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Category: Alabama’s Weather

Warm and Humid; Scattered Showers

| 6:23 am July 21, 2014

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RADAR CHECK: Rain is falling early this morning over parts of Northeast Alabama’s Etowah, Cherokee, and DeKalb Counties… these showers are showing little movement. The rest of the state is dry with temperatures mostly in the upper 60s and low 70s.

A broad upper low is over East Alabama and Georgia this morning, and this should keep the best chance of showers over the eastern half of the state today. The highest amount of sunshine will be over the western counties, and most places will see a high somewhere between 86 and 89 degrees. Interesting to note the last time we saw a high of 90 or higher (in Birmingham) was one week ago… Monday July 14. A remarkable steak for the middle of July.

THE WEEK AHEAD: The upper low will drift to the southwest tomorrow, which should mean a better coverage of showers and storms across Alabama. It won’t rain everywhere, but a number of communities should see a good shower during the day, and highs will remain in the mid to upper 80s.

Then, Wednesday looks like a rather typical summer day. Partly sunny; the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. We could touch 90 degrees Wednesday afternoon.

The GFS continues with the idea of a surface front approaching the state from the north Thursday and Friday, which could provide an increase in the number of scattered showers and storms over the northern counties of the state.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: For the moment the GFS is suggesting the weekend will be relatively dry with only isolated showers, but the door is open for a wave to move into the state on a northwest flow aloft, and trying to identify this kind of feature is almost impossible five days in advance. For now we will just mention widely scattered showers and storms both days with a high close to, or just over 90 degrees.

VOODOO LAND: The European model is suggesting a deep upper trough will form over the eastern U.S. again at the end of July, which could set up another unusually “cool”, dry airmass for Alabama.

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Could we be setting up for another round of record lows? We will just have to wait and see. Check out the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: For the coast from Panama City over to Gulf Shores this week, it looks like rather routine summer weather with about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day along with the risk of scattered thunderstorms. Highs will be in the 85 to 88 degree range on the immediate coast, and the sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 81 degrees.

TROPICS: A weak disturbance southwest of the Cape Verde Islands should dissipate later this week, and tropical storm formation is not expected in the Atlantic basin anytime soon.

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. Oklahoma City TV weather legend Gary England will be our guest on this week’s show, which we will produce 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.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon…. enjoy the day…

Droughtwatch

| 3:23 pm July 20, 2014

Lots of folks across the middle of Alabama, from Cullman County southward to Autauga County have been very dry recently.

In fact, most of the five county Birmingham metro area have only received 10-25% of their typical rainfall over the past 30 days.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

These areas need 1-2 inches of rain just to make up for the short-term deficits.

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The GFS predicts 3-4 inches of rain over the next 16 days. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The good news is that of last week, no part of Alabama was in full scale drought conditions. Abnormally dry conditions, according to the Drought Monitor, extend in a big backwards “C”, across Jefferson and Shelby Counties, over to and down the Georgia border into the Wiregrass of Southeast Alabama.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Sunday Afternoon Update

| 1:41 pm July 20, 2014

An area of showers and storms has been moving across South Central Alabama this morning and early afternoon in response to a very weak surface low moving moving across southern Alabama. The mesoscale models picked up on this feature very well yesterday and predicted there would be showers this morning in places like Clanton, Montgomery, Greenville and Auburn.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Mostly rainfall amounts were moderate, although there were some 3 to 4 inch amounts in places like northern Bullock, Lee, western Lowndes and southeastern Dallas Counties. Auburn has picked up 1.67 inches since yesterday morning.

There was a good bit of lightning in the I-85 corridor.

The heaviest weather is now exiting northeastward into Georgia, around the Lanett/Valley exit on I-85.

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ON THE WEATHER MAPS: In addition to the surface low northeast of Montgomery, a stationary front lies generally along I-59 and most of any shower activity that develops through the afternoon should be east of this boundary. In the mid levels of the atmosphere, a powerhouse of a high is near El Paso. To the right of it, a series of disturbances is rounding the top of the high, carving out a trough over the Ohio Valley down into the Tennessee Valley. One of the disturbances was sliding into northern Mississippi and we are tracking another over southwestern Missouri.

TROFFY PATTERN: Is “troffy” a word? For our purposes it is. Those kinds of disturbances will keep us in a troffy pattern into the coming work week. In fact, the trough may close off into an upper level low by Tuesday, which could lead to increase rain chances Tuesday and Wednesday. For today, drier air covers the northern half of the state, reducing shower chances to around 10-20%. Moisture levels will rebound a bit on Monday, allowing rain chances to return to 20-30%.   If the upper low materializes as expected by Tuesday, rain chances will likely undergo an uptick. This increase in rain chances should continue into Wednesday.

TEMPS: Highs today will be generally in the upper 80s, except over East Central Alabama, where clouds and showers are limiting the rise in the mercury. By tomorrow, everyone should be in the upper 80s and this trend should continue through midweek, except there will be an increasing number of 90s thrown in each day.

Return to Summer-ish Weather Ahead

| 6:59 am July 20, 2014

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.

Our weather pattern continued to somewhat complex with a weak front draped across Central Alabama with moisture values high to the east and south of the Birmingham area. A weak short wave moving across northern Mississippi was helping to produce showers across South and East Alabama where dew points were in the lower 70s. Some fog was being reported across the northwest portions of Central Alabama. As the weak short wave moves by today, showers remain possible with the greater risk once again generally east and south of the Interstate 59 corridor. Clouds will once again limit daytime heating but most areas will see the middle 80s with some upper 80s possible.

As we get into the upcoming work week, a summer-like pattern with some moisture in place will keep the potential for daily showers in the forecast through the middle of the week. Moisture levels slowly work up as does the heat so showers may become a bit more widespread into Tuesday and Wednesday. I expect afternoon highs to climb into the 88 to 92 degree range.

The next big challenge in the forecast will be the approach of yet another front Thursday and Friday with the deepening of another trough over the eastern half of the country. As I’ve noted before, we don’t usually see fronts plowing through the Southeast during July and August, but this summer seems to be the exception. Our major two long range models are in fair agreement on the idea of the front going all the way to the Gulf but the GFS was more bullish than the European which was washing the front out. The approach of the trough and the front could signal an increase in showers and thunderstorms for the end of the week, but we’ll have to watch for adjustments to the forecast.

The upper flow with the deepening trough also goes north to northwesterly, so there is some risk for large clusters of storms to form over the Central US and move into the Southeast US, but it is certainly too early to be that specific – just wary to that kind of development.

There is little change in the overall pattern of the trough in the East and the ridge in the West, so we continue to hang onto the idea of little extreme heat for the Southeast US as we stay somewhat unsettled.

Beach bound folks will see some decent rain chances today, but the weather should become more seasonal this week as showers return mainly during the afternoon, and most likely along the sea breeze front as it moves inland. Cloudy today with 4 to 6 hours of sunshine but more sunshine early this week with 6 to 8 hours likely. Highs will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. Water temperatures along the coast are in the lower 80s and likely to hold there.

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 on Monday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Another Cool Summer Day

| 11:42 am July 19, 2014

It once again feels and looks nothing like the middle of July for the state of Alabama. We are once again seeing clouds, showers, and unseasonably cool temps. Even at this point in the day, temperatures are struggling to climb out of the 70s. I am certainly not complaining, but it definitely is not our typical summer weather.

Heading through the rest of today, we will continue to see elevated rain chances, and the cloud will be hanging tough, but we will see some breaks in the clouds that will allow some sun to shine through. Where we see more sun, the temps should make it into the lower to mid-80s, where there is no sun, I would not be surprised to see some locations stay in the 70s.

We continue to watch a front that is moving across the Southeast, and it should be clearing most of the area later today. This will allow our rain chances to decrease some, and we will see our temperatures on the increase as we head into the new work week.

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Still Cool for July

| 6:51 am July 19, 2014

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.

From the National Weather Service, we note that there were several record low maximum temperature values set in Central Alabama yesterday.

SITE        JULY 18 HIGH  OLD MINIMUM HIGH  YEAR
----------  ------------  ----------------  ----
ANNISTON         80               82        2009
BIRMINGHAM       76               79        1906
TUSCALOOSA       75               86        2012

Yesterday was not your typical July day with clouds and widespread rain over Alabama keeping temperatures in record territory. The heaviest rain was over the northern and western counties where some spots received over one inch of beneficial rain. Many places saw around half an inch of rain.

A weak surface low was situated over Northeast Mississippi this morning, as the upper trough supporting the rain will weaken over the weekend bringing showers and thunderstorms down to more scattered variety with the better rain chances across East and South Alabama. The sun will peek out at times today, and the afternoon will be warmer as our high returns to the mid 80s.

Sunday should be brighter and drier with a mix of sun and clouds and a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. The high Sunday should be up in the mid to upper 80s as we dig out of the “July deep freeze”, as James dubbed it.

The weather returns to more of a summertime routine for the first half of the week with partly sunny weather Monday through Wednesday with the usual risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs should be in the 87 to 90 degree range. Once again the GFS is signaling an increase in showers and storms over the latter half of the week as another a surface boundary approaches from the north. Fronts typically do not reach the Southeastern US in mid summer but given the track record of this July, I’ll have to put some weight on this occurring. The ECMWF is also in fairly good agreement on the front approaching, too.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Showers and storms are likely today with only limited sunshine, but look for improving weather Sunday and into next week with about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day along with a few scattered thunderstorms. Highs will be in the mid 80s today, with upper 80s Sunday through much of next week along the immediate coast from Panama City over to Gulf Shores. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the lower 80s.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is still very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected for the next five days. There remains a steady train of tropical systems in the western Pacific.

Voodoo country continues to stick with the idea of the trough in the East and the ridge in the West which keeps the summer heat away from us.

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 plan to post the next Weather Xtreme Video on Sunday morning. Enjoy another cooler July day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Moist Air Stays In Place Over The Weekend

| 3:32 pm July 18, 2014

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.

COOLEST JULY 18 ON RECORD: At 2:00 this afternoon Haleyville, in Northwest Alabama’s Winston County, was reporting only 64 degrees… that is 27 degrees below average…

Temperatures

Looks like Birmingham will easily break the old record low maximum temperature for July 18… we are in the mid 70s at 3:00… the old record maximum for today was 79 set in 1906.

Clouds and widespread rain are over Alabama today, helping to keep temperatures in record territory. The heaviest rain has been over the northern and western counties, where some places have received over one inch of beneficial rain.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Dynamic support for rain will weaken over the weekend, meaning showers and thunderstorms will become more scattered in nature. Some of the high resolution models actually suggest our best chance of rain tomorrow will come during the morning hours, but an afternoon shower or storm is certainly possible as well. The sun might peek out at times tomorrow, and the weather will be warmer with a high back in the mid 80s.

Sunday should be brighter and drier with a mix of sun and clouds and a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. The high Sunday should be up in the mid to upper 80s as we dig out of the “July deep freeze”.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks pretty routine for the first half of the week… partly sunny Monday through Wednesday with the usual risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs should be in the 87 to 90 degree range. The is potential for an increase in showers and storms over the latter half of the week with a surface boundary approaching from the north…. see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A few showers and storms are likely tomorrow with only a limited amount of sunshine, but look for improving conditions Sunday and into next week with about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day along with a few scattered thunderstorms. Highs tomorrow will be in the mid 80s, with upper 80s Sunday through much of next week along the immediate coast from Panama City over to Gulf Shores. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the low 80s.

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

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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Twitter
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Look for my next Weather Xtreme video Monday morning by 7:00…. Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Preposterous…

| 12:27 pm July 18, 2014

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64F at Haleyville, 75F at Birmingham and 78F at Anniston on July 18th.

Preposterous, right?

Not on this July 18th as clouds are thick and showers and increasing across Central Alabama.

An upper low over northern Louisiana is pumping lots of moisture northward over a warm front that is lying across the Gulf Coast. Light to moderate rain covers much of Mississippi into northwestern Alabama, extending back into Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

At least a couple of rounds of rain will overspread the state this afternoon and tonight. Rainfall amounts don’t look to be too heavy, generally less than an inch, unless heavier rain is able to develop. There could be some thunder, but for much of Central Alabama, it will be limited.

Stronger storms are possible form south of Tuscaloosa back to near New Orleans this afternoon and tonight, but the chance of any severe weather even over southwestern Alabama is small.