Archive for February, 2013
See the NWS graphic below for projected snow amounts. Any accumulation should be on grass; for now travel issues are not expected…
Scroll down for J.B.’s afternoon discussion…
** No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; I am on the road at Clay Chalkville high school for tonight’s storm alert 2013 program**
This afternoon’s discussion courtesy JB Elliott….
THAT OLD COLD NORTH WIND: If you have been outside today, you have certainly felt the bite in the wind. After all, we are still in winter so we should at least be partially acclimatized to the season. The old weather map this morning still has a wintry look. The latest front, which is bringing in today’s cold air, has pushed all the way into Central Florida. Still another very cold high-pressure system was over Central Canada waiting for its turn to head south.
SNOW TALK: We have mentioned that for several days in a row, both the term snow flurries and snow showers. The possibility still persists and based on the latest information we believe for North Alabama, including places as far south as Birmingham, the better chance of snow showers may be late Friday night and Saturday morning. As we explained yesterday, snow showers are a little heavier than snow flurries. If you see some snow showers during this event, notice the clouds are built up somewhat similar to a build up during a summer shower or thunderstorm. Those clouds can dump a good flurry of snow for a few minutes, but then move on. The wind currents over the weekend dictate that a snow shower will not linger over a certain community very long. We do not see any risk of travel problems or significant accumulations. However, it will be cold enough for a nice snow shower to turn the ground white for a short time. This is especially true on grassy areas and it may happen more so on higher terrain like Mt. Cheaha and the mountain ridges in Northeast Alabama.
LET’S NOT FORGET THE OLE THERMOMETER: It will be active too over the weekend. While we do not foresee a bitter cold wave, we will have some temperatures well below freezing over the weekend, especially during the mornings of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On those three days, the lows will be in the mid-20, around 24. It is almost certain that a few places in Northeast Alabama could have 18-20, such as the historic Valley Head, which for many years held the all-time low for the State of Alabama. Any hope for short-sleeve weather? It will be possible early next week as highs reach 55 to 58. I always only wear a short-sleeve shirt when it gets that warm.
USA NOTES: The NOAA snow cover charts for today show that the USA snow cover has retreated a bit to the north. If you go due north of Birmingham, you won’t have a solid snow cover until Middle Indiana and Southern Illinois. The Northeast, including New England, is still heavily covered and there are still big piles of snow in the Central Plains and Midwest after the last huge blizzard. As of late yesterday, the National Guard was still helping stranded motorists in Texas. Strangely enough the warmest spot in the nation yesterday was Harlingen, Texas with 83. It was also 83 in Marathon, Florida. Coldest this morning was 15 below at Gunnison, Colorado and 36 below at Umiat, Alaska. There is now 132 inches of snow on the ground atop Eagle Crest on the west side of Alaska. That is not unusual for them.
STORM ALERT 2013: The final edition is tonight at Clay/Chalkville High School. As usual, the programs start at 6:30, but it is urged that you get there earlier to get a good seat. Good to know that some of the Center Point fire personnel will be attending, including my son Steve, who is with that group. Outside chance I can go, but not certain yet and not sure that my wife will be able to attend.
Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7 am tomorrow…
extreme video here early tomorrow morning by 7 AM…
With a rain-free forecast for the last day of February, we can now tabulate the actual rainfall amounts for the month for Central Alabama. Indeed, February was a wet month as you can see from the table below. All stations came in with monthly totals above the 30-year averages. And Montgomery really blasted into the record books with the second wettest month on record, missing the top spot by only 2 hundredths of an inch.
Also interesting to note that there was a strong north to south gradient in rainfall values with Tennessee Valley stations reporting only 2.50 to 3.50 inches for February.
Station.......Rainfall....Standing Birmingham.....6.21".......27th wettest Tuscaloosa.....5.53".......17th wettest Anniston.......5.97".......23th wettest Montgomery....13.36".......2nd wettest
The overall weather pattern for the long term continues to look active. The latest GFS run suggests some sort of weather around March 2nd, 5th, 10th, and 16th with a nice train of strong upper lows moving briskly through the flow.
Make sure you sign Up for one the last few SKYWARN spotter classes that are left this spring.
In Marion County, there is a class tonight a 6:30PM at the Bobby Bishop Community Center in Bear Creek.
If you can’t make it out, there is also an online class at 6PM tonight as well you can sign up for.
If you can’t do one of the classes tonight and daytime classes would be better for you, there are additional online classes in the near future.
They are scheduled for:
as well as an Online Graduate Spotter Class on
Follow this link to get additional SKYWARN Spotter Information
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.
MARCH STARTS OFF COLD: Both the NAM and the GFS are printing a high of 49 degrees for Birmingham today as the trend toward colder weather begins with a mix of sun and clouds. Clouds thicken tonight, and tomorrow will be a mostly cloudy day with a high between 45 and 49 degrees.
SNOW FLAKES TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND: Strong forcing from a cold, deep upper trough will bring snow showers to Alabama Friday night into Saturday. These are convective due to very cold air aloft, and similar to the rain showers on a summer afternoon in Alabama. They will be somewhat scattered, but a few heavier snow bursts are possible. We have the potential for dusting to around one-half inch on grassy areas, mainly along and north of I-20 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Anniston). Some high terrain locations (mainly above 1,000 feet) over Northeast Alabama might see one inch in the grass in a few spots. Temperatures will be above freezing and driving issues are not expected; any moisture on the roads should evaporate quickly Saturday evening before temperatures go below freezing.
Otherwise, Saturday will be windy, raw, cold, and blustery. The high will be in the low 40s, and a north wind of 10-20 mph will make it feel colder. We won’t get out of the 40s Sunday afternoon as well.
A significant freeze is likely both Sunday and Monday morning with a low between 22 and 27 degrees for most spots; some of the colder valley locations over North Alabama will have a chance of reaching the upper teens at daybreak Monday, right at record levels for early March in Alabama.
We begin to warm up Monday afternoon with a high in the low to mid 50s.
NEXT STORM SYSTEM: The GFS and the ECMWF are a little more aggressive with the next system on Tuesday of next week, with better dynamic support. We will forecast a good chance of showers Tuesday; for now we believe temperatures will be well above freezing early Tuesday morning as the precipitation begins, and ice should not be an issue. Rain amounts of around 1/2 inch are likely Tuesday, and both models hint that we might see a brief change to light snow on the back side of the departing system Tuesday night. Accumulation doesn’t look likely for now; drier air will follow on Wednesday.
Finally it looks like we have a chance at reaching the 60s Thursday of next week as a warming trend begins. See the Weather Xtreme video for more long range thoughts, along with the maps, graphics, and details.
STORM ALERT 2013 IN CLAY TONIGHT: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama wraps up tonight at Clay-Chalkville High School. We will share lessons learned after the April 27, 2011 generational tornado event, along with other amazing weather stories. Learn how to keep your family safe during severe weather, and have a chance to win some cool prizes as well. The show begin at 6:30… be sure and get there early to get a good seat.
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…
I will be doing a program at North River Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa today… then on to Clay for tonight’s Storm Alert 2013 at Clay-Chalkville High School. Won’t be able to produce an afternoon Weather Xtreme video due to travel, but I will have forecast notes here by 4:00. Enjoy the day….
**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; we will be at Academy Sports on Highway 150 in Hoover from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. programming NOAA Weather Radio receivers; come see us if you need help**
THIS AFTERNOON: Nice to see the sunshine across North Alabama this afternoon; temperatures are generally in the mid to upper 50s. The sky will stay clear tonight, and we drop into the mid 30s by daybreak tomorrow.
We turn colder in coming days; the high will be near 50 tomorrow, and in the upper 40s Friday. Expect a mix of sun and clouds tomorrow, and the sky becomes mostly cloudy Friday. A few snow showers will likely move into the northern half of Alabama Friday night.
WINTRY WEEKEND: Not much change in the overall thinking. Snow showers are likely from about midnight Friday night through 9:00 p.m. Saturday. The snow won’t be continuous, and the showers will be somewhat scattered, but a few heavier convective bursts of snow will be possible thanks to a deep, cold core upper low moving over North Alabama.
Below is the GFS snow depth valid at midnight Saturday night…
Looks like a dusting up to one-half inch on grassy areas for the northern two-thirds of Alabama; isolated amounts over one inch are possible across higher terrain of Northeast Alabama, mainly above 1,000 feet. Temperatures will be above freezing, and for now travel problems are not expected.
Otherwise, the day Saturday will be windy and cold as we will have a hard time getting into the low 40s. It will be raw and blustery.
COLD MORNINGS: We project lows between 23 and 28 early Sunday, and in the 20-25 degree range early Monday. Colder valleys across North Alabama have a good chance of seeing upper teens at daybreak Monday, very close to record levels for early March in Alabama. We should mention Sunday will be cold and dry with a high in the low to mid 40s.
NEXT WEEK: A warming trend begins Monday afternoon; we might see the low 60s by Tuesday. A cold front will bring a chance of showers Tuesday night, followed by cooler air Wednesday. The rain Tuesday night won’t be too heavy with very limited moisture. See the morning Weather Xtreme video for more long range ideas.
STORM ALERT 2013: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama wraps up tomorrow night at Clay-Chalkville High School. We will share lessons learned after the April 27, 2011 generational tornado event, along with other amazing weather stories. Learn how to keep your family safe during severe weather, and have a chance to win some cool prizes as well. The show begin at 6:30… be sure and get there early to get a good seat.
CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…
I had a great time today seeing the 4th and 5th graders at Sumiton Elementary/Middle School in Walker County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News… the 3rd graders from Ohatchee Elementary will be on the KIDCAM at 5:00. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…