wet weather for the Southeast US for the latter half of next weekend.

Looking out into Week 2, or voodoo country, the GFS continues to suggest a relatively cool and start to June with general troughiness over the eastern half of the country.

James Spann will be back on Monday with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. You can always check back here for the latest updates on our ever changing weather. Enjoy the day, and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Sunny Saturday

| 3:50 pm May 23, 2015

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Another beautiful day for the state of Alabama today. High pressure at the surface is keeping the weather spectacular across Alabama as we enjoy the first third of the Memorial Day weekend. With plenty of sunshine, highs have climbed back into the 80s this afternoon after a couple of nice, cooler days.

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For tomorrow, we will begin to see southerly flow start to transport moisture north and we are going to have to introduce the chance of rain mainly over west Alabama during the afternoon and evening hours. Look for another warm day as high will be back into the 80s, and humidity levels will be increasing as well.

Warmer for the Weekend

| 7:02 am May 23, 2015

High pressure at the surface will keep the weather spectacular across Alabama today as we enjoy the first third of the Memorial Day weekend. An upper ridge will allow heights to climb, so with plenty of sunshine look for highs to climb back into the 80s after a couple of nice, cooler days. The morning actually started on a cool note for the area northeast of Birmingham where Skywatchers reported morning lows in the 40s once again.

The upper ridge builds in stronger on Sunday as a strong trough comes out of the Rockies. This will keep much of the focus for rain to our west where sections of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma could see rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches over the next several days. While clouds will increase for Central Alabama, I think we should stay dry with showers remaining just to our west.

5-day expected rainfall

The upper trough comes out across the Upper Mississippi River Valley from Monday into Wednesday. With a good, moist southwesterly flow, we should see fairly widespread showers and storms across Central Alabama and the Southeast US. Temperatures will be cut back just a bit thanks to the presence of clouds and showers, but most places will see highs in the lower 80s.

After the trough passes late Wednesday, we come under weak ridging for the latter part of the week, but the weather is likely to remain somewhat unsettled since we don’t see an air mass change. This means daily chances for showers mainly driven by the heat of the day. The last weekend of May could be a little wetter with the approach of another upper trough as we remain in a moist air mass.

Beach goers will enjoy plenty of sunshine today, so be sure to pack the sunscreen. Scattered showers return Sunday and into much of next week, though there will be 4 to 6 hours of sunshine each day. Highs along the coast will be in the range from about 82 to 85 degrees.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK: The Atlantic hurricane season begins officially June 1st, so it is that time of year for coastal areas that can be impacted by the big storms to think about their seasonal preparedness activities. More here.

Looking out into voodoo country, the overall upper air pattern begins to shift northward as we head into June. Another trough traverses the Ohio Valley around June 1st and then weak ridging expands across the southern tier of the US with the traveling storms along the US-Canadian border.

I expect to post the next Weather Xtreme Video here on Sunday morning. Check back frequently for updates on our ever-changing weather.

-Brian-