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Hit and Miss Afternoon Showers

| August 15, 2016 @ 3:21 pm

RADAR CHECK: Pretty much a classic dog day afternoon across Alabama, except temperatures are a bit below average with many places in the upper 80s. On radar, we have a random pattern of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms… moving north.

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Showers and storms will fade away after the sun sets.

The weather won’t change much tomorrow… partly sunny with a few afternoon and evening showers and storms in random, scattered places. The high will be in the low 90s for most.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: The upper ridge weakens a bit, and with slightly colder air aloft we expect scattered showers and storms to become a little more numerous on these three days. Otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds with highs near, or just under 90 degrees.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Not much change. The sun will be out at times Saturday and Sunday, but with a moist, unstable airmass in place, and a surface front to the north, we expect scattered to numerous showers and storms both days, especially during the afternoon and evening hours. Afternoon highs will range from 87 to 90 degrees for most places, which is below average for mid-August in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: The surface front to the north will probably hang up around the Tennessee state line; low confidence any drier air will work in here. So, no major changes for at least the first half of the week with mixed sun and clouds and the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Long range guidance hints that highs could very well be mostly in the upper 80s next week.

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AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day through the weekend on the Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach westward to Gulf Shores, with a few widely scattered showers and storms around. Highs in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

TROPICS: A tropical wave in the far eastern Atlantic has come chance for slow development through mid-week, but in the long term it will be gaining latitude and fighting dry air; looks like no risk to the U.S. or any land mass. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

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 live here.

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Midday Nowcast: Hot & Humid, Scattered Showers Possible

| August 15, 2016 @ 12:19 pm

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Here at the midday hour we have a few isolated showers dotting the radar, mainly in the western counties of the area, with a few showing up in Walker, Cullman, and Blount counties. We currently have partly to mostly clear skies across Central Alabama on the latest visible satellite imagery. As I was typing this entry, a shower passed over or nearby the Birmingham Airport and dropped the temperature by 4 degrees.

Across the southeast, most of the rain activity is located back to our west in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Even though there are scattered showers and storms in Louisiana, most of the hardest hit places from the pesky low that caused all of the flooding is getting a break.

TEMPERATURES AT THIS HOUR: Here is a list of temperature observations from across the area:

Birmingham 84
Tuscaloosa 88
Gadsden 88
Anniston 90
Cullman 84
Jasper 88
Alexander City 88
Montgomery 89

CODE GREEN AIR QUALITY: The Air Quality Index for the Birmingham Metropolitan Area is in the “Code Green” for ozone and particulate matter 2.5. No actions needed.

TODAY’S CLIMATOLOGY FOR BIRMINGHAM: The normal high for August 15th is 91, while the normal low is 69. The record high for today was set back in 2007 at 104. The record low was set back in 2004 at 54.

WHAT TO EXPECT FOR TODAY: Skies will be partly to mostly sunny with scattered afternoon, showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will be in the low 90s. Odds for any one spot getting rain is about one in three. Any showers or storms should come to an end by 10PM, and overnight lows will be in the 70s.

TUESDAY’S WEATHER: Almost the same story as Monday’s weather… Partly to mostly sunny skies with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will be in the low 90s for the most part. Odds for any one spot getting rain is about one in three, and don’t be surprised if showers pop before noon. Once again, shower activity should die off by 10PM, and overnight lows will be in the 70s.

HEADED TO THE BEACH: Pretty good weather on the coast this week from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily with only widely scattered showers and storms; highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. Rip currents are an issue today, as red flags fly on our forecasted beaches. Already, 10 water rescues have been made in Destin. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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THE TROPICS: All is quiet for the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, but there is a tropical wave located over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean just a few hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands. Some gradual development is possible during the next few days before it enters less-favorable conditions. It is expected to move west to west-northwestward over the eastern Atlantic through mid-week.

ON THIS DAY IN 1987: Thunderstorms developing ahead of a sharp cold front produced severe weather in the Upper Midwest during the afternoon and evening hours, with Minnesota and eastern South Dakota hardest hit. A thunderstorm in west central Minnesota spawned a tornado at Eagle Lake which killed one person and injured eight others. A thunder- storm in eastern South Dakota produced softball size hail at Warner.

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Routine Summer Weather For Now

| August 15, 2016 @ 5:25 am

HOTTER AFTERNOONS: Birmingham went six consecutive days with a high under 90 degrees last week (Monday August 8 through Saturday August 13)… that was mostly due to increased cloud cover from the upper low that brought the historic flooding to Louisiana. That feature is now over Texas and Oklahoma, and the upper ridge has returned. This means some fairly typical August weather for the state through Wednesday; partly sunny, hot, humid days with “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs in the low 90s, and the chance of any one spot getting wet each day about one in four. Most of the scattered storms will happen between 2 and 9 p.m.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: The upper ridge begins to weaken again, and we expect a slow uptick in the number of scattered showers and storms with a mix of sun and clouds both days. Highs drop into the 87-90 degree range for most communities.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: With a weaker ridge, and a surface front slowly approaching from the north, looks like we will have scattered to numerous showers and storms Saturday and Sunday with highs back in the mid to upper 80s. Understand it won’t rain all weekend, but a passing shower or storm is a pretty good possibility from time to time.

NEXT WEEK: The GFS actually tries to bring a surface front all the way down to U.S. 80 by Monday, and it by chance that is correct, the humidity would be a bit lower over North Alabama early next week with cooler nights, but I will believe it when I see it. Fronts rarely push that far south in August. The good news is that we see no excessively hot weather (upper 90s or triple digits) around here for the rest of the month. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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AT THE BEACH: Pretty good weather on the coast this week from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily with only widely scattered showers and storms; highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. The sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 82 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

TROPICS: A tropical wave has emerged off the coast of Africa; some chance of slow development in coming days, but it will be fighting dry air, and if it survives more than likely it will not impact the U.S.

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The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

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 live here.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

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Storms Pushing Up Through West Alabama; Lightning, 40 mph Gusts

| August 14, 2016 @ 3:06 pm

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A line of showers and storms is lifting northward through West Alabama this afternoon. At 3 p.m., it extends from Uniontown to Eutaw to Carollton to Amory MS.

It is moving north at 30 mph.

Lots of lightning and heavy rain as well as wind gusts to 40 mph accompanying the storms.

The storms will arrive in Tuscaloosa around 4 p.m.

The activity should stay mainly west of Jefferson County.

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Showers and Storms Mostly West of I-65 Today…

| August 14, 2016 @ 12:33 pm

Clouds continue to break up early this afternoon across Central Alabama. Temperatures are warming through the 80s right now. The mercury reached 86F at BHM just before noon.

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Convective temperatures off this morning’s balloon sounding at BMX showed that showers and storms would start forming at about 85F. That is underway, with scattered showers across western Alabama from Lamar and Fayette Counties down through Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Greene and Marengo Counties. These storms will continue to grow through the afternoon.

In addition, an increasing area of showers and storms over southeastern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama will push northward through the afternoon hours. This activity should affect only the counties that borer Mississippi, perhaps as far east eventually as Bibb and Jefferson Counties by 5-6 p.m.

Otherwise, only isolated showers and storms are expected east of I-65 today.

THE HEAT IS ON: While Alabama is enjoying a little respite from our recent heat, it’s a different story in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. Heat advisories, excessive heat watches and excessive heat warnings extend all the way from North Carolina to New Hampshire today. It was 95F in New York City with a heat index of 102F at noon and 92F in Boston with a heat index of 99F.

STATE OF DISASTER: That is what the headline on The Advocate in Baton Rouge is today. The Amite River is cresting at a record 46.2 feet at Denham Springs, LA, besting the previous record by nearly five feet. Flood stage is 29 feet. Downtown Denham Springs is completely under water. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated in Livingston Parish because of the extensive flooding along the Amite and Tickfaw Rivers. Interstate 12 is closed and over 1500 motorists are stranded. State police are having to drop supplies to them from helicopters.

In South Baton Rouge, homes are underwater and much of the LSU campus is flooded. Two people were reported dead in St. Helena Parish. There is extensive flooding in Youngsville and Broussard in Lafayette Parish. Baton Rouge received 19.24 inches of rain between Wednesday The flooding is tremendous in Louisiana after over 20 inches of rain fell in many areas.

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Shower Chances Down a Little

| August 14, 2016 @ 7:10 am

Not quite as much stratus clouds across Alabama this morning with the day starting out in the lower 70s. There was fog once again mainly across the southeast quadrant of Alabama. Like yesterday, the radar was clear this morning. Fortunately that weak upper low that has brought record rainfall and flooding to southern Louisiana has drifted a little further west, so we should be back to a more typical pattern of isolated showers generated in the heat of the afternoon. A front remained to our northwest stretching from East Texas across the Ohio River Valley into northern New York. Highs should be in the 89 to 92 range across Central Alabama, pretty typical for the middle of August.

If you are headed toward the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida, the weather continues to improve as a more typical summer pattern with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms is the forecast for the week ahead. Highs along the beach will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 83 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

Tropical Atlantic remained quiet this morning. In the eastern Pacific, there are now two areas of disturbed weather, however, neither is likely to develop into a storm for several days.

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Even the severe weather outlooks remain fairly tame. There are two marginal risk areas today from northern West Virginia to southern Maine and in western South Dakota. Day 2 has a marginal risk area in the eastern Dakotas. Day 3 sees the action pick up a little with a slight risk area in southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania surrounded by a marginal risk that stretches westward into the Ohio River Valley. There is also a marginal risk area centered on Iowa.

Unfortunately the rain is not over for southern Louisiana and East Texas. That weak upper low that has been responsible for so much rain – some places reporting as much as 26 inches as of yesterday – is going to keep rain falling for East Texas and Southwest Louisiana northward along the front into southern Illinois for the next few days. Amounts will be around 5 inches in Southeast Texas with 6 to 7 inches in an area from southern Arkansas to southern Illinois. These are also the areas where flash flood watches can be found.

Slightly drier air over Alabama today through Tuesday should help to keep any showers that develop pretty isolated. Temperatures will rise into the range of 89 to 92 each day through Tuesday.

Our attention will be on the front to our northwest that will sag ever so slowly into our area by Wednesday and Thursday. This should increase rain chances once again. That together with more clouds as moisture levels rise should keep our highs in the upper 80s.

Another front may make its way into the Southeast by next weekend as the upper flow becomes more northwesterly with the development of a long wave trough over the eastern half of the country. It still looks promising for us to see that first front with a real air mass change around the 22nd which is just edging into voodoo country. Again the presence of more clouds and more numerous showers should keep highs in the 80s, maybe a day or two in the lower 80s (partially wishful thinking).

Unfortunately that air mass change may not last long. The GFS is suggesting slight ridging around the 25th of August with substantial ridging just to our west around the 29th. This certainly means that the summer heat may not be over just yet, but that first front of some significance gives us additional incentive to get through the heat of late August and early September.

James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing Monday morning. I’m excited to be emceeing the introduction of the newest Belles for the Helena Belles this evening. This is a tremendous service organization and I’m so honored to have a small role in their activities. I hope that you enjoy your day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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46 mph Wind Gust at the Birmingham Airport

| August 13, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

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Showers and thunderstorms moving northward across Central Alabama are producing brief heavy rains, gusty winds and some lightning.

They are not severe, but did produce a wind gust to 46 mph at the Birmingham international Airport at 3:49 p.m.

Power is out in Hoover and parts of Vestavia.

At 4 p.m., the strongest storms were over northeastern Jefferson County from north of Garedndale to Pinson and over eastern Alabama over Coosa County near Rockford.

Everything is moving north at about 30 mph in the circulation around the low over Central Louisiana.

The flooding is devastating over southeastern Louisiana. Baton Rouge now has recorded their wettest year in history through August 12th with 61.47 inches. They have picked up 19.10 inches over the past two and a half days.

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Storms Approaching Birmingham Metro from South

| August 13, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

We are watching a cluster of storms racing towards the north through Central Alabama this afternoon. These storms have a lot of lightning, gusty winds, and very heavy rainfall with them. They will be impacting portions of the Birmingham Metro over the next couple of hours. They are essentially following the Interstate 65 corridor, so travel is likely to be impacted along the Interstate as well as U.S. 31. Locations from Montgomery and Prattville, north through Clanton, Alabaster, Pelham, Brent, and Centreville are being impacted or will be impacted before they track into the southern suburbs of Birmingham and likely into the city.

They are moving very rapidly this afternoon and should only impact locations for about thirty minutes or so. Lightning is the greatest threat with these storms today, and we want to remind folks, if you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning…WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS.

These showers and storms are providing heat relief as they are cooling temperatures down from the upper 80s and lower 90s ahead of them, to the upper 70s in spots behind them.

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Steamy Summer Saturday

| August 13, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

More sun than clouds for our Saturday and temperatures in many locations this afternoon are in the upper 80s to near the 90° mark. It remains a rather humid day as well.

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We are watching the radar this afternoon as we are seeing a few pockets of convection racing north across the state. Early this afternoon most of this activity is west of Interstate 65, and as of now, just showers.

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There could be a few rumbles of thunder mixed in with these showers as they continue to track through the state and looking across South Alabama, there are a few thunderstorms as well. With the pockets of convection, you can expect some gusty winds as well as brief heavy downpours. Similar to the past several days, shower/storm activity will gradually wind down after sunset.

For the second half of you weekend, expect another rather muggy and hot day with highs climbing into the lower 90s. We will see a mix of sun and clouds, with still the risk of scattered showers and storms. Tomorrow’s rain chances will be in the 20-30% range and what showers and storms that develop are expected during the late morning, afternoon, and evening hours. Most of the day, should be relatively dry.

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Fewer Showers for the Weekend

| August 13, 2016 @ 7:10 am

Low stratus clouds cover much of Alabama this morning, but there is one thing that is different – the radar shows very little echoes this morning, the first time in nearly a week. There is also good news for those looking for slightly drier conditions – that upper low that has been producing record rainfalls across the Lower Mississippi River Valley, especially Louisiana, has moved further from Alabama reducing its impact on us. Moisture is expected to remain the highest today across the western half of Alabama, so showers should be more numerous there and less numerous across the eastern half of the state. Clouds will again hold temperatures down with highs primary in the upper 80s, but just like yesterday, some spots will climb into the 90 to 92 range.

The weather gradually improves over the weekend with increasing amounts of sun and fewer showers and thunderstorms by Sunday. A more typical summer pattern with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms is in the forecast for the week ahead. Highs along the beach will be in the upper 80s with overnight lows in the upper 70s. Onshore flow has increased the rip current risk to high today. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

Tropical Atlantic is quiet today and expected to remain that way for the next several days. The Eastern Pacific is fairly quiet, too, with just one area of disturbed weather to be watched.

SPC has a marginal risk for severe storms today from southern Indiana to Vermont. Day 2 identifies a marginal risk over southern New England. On Day 3, the marginal risk shifts westward to the eastern sections of the Dakotas and Southwest Minnesota.

Last week, the GFS did a pretty good job of identifying this was upper low that has produced the record rainfalls over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. That low will continue to be the focus for additional high rainfall amounts as it slowly weakens through the beginning of the week. Central Alabama will see a slight reduction in the overall moisture content in our atmosphere, so showers and thunderstorms will be less numerous Sunday and into Monday. Temperatures will creep up again with highs in the lower 90s Sunday and Monday.

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Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we’ll see a trough move across the Great Lakes region which will help to drag a cold front into the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys. It does not appear likely that the front will actually pass through the Southeast US. Instead, it is likely to hangup to our north over Tennessee. But with the front in close proximity, we should see the chances for showers and thunderstorms edge upward somewhat. They will still be driven primarily by the heat of the afternoon. High temperatures will be bouncing around the 90-degree mark while lows will stay in the lower half of the 70s.

By Friday and into the weekend, the upper air pattern shows more ridging as the frontal boundary washes out. This returns us to scattered afternoon showers and storms with highs in the 88 to 92 range.

The long term look is promising with a fairly strong trough coming across the Mississippi River around the 22nd of August. This could bring a pretty good chance for that first front and a hint at Fall. That one is followed by another one around the 25th of August. And we end the long range period with a nice trough along the East Coast with a ridge along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. With this pattern, we should stay out of any extreme heat.

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 7 am or so on Sunday. I hope that you have a great day. Godspeed.

-Brian-

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