Archive for February 9th, 2013

A Very Wet Start to the Week

| February 9, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

Hope you enjoyed the sunshine and dry conditions today, because it is about to be a very cloudy and wet forecast through at least Tuesday night. A strong storm system will be heading from the Southern Rockies into the Central Plains and Midwest, where Blizzard conditions are expected. Further to South, rain and strong storms will occur, some of the storms are expected to be severe at times, damaging winds will be the greatest threat from this storm system. That part of the system will be heading towards Alabama overnight tonight, and we can expect rain to be getting to West Alabama by early tomorrow afternoon.

Another issue we may see develop across the state, will be a flooding threat. Since January 1st, Birmingham is already nearly two and half inches above normal for rainfall this year. The slow moving system will be dropping heavy rainfall across the Southeast. A look at the latest Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening shows very heavy rain fall totals are expected during that time frame. This forecast shows the highest totals over southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama where it looks like areas near Hattiesburg could receive over five inches of rain. Across much of north central Alabama, many areas could expect to receive two to four inches of rain. I know the National Weather Service in Huntsville has already issued a flash flood watch that will take effect Sunday afternoon, and I expect that other NWS offices will issue flood advisories before and during this event. Make sure you stay aware of the changing weather conditions the next few days and never drive through flooded roads…TURN AROUND, DON”T DROWN!!!

2-9-2013 6-23-17 PM

Connecticut Snow Pictures

| February 9, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

Friends at my church have a daughter who is currently living in New Haven, CT. They sent me these pictures this afternoon, and I thought I would share them with our Blog viewers. Quite an amazing snow storm!



More Snowfall Notes

| February 9, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

Additional accumulation this morning at Boston’s Logan Airport put the current blizzard solidly into fifth place in terms of all time snowstorms there.

1. 27.5″ 2003 February 17-18
2. 27.1″ 1978 February 6-7
3. 26.3″ 1969 February 24-25
4. 25.4″ 1997 March 31 – April 1
5. 24.7″ 2013 February 8-9
6. 22.5″ 2005 January 22-23
7. 21.4″ 1978 January 20-21
8. 19.8″ 1960 March 3-5
9. 19.4″ 1958 February 16-17
10. 18.7″ 1994 February 8-10

…the 17 inches at Providence RI ties for 8h all time there.
…35.5 inches at Gorham, ME is the highest total I have seen so far.
…31.9 inches at Portland ME is an all time record snowstorm there.
…the 30.0 inches at Bridgeport CT from a coop observer may well tie the all time 24 hour snowfall record for Connecticut.
…11.4 inches at Central Park in New York City is impressive, bu

Sunny Skies, but Couds to our West

| February 9, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

It is a great looking afternoon across Alabama and much of the Southeast. If you have the chance, get out and enjoy this weather. Skies are mostly sunny from the Carolinas to about the Mississippi River. To our west in Texas and Oklahoma, we beginning to see an increase in showers and thunderstorms along the dry line in the western parts of those states. Expecting severe weather to develop in that region this afternoon and that system will be heading our way overnight.

By tomorrow morning, the clouds that are in Louisiana and Arkansas will have moved east over Alabama. Expecting to start the day off dry tomorrow, but it will be mostly cloudy and the clouds will be on the increase through the day. Showers and thunderstorms should be impacting Alabama by mid afternoon. Some storms could be severe at times. A very wet start to the week. Don’t expect to see skies this clear again over Alabama until late Wednesday afternoon at the earliest, but it will probably be Thursday before we see full sun again.

2-9-2013 2-34-42 PM

SPC Expands Slight Risk for Sunday

| February 9, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

The latest Day 2 convective outlook issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma now has much of West Alabama in a slight risk for severe weather tomorrow. This does include many areas along and west of Interstate 65 and includes the cities of Birmingham, Cullman, Tuscaloosa, Jasper, Hamilton, Fayette, Vernon, Aliceville, Clanton, Selma, Demopolis, Livingston, Grove Hill and Mobile.

A slight risk means there is an elevated chance of some organized severe weather in the risk area. However, remember that you do not have to be in a risk to experience severe weather.

For Alabama, it looks as though the worst of the weather will hold off until Sunday afternoon. A warm front will be lifting across Alabama on Sunday, bringing in more moist and unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico. Low pressure in the Plains will track northeast into the Midwest and will be swinging a cold front through the region. The uplift with the front, increase wind shear from the low, and instability from the moist air, will gives us a threat for severe weather.

2-9-2013 12-24-42 PM

For major severe weather outbreak across Alabama, it is best for the low pressure to be in Arkansas, or Southern Missouri. This low will be further to the north and west, so we are not expecting a major severe weather outbreak, but the ingredients will be in place for a threat of some strong to severe storms across the Southeast. The main threat from this system will be damaging winds, but some isolated tornadoes will be possible, especially in areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. Still plenty of time to watch this and things can change, but just make sure you have effective ways to receive severe weather notifications.

Boston Snowfall Makes Their Top Ten List

| February 9, 2013 @ 11:10 am

The 21.8 inches of snow through 7 a.m. at Boston’s Logan Airport is not an all time record there, but it did make the top ten. Some additional snow fell after 7 a.m., which could have been enough to push the storm total into the top five.

Here is the current list through 7 a.m.

1. 27.5″ 2003 February 17-18
2. 27.1″ 1978 February 6-7
3. 26.3″ 1969 February 24-25
4. 25.4″ 1997 March 31 – April 1
5. 22.5″ 2005 January 22-23
6. 21.8″ 2013 February 8-9
7. 21.4″ 1978 January 20-21
8. 19.8″ 1960 March 3-5
9. 19.4″ 1958 February 16-17
10. 18.7″ 1994 February 8-10

We will update the ranking later.

It looks like blizzard conditions were confirmed at Falmouth AFB in Massachusetts. Here are the obs during the early morning, focusing on the ones between 2:15 and 5:35.


The NWS defines a blizzard as:

…the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer:
Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than 1/4 mile)

It could be argued that the blizzard conditions started as early as 12:35 a.m.

It looks to me like the readings at Boston’s Logan fell just short of the definition, although they were close.

So far, the highest snow total I have seen out of the NWS Boston is 32.0 inches at Manchester CT.

The snow is definitely tapering off now as the low departs to the northeast. Here is a picture of the low with satellite and radar, as well as the isobars.


The pressure now is 978 mb. I have seen an estimate as low at 974 mb.

1969’s Lindsay Snowstorm

| February 9, 2013 @ 9:30 am

Headlines this morning in the Weather Department are all about the snowstorm in the Northeast.

Forty four years ago today, another major winter storm pounded the Northeast with heavy snow and gale force winds.

Mini skirts were the rage in 1969, but not good attire for a snowstorm.

Mini skirts were the rage in 1969, but not good attire for a snowstorm.

Bedford MA recorded 25 inches of snow. A total of 15.3 inches officially fell in New York City. Portland ME recorded 22 inches. Drifts would pile up to 20 feet!

The storm is nicknamed the “Lindsay Storm” because of the political fallout that resulted for New York Mayor John Lindsay when portions of the city were still not plowed a week after the storm.

Eight hundred cars were stranded on New York’s Tappan-Zee Bridge. Over 6,000 travelers were stranded on snowbound jets at Kennedy airport. Damages totaled over $10 million.

The intensity of the storm was not forecast correctly. Weather forecasters had called for light snow changing to rain. The forecasters had been tracking a low pressure system moving through the Ohio Valley, but a secondary low formed off the East Coast and caused the heavy snowfall.

Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at

Wet Week Ahead

| February 9, 2013 @ 7:48 am

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.

Looks like the Southeast US and Central Alabama are headed into a wet but mild period with rain and perhaps a few thunderstorms Sunday through Tuesday before we clear out and chill down once again. And what about the Northeast US. Wow, did they get dumped on by a strong Nor’ester. Forecasts I looked at last night were forecasting “more than 24 inches of snow.” I guess when it gets that high, there probably is not a lot of difference between 24 inches and 36 inches!!

Very nice day on tap for us this Saturday with lots of sunshine and highs climbing to around 60 degrees. But clouds should start increasing late this afternoon and into the evening with mostly cloudy skies for us Sunday. Rain chances will be on the increase Sunday with rain becoming likely by late afternoon and into the nighttime hours thanks to approach of a cold front. Unfortunately, the upper flow goes nearly zonal with a slight southwest flow. This means that the front will stall out in Central or South Alabama keeping us unsettled and wet.

The next strong upper trough comes at us on Tuesday creating another wet day. That strong trough weakens some but goes by early Wednesday bringing an end to the precipitation. But it also ushers in cold air with Wednesday having the potential to be one of those raw days with a good northwest wind and temperatures remaining steady throughout the day in the 40s. And the GFS and ECMWF are in reasonably good agreement on this scenario.

So we see a couple of nice days Thursday and Friday before the next strong upper short wave begins to impact us next Saturday. And this system seems to promise some cold air along with the potential for some winter mischief. Interesting to note that while both models are in good agreement on the cold air, they do disagree substantially on the potential for some wintery precipitation. The GFS is definitely the more aggressive with winter weather and the ECMWF probably a more likely scenario with just a little snow flurry activity following the front. But this is verging on voodoo country, so we’ll be keeping our eye on later model runs to see if this will develop or fizzle.

Looking further into voodoo land, the weather pattern remains active with another shot at precipitation on the 19th with a really, really big ridge around the 24th promising some warm days for the eastern half of the country.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Ashley Brand
J. B. Elliott Bill Murray Brian Peters
E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

STORM ALERT 2013: The annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama for the ABC 3340 Weather Team continues through February. They 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 plus you’ll have a chance to win some cool prizes, too. The upcoming Storm Alert tour dates are:
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 programs begin at 6:30 pm with the doors opening at 5 pm, so be sure to get there early for a good seat.

The next Weather Xtreme Video will be posted by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Enjoy this great late winter day and the mild temperatures. Godspeed.