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Archive for December 14th, 2012

Unspeakable

| 5:35 pm December 14, 2012

I am not a journalist, and have never claimed to be one. My first major in college was electrical engineering, and finished in the meteorology program at Mississippi State. I can’t imagine having to cover a story like the one today at the elementary school in Connecticut. These are just some thoughts I needed to write down after what happened earlier today.

I heard of today’s massacre as I walked out of an elementary school. You see, I am in an elementary school almost every day during the school year doing science programs, unless I have a hospital board meeting, function involving ABC 33/40, or something else I have to do. I understand the culture inside elementary schools better than most. I have worked in children’s ministry for 25 years; I lead children’s worship Sundays at a Shelby County church.

*TEACHERS ARE HEROES. I would imagine many lost their lives today at the school in Connecticut today trying to protect the lives of those children under their watch. These men and women perform a thankless job; every single day they are not only teaching kids, but also protecting and nurturing them. You would not believe the number of kids that are hurting in our schools; so many of our families are in crisis and the teachers are often the glue that holds the life of a child together. Their encouragement, protection, and discipline are important beyond words. Teachers are hard workers, determined, brave, and they are motivated by the love for these kids. We don’t thank them enough. My mom was a teacher.

*THIS CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE: While I was doing a weather program at a local school last school year, a “code red” alarm sounded. This is a case where a likely gunman is inside the school building, and the kids and teachers are instructed to turn out the lights and literally hide without making a sound. Sure, I know it was most likely a drill, but for a few fleeting moments my mind wondered… what if this was the real deal. I have lived a long, good, blessed life, and it really didn’t matter if it was the last day for me, but I thought about the teachers and kids huddled up in that room. I heard a single person walking down the vacant hallway, and for the first time in many years I actually felt fear. When I peeked out the window and saw it was a Hoover police officer, I almost wanted to hug him.

But, this experience reminded me this CAN happen anywhere, and no security system is fool proof.

*STOP THE POLITICAL FOOLISHNESS ON DAYS LIKE THIS: I don’t care if you are liberal, conservative, or anything else. On the day of a humanitarian disaster NOBODY should be spouting political hate on either side. Give it a break. Please.

*LIFE IS SHORT: Every day is a gift. We should celebrate each day instead of whining, moaning, and complaining. Sure, we all have problems, but if you are alive and reading this, you are blessed. Hug your kids and tell them you believe in them and love them. You might not have tomorrow for encouraging words.

*WE ARE LOSING OUR WAY: First indications are that the gunman perhaps had some type of mental disorder, but one way or another I sure get the idea our nation is slowing losing the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong. There is absolute truth, and life is truly precious. We must turn away from evil.

I have two videos below. One is the raw KIDCAM video today from Elvin Hill Elementary; right after this was recorded I walked to my car to hear of the horrible situation in Connecticut. As this KIDCAM video was being recorded, the kids were being shot in Connecticut. I would imagine many of those who died were this age… these kids are 5 and 6 years old. The second video is a reminder of the great hope we have at this time of the year… this video is by some of the children under my watch at Double Oak Community Church.

Let’s pray for our nation tonight.

What Christmas Is All About from James Spann on Vimeo.

Wet Weather On The Way

| 3:31 pm December 14, 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: Temperatures are generally in the 57-62 degree range across the great state of Alabama this afternoon. High clouds are beginning to move in from the west, but the low levels are still very dry. Tonight won’t be as cold as recent nights; the low should be in the low to mid 40s as the sky becomes mostly cloudy.

RAIN RETURNS: A few showers could break out tomorrow, but they should be widely separated. The sky will be mostly cloudy, and the high should be in the low to mid 60s. No doubt the big rain event will come Sunday into Sunday night, when a few strong thunderstorms could be involved. Surface based CAPE values are expected to approach 1000 j/kg by Sunday afternoon, certainly sufficient instability for strong storms; while the highest low level helicity values should be north of here, we still could see a few sustained updrafts. SPC does not have any formal risk area defined, but they do have most of the state in a 5 percent risk of severe weather Sunday. We will watch radar trends closely as storms become to develop.

We figure rain amounts will vary from about one-half to one inch over the northern half of Alabama, and the most widespread rain should come from 6:00 a.m. Sunday through 6:00 a.m. Monday.

NEXT WEEK: Rain will end from northwest to southeast Monday morning, and we might see a few peeks of sunshine by Monday afternoon. We have good model agreement now that Tuesday will be dry and cooler as the upper trough axis moves east of Alabama; the high will drop into the 50s. Wednesday looks pleasant with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the low to mid 60s.

Another cold front will pass through with another chance of showers and storms Thursday afternoon and Thursday night, then much colder air blows in here Friday (one week from today)… we might have a hard time getting past the low 40s if the 12Z GFS is correct.

CHRISTMAS FORECAST: Based on the latest guidance (12Z GFS and ECMWF), our weather looks pretty cold the weekend before Christmas (December 22-23)… with just a slow moderation Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Take a few minutes and watch the Weather Xtreme video for a day by day view with all of the maps and graphics.

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.

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

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I had a great time today visiting with the kindergarten kids at Elvin Hill Elementary School in Columbiana… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by Monday morning at 7 a.m…. Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Rain Returns Over The Weekend

| 6:02 am December 14, 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.

NICE WARM-UP TODAY: Another cold morning across Alabama with most communities below freezing, but we warm nicely today as temperatures rise into the low 60s this afternoon with a good supply of sunshine.

TO THE WEST: A major storm system is producing lots of mountain snow over the southern Rockies, and that will bring wet weather to Alabama before the weekend is over.

OUR WEEKEND: Clouds return tomorrow, and I think we will need to mention a chance of scattered showers as isentropic uplift begins. But, it won’t be a rainy day… the showers should be fairly scattered. The day will be pleasant with a high in the mid 60s. Clearly the best chance of rain comes Sunday and Sunday night, and thunderstorms should be involved as the air becomes unstable. We note that the NAM is projecting surface based CAPE values over 500 j/kg over North Alabama, and there is a decent amount of low level SRH (storm relative helicity). Somewhat marginal, and while SPC does not have any formal risk in place, they do have a 5 percent severe area on the day two convective outlook for most all of Alabama. Just something to watch as the system gets closer.

Rain amounts of about one inch are likely before the rain ends early Monday.

NEXT WEEK: We could very have some partial clearing Monday afternoon as drier air begins to filter in from the north. And, now both the GFS and the ECMWF are looking dry for Tuesday, and we will probably go ahead and drop the chance of scattered light rain on the afternoon update in the 12Z runs look the same. The weather will be a little cooler Tuesday with a high in the 50s.

Wednesday will be dry; then a cold front comes in here Thursday night with potential for a few showers, followed by colder air on Friday.

CHRISTMAS WEATHER: Be sure and see the Weather Xtreme video for a day by day breakdown… but the 00Z/06Z GFS still supports a chilly but dry Christmas Day. The model now wants to bring a system in here by Dec 26-27 with some potential for a cold rain, and maybe even a winter weather threat on the northern periphery of the precipitation… see the video for the details. Of course, all of this is out there in voodoo land and is very much subject to change.

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.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus

I will be doing a weather program this morning at Elvin Hill Elementary School in Columbiana… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!