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Cold and Wet; A Brighter Weekend

| 6:36 am January 23, 2015

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COLD RAIN CONTINUES: Periods of rain will continue across the great state of Alabama today; temperatures won’t change much during the day with most communities holding in the 40s. Additional rain amounts of 1/2 inch are likely, which should bring storm totals into the 1-2 inch range by tonight.

SNOW FLAKES LATE TONIGHT: As the surface low, now in the northern Gulf of Mexico, moves northeast late tonight, there is a good chance the rain will change over to light snow before ending over North Alabama. The main window for this light snow will come from about 2:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m., so most of you will sleep right through it.

Temperatures over North/Central Alabama (places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Gadsden) should be in the mid 30s, so roads will stay just wet and there should be no travel impacts. However, up over far North Alabama’s Tennessee Valley, a few icy spots on bridges are not out of the question. But even up there widespread problems are not anticipated.

A little light accumulation is possible on grassy areas north of Birmingham, but it sure won’t stick around long.

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THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The sky will become mostly sunny by mid to late morning tomorrow, and the high will be close to 50 degrees. Sunday will be warmer, with ample sunshine and a high in the mid to upper 50s.

NEXT WEEK: An Alberta Clipper will pass northeast of Alabama Monday; we stay dry with a mix of sun and clouds along with a high around 50 degrees. Then, the rest of the week looks cool and dry with highs in the 50s, and lows in the 30s, which is right at seasonal averages for Alabama in late January.

THE LAND OF VOODOO: There has been good consistency in the idea of a storm system impacting Alabama the following weekend, around Sunday February 1 and Monday February 2. And yes, there has been evidence of some winter weather mischief, but there is no skill in a specific forecast 10 days in advance, as long time readers fully understand. Should this system form, it also will have potential to pull down some pretty cold air once it passes as the AO/NAO combo goes negative. Take some time to see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

THREE YEARS AGO TODAY: Eleven tornadoes touched down during the pre-dawn hours on January 23, 2012; two people were killed in Jefferson County. One of the most memorable tornadoes was an EF-3 that tore through Center Point and Clay…

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 will be doing a weather program this morning at Stemley Road Elementary School in Talladega County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Here Comes The Rain

| 3:36 pm January 22, 2015

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: Rain is increasing over West Alabama this afternoon; even a few reports of sleet mixed in with the rain over Northeast Alabama. The sleet goes away soon, and the rain should be widespread across the state tonight and tomorrow as a surface low moves across the northern Gulf of Mexico, with good upper support. Not much change in the forecast thinking; rain totals of around one inch for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden, with potential for two inches along the Gulf Coast at Mobile and Pensacola. No thunder, no flooding… just rain. It will be a cold rain with temperatures in the 40s all day tomorrow.

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SNOW FLAKES LATE TOMORROW NIGHT/EARLY SATURDAY? As the surface low moves northeast, there is a decent chance the rain will taper off to light snow over North Alabama before ending. The best chance of light snow is between 2:00 and 7:00 a.m. Saturday, and mostly north of a line from Vernon to Jasper to Oneonta to Gadsden. This will be a low impact situation, with surface temperatures generally above freezing, and roads just wet.

The possible exception is over far North Alabama, where temperatures could slip into the low 30s around daybreak Saturday. A touch of bridge icing is possible in places like Muscle Shoals, Athens, Huntsville, and Scottsboro, and maybe even a small amount of accumulation could be found there in grassy areas.But again, this is a low impact event.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The sky becomes partly sunny Saturday afternoon as drier air works into the state; the day will be cool with a high between 47 and 50 degrees. Then, Sunday looks pretty nice with ample sunshine and a high in the upper 50s.

NEXT WEEK: The Alberta Clipper will pass northeast of Alabama, and we have dropped any mention of light rain on Monday. We stay dry with a mix of sun and clouds; in fact much of the week looks cool and dry with highs mostly in the 50s, and lows mostly in the 30s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more long range 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 had a great time today visiting with the kids at Snow Rogers Elementary School near Gardendale… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM on ABC 33/40 News at 5:00! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Rain Getting Closer To Alabama

| 6:18 am January 22, 2015

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: No rain for Alabama this morning, but the sky has become mostly cloudy, and a large mass of rain is west of the state over parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Today will be cloudy cooler with a high in the mid 50s, and some rain could enter the southwest part of the state this afternoon.

COLD AND WET: Rain becomes widespread across our state tonight and tomorrow as a surface low moves through the northern Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures will stay in the 40s all day tomorrow, and rain amounts up to one inch are likely for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden. Heavier rain is possible to the south, where Mobile could see a storm total of two inches.

LATE TOMORROW NIGHT/EARLY SATURDAY MORNING: There is a decent chance the rain could briefly change to light snow on the back side of the departing system over North Alabama generally between midnight tomorrow night and 6:00 a.m. Saturday. Temperatures will be above freezing, there won’t be any accumulation, and no impact. Just the usual Alabama curiosity factor with snow flakes.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The sky becomes partly sunny Saturday afternoon with a high in the low 50s, and Sunday looks like a pretty decent day with ample sunshine and a high in the mid to upper 50s.

NEXT WEEK: Models continue to trend drier for Alabama Monday as the Alberta Clipper passes well to the northeast, and I think we can take out the risk of light rain. Monday should feature a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the 52-55 degree range. Then, cool and dry weather continues for the rest of the week. No sign of any bitterly cold air for Alabama through the rest of January; 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 have a weather program today at Snow Rogers Elementary School in Gardendale… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Mid-Morning Update

| 8:24 am January 15, 2015

A cold, messy winter day is unfolding for Alabama. Sleet has been falling over parts of North and West Alabama, with rain to the south.

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Temperatures are above freezing at Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston, and they will stay above freezing as we slowly rise into the low 40s later today. No travel issues, and mostly rain for these cities.

TO THE NORTH: The atmosphere is cold enough for light snow over the northern third of the state, and there could be some light accumulation on grassy areas.

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Temperatures at places like Haleyville, Cullman, and Gadsden are still a tad below freezing at 8:15a… they rise above freezing there later this morning. While some light accumulation is possible on grass there, roads will be just wet, and travel issues are not expected. Accordingly, the NWS in Huntsville and Birmingham has not issued any kind of winter weather advisory.

The precipitation will end late this afternoon, and the sun will be back in full force tomorrow. Scroll down for a detailed discussion of weather over the next 15 days….

Cold, Messy Winter Day

| 6:44 am January 15, 2015

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.

CHALLENGING FORECAST: Yet another tricky winter weather forecast as a wave in the southern branch of the jet stream approaches Alabama, with a cold airmass in place. The new upper air data that will arrive around 7:00 a.m. will let us see the current state of the atmosphere (weather balloons are launched only once every 12 hours), so keep in mind this forecast could change over the next few hours.

AT DAYBREAK: A few light snow flurries are over far Northwest Alabama, and a large mass of rain is moving into West Alabama, roughly from Tuscaloosa south. Some sleet has been reported in Tuscaloosa at the onset of the rain.

THE DAY AHEAD: Periods of rain are likely for areas along and south of I-20 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Anniston). However, it seems like atmospheric profiles are cold enough for light snow over far North Alabama, mainly north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden). Snow that comes today over the Tennessee Valley should be light, and with temperatures rising into the mid 30s, accumulation, if any, should be light, and impact on roads minimal. We do note the NWS in Huntsville suggests some accumulation on grassy areas up to 1/2 inch over parts of North and Northeast Alabama today…

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NWS offices in Huntsville, Birmingham, Jackson, and Memphis have opted not to issue any kind of winter weather advisory, and that seems like a good decision for now.

But again, the new soundings that will be coming in shortly will give us a better look at the atmosphere. You can’t determine precipitation type by looking at your backyard thermometer; the key is the temperature at about 5,000 feet off the ground. Stay tuned for updates and possible forecast changes.

Precipitation moves out of the state this evening, and the sky will clear late tonight.

BRIGHTER AND WARMER: Finally, we have two sunny days in a row with a warming trend. Expect a good supply of sunshine tomorrow and Saturday; we reach the mid 50s tomorrow, and the high Saturday will be close to 60 degrees. Then, a deep upper trough will pass overhead Sunday… this will knock the high down into the low 50s, and some scattered clouds will show up (although the weather will stay dry).

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry Monday through Wednesday with seasonal temperatures; highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. The next chance of rain comes at the end of the week, around Friday January 23. Way too early to know if this system will bring any threat of snow to North Alabama, but it is not totally out of the question. Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the 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. Scroll down for the show notes for the new episode we recorded last night.

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I will be doing a weather program this morning in Gadsden for some young kids at a HeadStart program… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Rain At Times Tomorrow

| 3:44 pm January 14, 2015

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.

THIS AFTERNOON: We actually have a bit of sunshine over the northwest corner of the state today… places like Florence, Muscle Shoals, and Russellville have big patches of blue sky. Otherwise, it is the same old story with overcast, cold, and damp conditions. Temperatures across North/Central Alabama are mostly in the low to mid 40s.

WET TOMORROW: The next wave in the southern branch of the jet stream will bring periods of light rain to the state tomorrow; there is some chance we might see a snow flake or two if the precipitation begins early enough, but the chance of any wintry weather problems, for now, looks pretty small. We will keep an eye on things closely overnight just in case.

Rain amounts for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden will be under 1/4 inch, with amounts of 1/2 inch likely over the southern quarter of Alabama. It will be another cloudy and cold day with a high in the low to mid 40s.

BRIGHTER AND WARMER: Finally the sun returns in full force Friday and Saturday with a warming trend. We will be in the 50s Friday, and the high Saturday will be close to 60 degrees.

On Sunday a deep upper trough will rotate over our state; it could squeeze out a little light rain over the northeast corner, around Huntsville and Scottsboro. Elsewhere, we will forecast a mix of sun and clouds Sunday with a high in the low to mid 50s along with a cool north breeze.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry Monday and Tuesday with seasonal temperatures; highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Next chance of precipitation will come toward the end of the week; the 12Z GFS run actually hints at some chance of snow over the northern third of Alabama on Friday January 23, but that is nothing more than voodoo at this point. 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. 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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I enjoyed seeing a huge crowd today at the Talladega/Lincoln Chamber of Commerce awards banquet at Shocco Springs… and be sure and look for the third graders from Vincent Elementary School on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Periods Of Light Rain

| 6:19 am January 12, 2015

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: Patches of mostly light rain are across the northern half of Alabama at daybreak; some heavier rain was just south of Huntsville. Today will be cloudy with occasional rain; the high will be in the mid 50s, and rain amounts should be generally 1/2 inch or less for most places.

TOMORROW AND WEDNESDAY: A decent amount of moisture will be in place, but there is no well defined trigger for rain. We figure the sky will be cloudy both days, and while a touch of light rain or some drizzle is possible, most communities will not have any really significant rain despite the clouds.

THURSDAY: A disturbance will pass well to the south; model guidance suggests rain with this feature will be limited to the immediate Gulf Coast, and south into the Gulf waters. Up this way, the day will be mostly cloudy, but the chance of rain is so small it really isn’t worth mentioning in the forecast. Our high Thursday will be in the 50-55 degree range.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The sun finally returns. Looks like we will enjoy sunshine in full force Friday with a high in the mid 50s, then we warm into the low 60s over the weekend with mostly sunny weather continuing on Saturday and Sunday. It will be the nicest weekend so far in the 2015 for sure.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: Global models are suggesting the next significant rain event for the state will come around Tuesday or Wednesday (January 20-21), with some potential for some thunder. And, out into the land of voodoo, no evidence of any extremely cold air for the state. 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. We will produce this week’s show Wednesday night at 8:30 CT.

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I will be doing a weather program this morning at Elvin Hill Elementary School in Columbiana… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Periods Of Rain Tonight

| 3:40 pm December 19, 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.

WET FRIDAY NIGHT: Rain is falling over much of West Alabama this afternoon, and that rain mass will overspread most of North and Central Alabama tonight. The air is cool and stable, so no severe weather threat, and most likely there will be no thunder. Rain amounts of around 1/2 inch are likely, and the rain will end pretty early tomorrow. Most communities will be rain-free by 8:00 a.m.

REST OF THE WEEKEND: We could see a little sunshine tomorrow afternoon as drier air works into the state; we expect a high in the mid 50s. Then, the daytime hours Sunday will be rain-free with a high in the low 60s. Some sun is possible Sunday.

A low pressure wave will move northeast out of the Gulf of Mexico as the weekend ends, and has potential to bring a little light rain to the state late Sunday night and Monday morning. The highest chance of rain will be east of I-65, and amounts should be generally 1/4 inch or less.

NEXT WEEK: The weather turns mild Monday and Tuesday; the 12Z GFS is printing a high of 65 Monday and 69 Tuesday for Birmingham. Look for developing showers Tuesday, and thunderstorms are likely Tuesday evening ahead of a well defined front. A few strong storms are possible ahead of the front, but for now the overall severe weather threat looks low for North and Central Alabama.

Wednesday will be breezy and colder; clouds linger much of the day with a chilly north wind of 10-20 mph, and there is a good chance we won’t get out of the 40s. Then, Christmas Day on Thursday looks very nice, with ample sunshine and a high in the 50s after starting the day at or just below freezing.

Next chance of rain will come around Saturday December 27… and the pattern favors colder weather for Alabama the week after Christmas, and possibly into the first few days of the New Year. See the Weather Xtreme video for the 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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My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted early Monday morning by 7:00 a.m…. Brian Peters will have the video updates here tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!