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Not As Hot This Week

| 6:18 am August 25, 2014

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.

RADAR CHECK: One lone shower was over Alabama at daybreak over West Alabama’s Pickens County, moving southwest into Mississippi. We will continue to mention a risk of scattered storms today, but they should be most numerous over the western half of the state, where deeper moisture is in place. The chance of any one spot getting wet west of I-65 today is about one in three. The high will be close to 90 degrees; some places won’t make it out of the 80s.

MID-WEEK: Drier air moves into Alabama from the east tonight, and we will be dry tomorrow through Thursday with sunny days, fair cooler nights, and lower humidity levels. Highs will be close to 90 degrees, but morning lows will drop into the 60s. Coolest morning should come early Wednesday with mid 60s likely… we just might see a few upper 50s across the cooler pockets of Northeast Alabama.

FRIDAY AND THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Moist air begins to return Friday, and a few spots could see an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. Then, for the holiday weekend, we project a mix of sun and clouds Saturday through Monday with the daily risk of “scattered showers and thunderstorms”. This doesn’t imply a “wash out” or “rainy weekend”, but no doubt we will deal with a few passing storms along the way. Highs over the weekend will be in the 88 to 91 degree range, about average for late August and early September in Alabama. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: We project mostly sunny days and fair nights on the coast from Panama City to Gulf Shores through Thursday. For the Labor Day weekend, about 5 to 7 hours of sunshine each day in this zone with the daily risk of scattered thunderstorms. Highs along the immediate coast will be in the 88-92 degree range, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Pensacola Beach is 87 degrees.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Cristobal, over the Southeast Bahamas, is expected to become a hurricane tomorrow night, but it will recurve into the Atlantic and is no threat to the U.S.

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A tropical wave is over the Atlantic between Africa and the Lesser Antilles; some chance of slow development later this week.

And, in the Pacific, Hurricane Marie is packing sustained winds of 145 mph well off the coast of Mexico, but this will weaken quickly over cooler water in coming days as it moves north/northwest. Swells and rough surf from this will impact the Southern California coast later this week. See the Weather Xtreme video for more 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. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day…

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Update on Cristobal

| 4:00 pm August 24, 2014

vis_lalo-animated

The latest data from the NHC has Cristobal moving north. The official track from the NHC now keeps Cristobal well off the East Coast of the U.S.

…CRISTOBAL MOVING NORTHWARD…
…HEAVY RAINFALL AFFECTING THE TURKS AND CAICOS AND THE
SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…24.5N 73.0W
ABOUT 155 MI…250 KM ENE OF LONG ISLAND
ABOUT 185 MI…300 KM ENE OF GREAT EXUMA ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1001 MB…29.56 INCHES

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Afternoon Radar Check

| 3:31 pm August 24, 2014

It continues to be very hot and humid across the state today. Unlike yesterday, where just a few storms developed, there are many more showers and storms this afteroon. The bulk of the activity is over eastern portions of the state, and this activity is drifting towards the south-southwest. The U.S. 431 Highway is be impacting up and down the eastern side of the state, as several areas of storms are producing very heavy rainfall and dangerous lightning. A few storms could be producing gusty winds and small hail as well.

There is another batch of activity from Bibb County down through Perry, Dallas, and Lowndes County. Once again, all activity is moving towards the south-southwest. The storms out there now, will persist through the afternoon and evening hours, before the begin to weaken after sunset. Where it has rained, temps have dropped into the 70s and 80s as seen in DeKalb and Shelby counties. Where the rain has not fallen, it is very hot as mid to upper 90s continue across many areas of the state.

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Click image to enlarge.

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Some Afternoon Storms

| 12:42 pm August 24, 2014
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Click image to enlarge.

It is another hot afternoon across the state as most locations have once again climbed into the 90s. The ridge over the state has retrograded back to the west today, and that will allow for showers and storms to develop and move from north to south or northeast to southwest across the state today.

Early this afternoon, we already see a few storms south of Interstate 20 and east of Interstate 65, and these storms are moving towards the southwest. Portions of Talladega, St. Clair, Jefferson, Shelby, and Coosa counties are being impacted at this time. With these storms, there will be very heavy rainfall, intense lightning, gusty winds, and there could even be some hail. There could be a few strong storms today, but overall the best thing about these storms is they will provide some temporary heat relief.

Heading through the afternoon, expect scattered to numerous showers and storms across the Alabama landscape. After the sun sets this evening, and daytime heating is lost, today’s convection should begin to wind down.

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Tropical Storm Cristobal

| 9:03 am August 24, 2014

Earlier this morning, tropical depression four was named Tropical Storm Cristobal. Over the next few days, Cristobal will continue to intensify and is expected to reach hurricane strength off the Southeast Coast. Looking at the satellite imagery, Cristobal is a healthy looking system, with decent inflow and outflow. Being in favorable environmental conditions, there should be no reason why Cristobal will not continue to get better organized through the afternoon and first part of the week.

rb_lalo-animated

Latest specifics on the storm.

…CRISTOBAL RE-FORMS A LITTLE TO THE NORTHEAST…
…STILL MOVING NORTHWESTWARD NEAR THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…23.0N 73.0W
ABOUT 40 MI…60 KM N OF MAYAGUANA ISLAND
ABOUT 135 MI…215 KM ESE OF LONG ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1001 MB…29.56 INCHES

Now the most important question, where is Cristobal heading? Most of the computer models are pulling the system away from the U.S. mainland. No worries for the Gulf of Mexico, and it should stay far enough away from the East Coast to cause no major issues. It look as though the island of Bermuda will certainly need to be on guard as the models show Cristobal moving very close to the island.

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Heat Breaking; Tropics Active

| 6:56 am August 24, 2014

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.

The August heat is abating somewhat today thanks to a couple of features. First, a dissipating cluster of thunderstorms that moved into the western sections of the Tennessee River Valley of Alabama early this morning will help to provide some extra clouds. And second, the wedge or cold air damming is bringing a backdoor cold front into Central Alabama from the east. A heat advisory was still in effect for West Central Alabama where heat indices may still approach 105 degrees. But our actual highs will be down a few degrees as this August heat dips a tad. Look for highs to be in the 93 to 97 range with cooler values in the eastern sections. Showers should become likely this afternoon and evening with good moisture in place and the various boundaries adding to the lift. Isolated damaging wind gusts with these storms are possible, but this is not expected to be a major severe weather event.

The backdoor front will push westward helping to dry out our atmosphere plus bring in some cooler air from the east. Storms will be less likely on Monday and I think we dry out for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The upper ridge dampens with time as we proceed through the week. A fairly strong trough will approach the Southeast US in the Thursday/Friday time frame as moisture values come back up. This will produce another chance for showers for Friday and Saturday. But highs are only expected to be in the lower 90s, so no excessive heat returning.

Beach goers should note that there is a heat advisory for Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida. Isolated showers today will become more scattered Monday but still expect to see 4 to 8 hours of sunshine. Highs along the immediate coast will be in the lower 90s. Water temperature at Perdido Pass this morning was 87 degrees.

In the tropics, we’re anxiously watching the development of tropical storm Cristobal. The Hurricane Center anticipates it to intensify slowly and it was named Cristobal in a 7 am CDT advisory. Yesterday there was some concern for a more westward track, but today it appears that there is a weakness in the subtropical ridge which will allow a more north-northwest track today and Monday. This should keep the developing storm further from the coast of Florida and that is surely welcome news.

Looking out into voodoo country and Week 2, the upper air pattern shows a ridge over the Southeast US around the 4th of September with another fairly strong trough moving across the eastern US around the 8th. While the ridge means it will be warm, the ridge does not appear overly large, so I do not expect to see any excessive heat.

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…

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James Spann will be up first thing Monday morning with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Be sure to check with the Blog for the latest weather information for Central Alabama. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Depression Forms in Southeast Bahamas

| 4:42 pm August 23, 2014

Tropical Depression 4 has formed in the Southeast Bahama Islands in the vicinity of Turks and Caicos. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft found a well-defined central circulation this afternoon. Since conditions are favorable for additional development including light to moderate shear and sea surface water temperatures near 30 degree Centigrade, the National Hurricane Center expects the system to become a tropical storm in the next 24 to 36 hours and will be named Cristobal. And since conditions appear to favor intensification, the system could become a hurricane by Tuesday.

TD 4 Track Forecast

The graphic above shows the official track published by NHC. This morning I noted that the GFS was a bit further west of many of the models and it continues to be that way. Looking at a plot of all the models shows that several of the models are now projecting more of a shift westward closer to Florida. If these are correct, and with the various discrepancies, confidence is not especially high right now, then the east coast of Florida could be facing the risk of tropical storm or hurricane conditions in 3 to 4 days. Hopefully the storm will stay at least a couple of hundred miles offshore before it begins to fully recurve to the northeast.

-Brian-

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Hot August Afternoon

| 1:33 pm August 23, 2014

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Temps are well into the 90s again today and we are looking for them to continue to climb the next several hours. Most locations should see highs this afternoon in the upper 90s. When the dew points, that are in the 70s, are factored in with the temperatures, there are very dangerous heat index values this afternoon. For this reason, a Heat Advisory remains in effect for much of the area through 9 PM tonight. Heat index values are over 100F and in some locations over 105F.

There are a few showers and storms across the Tennessee Valley, and these are moving towards the south and could get into central portions of the state later today. Most locations will stay dry today and will continue to bake under the very hot August sun. For tonight, temps will slowly cool back off, but only into the mid and upper 70s. It will be balmy and very humid.

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