Archive for December 15th, 2012
Looking at this forecast model for in the morning. Showers and thunderstorms are likely to be happening from Central Tennessee south and west into East Texas. Some of these storms could be strong, however additional storms are expected to develop later in day. Those are the storms we will really have to watch out for as the Storm Prediction Center will have much of the Deep South under a severe weather risk to start the day tomorrow. The dynamics will be coming together tomorrow for the threat of severe weather, specifically damaging winds and the threat for some isolated tornadoes. Most of the severe weather threat for Alabama looks as though it will be later in the day tomorrow and overnight into Monday.
Many areas could see over an inch of rain from this storm system as the atmosphere has moistened up today and will continue to overnight. Warm air advection is occurring across the Southeast and this will provide the instability for any showers, thunderstorms and any severe weather that may develop. Make sure to have that rain gear handy if you are heading anywhere tomorrow as rain chances will be high all day. We will keep you updated on the threats of severe weather if it develops.
As we head into the early evening, the forecast model shows showers developing along the boundary to our west and maybe into western Alabama. The storm system in the Southwest will begin to move east along with a front. Showers and some thunderstorms are expected with this system by this evening across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Some of these storms could be strong and may reach severe limits briefly. No risk has been issued by the SPC for today. Warm air advection is overspreading the Southeast bringing with it moisture. Some showers are expected to develop by early this evening in Southeast Texas along the trough axis. This unsettled weather will be moving our direction overnight. Not expecting severe weather tonight, but some heavy downpours may be likely.
Depending where you are, skies conditions vary. A mix of sun and clouds across much of Alabama and the Southeast. There are peeks of sunshine, especially in the Northeastern part of Alabama. Overall, many places across the state have broken to overcast skies. There were even a few sprinkles this morning, but most areas are rain free this afternoon. Weather conditions will be changing as we head into the overnight hours as a strong storm system will be approaching. Expect more clouds with showers and thunderstorms especially into the overnight hours and tomorrow morning.
The Storm Prediction Center has continued to keep much of the Deep South under a risk for severe weather tomorrow. A strong storm system will be ejecting out of the Desert Southwest, into the Southern Plains and will be working its way east tomorrow. This a very dynamic system and will be the main reason for the expected severe weather tomorrow. Birmingham, Huntsville, Gadsden, Anniston, Montgomery, Clanton, Cullman, Tuscaloosa, Jasper and Demopolis are all included in the outlined risk.
The last few models runs have come into better agreement on the timing of the event. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to be impacting the region in the morning. Some may be strong but the real threat looks as though it will be impacting Alabama into the overnight hours on Sunday and into Monday. Initial thunderstorms will develop along the Texas and Louisiana Coast tomorrow, this activity will be moving our direction during the day. Depending on the amount of instability that builds in we should be looking at mostly a damaging winds event. Isolated tornadoes will be possible, especially with the development of supercells. We will be watching this situation carefully and will be updating it as soon as additional weather data becomes available.
Just prior to 12 noon, clouds covered much of Alabama. The cloud cover was not total with some breaks in the clouds here and there. The extreme northeast corner as well as the southeast quadrant had the least amount of clouds.
The cloud cover has helped to keep temperatures in check just a little. Observations from the 11 o’clock hour showed South Alabama to be in the lower 60s with Central and North Alabama in the 50s, primarily mid and upper 50s. It’s still possible that we will see highs reach the lower 60s for most locations with a steady southerly wind. And a few spots that get a bit more sun with some of those breaks could still see the middle 60s.
The first in a series of three upper air disturbances has moved by us, so we probably won’t see much in the way of patchy rain or showers this afternoon like we saw this morning. With the clouds, a sprinkle is always possible. The second one comes by about midday on Sunday followed by the third one late Sunday night and early Monday. It still appears possible for a few severe storms early Monday, but the overall conditions are still marginal especially related to instability. We’ll be watching how that system unfolds. After all, our Fall severe weather season can spill into the middle of December, so severe weather is not completely out of the question. Lower levels of the atmosphere appear primed with dew points expected to reach the lower 60s.
Keep updated on the latest weather by checking here periodically for the latest information.
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The weather map this morning does not look terribly different from last weekend. We are dealing with a cold front to our northwest, very similar to last weekend, and that front will remain stalled for the next 36 hours in our area providing us with an opportunity for scattered showers. Radar this morning showed numerous small showers and patches of rain from Montgomery to Huntsville. And, just like last weekend, temperatures are quite mild with temperatures this morning in the 40s and lower 50s when we should be seeing lows in the 30s. Despite the clouds, the warm southerly wind will allow temperatures to climb into the 60s today.
Aloft we have three short waves that will be traversing our area giving us chances for showers and thunderstorms. The first one is going by today, the second comes Sunday afternoon, and the third and biggest one comes early Monday.
And we stay mild into Sunday with the big event coming from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. Rain and thunderstorms will be occurring from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning with the biggest threat for storms coming from about 9 pm Sunday to about 9 am Monday. Right now the instability is somewhat limited as we saw last weekend. But with lots of low level moisture as dew points climb into the 60s together with a strong low level jet and the frontal dynamics, isolated severe storms will be possible with isolated tornadoes again a possibility. Precipitable water values climb to around one and three quarters of an inch, so with the front in the area, we are at risk from thunderstorms training producing heavy rains that may contribute to some flooding potential. Overall it appears likely that much of Central Alabama will receive 1 to 2 inches of rain.
The strong trough comes by Monday afternoon pushing the front well out of the area and ending the rain and thunderstorm threat. It’s possible we might even see some sunshine by late Monday afternoon toward sunset. We cool down but not terribly cold – at least back to values close to what we typically see in mid-December.
Wednesday should be a great day with a nice ridging aloft. But the pattern is very progressive with another trough coming out of the western US Thursday promising to bring another round of rain and storms for Thursday afternoon into early Friday. Once again there may be some potential for severe weather with this system, but it’s a little too early to be very specific plus we need to get by the first system.
The end of the week system does show promise for some much colder air with a close low over the eastern Great Lakes and a nice north to northwesterly flow aloft bringing cold air into the eastern half of the country. The 540 thickness contour shows up dipping all the way into Central Alabama on Friday and Saturday.
Looking further afield, the GFS suggests a nearly zonal flow pattern around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dashing any hopes for a white Christmas. The pattern stays relatively warm through the end of December. But remember, this is voodoo land, so tomorrows run may have a completely different look.
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I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted first thing on Sunday morning. You can catch the latest weather forecast on ABC 3340 and 6 and 10 pm today as I’ll be filling in for Ashley Brand. Also stay connect with the Blog where you’ll find the latest information on developing weather for Central Alabama. Godspeed.
PS As James noted below, all of us cannot help but be touched by the unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut yesterday morning. I cannot imagine the grief that those families are going through, and even worse, will be brought again and again because of the time of year when this occurred. We hope and pray that this does not happen anywhere ever again and it reminds me that every day is a gift. We should celebrate each day instead of whining, moaning, and complaining. Yes, everyone has problems, you cannot avoid those in life. But we should take a moment to realize we are alive and blessed with each new day. Hug your kids, hug your friends, tell them you believe in them and love them. The reality of life is that we might not have tomorrow for those encouraging words. I sincerely hope that the true spirit of Christmas can live throughout the WHOLE year.