ABC 33/40 Seven Day Forecast
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Forecaster: Bill Murray
Friday was a rude awakening for much of Alabama. The sharp change to colder came early in the day in the northwest part of the state as the well defined arctic front pushed into the state during the morning. The front hung up in the I-59 corridor, creating some interesting temperature contrasts. At mid afternoon, it was 36F in Haleyville and 82F in Montgomery. The two cities are about 150 miles apart. Showers and even some elevated thunderstorms formed behind the front. At 2 p.m., it was 37F in Tupelo with a thunderstorm and light snow. At 3 p.m. in the Metro, it was 57F at the Birmingham Airport and 77F at the Shelby County Airport. The front finally got its mojo and moved through the Birmingham area by late afternoon, dropping the mercury at the Airport to 42F by 7 p.m.. By then, it was 47F at the Shelby County Airport.
THE TROUGH THAT ATE THE U.S. Looking at the upper level charts, the U.S. landscape is dwarfed by a giant trough that covers much of the country. Cold air has spilled in behind the arctic front, anchored by a 1044 millibar high pressure system over Montana. The coldest reading I could find at 9 p.m. last night at 9 p.m. in the U.S. was -27F at Havre, MT. In the moist southwesterly flow on the front side of the trough, a wintry mix was falling across a wide area
FOR YOUR SATURDAY: Central Alabama locations were in the 30s overnight for the most part, and things won’t get much better today, with highs ranging from the lower 40s Northwest to upper 40s in the 59 corridor to lower 50s Southeast. The rain ended over Northwest Alabama last night but did come to a complete end for everyone in the I-59 corridor. You can expect a few light showers today in the 59 corridor and points southeast. Those showers will increase in coverage and intensity by tonight as our next wave approaches.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: Today’s title match will be played in the Georgia Dome, so weather will not be a factor. But for fans headed over that way the day will be wet with light rain at times and a high around 50 degrees.
SUNDAY: Tomorrow will feature increasing showers through the day and a widespread soaking rain moving in from the west as relatively warm, moist air rises up and over the shallow cold airmass edging down from the northwest. A wide gradient in temperatures will develop along the sharply defined cold front. It is a situation where we may see lower 40s over Northwest Alabama and 70s over South Central Alabama by mid-afternoon.
MONDAY/TUESDAY: Indications are that the soaking rain will continue on Monday, but it should begin to taper off from the west by Monday night. A few showers could linger into Tuesday. Highs on Monday will be in the 50s, with 30s Monday night. The presence of the cold air could allow for some wintry precipitation, most likely freezing rain, over northwestern Alabama late Monday night and early Tuesday.
MIDWEEK H’S: By Wednesday, the weather maps will be dominated by little blue H’s that signify high pressure. Highs will moderate back through the 50s. Wednesday should be the coldest morning, with lows in the 20a.
THE WEEKEND: Rain will be creeping in from the west by late Friday, and another soaking rain looks like it is in store for the area Saturday as low pressure moves along the Gulf Coast. This one could feature even more rain than what we will experience this weekend. Parts of Central Alabama could see upwards of 2 inches, with higher amounts toward the coast.
VOODOO: Just off the edge of the 384 hour window of the GFS is Christmas. The extension of the GFS, the CFS, shows a big trough over the eastern U.S. again, meaning another cold air outbreak. Just a possibility, but something we will be watching.
DANCING WITH THE STATS: On this date in 1951, the mercury rose to 80F in Birmingham, marking the Magic City’s warmest December reading ever.
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SEVERE WEATHER TALK: If you need a speaker for your church or civic group, I have a good presentation on severe weather preparedness taken from the January 2012 tornado outbreak. Just email me at billmurray at theweatherfactory.com.
HAPPENING IN THE ‘HAM: The Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau has created one of the best local apps I have ever seen. If you have an iPhone or Android device, you simply must get this app! Available in the iTunes store and Google Play Store. It’s free!
CENTRAL ALABAMA NWA: The local National Weather Association chapter will hold its Holiday Social on Monday, December 16th at 6:30 p.m. at the Residence Inn on Highway 150 in Hoover. It is free to members, and immediate family members may attend as well. It will be potluck, but the chapter will provide the entrée. If you are a member, go to the chapter website at and reserve your tickets. Just click on Events.
If you’re not a member, there is a $30 special for your 2014 dues that will include admission to the social. The offer is on the front page of the chapter website.
ONE YEAR AGO: Alabama was enjoying a warm weekend, but colder air was on the horizon. The high was 66F in Birmingham. Go back in time.
WEATHERBRAINS: Had a great visit with Roger Edwards, a Lead Forecaster with the Storm Prediction Center. Roger dates back to when it was the National Severe Storms Forecast Center in Kansas City. Check out the weekly netcast that’s all about weather at www.WeatherBrains.com. You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can also see the show on the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly over the air on the dot 2 feed.
ON THIS DATE IN 2002: Fog reduced visibility on I-65 near the Tennessee River in North Alabama during the early morning hours on a Saturday. A tractor-trailer jackknifed, leading to a chain reaction accident that involved 18 vehicles. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at Twitter.com.