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Central Alabama 7 Day Forecast

Archive for January 9th, 2012

Strong Storms Possible Tomorrow Night

| 2:46 pm January 9, 2012

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.

THIS AFTERNOON: Scattered showers continue across Alabama this afternoon, otherwise the sky is generally cloudy with temperatures in the 60s. No strong storms so far today. We will maintain the risk of showers tonight with a nearly stalled front just north of here.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: A strong upper low over Texas will move closer, and the dynamic forcing will bring an increase in showers and thunderstorms to Alabama and adjacent states. It is the classic case of high shear and low CAPE in terms of the severe weather threat; SPC keeps a “slight risk” of severe weather up for far Southwest Alabama, South Mississippi, Southeast Louisiana, and the western tip of the Florida Panhandle around Pensacola. There is no severe weather risk defined up this way.

The highest surface based CAPE on the 12Z NAM is only 166 j/kg along the I-20 corridor, but 0 to 3 km helicity values soar to 285 m2/s2 tomorrow night.

I think the SPC is correct in that the best chance of organized severe weather will be over Southwest Alabama, but you can’t rule out a surprise severe storm up this way tomorrow night. The greatest risk of severe weather will come from about 3:00 p.m. tomorrow through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday. We will be watching the radar closely just in case.

The 12Z NAM is printing 1.07″ for Birmingham through Wednesday, while the GFS is at 0.86″. We figure most places will wind up with one to two inches of rain over the next 84 hours. The rain should diminish by midday Wednesday.

COLDER AIR RETURNS: The weather should be sharply colder Thursday and Friday. The GFS continues to be the warm model, and is rejected for this forecast. We will roll with the ECMWF, which suggests a high around here near 40 degrees Friday, with lows by Saturday morning in the 18 to 25 degree range. We might see some clouds Thursday as the cold air arrives, but for now the chance of any showers looks very small.

WEEKEND FORECAST: Watch the Weather Xtreme video and you will see we have pure model madness going on; the 12Z GFS solution we rejected shows a cool, soaking rain Sunday, while the ECMWF is dry as a bone. We choose the Euro for now, and we will forecast a good supply of sunshine Saturday and Sunday with a warming trend. We should be in the 50s Sunday afternoon, unless the GFS happens to be correct.

LONG RANGE: With the AO going negative, a few cold snaps seem likely over the latter half of the month. Maybe a few really cold snaps. But, with a NAO that is neutral to positive, cold snaps should be short lived. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for the 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. Don’t forget we are recording this week’s show tomorrow night (Tuesday night) at 8:30 p.m. CST.

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I had a great time today visiting the 3rd graders at Alexandria Elementary School… 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 by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Mess In Houston

| 11:44 am January 9, 2012

Hundreds of motorists are stranded in Houston this morning due to serious flooding; parts of the city have received over five inches of rain. And, a few tornado warnings have been issued as well. This mess is headed in the general directions of New Orleans, so football fans in town need to pay attention to the weather tomorrow as they head home… there is a standard “slight risk” of severe thunderstorms tomorrow for SE Louisiana, South Mississippi, and SW Alabama…

10 am in Alabama

| 10:03 am January 9, 2012

Almost no showers or storms in Alabama at this hour. Visibility has also improved greatly over much of the state from early morning dense fog. However, visibility was still only 1/4th mile in Gadsden, Muscle Shoals, Decatur and Haleyville and a very low 1/16th of a mile at Huntsville Airport.

Far to our west and southwest, intense thunderstorms, some severe, were developing over Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. In the last several hours, 11 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and eight Tornado Warning have been issued in those areas by the NWS at Houston and Lake Charles.

Here in Alabama, we can expect an increase in showers and thunderstorms by late today, tonight and Tuesday.

One Year Ago….

| 7:30 am January 9, 2012

Quite a different weather situation as Alabama was snow covered… these are images from our viewers and readers from the January 9-10 snow of 2011…. parts of the Tennessee Valley had over 8 inches on the ground.

See details of the event here.

Unsettled Weather Through Wednesday

| 6:25 am January 9, 2012

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.

ON THE MAPS: A stalled, wavy surface front is dropped over North Alabama this morning, and to the west a strong short wave is over Texas. This combination will keep a chance of showers and storms in our forecast for the next 72 hours, with temperatures remaining well above average for early January in Alabama.

This morning at daybreak, the bulk of the showers and storms on radar are over the central part of the state, south of I-20. A few of the overnight storms were strong with heavy rain and small hail in a few spots.

Overall our weather won’t change much today, with occasional showers and a few strong storms. The high will be well into the 60s.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: With the approach of the wave over Texas, dynamic support will improve for thunderstorms. The greatest chance of stronger storms will come late tomorrow, tomorrow night, and maybe even into Wednesday morning. SPC has defined a standard “slight risk” of severe weather for the southwest corner of Alabama around Mobile. A classic winter case of high shear, but very little surface based instability. But, these setups can be problematic, and an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out across the southwest part of the state late tomorrow and tomorrow night.

Up this way, the risk of severe weather is pretty small, but we will watch radar trends closely in case models are underestimating the available instability. The NAM actually does bring some surface instability in here Wednesday morning… see the Weather Xtreme video for details. Seems like the best chance of stronger storms here will be from about 6:00 p.m. tomorrow through 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.

COLDER AIR RETURNS: We turn sharply colder Thursday and Friday. The chance of showers with the arrival of the Arctic air on Thursday for now looks small, and Friday will be dry. We will struggle to get out of the 30s on Friday, with early morning lows mostly in the 18-25 degree range both Friday and Saturday morning. As usual, the ECMNWF seems to be handling the cold air outbreak better.

WEEKEND PEEK: After the quick hitting cold shot Friday into Saturday morning, temperatures begin to moderate over the weekend, as we warm into the 40s Saturday, and the 50s Sunday. The 06Z GFS brings surface wave through the northern Gulf of Mexico and shows rain rain over Alabama Sunday, but the ECMWF shows a surface high over the Gulf with a dry pattern, and we will roll with that dry solution for now. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for details.

LONG RANGE: The Arctic Oscillation (AO) wants to go negative later this month, which should bring some very cold air down into the “lower 48″, but the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) stays neutral to positive, meaning it could very well be a case where the western states really get the cold air. The operational GFS shows no major, long lasting cold snaps here through 15 days, and no signs of any snow or ice issues. But, the season is young.

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 record this week’s episode tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. CST…

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

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I will be over in Calhoun County this morning doing a weather program at Alexandria Elementary School…. look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 3:30 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Foggy–Allow Extra Drive Time

| 4:55 am January 9, 2012

There is a wide band of showers in progress across Central Alabama this morning roughly from south of about Birmingham to south of Montgomery. Moving east. Heaviest showers now over in West Georgia.

Good idea to allow extra time for morning drive (or morning rush hour) due to dense fog. Fog is not everywhere but many places have very low visibility of 1/4 to 1/2 mile, such as most of the Tennessee Valley and North Alabama. NWS has a Dense Fog Advisory until 9 am.

BIRMINGHAM TO NEW ORLEANS:  If you waited until this morning to head west to New Orleans for the LSU-Alabama game tonight, you may encounter lots of showers and thunderstorms. The official NWS forecast for New Orleans calls for numerous showers and thunderstorms today, tonight and Tuesday. It is relatively quiet there now but numerous showers/thunderstorms will be spreading eastward from Texas today. Of course the game will have perfect weather inside the dome.

BACK HOME IN ALABAMA: Numerous showers and thunderstorms today, tonight and Tuesday. Some the storms may be strong, mainly on Tuesday and Tuesday night. We will watch those closely.

Look for a complete discussion from James within the hour.