Tag: Christmas

Christmas Warmth – Update

| December 21, 2015 @ 7:10 pm

Here are the top ten warmest Christmas Days since 1900 at Birmingham…

DECEMBER 25 RECORDED HIGHS AT BIRMINGHAM
74 1987
73 1982, 1942
72 1964
71 1926, 1922
70 1901
69 1971
68 1974, 1904

As you can see, we have exceeded 70 degrees on Christmas Day six times… 1987, 1982, 1942, 1964, 1926, and 1922.

Can we beat the record high of 74 set in 1987?

Latest GEFS ensemble suggests potential for a record tying Christmas Day in 2015. We will see…

KBHM_2015122118_min_max_16

Alabama Weather At Christmas

| December 8, 2015 @ 7:32 am

There are some that believe it has always been cold, and should be cold at Christmas in Alabama, and something is wrong this year since we are projecting temperatures, generally speaking, above average through the rest of the month.

Let me say up front, there is no such thing as “normal” weather. The chaotic state of the atmosphere guarantees that. But, we do have averages based on 100 years or so of weather records.

For Birmingham on December 25, the average high is 54, and the average low is 34. But you rarely will find a Christmas with those numbers.

WARMTH: On the warm side, people in Alabama were outside in their shorts and t-shirts on Christmas Eve, 1964 when the temperature soared to 77 degrees. Our warmest Christmas Day on record came in 1987, when the high in Birmingham was 74 degrees.

FYI… the warmest December temperature on record is 80, recorded on December 7, 1951.

No, having mild weather at Christmas is not unusual at this low latitude. In Alabama, it never “gets cold and stays cold”. If you are looking for that kind of winter, head north.

ARCTIC CHILL: But, from time to time, we can have Arctic blasts in late December. The coldest Christmas morning on record came in 1983, when the low in Birmingham was 2 degrees above zero. In 1989, on December 23, the temperature dropped to 1 degree.

WHITE CHRISTMAS? Getting a white Christmas in Alabama is next to impossible, but we did actually have snow five years ago, on December 25, 2010…

ChristmasSnowfall_2010

For many North Alabama communities, it was their first “white Christmas” on record, and some of those records go back over 100 years. The wet, warmer ground conditions in the City of Birmingham and points southward along the Interstate 65 corridor contributed to most of the snow melting as it made contact with the ground. Only a trace of snow was recorded at the Birmingham International Airport with no snow to measure on the snowboard. The City of Birmingham has therefore still never recorded a White Christmas since records have been kept, which is right at 100 years.

BOTTOM LINE: The weather at Christmas in Alabama is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get. But, this year, with the strong El Nino pattern in place, sure seems like the best chance of cold and snow will be out west, in the Rocky Mountain states. We will see…

Midday Notes….

| December 25, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

We are still looking at the potential for a dangerous, high impact severe weather event across Alabama late this afternoon and tonight.

day1probotlk_1630_wind-1

SPC notes they are considering upgrading a part of the moderate risk to a “high risk” at mid-afternoon.

After a review of surface, upper air, and model data… here are some important notes…

*We are fully aware conditions are cool and wet with stable air over Central Alabama right now. The rain is north of a warm front, that is positioned from near Linden to Greenville to Eufaula. Below this front, dewpoints are in the 60s, the sun is breaking out, and the air is becoming very unstable. This unstable air will surge into Central and North Alabama over the next 4-5 hours. Just because the air is cool and stable where you live now, doesn’t mean it will be that way this evening. It won’t.

Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 12.25.47 PM

*We will delay the main window for severe weather by couple of hours. The primary window is now from 5 p.m. today to 3:00 a.m. tomorrow. The initial threat over West Alabama begins around 5:00, then spreading east. For those of you traveling across the state today, consider completing the trip by 5 p.m. over West Alabama, and by 7 p.m. over the eastern side of the state.

*No change in the threat of long track, violent tornadoes. The main risk is south of I-59/20, and west of I-65 late this afternoon and tonight. Some of the communities in this zone include Livingston, Eutaw, Greensboro, Brent, Marion, Demopolis, Selma, Butler, Monroeville, Camden, and Thomasville…. all the way down to Mobile. This part of Alabama is where the combination of shear and instability will be maximized.

*To the north, severe storms and a few tornadoes are still possible to the Tennessee state line; the main question there is the Tennessee Valley. It could be the unstable air remains south of U.S. 278, but I expect a surge this evening that carries the higher dewpoints all the way to the state line.

*Amazing to see the blizzard warnings for parts of AR, TN, KY, MO, IL, and IN today. You pick out the strip of heavy snow north and west of Alabama by the warnings…

Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 12.33.32 PM

Bill Murray will keep the blog updated through the afternoon and night; I will have my first update on ABC 33/40 and our live stream at 3:00 p.m.

Dangerous Severe Weather Threat Later Today/Tonight

| December 25, 2012 @ 5:40 am

Merry Christmas! I wish we had better news, but parameters are still coming together for the potential for a significant severe weather outbreak across Alabama and the Deep South later today and tonight. This is a long post, but like recent days, I encourage you to read all of this, and be sure and share the information with your friends, neighbors, family members, or anybody else. We won’t be able to reach large numbers of people today like usual due to the holiday.

THE SETUP: Brian Peters will be along shortly with a fresh meteorological discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video, which will give you the technical details.

On the maps, a well defined warm front is over South Alabama, near Alabama Highway 10 (Butler to Camden to Greenville to Troy to Abbeville. South of this front, dewpoints are in the 60s, and the air is very unstable. North of the front, the air is cool and stable with temperatures in the 40s.

Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 5.20.12 AM

During the day, the warm front will move northward in response to a deepening surface low to the west, which will run from near Monroe, Louisiana to near Muscle Shoals. It is our belief that this warm front will be near U.S. 278 by late afternoon, and could very well reach the Tennessee border early tonight. This will put all of Alabama in the warm sector. So, it might feel cool where you are right now, that will change quickly later today.

All of the elements will be in place. Strong wind fields aloft and at the surface, very high levels of shear/helicity (veering of the wind with altitude), low LCL (lifted condensation level) heights, and an unstable airmass. The amount of instability is the only limiting factor, but we have all learned that significant tornadoes in Alabama can, and will happen with moderate CAPE (convective available potential energy) values.

TIMING: Severe weather could break out over West Alabama as early as 3:00 this afternoon. The main 12 hour window for severe weather remains 3:00 p.m. today to 3:00 a.m. tomorrow, but the core of the threat will come from about 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. As usual, the severe weather begins over the western counties, and works eastward during the night.

THREATS: All modes of severe weather will be possible. Initially, with discrete cells that form this afternoon and tonight, the storms could produce large hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes. Then, late tonight as the activity rolls over into a long squall line, the main threat shifts to damaging straight line winds.

PLACEMENT: There is a risk of severe weather and tornadoes for ALL 67 Alabama counties. Doesn’t make any sense to ask about specific counties, towns, or neighborhoods with a widespread threat like this.

I believe the greatest risk of long lived, strong/violent tornadoes is west of I-65, and south of I-20/59, where the best combination of shear and instability will be in place. Some of the places in this zone include Livingston, Eutaw, Demopolis, Centreville, Selma, Greensboro, Thomasville, Camden, Butler, Monroeville, and Mobile. But, please understand tornadoes are possible anywhere in Alabama; this is just where I believe you will find the best chance of a long track, violent tornado.

Below are the SPC risks…

day1otlk_1200-2

day1probotlk_1200_wind

day1probotlk_1200_torn

BOTTOM LINE: Our friends at the Storm Prediction Center is calling this a “dangerous” severe weather episode, and I totally agree. This is NOT to alarm anyone, but to simply let you know the threat level. This not hyperbole, but simply sharing information that is crucial. Like we do for every significant severe weather event.

For those asking “if this will be like April 27, 2011″… we choose not to answer that; please read this.

TRAVEL: We recommend that all travel be completed in West Alabama (west of I-65) by 3:00 p.m. today, and in East Alabama by 6:00 p.m. If you must travel past these times, please have a way of getting severe weather warnings. And, remember, many radio stations are not manned today and might not provide weather information. Use the ABC 33/40 smart phone apps to hear our audio.

TO THE NORTHWEST: A big snow event will unfold northwest of the surface low. Below is the NAM snow projection through 48 hours, and a look at the various winter storm watches and warnings in effect.

nam_3hr_snow_acc_east_17

Screen Shot 2012-12-25 at 6.15.20 AM

You sure don’t see blizzard warnings often on Christmas Day for parts of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri!

We note that tomorrow in Alabama will be cold and raw with a risk of light snow or snow flurries over North Alabama, but no accumulation is expected. Some parts of North Alabama won’t get out of the 30s.

BE ABLE TO RECIVE WARNINGS: Never, never, never rely on an outdoor siren to let you know a tornado is coming. That is dangerous, and no telling how many Alabamians have been killed by this “siren mentality” over the years. They reach a limited number of people outdoors, and that is it. The baseline is having a NOAA Weather Radio in your home, properly programmed, and with fresh batteries in case of a power failure. Also, having a good smart phone warning app is even better. We recommend iMap WeatherRadio for iPhone and Android phones, and MyWarn for iPhone. Both will warn you ONLY if you are in a warning polygon (remember, warnings are not county based), you can program in fixed locations, and most importantly, you can watch live ABC 33/40 severe weather coverage within the app.

Yes, I am very active on social media, but remember on Facebook you won’t see all posts coming from me within your newsfeed unless you subscribe to my regular account (NOT friend request… subscribe) and choose to receive all updates from me. Quite frankly, Facebook is NOT a reliable way of getting severe weather warnings. Here are all my social media accounts….

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus

KNOW WHERE TO GO: If you live in a mobile home and you are in a tornado warning polygon, you must leave. Remember, this is Christmas and many typical safe places will be closed. Think about it and be ready. And, if you live in a site built home, the safe place is a small room on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the home. Have readiness kit that includes helmets for everybody in the house, flashlights, extra batteries, shoes, medication, etc.

Here is a post I put together that shows good severe weather resources.

So… enjoy Christmas with your family this morning. But, by mid-afternoon, be sure you are near a place where you can get severe weather watches and warnings as they are issued. I will be at ABC 33/40 with Charles Daniel, and we will have a crew in the field for live streams today, including Brian Peters and John Brown. We have a full staff coming in today at ABC 33/40, and I am thankful for the sacrifices they have made, being away from their family, to support our weather team on this special day.

Christmas Eve Update

| December 24, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

I hope you and your family are enjoying a peaceful Christmas Eve. Parameters are still coming together for a high impact severe weather threat for Alabama tomorrow…

You can watch Brian’s morning Weather Xtreme video for a meteorological discussion of tomorrow’s threat.

Below are the SPC severe weather outlook maps for tomorrow and tomorrow night…

day2otlk_1730-2

day2probotlk_1730_any

Note the “hatched” are on the second map; that means there is a 10% or greater probability of significant severe weather within 25 miles of a point. And, SPC defines “significant severe weather” as F2 or greater tornadoes, damaging winds with speeds greater than 65 knots, or large hail 2″ or greater in diameter. The “hatched” area runs from Southeast Texas to West Georgia, and includes basically all of North-Central Alabama.

But we stress the severe weather risk includes ALL of Alabama.

See the STP (Significant Tornado Parameter) index tomorrow night, as projected by the NAM model…

CONUS_ETA212_ATMOS_STP_45HR

WHAT TO EXPECT: Storms tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night could produce hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes. Considering the atmospheric setup, a few strong/violent tornadoes are possible, especially south of I-59/20, and west of I-65. But again, the risk of severe weather is statewide. Doesn’t make much sense to ask about any specific county, town, or neighborhood in this case.

TIMING: While severe storms could develop in West Alabama as early as 3:00 tomorrow afternoon, the primary threat will come from 4 p.m. tomorrow until 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Below is the RPM model output, valid at 9:00 CST tomorrow night…

mgWeb_WRF_20121224-180000_ASE_ECONUS_F00330000_PgeneralSfcPres_R12km

TRAVEL: If it all possible, we recommend that travel tomorrow across any part of Alabama will come before 3:00. If you have to travel by car after 3:00, be sure you have a good source of getting severe weather warnings. And, remember, many radio stations could be “unmanned” tomorrow. You can always hear ABC 33/40 audio during our long form coverage on your smart phone via the ABC 33/40 app.

SNOW TO THE NORTH AND WEST: If you are traveling, here is the latest snow projection on this storm system from the NAM…

nam_3hr_snow_acc_east_22

This will be a whopper of a snow storm in the cold air north and west of the surface low. And, here in Alabama, Wednesday will be cold and raw with falling temperatures. Some light snow, or snow flurries, are possible over the northern counties, but accumulation is not expected.

CALL TO ACTION: This is a challenging outbreak because it falls on Christmas Day. Many will be traveling, and we won’t be able to reach people effectively. First off, since many people aren’t as connected to the weather as you, please pass this along to your friends, neighbors, and anybody else you come in contact with today so they will be aware of the situation.

BE ABLE TO RECIVE WARNINGS: Never, never, never rely on an outdoor siren to let you know a tornado is coming. That is dangerous, and no telling how many Alabamians have been killed by this “siren mentality” over the years. They reach a limited number of people outdoors, and that is it. The baseline is having a NOAA Weather Radio in your home, properly programmed, and with fresh batteries in case of a power failure. Also, having a good smart phone warning app is even better. We recommend iMap WeatherRadio for iPhone and Android phones, and MyWarn for iPhone. Both will warn you ONLY if you are in a warning polygon (remember, warnings are not county based), you can program in fixed locations, and most importantly, you can watch live ABC 33/40 severe weather coverage within the app.

You can also watch our live tornado coverage on the web here.

Yes, I am very active on social media, but remember on Facebook you won’t see all posts coming from me within your newsfeed unless you subscribe to my regular account (NOT friend request… subscribe) and choose to receive all updates from me. Here are all my social media accounts…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus

KNOW WHERE TO GO: If you live in a mobile home and you are in a tornado warning polygon, you must leave. Remember, tomorrow is Christmas and many typical safe places will be closed. Think about it and be ready. And, if you live in a site built home, the safe place is a small room on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the home. Have readiness kit that includes helmets for everybody in the house, flashlights, extra batteries, shoes, medication, etc.

Again, please do NOT be alarmed by this threat. Enjoy today and tomorrow with your family and don’t worry. But, be aware of the threat and have a way of getting the warnings, and have a plan, and we will all be fine. Stay tuned to be blog for running updates…

Major Severe Weather Threat Begins Tomorrow Afternoon

| December 24, 2012 @ 6:02 am

Unfortunately not many changes in our forecast for Christmas. A dynamic storm system will bring a chance of severe thunderstorms to all of Alabama, with potential for large hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes. Please take a few minutes to see the maps here and read through the post; it will answer all of your questions and tell you everything I know at this stage of the game. Yes, this is a long post, but is is important and well worth your time.

This will be a high impact event for Alabama with strong forecast confidence.

There is absolutely no need to be alarmed. I know so many people in our state were traumatized by the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak, and threats like this in coming years won’t be easy. When it comes to the question “will this be like April 27”?, please read this post. I won’t be answering that question. Plan on spending good quality time with your family tomorrow on a marvelous day, but please be very weather aware, have a way of getting warnings, and have a plan of action in case you come under a tornado warning polygon.

THE SETUP: A rapidly deepening surface low will move from near Shreveport to Nashville tomorrow and tomorrow night. A layer of moist, unstable air will be pulled north into Alabama, putting us firmly in the warm sector of the storm system.

NAM_221_2012122406_F48_PLI_30_0_MB_ABOVE_GROUND

Low level helicity and bulk shear values will be very high over the state…

NAM_221_2012122406_F48_SHRM_850_MB

The combination of unstable, buoyant air and high shear produces high STP (significant tornado parameter) values over a large of Alabama. One note… please don’t ask about “torcon”… that is not a standard meteorological index, and not used by anybody other than one cable TV outlet. I know no idea what it means and it is not important to me. STP is the value to watch.

CONUS_ETA212_ATMOS_STP_54HR-1

Below is the output from the high resolution NAM… what the weather should look like tomorrow night…

hires_ref_tx_49

And, below are the SPC outlooks for tomorrow.

day2otlk_0700

day2probotlk_0700_any

Note the hatched area on the bottom map shows the highest potential for “significant” severe weather, which is defined by SPC as F2 or greater tornadoes, damaging winds with speeds greater than 65 knots, or large hail 2″ or greater in diameter.

FOR TRAVELERS: A big snow event is likely in the cold sector of the storm… see the map below for winter storm watches and warnings, and model output showing where the heaviest snow is likely…

Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 5.31.28 AM

nam_3hr_snow_acc_east_27

In Alabama, Wednesday will be cold and raw day with temperatures falling into the 30s. Some light snow, or snow flurries are possible over North Alabama, but the chance of any meaningful accumulation is very low.

Here are the important facts you need to know about this potential severe weather outbreak for Alabama…

WHEN? The models have trended a tad slower, and it now looks like the primary risk will come from about 3:00 p.m. tomorrow until 3:00 a.m. Wednesday. The initial threat will be over West Alabama, then shifting east during the night.

WHERE? ALL of Alabama will have a risk of severe weather with this event as there will be sufficient instability now as far north as the Tennessee border. The greatest chance of strong tornadoes will be along and south of U.S. 278, which is all of Central and South Alabama. There is no real need to ask about specific counties or communities since this is a widespread threat.

WHAT? All modes of severe weather are possible, meaning large hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes. Unfortunately a few violent, long track tornadoes will be possible, especially west of I-65, and along and south of I-20/59. As the storms roll over into a long squall line, the main risk moves to straight line winds late tomorrow night ahead of the fast moving cold front trailing the surface low.

TRAVEL? If you plan on driving through Alabama tomorrow, we recommend you get that driving done by 3:00 p.m. If you have to travel after 3:00 p.m., be sure you have a way of getting severe weather warnings. And, unfortunately many radio stations will be “unmanned” and might not provide weather coverage since it is Christmas Day. You can always listen to our on-air audio from ABC 33/40 via your smart phone if needed. Just use the ABC 33/40 app, or the uStream app (which are both free) to receive our live stream.

CALL TO ACTION: This is a challenging outbreak because it falls on Christmas Day. Many will be traveling, and we won’t be able to reach people effectively. First off, since many people aren’t as connected to the weather as you, please pass this along to your friends, neighbors, and anybody else you come in contact with today so they will be aware of the situation.

BE ABLE TO RECIVE WARNINGS: Never, never, never rely on an outdoor siren to let you know a tornado is coming. That is dangerous, and no telling how many Alabamians have been killed by this “siren mentality” over the years. They reach a limited number of people outdoors, and that is it. The baseline is having a NOAA Weather Radio in your home, properly programmed, and with fresh batteries in case of a power failure. Also, having a good smart phone warning app is even better. We recommend iMap WeatherRadio for iPhone and Android phones, and MyWarn for iPhone. Both will warn you ONLY if you are in a warning polygon (remember, warnings are not county based), you can program in fixed locations, and most importantly, you can watch live ABC 33/40 severe weather coverage within the app.

Yes, I am very active on social media, but remember on Facebook you won’t see all posts coming from me within your newsfeed unless you subscribe to my regular account (NOT friend request… subscribe) and choose to receive all updates from me. Here are all my social media accounts…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus

KNOW WHERE TO GO: If you live in a mobile home and you are in a tornado warning polygon, you must leave. Remember, tomorrow is Christmas and many typical safe places will be closed. Think about it and be ready. And, if you live in a site built home, the safe place is a small room on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the home. Have readiness kit that includes helmets for everybody in the house, flashlights, extra batteries, shoes, medication, etc.

Again, please do NOT be alarmed by this threat. Enjoy today and tomorrow with your family and don’t worry. But, be aware of the threat and have a way of getting the warnings, and have a plan, and we will all be fine. Stay tuned to be blog for running updates… and I hope you and your family enjoy God’s richest blessings at this wonderful time of the year…