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Strong Storms By Thursday Morning

| 2:56 pm December 18, 2012

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ONE MORE DRY DAY: As advertised, today is a delightful December day across Alabama with ample sunshine and temperatures between 58 and 61 degrees at mid-afternoon. We drop into the 38-43 degree range early tomorrow, and then dry weather holds for one more day with a partly to mostly sunny sky through the day tomorrow. The day will be a bit warmer with a high in the upper 60s.

TO THE WEST: Storms will fire tomorrow over over Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi where SPC maintains their standard “slight risk” of severe weather. And, up in the cold air, heavy snow will develop from Colorado out into the Central Plains, where blizzard warnings are up for parts of Northwest Kansas.

STORMY THURSDAY MORNING: After a close review of the new 12Z model data, there really isn’t much change in our thinking for Thursday. A classic low CAPE, high shear cold season event.

A line of strong to severe storms should sweep through Thursday morning; the main window for the storms will come from about 3:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. SPC has outlooked much of South Alabama with a “slight risk”, but I do think over the northern counties some of the storms in the line could produce strong, and maybe even damaging winds in spots. And, based on the high low level bulk shear values, a small spin-up tornado sure can’t be ruled out along the line, but the primary risk will come from straight line winds.

Rain amounts of 1/2 to 3/4 inch are likely; see the Weather Xtreme video for complete details along with all the maps and graphics.

COLD AIR BLOWS IN THURSDAY NIGHT: We expect a low in the 25-29 degree range here both Friday and Saturday morning; during the day Friday will have a hard time getting out of the 40s despite a sunny sky. The weekend will remain dry with highs in the 50s Saturday, and close to 60 Sunday.

CHRISTMAS STORMS? Both primary global models continue to show a very dynamic storm system impacting the nation next week, but the timing and details are still up for debate. The Euro (ECMWF) shows potential for strong storms here on Christmas Day, followed by the coldest air so far this season, with a high barely above freezing by December 27. But, the GFS is much slower. It suggests a cool, rainy day on Christmas, followed by warm front passage and a chance of severe weather Dec 26 into the early morning hours of Dec 27, followed by colder air, but not as cold as the Euro look.

We really need to get Thursday’s system out of here before we can really nail this down, but for those of you traveling next week be aware this system has potential to produce inclement weather over a wide part of the U.S. as it moves slowly east, including heavy snow in the cold sector of the storm. Again, take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the graphics, maps, and details.

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. Scroll down for the show notes on this week’s new episode we recorded last night.

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I had a great time today visiting with the 3rd graders at Elvin Hill Elementary School in Columbiana… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM Thursday at 5:00… tonight I will be live at Legacy BBQ on Highway 150 in Hoover as the annual Toys for Tots 26 hour marathon begins; we need 40,000 toys by tomorrow evening. We hope to see you there… the next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

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