The best and warmest weather we have seen in 2013 thus far. In the weather industry this is what we call a chamber of commerce day. This kind of weather is hard to beat. Abundant sunshine is allowing for temperatures to warm into the 70s across the state. The last weekend official weekend of winter feels like mid-spring. This weather will continue tomorrow but things will be changing. A look at the latest visible satellite image this afternoon shows nothing but severe clear along the Interstate 20 corridor. Clouds are few and far between and the closest widespread clouds to us are in Kentucky. Sunny, warm and breezy conditions across the state today.
A quick look at the current surface temperatures show the warmth has spread all across the Southeast. Notice the temperate gradient to our north across and nearly parallel to the Ohio River. That boundary could be the focal point of some showers and thunderstorms later today and into tomorrow. Very warm air in place and some places in the Carolinas and Texas are flirting with the 90s. In fact yesterday out in West Texas, numerous locations made it into the 90s. For today across Alabama, most locations should stay in the 70s even though a few places could flirt with 80. Truly a beautiful and gorgeous Saturday across the South.
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Great weekend in store for Central Alabama with highs climbing nicely into the middle 70s and even a tad warmer south of the Birmingham area. We’ll see a few highs cirrus clouds passing by from time to time but lots of sunshine for us to enjoy. With a nearly zonal flow in the upper atmosphere and surface high pressure along the Gulf Coast, the weather will stay well to our north for the weekend.
Sunday should be a mostly sunny day but clouds will be increasing during the afternoon as the next system approaches us promising some storms and rain for Monday. Looks like Monday will start out primarily dry though some isolated showers may occur. The rain potential increases as the front comes into the area late in the day Monday. The main surface low along with upper trough are well to our north on Monday, but the GFS is suggesting a secondary surface low in the Ohio River Valley. This could help to improve conditions for a severe weather threat on Day 3, and the SPC has outlined an area for slight risk going from eastern Kentucky across eastern and middle Tennessee into the northern half of Alabama. This appears to be a high instability and low shear environment, so the main threat is likely to be damaging thunderstorm wind. The threat comes Monday afternoon and evening. Rainfall amounts are going to be in the half inch to 1 inch range.
Tuesday the weather improves with another brief cool down. With a good northwesterly flow aloft, temperatures Wednesday and Thursday morning are likely to dip into the 30s with perhaps a threat of freezing values. But we stay dry until Friday when the next system comes along to pose a threat of rain. This one appears to come with a good deal of uncertainty as we see some model differences on the strength and position of the low. The GFS a little less aggressive with the rain while the ECMWF is more aggressive and slightly slower than the GFS. We are verging on voodoo country, and we do need to focus on the Monday event, so I’m sure we’ll be refining the forecast for Friday and next weekend a little later.
Week two, voodoo country, looks mainly dry with the potential for a glancing blow from a short wave moving across the Great Lakes area around the 30th.
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Headed out to shoot a little video of a handbell performance for a couple of friends this morning. I hope you have an opportunity to get out to enjoy the lovely Spring weather. Have a great day and Godspeed.