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Rainy and Chilly Weekend Weather

| December 3, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

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Clouds are here, and if you look at the radar, it looks like the rain is falling across much of the state, but that is not the case.

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The lower levels of the atmosphere are very dry, and the rain is evaporating before it reaches the surface, but as the rain falls through these dry layers, it is moistening those layers of the atmosphere. That means, if you haven’t seen the rain yet, you are going it before the long. The rain is reaching the surface mainly west of Interstate 65 but will continue to spread east today. It is a rather cool Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the 50s.

Looking towards the west, there is a lot of rain heading our way, and we are in store for a rainy night across North/Central Alabama. It is going to be a nice steady soaking rain through out the night; temperatures will hold in the mid 40s all night, and certainly no threat of severe weather, just some great sleeping weather.

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You’ll certainly want the umbrellas and rain gear close to hand heading out the door tomorrow. Our Sunday will feature clouds, periods of rain, and chilly temperatures. Thankfully no severe weather is expected, and I doubt we will hear much thunder in North/Central Alabama, but there could be some across southern portions of the state. Thunder or not, it will be a rather wet day. Temperatures tomorrow afternoon will hold in the lower 50s much of the day, and some spots may sit in the 40s all day.

MORE RAIN AND STORMS: A low pressure system will develop off the Texas coast and will lift north across the southeastern United States, bringing with it another round of strong storms late Monday and into early Tuesday. Now the latest GFS has the low lifting right across Central Alabama, which is not ideal for severe weather for us, but that track of the low, will allow a warm sector to surge north across the state and that will allow for those storms across the state, with the best chance for severe storms over South Alabama. Currently, on their day three convective outlook, the SPC has locations along and south of the U.S. 82 corridor from Tuscaloosa, to Montgomery, to Phenix City in a “marginal risk for severe storms, while the standard “slight risk” covers locations across Southwest Alabama such as Mobile, Gulf Shores, Monroeville, and Evergreen.

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The exact northward extent of the severe weather will depend on how far north the warm, moist air mass makes it inland. The best chance of storms will come Monday night and early Tuesday. We will start to dry out by the time Tuesday evening arrives as the low lifts northeast of the area, and behind it, dry air will be pulled south. Highs will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s across the area on Monday, and back up into the lower to mid 60s for Tuesday.

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For much of Alabama, by the time the rain is finished Tuesday evening, rainfall totals for much of the area will range from 2-4 inches, with a few spots perhaps getting more. We need every drop, but unfortunately some flash flooding could be possible with all of the heavy rainfall, but overall, these soaking rains will not end the drought, but should hopefully put a nice dent in the conditions.

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Clouds Here, Rain Expected

| December 3, 2016 @ 7:15 am

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Alabamians are waking up to a mostly cloudy morning with temperatures a trifle milder than the last several days with readings in the lower 40s for many locations. Temperatures were at or below freezing across the northeastern quadrant of Alabama. Radar continued to show some light rain over western counties and back into Mississippi. Much of that showing up on radar is not reaching the ground due to the deep dry layer in place from the ground to about 20,000 feet. This will be gradually changing as those echoes rain into that dry layer and gradually moisten it up from the top down. Rain is expected to begin affecting the ground especially across West Central Alabama during the early afternoon with rain spreading across the rest of Alabama late this afternoon and this evening.

For beachgoers, clouds return with rain for the beach this evening and these conditions stick around through the middle part of the week. Highs will be in the lower 70s through Monday dropping into the 60s after that. Lows will be in the 60s through Monday dropping into the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday. Please note that there is a high risk for rip currents along the Gulf Coast from Dauphin Island to Panama City through Sunday afternoon. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

While the SEC Championship Game is indoors at the Georgia Dome set for a 3:00 pm CST start, conditions getting to and from the game will be dry today with temperatures in the upper 50s. Rain will spread into the Atlanta area shortly after the game ends and Sunday looks to be a cool and wet day there.

The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season ended this week. SPC has a marginal risk for severe weather along the Texas Coast today. No severe weather is expected in the US on Day 2, Sunday into early Monday. For Day 3, there is a slight risk of organized severe weather along the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Northwest Florida coastal area with a marginal risk extending across the southern half of Alabama.

The upper air pattern featured a deep closed low and associated trough over Northwest Mexico this morning with ridging over the Southeast US. This was setting the stage with lots of Pacific moisture coming across Mexico and into the Southeast US. A second trough coming out of the Northwest US will contribute to a wet pattern for much of the Southeast US for Sunday and Monday. A surface low is forecast to move along the Gulf Coast during this period. The result will be a soaking rain with rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches across Mississippi and Alabama. Much of the northern half of Alabama should see amounts in the range of 2 to 3 inches.

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The upper trough/closed low over Northwest Mexico ejects to the northwest on Monday reaching the southern Appalachians by Tuesday. The surface low is forecast to be over East Tennessee by the GFS on Tuesday so the widespread precipitation should be coming to an end by Tuesday afternoon.

The forecast becomes a little less clear after midweek with substantial differences between the GFS and the ECMWF. The upper air pattern goes nearly zonal on Wednesday, but a strong trough is forecast by the GFS to dig into the mid Mississippi River Valley by Thursday. This sets up a general troughiness over the eastern half of the country for the latter half of the week. This should contribute some colder air to the eastern half of the US. But when it comes to precipitation, the models are quite a bit apart. The ECMWF is considerably more aggressive with precipitation on Thursday while the GFS is pretty dry. I suspect the actual result will be something between these two, so we’ll maintain some low chances for Wednesday and Thursday.

Both models agree on drying it out for the end of the week and into the weekend a cold surge for Friday and Saturday with highs potentially reaching only into the 40s.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS maintains a trough pattern across the eastern US all the way out to the 18th of December. And by that time, the GFS has a very deep trough with a distinctly frigid look to it.

Looking forward to emceeing the Helena Christmas Parade this afternoon at 1 pm. The reviewing stand will be in the parking lot of the Helena Baptist Church at the corner of Highway 52 and 261. Be sure to stop by and say hello. After that I will be filling in for Meaghan Thomas on ABC 3340 so you can the latest weather forecast at 6 and 10 pm. I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 7:30 or so on Sunday morning.

-Brian-

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Cool, Soaking Rain Begins Tomorrow

| December 2, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

VERY BENEFICIAL RAIN AHEAD: Clouds increase across Alabama tonight, and rain will move in from the west during the day. Rain should reach the I-65 corridor by midday, and on into East Alabama by mid-afternoon. Then, a soaking, chilly rain will fall tomorrow night and Sunday. The high tomorrow will be only in the 50-55 degree range, and many communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 40s Sunday with the steady rain continuing to fall.

STRONG STORMS EARLY NEXT WEEK: On Monday a surface low over Louisiana will move northeast, to a position near Nashville by Tuesday morning. A warm front will be moving northward, and there is a chance the “warm sector” moves as far north as I-20 by Monday night, and this could set the stage for strong to severe thunderstorms over the southern two-thirds of Alabama. For now SPC has the severe weather threat confined to the far southwest corner of the state, but that will probably be pulled northward at some point. We will keep a close eye on forecast severe weather parameters over the weekend and we can be more specific about the threat, if one develops.

Rain and storms will end Tuesday morning as a slot of dry air rotates into the state.

Model guidance suggests 4-5 inches of rain is very possible, if not likely between tomorrow and Tuesday. This will take a big chunk out of rain deficiencies statewide; Birmingham still needs 11.51″ to get back to average values and end the drought.

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ARCTIC BLAST LATER NEXT WEEK: An Arctic front will blow in here Wednesday, and most likely it will come through in dry fashion. Then, the coldest air so far this season will settle in here Thursday, when the high will be only in the low 40s with a biting north wind of 15-30 mph. Then, on Friday, some places up in the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama will stay below freezing all day, with highs in the mid to upper 30s for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden. Early morning lows should reach the teens in the December 9-10 time frame.

NO BURN BAN REMAINS IN EFFECT: We received this news release from the Alabama Forestry Commission this afternoon…

“The statewide Drought Emergency ‘No Burn’ Order declared by Governor Robert Bentley in early November will remain in effect until conditions change sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. Despite a nice coverage of rain across much of the state this week, the Governor and officials with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) remain cautious.

“We are grateful for the rainfall we’ve received, but because of the severe prolonged drought it is just too soon to lift the ‘No Burn’ Order,” explained Interim State Forester Gary Cole. “The winds and lower relative humidity accompanying the cooler temperatures we’re experiencing combine to quickly dry out vegetation, which will increase the probability of dangerous wildfire activity until the next rain event. We’re certainly hoping the weather forecast of additional rain through early next week is correct, and we will re-assess the situation at that time.”

“After seeing the recent devastation in our sister state of Tennessee, we cannot afford to take any risks,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “The bottom line is that Alabama is still in an extreme drought. Until the threat of catastrophic wildfires is considerably reduced, we do not want to be too hasty in making a decision. Several recent wildfires across our state have threatened residential areas, and if not for the efforts of the Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters and volunteer fire departments, we would have lost homes. Their commitment to protecting life, property and wildlife is greatly appreciated.”

Year-to-date, a total of 3,644 wildfires have consumed almost 50,000 acres of land in Alabama, with 2,219 of those fires and 29,406 acres just since October 1. “This past Monday 108 active wildfires burned over 3,000 acres across the state, setting a record for one day. This situation was extremely alarming not only because of the unusually high number of fires but also because of their large size,” continued Cole. “It was a nightmarish day and night, stretching the men and women who make up our wildfire suppression resources beyond capacity.”

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.

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I enjoyed seeing all the third graders today at Oak Grove Elementary School… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here Monday morning by 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

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More Good News Stories from Our Alabama NewsCenter Partners!

| December 2, 2016 @ 11:31 am

From the festive events to football championships, from community outreach to scientific advances, and from building businesses to building relationships, our friends at Alabama NewsCenter bring us good news stories from across Alabama. Here are a few of our favorites!

There is something for everyone this holiday season in Can’t Miss Alabama

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Crimson Tide and Gators face off for SEC title while Alabama high schools vie for championships

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Topgolf Birmingham tees up the the next round of growth around the BJCC

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Mobile focuses on tech sector with innovative initiatives

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Longtime Auburn barber retires after 56 years

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Business is popping for Alabama Makers Kettle Bros

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Atlanta’s Georgia Dome is the Crimson Tide’s ‘dome’ away from home

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Selma to Montgomery trail leads to Alabama, national history

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Do college football refs have it in for your team?

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Birmingham’s Boutwell Auditorium hosts 77th annual Christmas concert

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Take Action: Stay on your feet and off the stretcher with Dr. Josh’s fall prevention tips

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Wenonah, Ramsay reach Alabama football championships055-wenonah-ramsey-dragons-7

Birmingham Salvation Army serves last Thanksgiving meal at downtown location

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UAB, Jefferson County offer free eye exams, glasses to low-income patients

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Birmingham’s Southern Research conducting high throughput Zika screening for NIH

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UAB study finds yoga is relatively safe, but know your limits

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Birmingham’s Southern Research has been targeting AIDS for 30 years

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Sun To The Max At Midday Across Central Alabama, But Rain Is On Its Way

| December 2, 2016 @ 10:59 am

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SUNNY AND COOL AT MIDDAY, BUT RAIN IS ON ITS WAY
Maximum sunshine and cool temperatures is the story across Central Alabama at the 11 o’clock hour, but the main focus will be on the beneficial rain that we’ll receive during the next few days starting tomorrow. Temperatures across the area at this time are mainly in the 50s, with Troy being the warm spot at 59 degrees, and Pell City as the cool spot at 52 degrees.

BIRMINGHAM’S CLIMATOLOGY AND RECORDS
The normal high for December 2nd is 59, while the normal low is 38. The record high for today was set back in 1991 at 76. The record low was set back in 1960 at 20.

FOR THE REST OF TODAY
A sun filled sky and cool temperatures will be the story for the remainder of the afternoon hours. Afternoon highs will top out in the low to mid 60s across the area, which is actually just a couple of degrees above normal for this time of year. Cloud cover will start to move in during the late evening and increase during the overnight hours. Lows will stay above freezing for the most part due to the increase in cloud cover, with mid to upper 30s expected. A few of the colder spots may dip below 32 for an hour or two.

Latest GFS Run: Total Rainfall Up To Midnight Tomorrow Night

Latest GFS Run: Total Rainfall Up To Midnight Tomorrow Night

SATURDAY’S FORECAST
The morning will start of with mostly cloudy skies across Central Alabama, and rain may start to fall in the western counties of the area during the late morning hours. As the day progresses, rain chances will increase from the west to the east, and rain will be likely for everyone in the area by the late evening hours. Afternoon highs will mainly be in the 50s, with a few locations in the southeastern parts of the area touching the low 60s. Rain totals will vary throughout the area, with heavier amounts to the west, and lighter amounts to the east. Latest model guidance has Birmingham receiving around 1/4 inch of rain by midnight.

HEADED TO THE BEACH
Sunny skies and windy today across the beaches of Fort Morgan all the way over to Panama City Beach, with highs in the 60s. Rain and thunderstorms likely through Monday, with gusty winds and highs in the 60s and 70s. Mostly sunny skies with a few scattered showers through Thursday, with highs near 70 for Tuesday and Wednesday, and dropping into the 50s on Thursday. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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THE TROPICS
Good news, the tropics are all quiet at this time, and development is not expected for the next 5 days. This will be the last update on the tropics until late Spring of 2017, unless something develops. The Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to November 30th.

NUMBER OF THE DAY: 90
The warmest high temperature across the nation was recorded in Stuart Florida when the mercury soars to an unseasonably warm temperature of 90 degrees.

ON THIS DAY IN 1925
A late season hurricane caused extensive damage across the Florida peninsula, then moved off the Georgia coast crossing Cape Hatteras as a tropical storm. The storm produced whole gales along the Middle Atlantic and Southern New England coast. Winds gusted to 60 mph at Block Island RI, and reached 64 mph at Atlantic City NJ.

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WEATHERBRAINS
This is the weekly netcast that’s all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. This week, the “Brains” chatted with Mike Wolfinbarger, from RadarScope. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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Another Big Rain Event Begins Tomorrow

| December 2, 2016 @ 6:35 am

COLD MORNING: Temperatures are below freezing in most places across North/Central Alabama early this morning; we expect another sunny day ahead with a high in the low 60s this afternoon. We stay above freezing tonight as clouds return.

WET, VERY COOL WEEKEND: Models continue to trend faster with the next weather system, and we will need to bring in a chance of rain tomorrow, maybe even starting tomorrow morning over the western counties of the state. The rain will slowly spread eastward during the day, otherwise tomorrow will be cloudy and cool with a high in the 50s.

Widespread rain is likely tomorrow night and Sunday; a warm front will remain over far South Alabama, so we stay in cool air. In fact, many communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 40s Sunday with rain falling.

STRONG STORMS EARLY NEXT WEEK? The warm front over South Alabama will lift northward during the day Monday, and there is a chance North Alabama could be in the “warm sector” of the storm by Monday night as a surface low develops and passes just northwest of here. The latest GFS run in house (06Z) shows dew points into the mid 60s as far north as I-20, so we will have potential for strong, maybe severe storms late Monday, Monday night, and very early Tuesday morning.

Rain and storms will end by mid-morning Tuesday as we get into a dry slot; some clearing is possible Tuesday afternoon with a high in the 60s.

Rain totals from tomorrow through Tuesday morning are expected to be in the 3-4 inch range for much of Alabama; some spots could see even more. And, some flooding issues could crop up by Monday night. No, this won’t end the drought, but it will sure continue to put a dent in it. About a third of the state remains in an “exceptional” drought…

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ARCTIC AIR BLAST LATE NEXT WEEK: The “gates to the Yukon” will open up next week, and very cold, Arctic air will flood much of the continental U.S. by Thursday and Friday. Looks like the Arctic front will come through, most likely, in dry fashion Wednesday, and we will go into the deep freeze after its passage.

We won’t get past the low 40s Thursday, and a strong north wind will make it feel much colder. Then, on Friday, the high will only in the upper 30s, and by Saturday morning most places around here have a good chance of dropping into the teens. Birmingham’s record low for December 10 is 13 set in 1995… I don’t think it gets that cold, but we should be within 5 degrees or so.

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See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

STORM SURVEYS: NWS Birmingham has identified 11 tornadoes so far from the severe weather event Tuesday night and Wednesday… NWS Huntsville survey teams have reported 6 tornadoes, for a total so far statewide of 17. That number could still go higher.

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 will be doing a weather program this morning at Oak Grove Elementary in Jefferson County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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