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Tag: "storms"

Active Day Ahead

| 12:18 am January 3, 2015

Parts of Central, West and Southwest Alabama are under the standard “slight risk” of severe weather today and tonight, with a lower end “marginal risk” farther north and east…

Convective Outlook

A dynamic storm system will bring a push of warm, moist air up into Alabama today, and we expect a high close to 70 degrees this afternoon. While a few passing showers are possible during the morning and early afternoon hours, the most active weather comes after 4:00 p.m….

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Storms will be capable of producing strong, perhaps damaging winds, some small hail, and maybe even an isolated short lived tornado or two.

Additional rain amounts of 2 inches are expected, and some localized flooding issues are certainly possible. A flash flood watch has been issued for parts of North Alabama…

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ARCTIC BLAST: One quick note about next week… new guidance is suggesting much of North Alabama will stay below freezing all day Thursday of the coming week as Arctic air rolls into Alabama. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like it will stay for a long period of time, and we do not expect any wintry precipitation issues. The low early Thursday will be in the teens.

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Brian will be along in a bit with a new meteorological discussion… and we will have frequent updates on the situation throughout the day.

Late Afternoon Update

| 3:11 pm December 23, 2014

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; weather is a bit too active to produce one**

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL: A tornado watch is in effect until 11p CT for much of Central and South Alabama…

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This watch is basically along and south of I-20; it does not include Anniston or Gadsden, but it does include Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

WHERE IS THE WARM FRONT? Dewpoint analysis suggests the front is close to U.S. 82 (Tuscaloosa to Montgomery), and making slow progress to the north.

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The unstable air should reach I-20 this evening, and the warm front will mark the northern flank of the main severe weather threat.

TIMING: The prime risk of severe storms, with hail, strong winds, and perhaps an isolated tornado or two, will come from 5:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. for North/Central Alabama. While this still looks like a lower end tornado threat for the I-20 corridor, we have had serious damage and injuries today from a tornado down in the unstable air at Columbia, MS around 2:30 this afternoon, so we will need to watch radar trends closely.

If we do have a tornado across Central Alabama, most likely it will be a brief, short lived one based on the atmospheric conditions. The better instability will remain over the south half of Alabama.

CALL TO ACTION: Simply be in a position to hear severe weather warnings if they are needed. NEVER believe you will hear an outdoor warning siren. The base line is a NOAA Weather Radio; a good smart phone app like WeatherRadio by WDT, or MyWarn, is a great way of getting warnings as well.

Be sure everyone in your home knows your “safe place”, and if you live in a mobile home, know where you are going since they are not safe during a tornado. If you have Christmas guests from out of town, go through the information with them as well.

We will keep the blog fresh with updates through the night, so stay tuned…

Heavy Rain/Strong To Severe Storms

| 6:38 am December 23, 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.

ACTIVE WEATHER DAY: I always encourage you to take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video on active days like this to see all of the maps and graphics that go along with this discussion. We will be pretty busy over the next 24 hours.

EARLY THIS MORNING: We have a few showers on radar, but nothing too heavy across North/Central Alabama. We note stronger storms over South Mississippi near a warm front, where the NWS Jackson has issued a few severe thunderstorm warnings. We also note some dense fog over the northern two-thirds of Alabama, north of a warm front to the south.

WEATHER SETUP: The warm front is about 60-70 miles north of the AL/MS Gulf Coast this morning, and moving slowly northward. A surface low will move from near Natchez, MS to a point west of Nashville late tonight, slowly deepening. And, to the west, a vigorous long wave upper trough will provide excellent dynamic support for rain and storms.

The key to the severe weather threat for the northern half of Alabama will be the northward movement of the warm front, and the mass of unstable air south of that front. Often in a situation like this, with a thick cloud cover and occasional showers, it makes for a very slow progression of the warm front. Also, cold air damming is sending cooler air into Northeast Alabama, which should help to mitigate the severe weather risk there (places like Gadsden and Fort Payne).

SPC has the standard “slight risk” of severe weather up today, tonight, and very early tomorrow along and south of a line from Hamilton to Leeds to Eufaula. The lower end “marginal” risk extends north to Muscle Shoals, Cullman, and Anniston. There is no formal risk defined for Gadsden or areas to the north, over Northeast Alabama.

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TIMING: While we will have occasional showers and thunderstorms from now through tomorrow morning, the core severe weather threat for North/Central Alabama will come from 3:00 p.m. through 3:00 a.m. tomorrow. A few severe storms are possible before 3:00 p.m. over far West and Southwest Alabama.

THREATS: I think the most significant threat could very well be heavy rain and potential flooding; the NWS has the southern half of Alabama in a flash flood watch, and up this way a number of communities will see rain amounts of over two inches over the next 24 hours. Also the stronger storms this afternoon and tonight could produce hail, strong, possibly damaging winds, and an isolated short lived tornado or two.

CONFIDENCE: As discussed here yesterday, it just seems like the primary severe weather parameters are a little out of phase, with the low level jet and higher bulk shear values northeast of the better instability. This seems like a low end severe weather threat, but with these dynamic cold season systems can come a surprise or two. And, as I have said many times, all it takes is one tornado in the entire state that just happens to come through your neighborhood to make it a “big deal”.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you can hear severe weather watches and warnings. NEVER rely on an outdoor warning siren; be sure your NOAA Weather Radio is programmed properly and has fresh batteries in case of a power failure. Have a good smart phone app for warnings, like WeatherRadio by WDT, or MyWarn. And, if you have out of town guests for Christmas, be sure they know the location of your “safe place”, and know what to do in case a tornado warning is issued and you are “in the polygon”.

TOMORROW: Rain will end from west to east during the morning hours. The day will be breezy and cooler, with temperatures falling from near 60 at daybreak, through the 50s during the day. The sky will clear tomorrow night.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Christmas Day looks wonderful, with ample sunshine and a high in the 50s after starting the day in the 30s. Those temperatures are right at average values for late December in our state. We stay dry Friday with a partly to mostly sunny sky and a high around 60 degrees.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Showers return to the state Saturday ahead of a cold front, and it now looks like that front will become nearly stationary, meaning we will need to continue the risk of showers into Sunday. No severe weather, and the rain probably won’t be too heavy, but just keep in mind showers are possible both days. Highs over the weekend will be in the 50s.

Drier air returns Monday.

LONG RANGE: Still seeing good evidence of much colder air reaching the Deep South toward the end of December and the first part of January; and with an active southern storm track that could pave the way for some winter weather mischief for somebody across the Deep South; there might be some weeping and gnashing of teeth in weather offices around New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for maps 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. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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If weather allows, I will produce another Weather Xtreme video by 4:00 this afternoon, and we will have updates throughout the day on the Alabama weather situation….

Severe Weather Threat Ahead For Alabama

| 6:38 am October 13, 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.

As always before any severe weather threat, I encourage you to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and detailed information on what is ahead.

AT DAYBREAK: Things are pretty quiet early this morning; just a few sprinkles on the radar near the Tennessee border… most of the state is rain-free with temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s around here. We don’t expect any weather problems through the morning hours.

SEVERE STORMS AHEAD: A vigorous upper trough west of Alabama, with an attendant surface low and cold front, will bring the threat of severe weather to our state late today and tonight. Here is a look at what we expect across Alabama…

TIMING: Severe storms could develop over the western half of Alabama as early as 4:00-5:00 this afternoon. These thunderstorms will be capable of producing hail, damaging wind, and maybe even a tornado or two. The primary squall line will enter West Alabama late tonight, around midnight, and will move slowly through the state during the pre-dawn hours. After midnight, the core threat shifts to damaging straight line wind along the squall line. It could very well be after daybreak tomorrow before the storms impact places like Anniston and Gadsden in East Alabama.

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THREATS: The highest tornado probabilities are west of Alabama, around Memphis and the Mississippi Delta this afternoon and early tonight, but clearly there will be a risk of a few tornadoes over West Alabama between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. All of Alabama will have a risk of damaging straight line winds, with individual thunderstorms, and with the organized line that will move through after midnight. And, some hail is also possible in stronger storms.

FLASH FLOODING: A flash flood watch is in effect for that part of Alabama north of a line from Millport to Jasper to Oneonta to Fort Payne. Keep in mind this part of the state, received significant rain over the weekend; we have reports of almost five inches of rain around Cullman. Additional rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches will create the risk of flooding tonight.

GET THE WARNINGS! Remember, if you think you will hear an outdoor warning siren late tonight while you family is sleeping, you pretty much have no hope of getting a warning. Every home needs a properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio, and a good “second layer” is a smart phone app like MyWarn, or WeatherRadio. Be sure you and your family can hear severe weather warnings late this afternoon and tonight.

ABC 33/40 COVERAGE: If any part of our TV market is under a tornado warning, you know the deal… we go on the air, and stay on the air. When we have no active tornado warnings, tonight we will be on our live stream, and our digital weather channel “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state. You can access the live stream through any ABC 33/40 app, including the James Spann 24/7 app, or on the ABC 33/40 web site.

REST OF THE WEEK: Rain moves out of the state tomorrow, and the weather turns much cooler with a gusty north breeze. A cut-off upper low will persist north of the state Wednesday, and could keep clouds over the northern third of the state, and maybe even a touch of light rain or drizzle around the Tennessee Valley. A good chance we won’t get out of the 60s Wednesday.

Then, the weather will be delightful Thursday and Friday with sunny pleasant days and clear cool nights; highs in the 70s and lows down around 50 degrees. Colder pockets will visit the 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Could not be better. Clear weather continues; highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s. Perfect for race weekend at Talladega, football, or anything else you want to do outdoors.

TROPICS: We have a pair of tropical storms in the Atlantic; Fay is east of Bermuda, and is moving east over the open Atlantic. And, Gonzalo is near the Leeward Islands; it will be near the eastern tip of Puerto Rico after midnight tonight as a strong tropical storm, and should become a hurricane tomorrow as moves over the open Atlantic. These will not impact the U.S. mainland.

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 have moved this week’s show to tomorrow night at 8:30p CT due to the severe weather threat tonight.

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

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I will be doing a weather program today at Oliver Elementary School in Birmingham… we will have frequent updates on the severe weather threat here on the blog through the day, and of course as the event unfolds tonight and tomorrow morning. I will post another detailed discussion by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Scattered Storms Through Tomorrow

| 3:47 pm October 6, 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: One strong storm earlier today developed over Calhoun County, producing small hail north of Anniston at places like Weaver; that storm is well into Georgia, and moving away. However, new storms have fired up over Northwest Alabama, and hail has also been reported in Marion County.

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The storms are moving east/northeast, and due to very cold air aloft (500 mb temperatures down to -15C), hail is very possible in the stronger storms for the next several hours. SPC maintains the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for North Alabama due to this potential. Storms should weaken later tonight as the air becomes more stable.

TOMORROW: Another wave will rotate down the back side of the big upper trough over the eastern U.S., and we will need to keep the risk of scattered storms in the forecast. The high resolution NAM suggests the highest coverage of storms will actually come during the morning hours, but they are possible basically at any time during the day; the high will be in the 77-80 degree range with the sky occasionally cloudy.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: These three days will be warm with highs up in the low to mid 80s. We can’t rule out a shower or storm on any day, but they will be widely spaced, and mainly over the northern third of the state. An approaching cold front will push an organized band of showers and storms into North Alabama Friday night, but that front will stall out somewhere around the Alabama/Tennessee border.

THE WEEKEND: The stalled front will be just north of here, meaning some risk of at least scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday, with the best coverage along and north of I-20. This won’t be a continuous rain, and not a “wash out”, but if you have outdoor plans just be aware some rain is very possible at times. Our highs will be in the 77 to 81 degree range. South Alabama looks mostly warm and dry for the weekend.

See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week. We do note there has been some consistency in the idea of a tropical system forming near the Yucatan coast in about 6-8 days, with a northward motion into the Gulf of Mexico. Way too early to know if this happens at all; see the video for more details.

NATIONAL SHRIMP FESTIVAL: The weather could not be better for the big event at Gulf Shores; look for sunny warm days, and fair pleasant nights Thursday through Sunday with only a small risk of a shower Sunday afternoon. Highs in the 80s; lows in the 60s. Sea water temperatures are in the 78-81 degree range.

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.

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

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I had a great time today visiting the 1st graders at Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park… 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…

Moist Air Returns To Alabama Today

| 6:29 am October 6, 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.

AT DAYBREAK: Still pretty chilly over Northeast Alabama this morning with low to mid 40s reported from Gadsden up to Fort Payne. We note over the weekend our Skywatcher at Black Creek, Vic Bell, dropped to freezing early yesterday (his low was 32), his earliest freeze on record. There was scattered frost across the colder valleys yesterday morning. Nothing on radar over Alabama as the new day dawns.

THE DAY AHEAD: We are watching a line of showers and strong storms just northwest of Alabama…

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These showers will slowly weaken, but some of them will move into the northwest corner of Alabama this morning. These showers and storms are ahead of a spoke of energy rotating down the back side of the long wave upper trough over the eastern half of the U.S. And, that wave will bring the chance of showers and storms to North Alabama later today and tonight.

STRONG STORMS? SPC has North Alabama, areas generally north of I-59, under the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for this afternoon and tonight; this risk extends west and north to Texas and Kentucky. Shear and instability values are somewhat marginal for severe weather in our state, but very cold air aloft, associated with the upper trough, seems to be the biggest flag, meaning the greatest threat will come from large hail, especially north of I-20 and west of I-65.

The main window for stronger storms will come from about 2:00 until 9:00 p.m. We will watch radar trends closely.

TOMORROW: Another wave embedded in the large upper trough will pass north of the state, and we will mention scattered showers and storms tomorrow, mainly north of I-20. The sun might peek out at times tomorrow, and the high should be in the 77-81 degree range. No “all day” rain.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Wednesday and Thursday look relatively dry and warm. A few showers could fire up Thursday afternoon over North Alabama as isentropic lift increases over the state, but widespread rain doesn’t look especially likely for now. Afternoon temperatures will rise into the low to mid 80s on these days. Then, on Friday, a cold front will approach from the north. The GFS suggests a band of showers and storms could move into our state late Friday afternoon and Friday night. This could mean some rain issues for high school football games across North Alabama.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The front sags down into North Alabama, and becomes stationary as it will be parallel to the upper air flow. This means we will have the chance of a few passing showers and thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday. The rain won’t be continuous, but you will need to be ready for occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm if you have something planned outdoors. High temperatures over the weekend will be in the 75-79 degree range, about average for mid-October in Alabama. Probably not much sun.

See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: All remains quiet across the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week. The hurricane season runs through the end of November, but generally after October hurricanes are not very common as the ocean water temperatures cool.

GULF COAST WEATHER: The National Shrimp Festival is this Thursday through Sunday on the Alabama Gulf Coast… one of the biggest events of the year. The weather looks great, with mostly sunny days and fair nights; only a small risk of a shower Sunday. Highs will be in the 80s, and lows in the 60s. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab this morning has cooled to 72 degrees.

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 on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

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I have a weather program today at Liberty Park Elementary School in Vestavia Hills… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!