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Several Stormy Periods Ahead For Alabama

| January 17, 2017 @ 3:18 pm

RADAR CHECK: We have a few scattered showers in progress across North Alabama this afternoon, but so far, as expected, rain amounts have been light and spotty…

We will maintain the chance of a few scattered showers tonight and tomorrow with a mostly cloudy sky. Slightly cooler air will filter in from the north tomorrow; the high will drop into the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than today.

STRONG STORMS THURSDAY/THURSDAY NIGHT: SPC has identified a “marginal” risk of severe storms for Southwest Alabama, roughly from Livingston and Eutaw south to Mobile…

A strong upper trough will approach, and rain and storms should be widespread across the state Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. There will be sufficient shear and instability for strong storms, with the main threat coming from gusty winds and small hail; core severe weather threat will likely stay over the southern half of the state, where instability values will be higher. The rain will be heavy at times, with amounts over one inch likely.

FRIDAY: Rain ends during the pre-dawn hours; the sky becomes partly sunny during the day. And, it stays rather warm for January with a high exceeding 70 degrees once again.

STORMY WEEKEND: Another vigorous weather system will approach the state over the weekend. Showers are possible Saturday, but it won’t be a “wash out” with some sun possible. The main event should hold off until Sunday, when we will have some risk of strong to severe storms. Wind fields look strong, instability values high, and lapse rates fairly steep. This could be a significant severe weather setup, but understand there is no way this early to be very specific about the timing and the magnitude of the threat. We need to get past the Thursday night event before we can see the state of the atmosphere and focus on the weekend situation. Stay tuned.

NEXT WEEK: Colder air returns early next week with highs dropping in the 50s Monday along with clouds and a chance of some lingering light rain. By the end of next week highs should drop into the 40s, and lows in the 20s.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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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Snapchat: spannwx

I had a great time today visiting with the students at Southview Elementary School in Tuscaloosa… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

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A Warm And Breezy Late Midday

| January 17, 2017 @ 1:42 pm

It’s a warm and breezy late midday hour across Central Alabama. We are watching a surface front slowly progressing into the state. This boundary is producing more clouds, and a few showers are showing up on radar across Northwest Alabama. These showers will be working through North Alabama the rest of today. Good news is that there is little upper-level support for the front, as the main low pressure center is over the Great Lakes. Therefore, there is no risk of severe weather, and we probably won’t have much thunder as well. Afternoon highs will generally be in the 70s, with a few lower 80s possible in the southern parts of the area. Scattered showers will persist throughout the overnight hours, and lows will be in the 50s and 60s. Rain amounts throughout the day should be under one-half inch.

Temperatures Across Central Alabama
At 1:28 PM, temperatures are ranging from the upper 60s in the northern parts of the area, to the upper 70s in the southern parts of the area. The warm spot is currently Tuscaloosa at 79 degrees. The cool spot is Cullman at 67 degrees.

Birmingham’s Climatology And Records
The normal high for January 17th is 52, while the normal low is 32. The record high for today was set back in 1943 at 79 degrees. The record low was set back in 1982 at 0 degrees.

Wednesday’s Forecast
The front will stall across Central Alabama, and that means we will have more clouds than sun, cooler temperatures, and there will be a few passing showers from time to time. Nothing too heavy, but overall, likely just a gray day for most of us. Highs will be in the 60s and 70s across the area.

For Those Who Are Beach Bound
Partly sunny days with mostly cloudy nights throughout the week, with a slight chance of rain each day through Wednesday, and increasing for the end of the week and weekend. Highs will be in the 70s, with lows in the 60s. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

National High & Low Temperature
The warmest high temperature for the United States on Monday was 84 degrees, recorded at two locations (Marathon, Florida and Harlingen, Texas). The coldest low temperature for the United States on Monday night into early this morning was -26 degrees, recorded at Stanley, Idaho.

On This Day In Weather History: 1990
Twenty cities across the southeastern half of the country reported record high temperatures for the date. Record highs included 61 degrees at Williamstown PA and 85 degrees at Brownsville TX. Evening thunderstorms produced large hail and damaging winds from eastern Texas to Mississippi.

Central Alabama Chapter Of The NWA
The Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association will be hosting famed engineer and storm chaser Tim Marshall. He will speak at Vulcan Museum starting at 6:00 PM on the evening of Tuesday, January 24th. This is an event you won’t want to miss. Look for details on the chapter’s website.

Follow The Blog On Social Media
Remember that we are also on Facebook and on Twitter.

WeatherBrains
This is the weekly netcast that’s all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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Unsettled Weather; Stormy Periods

| January 17, 2017 @ 6:18 am

A FEW SHOWERS TODAY: A surface front will approach Alabama from the west today, and we expect showers to move into the state this afternoon and tonight. There is little upper support for the front, so there is no risk of severe weather, and we probably won’t have much thunder. Rain amounts should be under 1/2 inch. Otherwise, expect a mostly cloudy sky with a high in the low 70s again this afternoon, a good 20 degrees above average for mid to late January.

The front will wash out tomorrow; the day will be mostly cloudy with only widely scattered showers. Tomorrow’s high will be in the mid to upper 60s.

SOAKER THURSDAY/THURSDAY NIGHT: An upper trough will approach from the west Thursday, and it looks like widespread rain and thunderstorms will move over the state by afternoon, into Thursday night. SPC has defined a “marginal” risk of severe storms for the southwest part of the state…

This looks more like a heavy rain event for the northern half of the state with limited instability; any severe storms should be confined to the southern counties of Alabama, and even there it is certainly a “marginal” threat, as SPC suggests. Rain amounts of 1-2 inches are likely, and some minor flooding issues are possible by Thursday night.

FRIDAY: Rain should end during the pre-dawn hours, and most of the day will be dry and warm with a high in the low 70s along with a mix of sun and clouds.

STORMY WEEKEND: A vigorous weather system will approach Alabama over the weekend, and set the stage for a chance of strong to severe thunderstorms, mainly on Sunday. For now Saturday looks fairly quiet, with a mostly cloudy sky and a few scattered showers… the high will be close to 70 degrees. Then, on Sunday, a complex system will bring rain and storms to the state. Instability values will be fairly impressive for January, with surface based CAPE values over 1,500 j/kg during the day. Combined with a steep lapse rate and strong wind fields, this certainly suggests the potential for severe storms. But, 5-6 days in advance it is simply too early to define timing and the magnitude of the threat.

On the positive side, this pattern is very favorable for drought relief; rain amounts could exceed 4 inches over the next seven days.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy and sharply colder with a chance of some lingering light rain… parts of North Alabama could hold in the 40s all day. And, toward the end of the week it looks like we will see highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s as cold air settles in. Winter is very young.

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

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Instagram
Snapchat: spannwx

I will have a weather program this morning at Southview Elementary School in Tuscaloosa… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon.. .enjoy the day!

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WeatherBrains 574: Never Used It on Either End

| January 17, 2017 @ 6:00 am

WeatherBrains Episode 574 is now online (January 16, 2017). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Jesus Haro, MIC, NWS San FranciscoTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is the Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in San Francisco Bay Area/Monterey. Mr. Haro was on a previous WeatherBrains show (Episode 465) when he was the MIC at the NWS Office in El Paso, TX. Jesus Haro, welcome back to WeatherBrains!

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 84 at Harlingen, TX, & Marathon, FL, and -37 at Stanley, ID
  • Big ice storm winding down in Central US
  • Only marginal severe weather risks in southern US next few days
  • Unseasonably warm across the Southeast US
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is out this week.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Snow covered 49 percent of the Lower 48 at last check, so when the weather turns warmer, snow melt could become an issue. So what is snow melt and how does it contribute to flooding? That’s the topic for this episode of WeatherBrains 101.

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 574:

NWS San Franciso

Tsunami Warning Center

Drought Monitor

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

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – Gets the fog horn!

Brian Peters – WPC Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Guidance

James Spann – Interactive weather satellite imagery

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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Unsettled Weather For The Rest Of The Week

| January 16, 2017 @ 3:08 pm

THIS AFTERNOON: Another warm January day with temperatures mostly in the upper 60s and low 70s; just a few isolated showers are over North Alabama. Clouds will thicken tonight with a weakening surface front approaching from the west.

MID-WEEK: We will mention a chance of showers tomorrow and tomorrow night as the front gets close, but there will be little upper support, and rain amounts should be on the light side, generally 1/4″ or less for the places that do see rain. Otherwise, the sky will remain mostly cloudy and tomorrow’s high will be in the low 70s.

The front will wash out Wednesday, and while we will still mention a chance of widely scattered showers, a decent part of the day should be dry. The high Wednesday will be in the 65-70 degree range, and the sky will feature more clouds than sun.

The next wave from the west will bring rain into the state Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. This one will have better dynamics, and we could see some strong thunderstorms Thursday night. But, at the moment it looks like the best instability will be a little west of Alabama, and for now the overall severe weather threat looks fairly low. Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch look likely with this system.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Rain and storms should end early in the day Friday, and the sun should break out with temperatures rising back into the low to mid 70s as the warm January a pattern continues. Then, over the weekend, a rather robust weather system will approach from the west. We will mention a chance of showers during the day Saturday as the Gulf of Mexico will be “wide open”, but the main event will come Saturday night and Sunday with rain and thunderstorms. The latest GFS is trending a little slower, suggesting the main threat of strong storms will come Sunday. And, with much better instability, severe storms could certainly be a possibility. Still a little too early to be specific about timing and the overall magnitude of the threat.

On the positive side, rain amounts over the weekend could approach 2 inches… don’t forget the northern half of the state is still in a drought.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: Monday looks cloudy and much cooler with a chance of some light rain; the high will drop back into the low to mid 50s, where we should be in January. And, the pattern will favor even colder air toward the end of the month.

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

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Instagram

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

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A Warm Mid-January Day Out There At Midday

| January 16, 2017 @ 1:18 pm

Another terrific January day for us all across Central Alabama at the midday hour. Our Monday is highlighted by a mix of sun and clouds, and temperatures that continue to run 20-25 degrees above average for this time of year.

There are a few light showers showing up on the radar, but these are concentrated over the northwestern parts of the area. Temperatures this afternoon are into the 70s again, and overall it is hard to get better weather than this time of year. Tonight, expect passing clouds, and we are likely to see some areas of fog develop after midnight, and lows should hold into the upper 50s.

Temperatures Across Central Alabama
At 1:12 PM, temperatures are ranging from the upper 60s in the northwestern parts of the area, to the upper 70s in the southern parts of the area. The warm spots are currently Montgomery and Eufaula at 79 degrees. The cool spot is Haleyville at 68 degrees.

Birmingham’s Climatology And Records
The normal high for January 16th is 52, while the normal low is 32. The record high for today was set back in 1943 at 77 degrees. The record low was set back in 1972 at 7 degrees.

Tuesday’s Forecast
A weakening surface front will bring the chance of showers to the state tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night, but with little dynamic support, that means no severe weather, and likely little to no thunder. Otherwise, skies will be mostly cloudy, and highs will be in the 70s throughout Central Alabama. Rainfall amounts should be on the light side, with less than 0.50 inches expected.

For Those Who Are Beach Bound
Partly sunny days with mostly cloudy nights throughout the week, with a slight chance of rain each day through Wednesday, and increasing for the end of the week. Highs will be in the 70s, with lows in the 60s. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

National High & Low Temperature
The warmest high temperature for the United States on Sunday was 86 degrees, recorded at several locations in Texas (McAllen, Edinburg, Cotulla, and Faifurrias). The coldest low temperature for the United States on Sunday night into early this morning was -37 degrees, recorded at Stanley, Idaho.

On This Day In Weather History: 1989
Strong chinook winds plagued much of the state of Wyoming. Winds gusted to 80 mph at Cody, and wind gusts to 100 mph were reported in eastern and northwestern Wyoming.

World Class Tennis Returns To Birmingham
The BJCC will host the first-round tie against Switzerland February 3rd-5th. Single-day tickets are on sale now. Get them while they last! Buy tickets here.

Central Alabama Chapter Of The NWA
The Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association will be hosting famed engineer and storm chaser Tim Marshall. He will speak at Vulcan Museum on the evening of Tuesday, January 24th. This is an event you won’t want to miss. Look for details on the chapter’s website.

Follow The Blog On Social Media
Remember that we are also on Facebook and on Twitter.

WeatherBrains
This is the weekly netcast that’s all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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Increasing Rain Chances Later This Week

| January 16, 2017 @ 5:19 am

STILL WARM FOR JANUARY: An upper low lifted out of the Southwest U.S. over the weekend, and brought severe storms to parts of Texas last night, but the main energy from that feature will remain well to the west and north of Alabama today, and accordingly our weather won’t change much. A mix of sun and clouds, and a high in the low 70s this afternoon, about 20 degrees above average for January. Very cold air continues over the northern U.S… but the upper air pattern won’t allow it to move southward in the short term.

MID-WEEK: A weakening surface front will bring the chance of showers to the state tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night, but with little dynamic support rain amounts should be on the light side, and I doubt if we hear much thunder. Slightly drier air works into the state Wednesday with generally dry conditions and only a few scattered showers. The high will drop back slightly into the mid to upper 60s Wednesday.

The next wave approaching from the west will bring more rain to Alabama Thursday afternoon and especially Thursday night; we could deal with a few strong thunderstorms with some unstable air involved, but for now the overall severe weather threat looks low.

FRIDAY: Showers and storms should end Friday morning with drier air working into the state Friday afternoon. Still warm with a high in the 70s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A rather robust system will bring rain and storms back to the state, and it looks like we could very well have a risk of severe storms Saturday night. SPC has put the southern half of the state in a severe weather risk on the “Day 6” outlook, and that will probably be pulled northward later this week as a strong upper trough will support a deepening surface low to the west of Alabama. Too early to be really specific on the threat; just something to watch for now.

On the positive side, some beneficial rain is likely over the next seven days, with potential for over three inches in many places. Keep in mind the northern half of Alabama remains in a drought.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: Cooler air returns to the state next week, and evidence highs will drop into the 40s, with lows below freezing by the end of the month as the pattern flips.

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

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
Instagram

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

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Near Record Warmth Again

| January 15, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

The temperature at the Birmingham Airport (based on 5-minute data) has reached 73F at 130 p.m. This is exactly where we were yesterday, so a high of 75 or 76 looks likely.

There is a difference in temperature across the state with a cold front hanging around in the I-59 Corridor. Lower 70s are common along I-20 with middle 70s to the south. To the north, low and middle 60s are common.

There is a good supply of clouds across the area, but some sun is peeking through.

Regional radars are clear despite the presence of the front.

We stay dry overnight, but some showers may show up on Monday during the heating of the day. Highs will be in the lower and middle 70s.

Rain will slowly move in from the northwest during the day on Tuesday and might continue into Wednesday. That event should bring around an inch of rain, which will be greatly appreciated. Rain will continue in the forecast all week.

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