Archive for December 8th, 2012

The World of Tropics

| December 8, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

A quick look at all the ocean basins of the world. We notice that they are two active tropical systems. One of them in the Southern Indian Ocean, the other in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Cyclone Claudia is our system in the Southern Indian Ocean. Claudia is a category 3 storm will maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. Not much land in the Southern Indian Ocean for Claudia to affect. Claudia will continue to move south and should only be affecting the shipping lanes. I always enjoy getting images of these southern hemisphere storms. It is not often we get to see clockwise cyclonic flow on such a large scale. Claudia has a well defined eye in the center of her convection and is expected to maintain her strength until she reaches 20 degrees South, where she is then expected to begin to weaken.

The second system is Typhoon 26 W. This was Super Typhoon Bopha earlier in the week. Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines causing massive destruction and killing hundreds of people. This typhoon is now affecting the northern islands of the Philippines where it continues to cause flooding. Winds are sustained at 95 mph, but this system is very poorly organized as many of the thunderstorms and convection are displaced away from the center. This system is expected to curve back south and slowly dissipate over the next few days.

A Mix of Clouds, Sun & Rain

| December 8, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

It truly is a mixed bag of weather across Alabama today. Very mild conditions across the Southeast as zonal flow is still in place for now. This will be changing over the next 24-36 hours. A cold front will come sweeping through our region as we start the work week off. It will bring cooler and drier conditions and will return us to mostly sunny skies.  A look at the satellite image shows that more clouds than sun across much of Alabama. Sections of Northwestern and Southwestern Alabama are experiencing more sun than clouds this early afternoon. In Central Alabama, mostly cloudy conditions continue, with a few peeks of sunshine this afternoon. Some areas continue to see some scattered showers. Similar conditions will persist through out the rest of today and through the overnight hours. Expect similar conditions for you Sunday as well.

Clouds Hang Tough

| December 8, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

Clouds are hanging tough across Central Alabama this afternoon.

But the clouds have eroded to the west over Mississippi and some of this clearing will work its way into West Alabama before sunset.

Areas that see sunshine will make the 70s. Eastern areas may stay in the upper 60s

Right now, temperatures are in the middle 60s.

There are a few patches of light drizzle across the area, mainly near and south of I-20. They are barely heavy enough to wet the windshield.

Some heavier showers have formed over Bibb Count near Brent. They will move more north northeast affecting Western Shelby and Jefferson Counties in the Birmingham metro area.

There are some heavier showers over northern Mississippi, but they are weakening as they move east.

Ryan Stinnett will have an update to the forecast shortly. Have a great Saturday.

Warm/Humid but Turning Colder

| December 8, 2012 @ 7:45 am

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Rather foggy across much of Alabama this morning, so if you have early morning activities, keep the fog in mind and leave a little earlier so you don’t have to hurry with the visibilities much reduced in spots. It’s also going to remain mild for the weekend before turning much colder on Tuesday.

We’ll remain mild today and Sunday with a surface high pressure center situated off to our east allowing the Gulf to open wide and bring lots of moisture northward to our area. You can see that this morning with the fog and I expect to see fog again on Sunday morning. Along with the fog we have some isolated showers on radar but they are very spotty. With the front off to the northwest and a plentiful supply of moisture, isolated showers will be possible until the main weather event arrives Monday with the front.

The upper air pattern continues to sharpen up with the substantial trough in the Central US. This will bring a cold front into and through the Southeast US on Monday with that being our main day for rain and thunderstorms. There is a marginal potential for severe weather with this system as instability values climb with CAPE numbers getting into the 500 to 700 jg/km range. Along with plenty of low level moisture as seen with dew points in the 60s, we’ll be watching for the possibility of severe weather, but it does not appear to be a widespread significant event that is shaping up. Wind profiles also suggest that damaging wind will be the primary threat if we see severe weather.

The front moves on through Tuesday producing a big cool down for us. Tuesday is one of those days with strong cold advection, so we might not see our temperatures get out of the 40s. But don’t be too worried, while we’ll stay pretty chilly on Wednesday the upper air pattern changes pretty quickly Wednesday into Thursday allowing a rapid warm up with highs back to near 60s by Thursday and Friday, a tad above seasonal highs. But the flow is pretty fast, so we see another trough coming out of the southern Rockies on Friday that promises to drag another cold front into the area Saturday with reasonably good rain potential again.

But the flow is very progressive (fast), so while we see rain Saturday it should move through quickly with a cooler but drier day for Sunday. Confidence in the forecast for next weekend is fairly high with good agreement on that next weather system between the GFS and the European models.

Looking out into voodoo, the GFS is suggesting a real roller coaster ride with another shot at rain and cold weather on the 20th but another quick warm up with a substantial ridge by the 23rd suggesting that Christmas might be mild. But that is definitely into voodoo country.

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Got to head out this morning for the Festival of Three Kings at my church. We are hosting about 75 children through Shelby County Human Services with a Christmas celebration including games, a visit with Santa, and lots of goodies. I’ll be wearing a red suit! I hope you have a great weekend and Godspeed.


Illegal Showers

| December 8, 2012 @ 7:41 am

They were in the forecast, so they really aren’t illegal, but lots of folks woke to the sound of a little more pitter patter on the roof than they might have expected.

They are the product of some moist air being slowly lifted over Alabama. They are being shunted east northeast in a fairly fast flow aloft.

Most of them are over East Alabama now, over Talladega, Calhoun and Cleburne Counties. But a few more were forming over West Central Alabama.

There is some patchy fog reducing visibility out there now as well. Visibility was down to 1/4 mile at Jasper, 2 1/2 miles at Calera.

You could see a shower or two today, and maybe even a little thunder later if the sun comes out. Still looking for 70F or warmer at most spots, especially if you get a little more sun.