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Archive for December 20th, 2011

Early Christmas Travel Weather

| 9:18 pm December 20, 2011

Here is a roundup of expected weather for tomorrow and also for the Christmas weekend. Not an all-inclusive list but it should be helpful for a lot of folks trying for an early start on the highways:

MOBILE AND GULF COAST: Good chance of showers tomorrow. High 75. For the Christmas weekend, Mostly cloudy and cooler Saturday with occasional showers. High 62. A few showers on Christmas Day but mostly sunny. Cool with a low of 42 and high 58.

NASHVILLE: Mostly cloudy and a lot cooler Saturday. Slight chance of rain. High 48. For Christmas Day, Partly sunny. Low 32. High 48.

CHARLOTTE:  For tomorrow, mostly cloudy with widespread rain mostly through the morning. High 65. For Christmas weekend, a good chance of rain Saturday with a high of 52. Mostly cloudy Christmas Day, a chance of rain. Low 42. High 52.

WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE:  Extensive rain tomorrow including some thunderstorms by afternoon. High near 60. Chance of rain 100%. For Christmas weekend, mostly cloudy Saturday. High 45. Chance of rain at night, Mostly cloudy Christmas Day still a chance of rain. Low 35. High 42.

NEW YORK CITY:  For tomorrow, steady rain near 100 percent chance. Low 39. High 55. For Christmas weekend, partly sunny Saturday with a 30% chance of rain by afternoon. High 45. Mostly cloudy Christmas Day with low 35, high 46 and 40% chance of rain.

CHICAGO: Cloudy with a 30% chance of rain tomorrow morning. High 45. For christmas weekend, partly sunny, dry Saturday but cold. Low 25. High 34. Partly sunny Christmas day, cold with a low/high of 24/36

DALLAS/FORT WORTH:  Mostly sunny tomorrow. High 55. For christmas weekend, partly sunny Saturday and Sunday. High 48 Saturday and 38 Sunday. Low near 30 Christmas morning.

ATLANTA:  Showers tomorrow, numerous at times. High 68. For Christmas Weekend, a good chance of showers Saturday. High 60. Christmas Day should be sunny with a low of 38 and high 55

SEVERE WEATHER: The Storm Prediction Center does not have even a slight risk posted for tomorrow and Thursday. There is a slight risk posted for Friday for Southeast and Coastal Mississippi, Southeast Louisiana including New Orleans, and Central and Southwest Alabama from about Birmingham southward including Mobile. That is a long way down the road so there could be changes

SNOW REPORTS:  These snow depths about 6 o’clock this evening: 14 inches at North Rim of Grand Canyon, 8 inches at Clayton, New Mexico, 6 inches at Dodge City, five inches at Colorado Springs and 6 inches at Pubelo, Colo. There are still big drifts in parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas where there were whiteout conditions during the blizzard.

TEMPERATURE EXTREMES TODAY:  Low of 9 below zero this morning at LaBarge, Wyo., and a high this afternoon of 81 in Tampa.

Soggy Night

| 9:18 pm December 20, 2011

Here is a look at the surface based instability across the Deep South tonight…

The good news is that there is no surface CAPE over Alabama, and that means no severe weather issues overnight. Just occasional showers and possibly an elevated thunderstorm. The rain will continue at times all the way through the Christmas weekend… scroll down for the full discussion…

The Word Is Wet

| 3:30 pm December 20, 2011

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.

DREARY, WET DAYS: It could very well be early next week before we see a decent amount of sunshine around here as a wet, unsettled pattern sets up. The rain will basically come in three waves…

WAVE ONE: Look for rain and a few thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow; SPC dropped the “slight risk” of severe weather early this morning… it looks like instability values will be too low for major severe weather problems, but there is still a decent amount of low level helicity, so we will have to watch radar trends overnight for possible surprises. These low CAPE high shear cool season events can be tricky. Rain amounts of 1/2 to 3/4″ are likely over the next 24 hours… the rain should taper off by midday tomorrow.

WAVE TWO: The next round of showers and storms will come Thursday and Thursday night. SPC has a slight risk up for the southern part of Alabama, in the broad area from south of Birmingham to Mobile. Pretty much the same situation as tomorrow; not a really classic severe weather setup, but another low CAPE high shear type event. The best chance of severe weather seems to be over the southern half of the state with the best instability. Rain amounts of around one inch are likely before the rain tapers off late Thursday night.

We might see a decent break in the rain Friday with only a few lingering showers, but clouds most likely will hang tough with the persistent southwest flow aloft. And, then comes…

WAVE THREE: More rain for the Christmas weekend. The GFS is dry, but that solution is rejected. We will roll with the ECMWF and GEMS, and forecast a good chance of rain Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, and into Sunday morning. The air will be stable with highs in the 50s and no severe weather is expected. Another 1/2 to 3/4″ of rain is likely over the weekend. Wonder if anybody is dreaming of a Wet Christmas?

Finally, some evidence we will see a good supply of sunshine Monday of next week before rain returns quickly by Tuesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for a detailed day by day breakdown of weather over the next 7 to 15 days.

INTO THE NEW YEAR: The NAO stays positive, and no sign of any seriously cold air invading the Deep South into the first 5 days of 2012.

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

Wet, Unsettled Weather Ahead

| 6:29 am December 20, 2011

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.

SUN GOING AWAY FOR A WHILE: A complex pattern will being periods of rain and thunderstorms to Alabama through Thursday as energy comes out of the Southwest U.S. in bits and pieces.

Look for a cloudy and mild day today with developing showers. Temperatures will rise into the mid to upper 60s today, about ten degrees above average for late December. We will forecast a good chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow with better dynamics coming into play. The good news is that SPC has dropped the “slight risk” of severe weather as the 00Z model runs have come in with less instability and shear. Surface based CAPE values are expected to remain under 500 j/kg, but we will still need to watch the radar for strong storms overnight as these cool weather systems can often pack more of a punch that you expect with the low instability values.

The rain will diminish by tomorrow afternoon, with a brief break for Wednesday night.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Another round of rain and storms is likely Thursday with the next impulse, and SPC has introduced a “slight risk” of severe weather basically for the area just south of Birmingham down to near Mobile. Guidance is showing CAPE values (surface based) near 500 j/kg, with some EHI enhancement over Southwest Alabama. We need to get tomorrow’s system out of here before we can be really specific… certainly not a major event, but one we will need to watch. Friday will stay cloudy with a chance of lingering showers, mainly during the morning hours. See the Weather Xtreme video for details on the convective potential.

CHRISTMAS WEEKEND: Still lots of uncertainty with poor model consistency and agreement. But, we will ride with the 00Z ECMWF and bring in a chance of rain Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, followed by a cool and dry day Sunday with highs in the 50s after a morning low in the 30s. We do note the GFS is drier, with very little rain showing up Saturday night. See the Weather Xtreme video for details.

VOODOO LAND: The 06Z GFS shows a nice rain/storm event around December 30… followed by drier air by 12/31 and 1/1/12. Still no sign of any seriously cold air through the first few days of the New Year… see the Weather Xtreme video for 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. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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 3:30 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

WeatherBrains 308: Lost in the Yucatan

| 1:55 am December 20, 2011

WeatherBrains Episode 308 is now online (December 19, 2011). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

It’s a double barrel episode with two guest Weather Brains. Kicking things off after the normal chaotic banter of the crew, will be Charlie Woodrum. Charlie is a forecaster at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Pittsburgh, PA. He was promoted there in 2009, and at that time, he was one of the youngest forecasters in the NWS. He is a graduate of Florida State University – Go Noles!

John FerreeUp next as our second guest is John Ferree. John is the National Weather Service’s Severe Storms Services Leader. In this role, John leads efforts to improve severe weather forecasting and warning performance, facilitates promising research into operations, and identifies emerging concepts and techniques to disseminate throughout all NWS operational units. John was the co-chair of the NOAA/NSF sponsored Tornado Symposium in Norman, Oklahoma last week, and also served as program chair for the American Meteorological Society’s Warnings and Communications Conference this past summer. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, John has worked for the National Weather Service for over thirty-three years. Prior to his current position, he worked as a forecaster in Arkansas, Nevada, Kansas, and Missouri, and then as an instructor on the NEXRAD Doppler radar and on warning decision making.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Typhoon Washi caused hundreds of deaths (652) in the Philippines
  • Extremes 5 below LeBarge, WY, and 83 at Kingsville, TX
  • Major winter storm developing in Nation’s mid-section
  • Slight risk of severe storms in Southeast US
  • Blizzard conditions over western Kansas
  • 12 Billion Dollar Disasters in US (see link below)
  • and more!
  • Our Email Officer, Captain, I think, continues to bring you the latest mail from the bag, but his ever persistent search for a replacement does distract him some.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: Exciting day for cloud watchers in Central Alabama last Friday when Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds occurred over the Magic City. This made it a natural for the 101 segment this week with a brief rundown on what brings about these rare but fascinating clouds.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of December 20th. Weather history takes us down under for a big event from this week.

    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 308:

    Lightning Safety at NWS

    NWS Pittsburgh, PA

    Billion Dollar Disasters

    April 27, 2011, Service Assessment from NWS

    Picks of the Week:

    JB Elliott – Winter Weather Awareness from NWS

    Bill Murray – SPC MARS Forecast Loop

    Brian Peters – Snow Toys to Make Snow Fun

    Kevin Selle – Boston Globe Big Picture

    James Spann – Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like JB Elliott, Kevin Selle, Bill Murray, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.