Archive for February 17th, 2013

WeatherBrains 369: I See Weird Things

| February 17, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

WeatherBrains Episode 369 is now online (February 18, 2013). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

This week’s guests are Chris Weldon, maker of the StormPins app, and meteorologist Andrew Kozak of KTUL in Tulsa, whose hand drawn weather graphics went viral a few weeks ago.

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

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: 101 continues a series on Dual Polarization radar and this week we begin a look at the application of the new products from dual polarization sites in various situations. This week it’s a look at winter weather.

TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of February 18th.

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.

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – New AMS app for iPhone and iPad

Kevin Selle – GridIt By Cocoon… backpack/computer bag organizer

James Spann – Toaster that prints a weather forecast on your morning toast.

Andrew Kozak – Weather quiz for kids

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

Beautiful but Cool Afternoon

| February 17, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

It was a beautiful but cool afternoon in Central Alabama. The cloud deck that invade the northern half of the state around sunrise was practically gone with just a few clouds still hanging around the Tennessee River Valley.

Visible Satellite View

But even with the abundance of sunshine, the air still has a bit of a chill to it with most places in Central Alabama coming in with temperature values in the upper 40s.

Surface Observations Plot

Still looks like the clouds will increase tomorrow with rain possible by late evening and continuing into Tuesday morning. Looks like the rain should be out of the area by lunch hour with some sun possible Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures should warm to around 60 on Monday but drop back into the 50s on Tuesday. Looks like another shot at rain into the Thursday/Friday time frame with potential for severe weather especially to our west.


Recovering from a Cold Morning

| February 17, 2013 @ 6:59 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.

If you stepped outside early this morning, you can personally confirm that February 17th was one of the coldest mornings of 2013. Because I’m writing this before sunrise, we’ll have to wait to see what the coldest value is at the Birmingham airport. The 6 am temperature was ??. In Helena, I dipped to 22 degrees at 6 am, and our good friend, Vic Bell, in Black Creek reported 14 degrees just before 6 am with a snow cover.

Thanks to a plentiful supply of sunshine today, we should recover nicely to around 50 degrees. Today will seem a lot warmer than yesterday in part because the wind will have died down with just a westerly flow at 5 to 10 mph. But the overall weather pattern remains very progressive with a continuous train of weather systems about every 2 to 3 days.

The next system blows in here on Monday night and into Tuesday morning as a trough digs into the eastern US. Monday should be primarily dry as the clouds increase and thicken up into the afternoon and evening. Showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms will occur Monday evening into Tuesday morning. The rain should depart much of Central Alabama by noon time as we see another cool down as the trough moves by returning the upper flow to the northwest. But the chill down is fairly short lived as a ridge builds into the Mississippi River Valley on Wednesday warming us back up again. The next system begins to take shape Wednesday over the Southwest US.

That trough moves very quickly into the Central US on Thursday and goes negatively tilted. This results in a Day 5 outlook for severe weather over the Lower Mississippi River Valley from northern Louisiana into extreme West Central Alabama. Once again instability is expected to be the greatest along the Gulf Coast, however, the strength of the trough along with strong jet dynamics suggest a squall line scenario for the Lower Mississippi River Valley. The GFS shows dew points climbing rapidly with 60-degree values reaching northern Mississippi. But because the overall pattern begins to de-amplify quickly, the severe weather threat should diminish as the bulk of the weather reaches Central Alabama early Friday.

With a ridge holding over Cuba, the flow over us goes southwesterly. This means that any frontal system that gets into the area Friday is likely to stick around for much of the weekend. This will keep our weather cloudy and perhaps wet depending on exactly how far south and east the front progresses. Greatest rain chances appears to be across South Alabama and the Gulf Coast area. We have to wait on the next system coming out of the southern Rockies on late Sunday and into Monday for another round of wet weather that should finally push things east of us.

Rainfall for the next five days should bring about 1 to 2 inches for much of Alabama with one system Monday night into Tuesday and the second one in the Thursday-Friday time frame.

Interesting long range look with another long wave trough setting up over the eastern US around the 2nd of March. The GFS paints some winter mischief for the Southeast US with another blast of cold air, but this scenario seems a little overdone with the moisture lingering too much and too long after the front goes by. But it is voodoo country, so we’ll have some fun speculating about a snow event for us.

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: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama continues through February. We will share lessons learned after the April 27, 2011, generational tornado event, along with some other amazing weather stories. Learn how to keep your family safe during severe weather plus you have a chance to win some cool prizes as well. The remaining Storm Alert tour date are…

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 pm with doors opening at 5:00 pm so get there early for a good seat.

Looks like the weather folks are going to keep busy over the next couple of weeks with a continuing train of weather systems to deal with. James Spann should be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing Monday morning. I hope you have a great Sunday and Godspeed.