Archive for April 7th, 2012
Brian first reported it here on AlabamaWX that it was the warmest March on record in Birmingham, but now we know that record will likely apply to the state of Alabama as well.
The monthly report is in from our fine State Climatologist, Dr. John Christy from UAH. Dr. Christy is one of the best in the country.
He reports that the numbers are not officially certified yet, but all indications are that March 2012 will go down in the record books as the warmest March on record in Alabama.
The statewide average for the month was 64.3F, which is 9.1F degrees above “normal”. The previous record was March 1907, which the statewide average was 9.05F degrees above “normal”.
The numbers aren’t official yet, since he took those preliminary numbers from the ten major climate reporting sites in the state. It takes some time to receive and integrate all of the numbers from the dozens of other smaller stations across the state.
The winter of 2011-12 was the 12th warmest on record. It was the warmest since 1999. He points out that this does not indicate a warming trend, since this warm winter follows on the heels of the 14th coldest in 2010-11 and the 4th coldest the year before.
Read the entire report here.
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Looks like we are going to see some spectacular spring weather for Easter weekend. Temperatures this morning in the 40s across much of the northern half of Alabama and that sure feels good. Skycam network shows a patch of what appears to be somewhat low altocumulus clouds moving across the area, but once that patch of clouds is gone, we should see plenty of sun with the highs climbing into the mid 70s.
Great weather continues Easter Sunday and through much of the upcoming week thanks primarily to a ridge just to our west that keeps us under a predominantly northwesterly flow regime. A close low over Central Canada on Sunday will help to carve out a substantial trough over the East Coast of the US. This pattern puts us in that northwesterly flow so we should see some great days with cool mornings and warm but not hot afternoons. Lows primarily near 50 with highs in the 70s.
Severe weather threat remains to our west as depicted by the SPC. Main risk through Day 3 is over Texas and Oklahoma.
Tuesday into Wednesday an upper trough digs into and along the East Coast of the US. This provides us with a continuation of great weather, but also a shot at a pretty chilly morning on Wednesday. I think lows will dip to near 40 with the potential for some patchy frost in those typically colder spots. Certainly Wednesday morning will be nippy and refreshing! But the chill won’t last long as we see the warm up begin as the trough over the East Coast moves into the Atlantic on Thursday. Thursday morning will again be nippish but not as cold as Wednesday morning.
We end up with some model differences come Friday. The GFS and the ECMWF are in good agreement until the end of the week. On Friday, the ridge is not as strong as the GFS so the ECMWF develops a substantial amount of rain across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. I see the ridge being not as strong, but the ECMWF seems to have overdone the precipitation since there does not appear to be a great deal of moisture return or enough forcing to create such a robust area of precipitation. So for the moment, I’ll stick with the GFS. I do note that the ECMWF has been pretty good on a number of systems over the last several weeks, so I’ll be watching both models to see how it all pans out. The ECWMF does come more in line with the GFS after this Friday outlier.
Weather remains to our west as we head into next weekend with a substantial trough over the southern Rockies and a ridge building up the East Coast. This is likely to bring our next shot at rain one Monday the 16th as the trough ejects eastward across the Central Plains.
Further into voodoo country the GFS develops another trough on the East Coast around the 22nd, though this one does not appear to be as deep as the one coming up on Wednesday.
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I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy this glorious weather. Nice to have such wonderful weather coinciding with Easter weekend. I anticipate posting the next Weather Xtreme Video by 8 am or so tomorrow morning. Enjoy the great weather and Godspeed.
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