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Archive for March 8th, 2012

Cold air approaching

| 1:24 pm March 8, 2012

For the 3rd Thursday in a row, we have warm weather over Alabama today!  If you can get off work a little early today…it’s a nice one for 9 holes of golf or a little fishing.  It is currently 78 degrees in Birmingham.

However, as you can see in the map above, the next wave of cold air is not that far away.  This is March, a month when wild temperature swings are normal.   The cold front just passed through Nashville, and it is 57 at the airport.  However, about 20 miles down I-24 in Murfreesboro, it is still 70.  Not for long.

The cold front will move into extreme north Alabama early this evening, then through BHM by 8 or 9 pm.  Temperatures will drop quickly with north winds, winding up near 50 by tomorrow morning, and staying there most of the day tomorrow.  Winds will make it feel like 40.

No severe weather expected, with the rain mainly behind this front.  But, we could get some heavy rain tonight and maybe even a little thunder, and light rain may linger into the day tomorrow.

Wet Weather Returns Tonight/Tomorrow

| 6:05 am March 8, 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.

NO AURORAS: The current geomagnetic storm due to the big solar flare Tuesday night did not produce any visible auroras over the southern U.S. early this morning as far as I can tell… it was only an outside chance anyway, but seems like most of the action was over higher latitudes.

RAIN RETURNING: Today will be generally dry, but we can’t totally rule out the chance of a shower in a few spots, especially over Northwest Alabama. The sky will be mostly cloudy with a high in the mid 70s. But tonight showers and storms will move into the state from the north ahead of a cold front.

We note SPC has actually placed Northwest Alabama in a “slight risk” of severe weather, but severe weather parameters for our state sure look low, and I honestly don’t expect any severe weather issues.

COOL DAY TOMORROW: The front moves south of us, and winds veer to the north, setting up a cloudy, cool, and damp day tomorrow. The NAM is printing a high of only 54 degrees for Birmingham… the GFS is at 61. Sure looks like a good chance we hold in the 50s all day with occasional showers, especially during the morning hours.

WEEKEND FORECAST: Saturday still looks dry with a mix of sun and clouds and a high around 70 degrees after a cool morning. But, on Sunday, a moist flow returns, and a few showers could break out during the day. Nothing really widespread or heavy, however.

NEXT WEEK: Monday is looking fairly wet with a good chance of showers and storms. Then, the upper support moves away Tuesday and Wednesday, but the moist air sticks around. These two looks look warm and humid with just a few widely scattered showers; highs will be well up in the 70s. See the Weather Xtreme video for more long range ideas… still no sign of any serious late season cold snap or winter weather mischief through the next 15 days.

AT THE BEACH: Some universities and school systems are on spring break week. For those of you headed to the Central Gulf Coast (for forecast purposes, we define that as the area from Panama City west to Gulf Shores)… we project about 2 to 4 hours of sunshine Saturday through Tuesday with a few scattered showers and storms each day. At this point the latter half of the week looks dry; highs all week should be in the 70s.

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 this week’s new episode we recorded last night.

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

WeatherBrains 319: Booms, Tremors, and Shimmies

| 1:55 am March 8, 2012

WeatherBrains Episode 319 is now online (March 7, 2012). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Randy Baker, UPS AirlinesTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain comes to us as a suggestion by listener Sue Watkins. He has been with UPS Airlines for over 21 years and was tasked with starting up the airlines Meteorology Department 18 years ago. Randy Baker represents UPS at industry forums, manages weather support systems, and has led the use of aircraft to deliver automated high-resolution aircraft data to meteorologists on the ground. He is currently working on the evaluation of 25 water vapor sensors on UPS 757 aircraft.

Randy began his professional forecasting career in 1982 as a part-time forecaster for Weather Center Company in Kansas City. After graduation, he spent a year forecasting full-time, before becoming a meteorology instructor for TWA Airlines for 4 years. He was then hired by UPS Airlines teaching pilots meteorology, regulations, long range navigation, and safety at the UPS training center. For the past 18 years he has been splitting his time between operational forecasting and management duties.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes 90 in Fort Stockton, TX, and minus 18 at West Yellowstone, MT
  • Outbreak of severe weather last Friday
  • Slight Risk tomorrow over NE Texas and SW Arkansas
  • Deadhorse, AK, has minus 19 this evening
  • Trivia – what is longest distance across Texas? Two answers for this question.
  • and more!
  • Letters fill our mail bag and since Kevin can find a replacement for the Email Officer position, he summarizes your notes and messages.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: So exactly how big is the Earth? And who figured out how big it really is? Meet Eratosthenes. The very reason why 101 plans to give up doing segments on Greeks who contributed to our knowledge of the Earth.

    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 319:

    UPS Meteorological Team

    Coleman, Knupp, & Peters, LLC, meteorological consulting

    Picks of the Week:

    JB Elliott – Twin Waterspouts near Encinitas, CA

    Brian Peters – Loves the Horn!

    Kevin Selle – US Wind Pattern history

    James Spann – Space Weather Prediction Center

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