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Sharply Colder Early Next Week

| 3:18 pm February 5, 2016

SUNNY WINTER DAY: Temperatures are generally in the low 50s across North/Central Alabama this afternoon with a bright sunny sky. Tonight will be clear and cold; most communities will reach the upper 20s early tomorrow.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Scattered clouds move into the state tomorrow ahead of an upper trough, but the air is very dry and we won’t have any rain. The high will be in the low 50s tomorrow afternoon. Then, on Sunday, we rise into the mid to upper 50s with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: A shot of very cold, Arctic air begins to arrive Monday; the high will drop into the 40s, and clouds will thicken during the day. Some scattered light rain is possible Monday afternoon, and as the cold air deepens, we will continue to mention a chance of snow flurries Monday night and Tuesday.

We are still expecting no accumulation and no impact from the snow flurries; if there is a chance of the ground/grass getting white, it will be across high terrain of northeast of Alabama, especially above 1,800 feet. Tuesday will be a very cold day with temperatures holding in the 30s… a brisk north wind will keep the wind chill index below freezing a decent part of the day.

The good news is that the cold air blast won’t last long; new model data continues to suggest a warming trend will begin Wednesday with a high around 50 degrees along with a sunny sky. Mid 50s are likely Thursday and Friday, and those two days should be rain-free. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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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.

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I had a great time today visiting with students at Vestavia Hills Cahaba Heights Elementary, and Trace Crossings Elementary in Hoover… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by Monday morning at 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Dry Through The Weekend; Colder Next Week

| 3:09 pm February 4, 2016

BLUE SKY: It is a sunny, cool winter day across the great state of Alabama. Temperatures are pretty close to 50 degrees around here with a chilly north breeze. Tonight will be clear and cold, and most communities will drop into the upper 20s early tomorrow.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Mostly sunny cool days, clear cold nights as dry air stays in place. The coldest morning will come early Saturday; many places will start the day in the mid 20s. Look for a high close to 50 degrees tomorrow, followed by mid 50s Saturday, and upper 50s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Some of the coldest air so far this season will blow into Alabama. The first phase of the cool down begins Monday; clouds will increase, and some light rain is possible during the afternoon. Snow flakes could mix in with the light rain Monday night as the cold air deepens; we do not expect any impact if snow flakes are involved.

Tuesday could very well be the coldest day; we hold in the 30s all day with a brisk north wind, and snow flurries/showers are possible. Again, the chance of any accumulation or impact looks very small for now if we do see a few flakes.

Wednesday looks mostly sunny but cold, and again we will have a hard time getting out of the 30s. Morning lows early Tuesday and Wednesday will be well down in the 20s, but the latest model runs have backed off on the idea of possibly getting into the teens.

A warming trend begins later in the week… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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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.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Cool, Dry Weather Through The Weekend

| 5:46 am February 4, 2016

NICE AND QUIET: A chilly, continental airmass has settled into Alabama this morning with temperatures generally in the 30s; we will forecast a partly sunny sky today with a high around 50; areas north of Birmingham probably won’t get out of the 40s.

A freeze is likely late tonight; upper 20s are expected by daybreak tomorrow.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Not much change; mostly sunny cool days, clear cold nights. Low 50s tomorrow, followed by mid 50s Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Mornings will stay cold with lows in the 28-32 degree range for most communities.

ARCTIC SHOT NEXT WEEK: Clouds will increase across Alabama Monday, and a touch of light rain is possible thanks to a clipper system that will bring the first of several cold air shots into the Deep South. The Monday afternoon will drop into the mid 40s with a chilly north wind.

Then, on Tuesday, we won’t get out of the 30s as the cold air deepens. The sky will feature more clouds than sun, and we will forecast a chance of snow flurries or showers during the day and into Tuesday night. Situations like this rarely bring enough snow for any impact, and the Euro (ECMWF) suggests the chance of really signifiant accumulation for North/Central Alabama is low.

snow_ecmwf

The coldest day will come on Wednesday. Many North Alabama communities could remain below freezing all day, and by daybreak Thursday morning teens are a good possibility. A warming trend then will begin Thursday afternoon… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and 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.

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I have a weather program this morning at Sipsey Valley Middle School in Tuscaloosa County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Severe Storms Possible Tuesday

| 3:40 pm January 28, 2016

DRY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: A secondary surge of dry, continental air drops into Alabama tonight, and tomorrow should be much like today… ample sunshine with a high in the mid 50s.

Then, the weather turns spring-like for the weekend. Saturday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the mid 60s, and Sunday’s high will be very close to 70 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds. A few light showers could creep into North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak front.

Monday will stay very mild with a high around 70 with just a few scattered showers. But, eyes will be on a major storm system forming west of Alabama. Big snows are likely Monday for cities like Flagstaff, Denver, and Albuquerque, and as that system lifts out of the Southwest U.S., it will set the stage for an active severe weather day for parts of the southern U.S. Tuesday.

SPC continues to have much of Alabama in their “Day 6” severe weather outlook, which covers the 24 hour period from 6:00 a.m. CT Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. CT Wednesday.

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Note the surge of unstable air up into Alabama; surface based CAPE values are expected to reach 1,000 j/kg Tuesday evening, pretty impressive for early February.

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The bottom line is that there should be excellent dynamic and thermodynamic support for deep convection.

Please understand this risk is 5-6 days away, so it is just about impossible to get really specific. But, this is the current thinking…

*Strong to severe storms will be possible across North and Central Alabama Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. Storms will be capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

*The greatest threat of tornadoes will be in discrete cells that form ahead of the main squall line/QLCS, although a small tornado is possible within the line in close to line breaks and some bowing segments.

*Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are expected, not enough to bring widespread flooding problems.

Understand severe weather is fairly routine in Alabama; this is nothing “historic” or really out of the ordinary, but it certainly has potential to be a medium to high impact event, and we will watch developments closely in coming days.

LATER NEXT WEEK: Wednesday will be dry and cooler with highs back in the 50s, but even colder air arrives Thursday and Friday with highs in the 40s. Some North Alabama communities won’t get out of the 30s Thursday afternoon. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details…

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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…

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I had a great time today visiting with the students at Salter Elementary in Talladega… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! Also, thanks to the senior adults at First Baptist of White Plains for their very kind hospitality today and a great lunch! Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Dry Through The Weekend

| 6:14 am January 28, 2016

NICE AND QUIET IN THE SHORT TERM: The focus of this discussion will be on the severe weather potential Tuesday of next week, but let’s enjoy some nice, calm weather through the weekend. Today and tomorrow will feature a good supply of sunshine with highs in the mid 50s; right at seasonal averages for late January in Alabama.

MILD WEEKEND: This weekend will be outstanding (at least in terms of weather!)… we rise into the mid 60s Saturday, followed by upper 60s Sunday. The sky will stay sunny Saturday, followed by a mix of sun and clouds Sunday. A few showers could reach North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak surface front.

MONDAY: A vigorous storm system will form over the Southwest U.S. Monday, with a surface low lifting out into the Great Plains. A big snow event will unfold in the cold air sector of the storm, and we will continue to be in a large warm sector; temperatures will approach 70 degrees here Monday afternoon. A few showers are possible Monday, but nothing widespread or heavy.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TUESDAY: Let me say up front I always have concern over too much hyperbole when it comes to a potential high impact event like this when it is discussed 5-6 days in advance. Please understand this is Alabama, and we have severe weather threats like this many times through the year. It is not unusual, and it is our job here to tell you what we know, and likewise, not tell you things we don’t know.

This is what it looks like now…

*SPC continues to have a pretty large of Alabama included in their “Day 6” severe weather outlook…

day6prob

Understand this outlook runs from 6:00 a.m. CT Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. CT Wednesday.

*The “warm sector” of the storm system will feature some pretty impressive stability values for early February, with surface based CAPE values expected to rise to near 1,500 j/kg over Alabama Tuesday afternoon.

*Dynamic support for strong to severe storms will be excellent, with a deep upper trough supporting the surface low, which will run from near Wichita to Chicago.

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*The low level jet (winds around 5,000 feet off the ground) will rise to near 60 knots over North Alabama Tuesday afternoon/evening, meaning there will certainly be a risk of storms with strong, damaging straight line winds.

*There will be sufficient shear for a few tornadoes, especially in any discrete storms that can form ahead of the developing squall line/QLCS.

But, please understand we still won’t know about the small scale features, that can really make or break a big severe weather event, until Sunday/Monday. No need to be worried or anxious about this, but just understand the potential, and keep up with these blog posts in coming days.

LATER NEXT WEEK: Much colder air will follow the storms, and we might hold in the 30s all day Thursday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Alabama’s “Snowmaggendon”… Only two inches of snow fell at Birmingham, but it turned out to be a humanitarian crisis. Temperatures had reached the 60s a few days prior to the event, and the ground was relatively warm, but a brutally cold Arctic airmass rolled in January 27. When light snow started on Tuesday morning January 28, there was some initial melting due to the warm ground, immediately followed by a “flash freeze” (surface temperatures hovered around 20 degrees all day… I can’t recall a day with accumulating snow with a surface temperature that low in my 37 years on duty here), that put down a base of ice on all roads across North/Central Alabama. Which, in turn, brought the travel impact you would expect with a serious ice storm.

While we did forecast light snow that day, our impact forecast was simply horrible. Major travel impact was not expected, and accordingly thousands of people were stranded on highways, and hundreds and hundreds of cars were abandoned. In the end, Alabama State Troopers responded to 731 vehicle accidents across the state during the period Tuesday through Friday (Jan 28th-31st). Sadly, there were nine deaths attributed to accidents that occurred due to the icy road conditions.

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. Scroll down for show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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Busy day ahead… I have a weather program today at Salter Elementary in Talladega… and then I will speak to the senior adults at White Plains Baptist Church. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!