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Central Alabama 7 Day Forecast

Archive for December 21st, 2012

Dynamic System Due In Here Christmas Day

| 3:41 pm December 21, 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.

COLD TONIGHT: Everybody wants to know about the weather system next week, but we need to point out tonight should be the coldest night so far this season for many Alabama communities on the first “official” night of winter. Our coldest so far was 27 on the morning of November 25; we project a low near 25 early tomorrow for most places with a clearing sky and diminishing wind.

The weekend will be cool and dry with a slow warm-up. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high in the low 50s; we reach the upper 50s Sunday with clouds on the increase.

RAIN RETURNS MONDAY: Showers should begin to arrive as early as Sunday night, and occasional showers are likely Monday as moisture levels increase and there is upward atmospheric motion across the state. We should reach the low 60s Monday afternoon.

CHRISTMAS DAY: A surface low is forecast to form over East Texas on Tuesday, running to a point near Muscle Shoals Tuesday night. This will mean periods of rain on Christmas Day with a high in the low to mid 60s.

SEVERE WEATHER? The position of the surface low will determine the chance of severe weather for Alabama, and ultimately the chance of snow flakes on Wednesday. The ECMWF and the GFS are actually in very good agreement, showing the low over the northwest corner of Alabama Christmas night. Unstable air begins to move northward, and based on the projected instability and shear from the GFS, it looks like we could very have a threat of strong to severe storms Tuesday night, mainly south of a line from Anniston to Calera to Brent and on to Demopolis. Low level shear values would event hint at a tornado threat for Southeast Alabama (mostly areas south of Montgomery), so we will be watching developments very closely.

TO THE NORTHWEST: On the cold air side of the low, a nice snow event seems likely Christmas night over much of Arkansas Southeast Missouri, and perhaps over Northwest Tennessee north of Memphis.

NORTH ALABAMA SNOW? On Wednesday, the surface low pulls away to the northeast, and much colder air flows into Alabama. Sure looks like a day with falling temperatures, perhaps reaching the 30s over North Alabama by midday. There is a chance we could see a few snow flakes over North Alabama, mainly north of U.S. 278, Wednesday, but for now accumulation snow looks unlikely in Alabama. Best chance of getting some snow on the ground would be north of here over parts of Tennessee and Kentucky.

REMEMBER: This event is still 4 days away, and all of this could change. We note the Canadian GEM shows a nice snow event for North Alabama Tuesday night into early Wednesday, but that is an outlier and is rejected. Keep an eye on the blog for updates since many will be traveling next week.

Take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for a good day by day review of this event with maps and graphics.

VOODOO LAND: The GFS still shows a significant Gulf low around Dec 31/Jan 1… that will be one to watch as well.

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.

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Brian Peters will have the video updates over the weekend, and all next week as I take a little time away from the weather grind to spend with my family. I will be back in full service on Monday December 31. I hope you and your family enjoy God’s richest blessings this Christmas!

Bit of a Nip (in the Air)

| 1:43 pm December 21, 2012

If you have ventured outside on this first day of winter, you’ve probably noticed two things: it’s cold and windy!!

Cold air is coming into Alabama on the heels of the cold front which moved through here yesterday. Just after 1 pm, temperatures across the state ranged from 54 at Mobile to a chilly 43 at Fort Payne. Add to that the northwesterly wind blowing at 12 to 18 mph with gusts to as much as 30 mph, and you knock about 4 to 7 degrees off those values so it feels even colder to any exposed skin.

But on the bright side, the clouds are gone so the sun is shining brightly in a beautifully blue sky over all of Alabama.

Now we can start honing in on the next system coming our way. It looks right now like we will see a storm system affecting us beginning Christmas Day and extending into the day after Christmas. The two primary long range models, the GFS and the ECMWF are in reasonably good agreement on placing a surface low in the vicinity of Nashville by midnight Christmas night. This could mean that Christmas Day will be a transition day from dry to wet. The surface low track definitely places two big concerns in our future – severe weather possibilities and winter weather possibilities. Too early to be specific on either one, but it is comforting to see the two models in reasonably good agreement this far out. And for forecasting both of those weather concerns will depend on the actual development of the system, the location of the warm sector, and how long the moisture sticks around as the cold air arrives. Time for a big stay tuned!!

-Brian-

Note: While the models have good agreement, there are still some significant differences. For example, the ECMWF is considerably colder on the 26th and into the 27th than the GFS. This translate into a big difference in the forecast since the GFS would suggest at most some flurries while the ECMWF would suggest more than just flurries. But wrap around systems don’t usually leave us with significant snow events.

Windy And Cold Friday

| 6:43 am December 21, 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.

RAW DAY: Despite sunshine in full supply, we won’t make it out of the 40s today with a strong northwest wind continuing, averaging 15-30 mph. The NWS has issued a “red flag warning” for this part of Alabama because of the danger of wildfires because of the very dry air and high wind. Tonight the wind will finally begin to die down, and we should be in the mid 20s early tomorrow. Both the GFS and the NAM are printing 26 degrees for Birmingham; colder valleys across North Alabama will be closer to 20.

PRE-CHRISTMAS WEEKEND: Expect a slow warming trend tomorrow and Sunday. Lots of sun tomorrow with a high in the low 50s; partly sunny with 60 degrees possible by afternoon. Dry air means no rain.

CHRISTMAS WEEK STORM SYSTEM: There will be rumors of snow for Christmas night and Wednesday for North Alabama, and needless to say there is absolutely no way now of resolving the really mesoscale details of this storm system, but the confidence is high in the overall idea….

MONDAY: Showers will break out over Alabama in the warm air advection pattern; the day will be cloudy with a high in the 60-64 degree range. Rain on Monday probably less than 1/2 inch with the occasional showers.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Wet is the word for Alabama. A surface low will form somewhere west of the state, anywhere from Longview, Texas to Lafayette, Louisiana. One way or another we expect periods of rain, with perhaps the most widespread rain coming Tuesday night as the surface low moves northeast. Should the surface low pass a little northwest of here, we might even hear a little thunder Tuesday night, but severe weather isn’t likely.

Back in the colder air, sure looks like a good chance of snow Christmas night for our friends in Arkansas. Maybe enough to get several inches on the ground in places.

WEDNESDAY: This is the tricky part of the forecast. Rain will end across Alabama, and temperatures should fall during the day as cold air streams in on the back side of the departing surface low. The ECMWF solution supports the idea of temperatures falling into the 30s, with some risk of snow flurries, mainly over the Tennessee Valley. The GFS is warmer and suggests no snow flakes. On the other hand, the Canadian (GEM) and NOGAPS are supportive of a little snow over North Alabama.

Bottom line is that we really won’t change our ongoing forecast. Rain ending Wednesday, colder with temperatures falling into the 30s, and some risk of a few snow flurries with no accumulation. Clearly the best chance of some snow accumulation will be north of here, over Tennessee and Kentucky.

Take a little time and watch the Weather Xtreme video for a detailed day by day breakdown with all of the maps and graphics.

THE LAND OF VOODOO: The GFS is still on the idea of a Gulf Coast low around New Year’s Day… see the video for the details.

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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Twitter
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 3:30 or so this afternoon…. enjoy the day…