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Tag: "storms"

Active Weather Tomorrow

| 6:50 am April 13, 2014

A few important notes concerning weather in the days ahead. Today will be warm and dry with a high in the low 80s, but some big changes are ahead.

RAIN/STORMS TOMORROW: SPC has most of Alabama in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather tomorrow, with an enhanced 30% chance over the central counties…

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Defining the severe weather threat tomorrow is somewhat complicated. A large mass of rain is expected to move across Alabama after midnight tonight into tomorrow morning, and this will limit the amount of instability available for the “second round” later in the day. If clouds hold in place through the day, the rain cooled air will greatly limit the severe weather potential over the northern half of Alabama. The wind fields will support some risk of severe weather; we will just have to watch developments closely during the day.

I would suggest the primary threats will come from strong straight line winds and hail, although an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out.

HEAVY RAIN POTENTIAL: The high resolution NAM model hints that over two inches of rain could fall south of Birmingham tomorrow and tomorrow night…

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The NWS might consider a flash flood watch this afternoon since the ground is still relatively saturated from the big rains this past Sunday night and Monday morning.

APRIL COLD SNAP: The other issue is the potential for frost/freeze Wednesday morning. Tuesday will be a raw, cold day with a chilly north wind…. sure looks like many places won’t get out of the 40s. Some possibility some communities north of Birmingham, near the Tennessee border, might even have a hard time getting out of the 30s.

Models bring temperatures down into the 30 to 35 degree range around daybreak Wednesday…

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Growers will need to plan accordingly. Colder pockets over North Alabama will most likely reach the 20s.

Stay tuned for updates through the day as new model data arrives…

Strong Storms Tomorrow Night

| 6:35 am April 5, 2014

Brian will be along shortly with the full discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video… this is just a quick look at the severe weather/heavy rain potential for Alabama late tomorrow night into Monday morning. You won’t have any weather issues today; we expect ample sunshine with a high in the 60s.

SPC maintains the “slight risk” of severe weather for mostly South Alabama in their “Day Three” convective outlook, which runs from 7 a.m. tomorrow through 7 a.m. Monday.

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A very dynamic weather system will develop with strong wind fields, upward motion, and wind shear. The biggest questions involves instability; this will be the limiting factor, and is the reason SPC has only the southern part of Alabama outlooked for now. Seems like the highest risk of severe weather will come from about 10:00 tomorrow night through 10:00 Monday morning, mainly south of a line from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery to Troy to Geneva.

Storms in this part of Alabama will be capable of producing strong, possibly damaging winds and a few tornadoes. And, with the risk coming during the overnight hours, people will need to be sure they have a way of hearing severe weather warnings, such as a NOAA Weather Radio, or good smart phone app like MyWarn or iMap WeatherRadio. Properly programmed, of course.

HEAVY RAIN THREAT: Rain amounts of 2-3 inches are likely tomorrow and Monday…

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This could lead to some flooding issues, especially where storms back build and move over the same area. We will keep you posted on the threat over the weekend. Stay tuned…

Storms Advancing Through Alabama

| 6:50 am April 4, 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.

RADAR CHECK: The line of storms is making steady progress through Northwest Alabama early this morning, and as expected the storms are showing a slow weakening trend. Winds did gust to 50 mph at Hamilton in Marion County as the storms moved through, and there were reports of a few trees down in Lamar County. But, generally speaking, winds have been in the 30-40 mph range with few damage reports.

The storms will end from west to east this afternoon, and cooler and drier air blows into Alabama tonight.

SUNNY SATURDAY: We will enjoy a one day break from the rain tomorrow… expect a good supply of sunshine with a high in the mid 60s. Clouds return quickly tomorrow night, however.

MORE RAIN: Rain moves back into Alabama Sunday; it will spread northward during the day, and by Sunday afternoon rain is likely statewide as a surface low forms on the Louisiana coast.

This low will move to a point between Memphis and Nashville by Monday morning, and with very good dynamic support it will bring the risk of severe weather to parts of our state Sunday night into early Monday morning.

The primary limiting factor in severe weather with this event will be the lack of instability; the better chance of seeing decent surface based instability will be over the southern half of Alabama, and this is where SPC has defined the standard “slight risk” of severe weather…

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Projected bulk shear values are very high, and the low level jet will be screaming overnight Sunday night into early Monday, so where we do see surface based instability, all modes of severe weather will be possible, including tornadoes.

For now it looks like the primary severe weather risk will come along and south of a line from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery to Dothan, and generally between 10:00 p.m. Sunday and 10:00 a.m. Monday. We will be able to better specific the risk later today and tomorrow.

We should also note that some flooding issues are possible; rain totals of 2 to 3 inches are expected before the rain moves out during the midday hours Monday.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: A deep upper trough will move over Alabama Tuesday; the day will be mostly cloudy and cool with potential for some light rain. Then, the rest of the week will be cool and dry.

Still some concern for a late season frost… mainly Thursday morning… over North and Central Alabama. Growers will need to closely monitor temperature forecasts; see 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.

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Busy day ahead… I am speaking at the Building Owner’s and Manager’s Association regional meeting in Birmingham this morning, and then I have a weather program at Erwin Intermediate School in Center Point. Tonight I will be speaking in Midfield at the dedication of their new community tornado shelter. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Storms Arrive Early Tomorrow

| 3:41 pm April 3, 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.

THIS AFTERNOON: As expected, it is a warm and mostly dry afternoon across the great state of Alabama. Mixed sun and clouds; temperatures generally between 77 and 81 degrees. And, nothing on the radar.

TO THE WEST: Tornado watches are up in the zone from North Texas to southern Missouri this afternoon, and SPC maintains an enhanced “moderate risk” of severe weather for much of Arkansas, South Missouri, West Tennessee, and Northwest Mississippi…

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The 12Z model set suggests a slower eastward progression of the storms… the high resolution NAM now shows the line moving into the northwest corner of Alabama around 6:00 a.m. tomorrow.

TOMORROW: The line of storms could be strong to severe as it moves through the Muscle Shoals area with gusty winds, but we expect the line to weaken as it moves deeper into Alabama as the upper support lifts out well to the northeast. While SPC maintains the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for much of Alabama, I would suggest the severe weather threat is minimal for places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston, and Gadsden.

The best chance of rain will come during the morning hours; drier air begins to arrive tomorrow afternoon.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be mostly sunny and cooler with a high in the upper 60s. But, clouds return quickly Saturday night, and rain moves into the state Sunday. Looks like a soaking rain event for North-Central Alabama Sunday afternoon through Monday morning as a surface low moves from near Lake Charles, LA to Jackson, TN. Unfortunately this track will put much of Alabama in the “warm sector” late Sunday night, and there is some concern that severe storms could become an issue.

The primary limiting factor for severe weather Sunday night is the lack of instability. Surface based CAPE values are very low, so hopefully that will mitigate a big severe weather issue. However, strong wind fields and high low level shear values will be in place and we will need to watch developments closely in coming days.

Rain amounts of one to two inches are likely before drier air arrives Monday night. Some flooding issues could develop.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Some light rain is possible Tuesday as an upper trough passes overhead; the day will be mostly cloudy with a high in the 60s. The sky will clear Wednesday, and we are still looking at potential for a late season frost or freeze event early Thursday morning. Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and 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…

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I enjoyed being in Guin this morning for a special 40th anniversary event as we remembered the “Superoutbreak” of tornadoes April 3, 1974. An EF-5 tornado killed 25 people in Guin; 77 in all died in Alabama that night. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Storms Arrive After Midnight

| 6:16 am April 3, 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.

WARM, BREEZY DAY: South winds will increase across Alabama later today ahead of a major storm system developing over the Southern Plains; those winds will average 10-20 mph with higher gusts. The sky will be occasionally cloudy, but any showers today should be widely spaced and much of the day will be dry. The afternoon high will be in the 77-81 degree range, much like recent days.

TO THE WEST: SPC maintains an enhanced “moderate risk” of severe weather for much of Arkansas, southern Missouri, West Tennessee, and Northwest Mississippi this afternoon and tonight, with the standard “slight risk” all the way from near Corpus Christi, TX to Chicago and Indianapolis…

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The higher tornado probabilities are centered over Southeast Missouri, and the eastern half of Arkansas. Supercell thunderstorms will form in this region this afternoon as a deepening surface low moves from Oklahoma to Iowa. The storms will evolve into a long QLCS (quasi linear convective system) late tonight as the main threat shifts to strong, potentially damaging straight line winds.

ALABAMA TOMORROW: The high resolution NAM continues to suggest the line of storms will enter the northwest corner of the state sometime in the 4-5 a.m. time frame tomorrow morning, just before daybreak. The storms at that time could be severe, with potential for high winds. The highest severe weather threat will come over Northwest Alabama tomorrow morning between 4:00 and 8:00 a.m.

As the storms move deeper into Alabama tomorrow, they should slowly weaken as the upper support lifts well north of our state. I would say the severe weather threat for the larger cities of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden is very marginal with weak wind fields and marginal shear values by midday. Still, SPC maintains the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for much of our state tomorrow, and this is the first week of April, so we will be watching radar trends very closely.

The showers and storms will end from northwest to southeast tomorrow afternoon as drier air moves into the state.

SUNNY SATURDAY: At least one day this weekend will be nice; Saturday will feature a good supply of sunshine with a high around 70 degrees. If you need to get something done outdoors this weekend, this is the way.

MORE STORMS AS THE WEEKEND ENDS: Clouds return quickly Sunday morning, and a soaking rain/storm event is likely Sunday afternoon through Monday morning as a surface low lifts from the Louisiana coast to Northwest Tennessee. Rain amounts of about two inches are likely, and severe thunderstorms are a very real possibility late Sunday night into early Monday morning. While the instability values are marginal, bulk shear rates are very high, and a tornado threat could be shaping up if the air can destabilize. At this point it looks like the prime window for severe weather in Alabama will come from about midnight Sunday night through 8:00 a.m. Monday. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Rain ends during the day Monday from west to east, but some light rain is possible Tuesday as an upper trough swings through. Tuesday will be cloudy and cooler with a high only in the low to mid 60s. And, we still will have potential for a late season frost/freeze setup early Thursday morning. Too early to be specific, but growers need to be aware of the potential. Again, see the video for more details.

AT THE BEACH: Mostly dry today along the Gulf Coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores; about 3-5 hours of sunshine with highs in the 60s along the immediate coast, with 70s inland. Showers and storms are likely tomorrow through the weekend; there is potential for heavy rain Sunday and Sunday night along with strong to severe storms. Next week will be drier. Sea water temperatures are generally in the low 60s.

ON THIS DATE IN 1974: The “Superoutbreak” of tornadoes heavily impacted Alabama; 80 people in our state died… 25 of those deaths were in Guin (in Marion County). Nationally, a total of 148 tornadoes touched down, killing 319 people. It was the largest tornado outbreak on record in our nation up until April 2011. I will be in Guin this morning for a special ceremony honoring those that died, and celebrating the town’s recovery.

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 on the new episode we recorded last night.

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

Severe Storms Arrive Tonight

| 3:34 pm February 20, 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.

BALMY WINTER AFTERNOON: As expected, it is a warm and windy day across the great state of Alabama ahead of a deepening storm system over the Midwest. Tuscaloosa has soared to 78 degrees at 2:00; that is a new record high for February 20 (old record was 77 set in 1986). There are a few scattered showers around, but nothing heavy or widespread.

TO THE WEST: Thunderstorms continue to increase in coverage and intensity. A tornado watch is up for much of North Mississippi and West Tennessee until 9p CT, and SPC maintains a moderate risk from North MS to Central KY.

ALABAMA’S SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: Not much change in our thinking tonight, although it looks like the storms might arrive a little later than expected early this morning.

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The storms will enter West Alabama in the 7-8 p.m. time frame, then moving steadily eastward until exiting the state after midnight. Some of the better high resolution models have the squall line in the Birmingham metro around in the 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. time frame.

THREATS: The main risk continues to be strong straight line wind gusts just ahead of the line, possibly gusting to over 50 mph in spots. This will be enough to knock down some trees and power lines, and a number of severe thunderstorm warnings will most likely be needed. The higher wind damage threat is basically from Birmingham north and west; storms should slowly weaken over East Alabama late tonight, but they still could bring strong winds to the Georgia border.

An isolated tornado or two is possible where there are breaks or bows in the line, but the overall tornado threat for Alabama remains low.

Be sure you can hear severe weather watches and warnings tonight with your NOAA Weather Radio or smart phone apps. A severe weather watch will be required for parts of Alabama early tonight, most likely.

Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are likely, but no major flooding issues are expected since the line will be moving along at a fairly rapid pace.

See the Weather Xtreme video for a detailed meteorological discussion along with the maps, graphics, and more details.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: These two days will feature a good supply of sunshine. It will be cooler tomorrow with a high around 60 degrees. Then, on Saturday, we start the day with a low down in the mid 30s, but rise into the mid 60s Saturday afternoon.

SUNDAY: A wave near the Gulf Coast will bring clouds back into Alabama, but most of the rain should be confined to the southern half of the state. A few sprinkles might work their way as far north of I-20, but the significant rain, most likely, will be south of Montgomery. The high will remain in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The week looks mostly rain-free, but expect a change back to colder weather by Wednesday and Thursday. The 12Z GFS hints that highs will be in the 50s on these days, but I would not be surprised if it is colder based on the developing pattern. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for more details and the graphics.

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 enjoyed seeing the kids today at Mount Pleasant Christian School in Susan Moore… be looking for them 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, and we will have frequent updates tonight as the storms move into Alabama. Stay tuned…

Severe Storms Possible Tonight

| 6:13 am February 20, 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.

WARM WINTER DAY: We are projecting a high in the mid 70s today… just a few degrees away from the record high for February 20, 78 set in 1986. South winds will really pick up this afternoon as a surface low deepens over the Midwest. The sky will be mostly cloudy, and a few scattered showers are possible.

LINE OF STRONG/SEVERE STORMS TONIGHT: SPC has upgraded the severe weather risk to “moderate” for the far northwest corner of Alabama; the enhanced “moderate risk” covers parts of North Mississippi, West and Middle Tennessee, and Central Kentucky. The standard “slight risk” runs from the Gulf Coast to near Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

Here are projected storm arrival times from the NWS Birmingham…

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We do note the high resolution NAM has trended slower, hinting it might be midnight before the main band of storms arrives in Birmingham.

MODES OF SEVERE WEATHER: As we have stated in recent days, clearly the primary threat tonight is from strong wind gusts along the line of storms, possibly exceeding 50 mph in spots. The higher probabilities of severe wind gusts are along and north of I-59; the storms should slowly weaken as they move into East Alabama, but the risk of severe weather will continue all the way to the Georgia border.

Winds could be high enough in spots to knock down trees and power lines.

A small spin-up tornado somewhere along the line can’t be ruled out, but the higher tornado probabilities are generally west of Alabama (5 percent over much of Mississippi).

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It is likely that severe weather watches and warnings will be needed tonight, so be sure you are in a position to hear them (NOAA Weather Radio, smart phone apps, etc). The storms will move out of Alabama after midnight.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: These two days will feature sunny pleasant afternoons and fair, chilly nights. The high tomorrow will be near 60, followed by mid 60s Saturday. The low early Saturday morning will be down in the mid 30s.

SUNDAY: A wave will bring clouds to Alabama, but the best chance of rain will come over the southern half of the state, especially south of Montgomery. But, a sprinkle or two can’t be ruled out as far north as I-20. The high will remain in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The upper trough becomes re-established over the eastern half of North America, and colder air will return. Looks like it will be a mostly dry week for Alabama, with the colder air seeping in here Wednesday and Thursday. I think the GFS might be too warm; I would not be surprised if highs were in the 40s on those two days. See 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.

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

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I have a weather program this morning in Blount County at Mt. Pleasant Christian School… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Severe Weather Threat Tonight

| 5:15 am December 21, 2013

Brian will be along later this morning with a new Weather Xtreme video; this post is to outline the severe weather risk for Alabama tonight.

The overall thinking has not changed. SPC has a “moderate risk” of severe weather up for much of North and Central Mississippi, West Tennessee, Northeast Louisiana, East Arkansas, and the northwest corner of Alabama.

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A “slight risk” extends into Alabama, west of a line from Roanoke to Florala.

The core of the risk is defined in the cross hatched area:

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THE DAYTIME HOURS: We do not expect any severe weather during the day today; it will be warm and windy with a high in the low to mid 70s, right at record levels for late December. Our record high today of 73 (set in 1923) is in danger. A few passing showers are possible, but a decent part of the day will be dry.

A wind advisory is in effect for much of Alabama today, as winds will average 12-25 mph with higher gusts.

TO THE WEST: Strong to severe storms will break out today over parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Tennessee. If you are traveling west be aware that there is a significant severe weather risk in these states during the day; be sure you can receive severe weather warnings while you are on the road; a smart phone app like MyWarn or iMap WeatherRadio is a great idea.

The overall weather pattern for the eastern half of the nation is very, very messy today with snow and ice issues in the cold air sector of the storm from Oklahoma to the Great Lakes.

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THE ALABAMA SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: This should answer your questions about the threat in Alabama tonight.

TIMING: Storms should begin in West Alabama tonight between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. Then, the storms will move east/southeast after midnight, and the they should exit the state tomorrow morning. The severe weather threat will end by the time most church services begin tomorrow morning over the northern half of Alabama, although storms could linger into the midday hours over South Alabama.

MODES OF SEVERE WEATHER: The primary threat will come from damaging winds within a squall line, but isolated tornadoes are possible as well. There is some potential for a few discrete storms to form ahead of the main line, and those will offer the greatest risk of a tornado. Within the line, a few short lived tornadoes are not out of the question. There is potential for tree and power line damage with the main line of thunderstorms overnight. Some hail is possible in the stronger storms.

PLACEMENT: The highest risk of isolated tornadoes is over West and Northwest Alabama between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. Much of Alabama will have a risk of strong straight line winds, but the storms should begin to lose their punch over East Alabama early tomorrow as the better dynamics lift away to the northeast early tomorrow.

HEAVY RAIN: Rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely by tomorrow morning; for now we don’t expect any major flash flooding issues, although some local problems are certainly possible.

There is no need to compare this threat to historic threats like April 27, 2011. Those are rare events and are generational. I am reading way too much hyperbole on some sites about this threat. This is not unusual… this is the core of our fall tornado season in Alabama. Severe weather threats like this are common in November and December in Alabama. Just have a way of getting warnings, and have a plan, and you will be fine.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you and your family have a way of hearing severe weather warnings late tonight and during the pre-dawn hours tomorrow. NEVER rely on outdoor warning sirens; they are pretty much useless in homes, businesses, schools, and churches. They reach only a small number of people outdoors.

A NOAA Weather Radio is the baseline, but you need multiple ways of receiving warnings. Good smart phone apps like MyWarn and iMap WeatherRadio work very, very well.

Don’t forget you can see all of our blog posts, and our live video streams with the James Spann 24/7 app for iOS and Android devices.

We will have frequent updates throughout the day; check with us often…