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Warm Afternoons; Colder This Weekend

| 6:15 am October 23, 2012

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DRY AND CALM: Not much change in Alabama’s weather through mid-week, with sunny warm afternoon and fair pleasant nights. Highs will stay close to the 80 degree mark, with lows in the 50s.

Low level moisture levels will rise Friday, and we will bring in a chance of widely scattered showers Friday afternoon ahead of an approaching cold front. This front will mark the leading edge of much colder air that will be flowing down into the continental U.S… again this morning we note some Alaska stations are below zero, and that air is on the move.

OUR WEEKEND: The 00Z GFS is not very bullish on radar totals here. It basically suggests just a few showers Friday night into Saturday morning, with rain amounts less than 1/4 inch. Some spots might not see enough rain to measure, and the main window for showers now seems from about midnight Friday night through 9:00 a.m. Saturday.

COLDER WEEKEND: A strong north wind will develop Saturday, and will usher in a chilly weekend. If clouds linger through the day Saturday, we will have a hard time getting out of the 50s, and that north breeze of 15-30 mph will make it feel colder. Sunday will be sunny, wind, and cool with a high in the 60 to 65 degree range. Winds will remain strong Sunday with Sandy to the east, and strong high pressure to the northwest; winds of 15-30 mph remain likely.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Both Alabama and Auburn have big home games Saturday night; you will need a warm jacket at both venues. Temperatures will be in the 50s at kickoff, and could very well reach the 40s during the second half at both stadiums, but the good news is that there is no chance of rain. The bad news is that the wind will continue out of the north at 12-25 mph, and that in itself could play a big factor.

TROPICS: Tropical Depression 19 in the Central Atlantic should become Tropical Storm Tony later today… it will be moving east/northeast and is no threat to land.

PERFECT STORM, OR FISH STORM? Not much change this morning with Sandy. The short term is a high confidence forecast; Sandy should move over Jamaica tomorrow as a hurricane (probably a category one), and then over the eastern tip of Cuba on Thursday, then reaching the Bahamas Friday. For now NHC has Sandy as a tropical storm over the Bahamas, but I would not be surprised if the system was still at hurricane strength.

From the Bahamas, we still have a split camp. Most tropical models, and the GFS, want to keep Sandy offshore with no direct impact to the U.S. But, I do note the 00Z GFS bring a piece of Sandy back toward the coast of Maine around the middle of next week, which might give some credibility to the other global models.

The 00Z runs of the GEMS (Canadian) and the ECMWF (European) continue to drive Sandy back toward the upper Atlantic coast next week. Both models take the system in the general direction of Long Island and New York City early next week, which could make Sandy a storm for the history books. Severe coastal flooding and beach erosion along and north of the storm center, with piles of snow in the cold air west of the Appalachians. They will be measuring snow in terms of feet instead of inches in that region if this scenario is correct.

TOO EARLY: Many will begin making calls on the final destination of Sandy soon, but it is simply too early. NOBODY knows at this stage of the game, but with the GEMS and the ECMWF remaining consistent, I would certainly suggest that our friends from Atlantic City north begin thinking about preparations in the event Sandy takes a turn for the coast. Power outages, flooding, and also potential for record October snow west of the Appalachians. That in itself could create major power outages since in some spots we still have leaves on trees. All eyes will remain on Sandy in coming days.

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I will be over in Pell City this morning speaking at Jeff State… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 3:30 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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