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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.
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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….