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Showers & Storms, Danny Weakening

| 3:05 pm August 22, 2015

It’s a muggy and hot day across the state, but we are seeing showers and storms this afternoon as well. We will continue to see the pockets of convection through the afternoon and evening. Storms are producing a lot of rain, gusty winds, and gobs of lightning.

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Severe storms are not expected, but we do note the SPC has the northern half of Alabama highlighted in a “marginal risk.” If there are any severe storms, the main concern will be straight-line winds. We should begin to see the convection winding down once the sun sets.

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DANNY WEAKENING: After reaching category 3 strength yesterday, Danny has started weakening as he encounters a more hostile environment of dry air and wind shear. The latest update on Danny has his winds down to 85 mph, which makes him a category 1 storm.


Danny continues to move towards the west-northwest and will likely weaken to a tropical storm by the time it impacts the northern Lesser Antilles early in the week. The global models continue to weaken Danny as it tracks through the islands and continues to weaken it as well. Of course, we will continue to watch the last development with Danny.

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SUNDAY: Tomorrow will be similar to today, but we the upper-level short wave pulling away, we should see fewer showers and storms. Nevertheless, there will be showers and storms once again, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours. We should see highs near 90 degrees.


Rain Chances Stay Up, Cooler Days Ahead

| 7:38 am August 22, 2015

Rain chances are expected to stay fairly high today as showers and thunderstorms should once again be fairly numerous. But they will be showers, so not everyone will get rain. And those clouds and showers will help keep temperatures in check somewhat with highs across Central Alabama in the 80s.

A cold front is progged to come through the area late Sunday in response to the development of a substantial trough over the eastern US. The trough gets set up on Sunday and into Monday and really digs in Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures will reach the range from 88 to 92 on Sunday making Sunday one of the warmest days we will see in the coming week. The upper trough will dig a little deeper Wednesday and Thursday, so we should see our coolest days then with highs only into the lower and middle 80s. And fortunately, we should also see some drier air with dew points dropping into the 50s, so the middle of the week as we head toward the weekend will feel very nice.


But by Saturday, the trough over the eastern US begins to move out into the Atlantic, so I expect to see our temperatures climb back up close to 90 degrees once again. The climatological highs for the latter part of August are still in the lower 90s – 91 is the 30-year average value for this date for Birmingham. So just about anything we get below that is a win for us in my opinion.

If you have plans to head to the beaches of Northwest Florida and Alabama, there is a risk of a passing shower through at least mid-week. Even the beaches are forecast to dry out for the latter part of the week, but temperatures for the beach areas should stay up with highs in the lower 90s. The sea water temperatures all along the Northern Gulf Coast are ranging between 81F and 85F. Those water temperatures may feel a little colder by the end of the week when the drier air arrives.

SPC has a large area of enhanced risk for severe storms today for a sizable chunk of Minnesota, western Iowa, and a sliver of eastern Nebraska. All modes of severe weather will be possible in the early evolution of this weather system, but as it unfolds, hail and damaging wind should become the dominate forms of severe weather.


And, wow, has the Atlantic tropical basin gotten busy! There are two areas of cloudiness being watched for possible development. One was located just south of Bermuda and it only has about a 20 or 30 percent chance of developing into a full blown storm. A second area was situated just off the African coast just south of Cape Verde Islands and it has somewhat better chances to develop over the next five days.

And then we have Danny. Danny was still a hurricane this morning, but it is not likely to remain a hurricane for much longer as it moves into an area of increasing shear. In fact, Danny is forecast to drop to tropical storm strength by the time it reaches the Lesser Antilles. And with the forecast track taking in across Puerto Rico and along the coastline of the Dominican Republic, it is likely to degrade further and the NHC folks are busting it down to a depression by the time it begins to affect the western Cuba and the southern portion of the Bahama Islands. Danny has been a rather tight storm since it formed, so I don’t think we should count it out just yet – stay tuned.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS has a rather complex pattern for the end of August with a substantial ridge along the eastern slopes of the Rockies paired with a weak, closed low over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. That eventually evolves into a ridge over the eastern US with a nice trough over the Four Corners area, so I don’t think we are quite through with summer just yet.

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Stay dry, please remember the dangers that come with lightning, and check back here often for updates on our ever-changing weather.



Humid Weekend Ahead With Scattered Storms

| 3:35 pm August 21, 2015

RADAR CHECK: As you expect on an August afternoon, we have a number of showers and storms in progress in scattered, random locations. Heavier storms are producing torrential rain, gusty winds, and lots of lightning as they move to the east.

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Temperatures are in the 70s and 80s… this is the 6th consecutive day with a high under 90 degrees for most of North/Central Alabama.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL WEATHER: Many of the showers and storms will be over by kickoff time this evening, but not all of them, so I would take the rain gear just in case. Temperatures will be mostly in the low 80s at kickoff, falling into the upper 70s by the final whistle. It will be a warm and humid night for the first week of high school football in our state.

THE WEEKEND: A stalled surface front just north of here will dissipate, and we will stay in humid air tomorrow and Sunday, so we will need to maintain the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. The sky will be partly sunny both days, with a high between 87 and 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: An outside of a shower or storm Monday, then a refreshing, dry airmass works into the state Tuesday. For mid-week (Tuesday through Thursday), we project sunny days, clear cool nights, and low humidity levels. Highs will be in the 80s, and lows will drop down to near 60 degrees. Cooler valleys will easily reach the 50s for a very nice taste of fall. Moisture levels begin to return by Friday with some risk of a few showers by then; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

DANNY BECOMES A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE: Data from a hurricane hunter aircraft shows sustained winds at 115 mph, making Danny a major hurricane. It is still very small in terms of radius, with hurricane force winds extending out only 10-20 miles from the center.

Danny is still expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it reaches the Leeward Islands Monday…


Many of the global models show the system degenerating into an open wave around longitude 70 west, near Hispaniola next week. Still remains to be seen if this will survive past that point, or if it impacts the U.S.

Another wave northeast of the Bahamas could become a sub-tropical storm over the weekend, but that will most likely remain out at sea with on impact on any landmass. And, a new tropical wave will emerge off the coast of Africa over the next 24 hours with some potential for slow development. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for all the maps and more details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine through early next week on the coast from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores with a passing storm from time to time. Highs on the coast will hold in the upper 80s… See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

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.

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

Google Plus

Look for my next Weather Xtreme video here Monday morning by 7:00 a.m…. Brian Peters will have the video updates here tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!


More Good News About Our State from the Alabama NewsCenter

| 2:04 pm August 21, 2015

Here are some of our favorite stories from our partners at Alabama NewsCenter from the past week, August 14 – 20.

Can’t Miss Alabama: Concerts, festivals, fishing and more – Here’s your handy guide to weekend activities across Alabama.

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Deontay Wilder looks to make boxing big business in Alabama – Fight aims to top $1.5 million economic impact of one in June

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Tomberlin’s Take: Kamtek $530 million investment ends “the question” – Auto supplier evidence of new economic development vigor in the Magic City

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Noah Galloway honored by state broadcasters – The veteran has become a household name thanks to a national television stint, but he proudly calls Alabama home.

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100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die: Ranelli’s Deli – Seriously, these are some of the best foods this state has to offer.

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Synchronized fireflies give glow and show in Vestavia Hills yard – Insects unusual outside of Smoky Mountains, experts say.

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Using technology and creativity in innovative ways in the classroom – “We must prepare students for the jobs of the future.” Mark Coleman, Brighter Minds panelist.

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Linking childhood behavior with workforce development – “Tune in to your child, not at the frequency you think they ought to be at.” Ellen Abell, Brighter Minds panelist.

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Plant Greene County celebrates 50 years of serving West Alabama – Reflecting on five decades of faithful service to this West Alabama community.

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Mercedes supplier SMP to open $150 million Alabama facility, creating 650 jobs – New 700,000-square-foot plant to start construction this year.

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Alabama Bright Lights: Welcome to Rainbow Omega – A place for those with developmental disabilities to live with dignity and love.

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Better preparations and lessons learned after storms – Major utilities are coming together to be better prepared the next time a major storm strikes.

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Power to Play grant program accepting applications – Power To Play returns today for its second year of helping increase high school athletics participation.

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APSO back-to-school efforts aid students across the state – “When you see the kids’ excitement, it’s worth everything.” Marcy Brown, APSO volunteer.
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Festival of Hope brought message, music to Birmingham – Franklin Graham featured at three-day religious event.

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A place to be recognized – The A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club instructs Birmingham-area youths in academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development.

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Chess gets students’ minds on board as school starts back – Back-2-School Scholastics tournament draws more than 60 young participants.

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Danny’s a Big Boy Now

| 1:12 pm August 21, 2015

Not only is Danny the first hurricane of the 2015 season, he is also the first MAJOR hurricane of the season.

At 2:00 pm AST, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami issued a tropical cyclone update announcing that the NOAA aircraft investigating the storm found maximum estimated winds to be 115 mph. This makes Danny a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

I know that is certainly not good news for anyone in the Southeast US or along the Gulf coast since the forecast track of Danny currently appears to be on a fairly straight line for the Florida Straits. But there is good news in that Danny is moving into an area of unfavorable upper level wind, so a weakening trend is expected to begin later today.

View of Danny:

View of Danny from the GOES Caribbean view:

Official track of Danny from NHC around noon:


Scattered Afternoon Storms

| 6:32 am August 21, 2015

ON THE MAPS: A surface front is stalled near the Alabama/Tennessee border this morning; much of the state remains in a very moist airmass with precipitable water values of around 2 inches. This means we will deal with scattered showers and storms again, mostly this afternoon and early tonight. Like yesterday, the stronger storms will produce heavy rain and frequent lightning, but they should generally remain below severe limits. Otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds today with a high in the mid to upper 80s. Today will be the 6th consecutive day with a high below 90 degrees for most communities around here.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TONIGHT: While many of the showers/storms will end by kickoff time at 7:00, a few could linger, so to be perfectly safe you might want to take the rain gear. Temperatures will be in the low 80s at kickoff, with upper 70s by the final whistle.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change; there will be sufficient moisture for “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” both days, although they should be fewer in number Sunday. There will be some very nice intervals of sun along the way, with a high in the upper 80s tomorrow, and low 90s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A front passes through Monday with some risk of a passing shower or storm, then we get into dry continental air Tuesday through Thursday with lower humidity and cooler nights. Many North Alabama communities could very well reach the 50s early Wednesday and Thursday morning for a nice taste of fall. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.


AT THE BEACH: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily through early next week on the Gulf Coast from Gulf Shores west to Panama City Beach with a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, with low 90s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 86 degrees.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

DANNY: This is a very small hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph in the central Atlantic. It is expected to weaken in coming days, and it should be a tropical storm as it moves into the far northern Leeward Islands Monday. Many global models weaken the system into an open tropical wave beyond that due to shear and dry air; a good chance it will bring beneficial rain to Puerto Rico without too much wind by Tuesday.


It is doubtful that Danny survives west of Hispaniola… but we all know tropical systems can bring surprises, so we will still watch it closely.

REST OF THE TROPICS: A disturbance in the Atlantic well east of Florida has a chance to become Tropical Storm Erika over the weekend; that will most likely stay offshore well east of the U.S. Atlantic Coast. And, another tropical wave is emerging off the coast of Africa with some chance of slow development in coming days. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for all the graphics and additional 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.

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

Google Plus

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