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QUICK CHANGES: As advertised here earlier today, the fog did indeed burn off, the sky is mostly sunny statewide this afternoon with mild temperatures for February; most places around here are in the 60s, with low 70s to the south at Montgomery, Auburn, and Alex City.
But, clouds return quickly tonight ahead of a strong short wave over Texas that shows up nicely in satellite images this afternoon. Rain will begin in West Alabama after midnight, and it should be widespread statewide by daybreak tomorrow. There could be a little thunder involved, but we won’t have any severe weather over the northern half of the state (although a strong storm is possible near the coast). Rain totals for the I-20/59 corridor should be in the one-half inch range, with potential for one inch over the southern counties of the state.
The rain will end from west to east during the midday hours tomorrow, and we might reach the low 60s tomorrow afternoon after the rain moves out.
FRIDAY/SATURDAY: We actually have a little model madness going on Friday. The GFS is dry, and forecasts a clearing sky during the day with a high in the low 60s. The NAM, on the other hand, brings another impulse in here with periods of rain on Friday. For now we will just mention an outside risk of a stray shower Friday morning, and we will hit the chance of rain harder on Friday if the GFS comes around the to the NAM solution.
Both models agree Saturday will be a delightful day across Alabama. There could be some early morning fog, otherwise the day will be mostly sunny with a high around 60 degrees after an early morning low near freezing.
NORTHEAST U.S. BLIZZARD: Blizzard watches are up for parts of MA and RI this evening; some communities up that way will be pounded with wind and snow Friday afternoon through Saturday morning; it remains to be seen how much snow will fall in New York City, but Boston could be hammered by this one.
SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Clouds increase Sunday, and we will forecast a chance of developing showers during the day, especially over the western half of the state. South winds will increase Sunday as well ahead of a major storm system forming over the Great Plains. We should rise into the mid 60s Sunday afternoon.
Rain becomes widespread over the northern half of the state Sunday night into Monday morning; a strong storm will be possible (although it is not a classic severe weather setup), and some heavy rain is likely.
Then, by Monday afternoon, there is a chance the axis of heavier rain shifts south of I-20 for a while as a surface boundary shifts to the south. But, a surface wave on the front will bring it northward, and another round of heavy rain and strong storms is likely Tuesday and Tuesday night.
We will need to monitor the flooding potential on these three days as rain amounts of 2-4 inches are very likely. The rain will finally taper off very early Wednesday as colder and drier air moves into the state from the north.
THE LAND OF VOODOO: Yet again, the GFS is hinting at winter weather mischief across parts of the Deep South around February 18, but voodoo is what it is for now. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.
STORM ALERT 2013: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama kicks off this week; we will be at Holt High School Thursday night; the show begins at 6:30. 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. Here is the entire Storm Alert tour schedule for the year…
February 7 Holt – Holt High School
February 12 Jasper – CHS Community Building
February 21 Clanton – Jeff State Performing Arts Center
February 26 Ohatchee – Ohatchee High School
February 28 Clay – Clay/Chalkville High School
All shows 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.
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I had a great today today visiting with the kids at Cleveland Elementary School… 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!