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Archive for January 15th, 2013

Wet Tomorrow; Some Snow Thursday?

| 3:34 pm January 15, 2013

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.

RAIN GO AWAY: Not much change in the overall weather pattern across Alabama is expected through tomorrow. Periods of cold rain will continue over the northern half of the state, while South Alabama is still in the mild air. In fact, Auburn reports 72 degrees at mid-afternoon with a partly sunny sky, while temperatures are in the 30s over the Tennessee Valley. The stalled boundary won’t move much over the next 24 hours, so the northern counties will remain cold and wet. The ground is very saturated, and flooding will remain possible. All major West Alabama rivers including the Tombigbee and Black Warrior are under flood warnings.

THURSDAY SNOW? The 12Z mesoscale and global models continue to show a deep, cold core upper low moving right over North-Central Alabama during the day Thursday. We have little skill in dealing with the small scale snow bursts that can happen directly under the cold pool, so expect a surprise or two. But, here is the general thinking for Thursday…

*Surface temperatures will remain above freezing, so any accumulation of snow should be mostly on grassy areas, and roads should remain just wet with no major travel issues during the day.

*Snow accumulation of a trace to one inch will be possible Thursday, with the greatest risk of accumulation along and north of I-20. Some high terrain locations over East and Northeast Alabama could see 1 to 2 inches on the grass, especially on Lookout and Sand Mountain, and ridges around Mount Cheaha.

*The best chance of accumulating snow will come from about 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Thursday. Most of the snow will be concentrated in a roughly 50 mile wide strip, directly under the cold core ULL where dynamic cooling is maximized. Almost impossible to show you where that strip will be now.

So, in the overall scheme of things, we don’t expect snow on Thursday, if it falls, to be very disruptive. But, again, our skill level in handling cold cores is not good, and expect a few surprises during the day. Take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

SUNSHINE RETURNS: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be totally rain-free with a partly to mostly sunny sky each day. Highs will be mostly in the 50s, with lows in the 30s, which is exactly where we should be this time of the year.

COLDEST AIR SO FAR THIS WINTER ARRIVES NEXT WEEK: A big cold shot will impact Alabama and the Deep South Tuesday and Wednesday. Global models continue to show a setup where we won’t get out of the 30s on Tuesday, followed by lows in the teens Wednesday morning. So, plan now on a hard freeze at the middle of next week. A slow warm-up begins Thursday. No snow involved with the cold air next week.

VOODOO LAND: Looks like we could very well have another threat of winter weather mischief before the month is over with a favorable pattern; see the Weather Xtreme video for more.

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. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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I had a great time today visiting the second graders at Trace Crossings Elementary in Hoover… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Still Cold and Wet; Snow Thursday???

| 6:18 am January 15, 2013

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.

SAME OLE SONG: Thankfully I have heard of no travel issues across Northwest Alabama this morning due to icy spots on bridges. Temperatures are generally in the mid 30s, and roads are simply wet. There might be a cold pocket or two with an isolated icy spot on a bridge, but generally speaking the news is good on travel. Of course, the roads are very wet and you still need to take it easy.

Cold and wet weather continues today with rain and temperatures in the 40s. Flooding remains possible in low spots since the ground is so saturated; average rain totals are in the 2-4 inch range since Saturday.

TOMORROW: The rain won’t be quite as extensive, but still the day will be cool and wet with periods of rain. We just might touch 50 degrees if we are lucky. But, don’t count on it.

WINTER WEATHER MISCHIEF THURSDAY? Cold core upper low, weatherman’s woe. Here we go; a deep, cold 500 mb low is expected to pass right over North-Central Alabama Thursday. The 06Z runs of the GFS and NAM are actually in pretty good agreement now. No doubt Thursday will be cold and wet with rain likely statewide; temperatures should be mostly in the 40s.

But, these cold cores bring dynamic cooling; they literally generate their own cold air from above. This process can change the rain to snow in a heartbeat, and the process is difficult to forecast. One of my greatest forecast busts came on December 14, 1997; our rain forecast didn’t work out so well since Demopolis wound up with 8 inches of snow on that Sunday. The entire U.S. 80 corridor back into Mississippi saw heavy, wet snow. Read more about the event here.

I do think there is a very real possibility that the rain changes to snow along a 50 mile strip under the cold pool Thursday. Exactly where that happens remains to be seen, but it should be somewhere close to I-20. Surface temperatures will be above freezing, and the soil isn’t all that cold, and that should be a limiting factor when it comes to accumulation. But, some places could wind up with an inch or two, and should the 1997 scenario repeat, somebody under a heavy snow burst might see a little more.

But, I despite the snow potential I really don’t think this will be a high impact event. Any accumulation should mostly on grassy areas; roads will be generally wet since temperatures will be above freezing, and I really don’t expect many travel issues. We will just have to watch for any leftover moisture late Thursday night and Friday morning, when temperatures should go below freezing.

The main window for snow will come from about 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Thursday. Take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

FINALLY, THE SUN: Sunshine returns Friday with a high in the low 50s as we begin to dry out. Look for similar weather over the weekend; dry and cool with high in the low 50s Saturday, and upper 40s Sunday.

BIG COLD SHOT NEXT WEEK: Models agree the coldest air so far this season will invade the continental U.S. next week in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame. Looks like highs on Tuesday will be in the 32-36 degree range, with lows by daybreak Wednesday between 12 and 16. These numbers could change, but that is a good “first guess” at the type of cold air we will be dealing with. Temperatures will then begin to moderate a bit by Thursday. No snow; this is a dry airmass.

But, snow lovers will like the voodoo charts late in the month; again see the Weather Xtreme video for them.

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. Scroll down for the snow notes on this week’s new episode we recorded last night. Great to have Bob Baron of Huntsville on the show with us.

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

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I will be doing a weather program today at Trace Crossings Elementary School in Hoover… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day and stay dry…

WeatherBrains 364: Sultan’s Weather

| 4:55 am January 15, 2013

WeatherBrains Episode 364 is now online (January 14, 2013). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Bob Baron, Baron Services, Huntsville, ALOur guest WeatherBrain for this episode is Robert (Bob) Baron, the founder of Baron Services. Mr. Baron started the company after 22 years of broadcast meteorology experience. he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and concluded additional studies at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has been a long-standing member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and in 1982 received the AMS Seal of Approval for Television. In addition to being named a finalist for Inc. Magazine’s 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year award, Mr. Baron received the Entrepreneur of the Year-Southeast Region award from Ernst & Young in 2008. He was later named an AMS Fellow in 2010.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 84 at Punta Gorda, FL, and -36 at Craig, CO
  • Icing issues across the Southeast US
  • Heavy rains over parts of the Southeast US
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: This week 101 takes a look at brief introduction to the base products which have been added to the overall suite of products available from those Doppler radar sites with dual polarization. This episode also includes a quick overview of the essential products available from all Doppler radar sites.

TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of January 14th.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 364:

Baron Services

Picks of the Week:

Bob Baron – Baron Services

Nate Johnson – Dual Polarization Radar Training

Brian Peters – AMS Glossary of Meteorology

Kevin Selle – Cheetah Run

James Spann – 1988 Heavy Snow Huntsville

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

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