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Severe Weather Threat Later Today/Tonight

| 6:17 am February 2, 2016

THIS MORNING: Temperatures are in the low 60s across much of North/Central Alabama early this morning; the sky is mostly cloudy, and not much is showing on radar.

Scattered showers could form later this morning and early this afternoon, but the focus of this discussion is on the severe weather threat for Alabama late today and tonight. SPC has expanded the “enhanced risk” of severe weather on their new severe weather outlook for today…

AL_swody1 (3)

I would say the threat is still not clear cut, limiting factors include weak lapse rates, and warmer air aloft in the 15,000-20,000 foot range that could keep instability values low. But, while the thermodynamics are questionable, the dynamics are certainly robust for severe weather with a strong low level jet and significant bulk shear values.

PLACEMENT/MODES: The highest risk of a tornado will come over that “enhanced” risk area late this afternoon and early tonight (west of a line from Scottsboro to Birmingham to Thomasville), but the risk of a tornado to the east over the “slight” risk is certainly not zero. Perhaps the greatest risk tonight is from strong, possibly damaging straight line winds as line of storms evolves. Stronger storms are also capable of producing some hail.

TIMING: A few discrete storms could form over West Alabama after 3:00 p.m… the core threat for the state will run from the early evening through the late night hours, although the severe weather threat will fade after midnight as the main dynamic support lifts away, and the air becomes more stable.

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RAIN: Rain totals could approach two inches in some spots, and some isolated flooding problems are not out of the question.

GRADIENT WINDS: Away from storms, south winds will gust to 25/30 mph at times this evening. A wind advisory is in effect for the northern two-thirds of Alabama.

CALL TO ACTION: As always, be sure you are in a position to hear warnings if they are needed, have a plan of action, and a readiness kit in your safe place. See this post I wrote before Christmas on specific things to do.

TOMORROW: Rain ends tomorrow morning, and we should begin to see some clearing tomorrow afternoon as drier air works into the state; still pretty pleasant with a high in the low to mid 60s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be cool and dry. Coldest morning will come early Friday when upper 20s are likely… highs will be in the low to mid 50s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday stays cool and dry with a high in the 50s… then on Sunday a surface low will pass south of here; this feature should push clouds into the state, and some light rain is possible, mainly south and east of Birmingham. Parts of North Alabama could hold in the 40s all day Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A pretty good cold shot is due in here by mid-week; we might have a hard time getting out of the 30s Wednesday or Thursday… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

2-10_temps

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.

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

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Stay tuned to the blog for updates on the severe weather situation through the day…

Severe Weather Threat Begins Tomorrow Afternoon

| 3:20 pm February 1, 2016

LIKE SPRING: Temperatures have soared into the low 70s across most of Central Alabama this afternoon with intervals of sunshine. We do have showers on radar, but they are scattered, and mostly over far North Alabama, and across the southeast part of the state. A few showers are possible tonight, but they will be widely spaced.

ACTIVE WEATHER AHEAD: A deepening surface low will move across the Great Plains tomorrow, with heavy snow in the cold air just north of the low track. But, needless to say, we are in the warm sector, and temperatures tomorrow will again push toward the low 70s, with dewpoints rising into the mid 60s. The air will become unstable by afternoon, with surface based CAPE values between 500 and 1000 j/kg.

With the approaching upper dynamics, it looks like strong to severe storms will begin to form by late afternoon across North Alabama, and severe weather still looks likely.

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PLACEMENT: The highest severe weather probabilities are in the “enhanced” severe weather outlook region, which is generally along and west of a line from Huntsville to Tuscaloosa. But, understand severe storms are possible into parts of East Alabama as well tomorrow night.

MODES: Storms that fire late tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening will be cellular in nature, and those could produce a few tornadoes, especially over Northwest Alabama. Storms are also capable of producing large hail and damaging straight line winds. Activity should evolve into a long line of storms tomorrow night after 9:00 p.m.

TIMING: Storms should begin to form soon after 3:00 p.m. over West Alabama… highest tornado threat will come from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m… after that the risk will be more from damaging straight line winds as the line forms.

RAIN: Rain amounts around one inch are likely, but the line will slow down over East Alabama after midnight tomorrow night, and some spots could see up to 2 inches there, which could mean some risk of flooding.

CALL TO ACTION: As always, be sure you are in a position to hear warnings if they are needed, have a plan of action, and a readiness kit in your safe place. See this post I wrote before Christmas on specific things to do.

WEDNESDAY: Rain will end early in the day, followed by gradual clearing with a high at or just over 60 degrees.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be cool and dry with highs in the 50s; coldest morning will come early Friday, when upper 20s are possible.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be mostly sunny and cool with a high in the mid 50s; clouds will slowly increase Sunday, and some light rain could arrive Sunday night. Heaviest rain will come over the southern half of the state Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Still seeing signals of a shot of pretty cold air down into the eastern half of the U.S. toward the middle of next 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. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it here.

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

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I had a great time today visiting with 1st graders at Vestavia Hills Cahaba Heights Elementary… and Calera Elementary… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Tuesday’s Severe Weather Threat

| 9:08 am January 30, 2016

Here are a few quick notes concerning the severe weather potential in Alabama Tuesday.

Our friends at the Storm Prediction Center have shifted the higher risk a little westward, but it still includes the northwest corner of Alabama…

day4prob

The good news is that global models (American and European) have trended farther north with the surface low, and the associated upper support, in recent runs. Below is the GFS (06Z run) valid at 6pm CT Tuesday…

gfs_ptype_slp_east2_16

Note how the surface low is near Chicago; earlier runs had it closer to St. Louis.

Based on these trends… here is what I am thinking now…

TIMING: The main window for severe storms across North/Central Alabama will come from 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through 2:00 a.m. Wednesday.

THREATS: The tornado threat for Alabama has lessened somewhat, but is still there. Highest risk of a tornado with this event will be in places like Memphis; in our state higher tornado probabilities will be up around Muscle Shoals, in the northwest corner of the state. Storms will evolve into a long line Tuesday night with potential for damaging straight line winds, and some hail.

RAIN: Amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are likely, and flooding is not expected.

This system will get into the American upper air network over the next 48 hours, and forecast confidence will continue to grow. Enjoy this fine weekend, and just understand severe storms will be possible in Alabama late Tuesday and Tuesday night. You might want to check your weather radio sometime this weekend, and put in a fresh backup battery. Be sure you know where are you are going if you do get into a tornado warning polygon, and have a readiness kit in that safe place including helmets, airhorns and whistles, and hard sole shoes.

We will keep you updated through the weekend.

Heavy Rain/Strong Storms, Then Snow

| 2:46 pm January 21, 2016

**No Weather Xtreme video today; I did an extended live video on Facebook you can watch here**

RAIN AND STORMS TONIGHT: A heavy rain/thunderstorm event will unfold across Alabama over the next 12-18 hours; rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely, and severe storms are possible, especially over the southwest part of the state. A tornado watch is in effect for parts of Mississippi and Louisiana until 10p CT…

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An “enhanced” severe weather risk continues over Southwest Alabama, with the standard “slight” risk as far north as Greene, Hale, and Perry Counties for tonight…

AL_swody1 (2)

The core severe weather threat will be in the broad zone from Demopolis and Greensboro to Mobile and Atmore; some storms in that region could produce high winds, and an isolated tornado or two is very possible. The main threat for Alabama will come from about 6:00 p.m. through 3:00 a.m.

The severe weather threat for Tuscaloosa is marginal, and no severe storms are expected for Birmingham, Anniston, or Gadsden.

TOMORROW: Temperatures will fall during the day as a surface low pulls away from Alabama; we start the day in the 50s, and wind up in the 30s by mid to late afternoon. And, as the cold air rushes into the state, the lingering rain will change to light snow. NWS offices in Huntsville and Birmingham are now in the process of issuing “winter weather advisories” for the northern half of the state for tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night.

snow

The heaviest snow is likely over the northwest corner of the state, elsewhere light amounts are likely. Since much of this wintry precipitation will fall in the form of snow showers, amounts will vary a good bit. Snow showers are like rain showers on summer afternoons; it can be very much hit and miss. Some communities will wind up with little if any snow; others will see the ground white. Generally speaking, amounts across North/Central Alabama will be in the 1/4 to 1 inch range.

TRAVEL: Icy spots could develop around the Shoals area tomorrow afternoon, but for most of the state the core risk of slick spots due to snow will come after 9:00 p.m. Temperatures probably won’t drop below freezing for places like Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston until after midnight tomorrow night.

NORTHEAST OF ALABAMA: This will be a blockbuster, high impact snow storm for much of WV/VA/MD… with very significant icing possible in North Carolina where freezing rain will be more of a concern. Travel in these areas will become difficult, if not impossible by tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night.

wpc_snow_72_75_ma (2)

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be breezy and cold with a mix of sun and clouds and a risk of morning flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s. Then, on Sunday, after a low well down in the 20s, we rise to near 50 degrees by afternoon with a good supply of sunshine.

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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Twitter
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I had a great time today visiting with the students at Floyd Elementary in Gadsden… 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…

Storms, Colder, Then Some Snow

| 6:38 am January 21, 2016

MUCH TO DISCUSS: We will be very busy in the weather office over the next 48 hours as a very robust weather system swings through the eastern half of the nation.

TODAY: A surface low, the initiation of what promises to be a blockbuster eastern U.S. snow storm, forms over Texas north of Houston, with a warm front extending eastward along the Gulf Coast. That warm front will lift slowly northward, and we will mention a chance of showers during the day. Temperatures rise into the 50s this afternoon.

SEVERE WEATHER RISK TONIGHT: The surface low moves northeast into Mississippi… and the guys at SPC have defined an “enhanced” severe weather threat for Southwest Alabama tonight, with the standard “slight risk” up into Sumter, Greene, and Hale Counties of West Alabama.

AL_swody1

PLACEMENT: It sure seems like the best combination of instability and shear will be over Southwest Alabama tonight. I would suggest the main severe weather threat will come in the broad area from Demopolis to Mobile, with a much smaller risk as far north as Tuscaloosa. The risk of severe weather for Birmingham, Anniston, and Gadsden is very low tonight as the air there will be stable.

TIMING: The core severe weather threat will come from about 9:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.

MODES: While strong straight line winds and hail are the main threats, we sure can’t rule out a tornado or two, especially over far Southwest Alabama (closer to Mobile).

RAIN AMOUNTS: Rain totals of at least one inch are likely tonight, with isolated amounts approaching two inches. I don’t think it will be enough for flooding issues.

COLD AIR RETURNS TOMORROW: Temperatures will be going the wrong way. We will be in the 50s around sunrise, but after that we fall through the 40s, reaching the 30s by late afternoon with a gusty northwest wind. Periods of rain will continue through the day as the cold air rolls in.

SNOW TOMORROW NIGHT: As cold air deepens, the rain will change over to light snow across the northern half of Alabama on the back side of the departing surface low.

TIMING: The change will begin over the far northwest counties in the 3-6 p.m. time frame, but for most of the state snow won’t begin until after 6:00 p.m. It might be after 10:00 p.m. before you see snow flakes over East Alabama.

AMOUNTS: All guidance continues to suggest any accumulation will be pretty light across our state. Best chance of seeing an inch of snow will be over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama, and over the eastern counties.

wpc_snow_72_75_birmingham-2

Understand we will be dealing with convective type snow showers tomorrow night, and distribution won’t be especially even. But, generally speaking, amounts across North/Central Alabama will be under one inch, and in some cases, no accumulation at all.

IMPACT: Temperatures are expected to generally remain above freezing through midnight tomorrow night, so for now we expect no impact from the light snow during the day tomorrow, or early tomorrow night. But, after midnight tomorrow night into Saturday morning, temperatures will drop to near freezing, and there could be a few icy patches. Due to strong wind and the light nature of the snow, the overall travel impact in Alabama looks relatively low for now. But again, if you are driving early Saturday morning be aware of the potential for a few slick spots.

REMEBER: This forecast can, and probably will change, so check the blog often for updates and revisions.

TO THE NORTHEAST: Parts of WV/VA/MD will be buried; some spots will see two feet of snow, and blizzard conditions are likely around Washington and Baltimore tomorrow night into Saturday. Travel in the core of the storm will become difficult, if not impossible. The snow will also impact cities like Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

wpc_snow_72_75_ma-2

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be cold and breezy with a mix of sun and clouds and a risk of lingering morning snow flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s. Then, on Sunday, after starting the day in the low 20s we rise to near 50 degrees with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of showers Tuesday, followed by cooler air Wednesday. No sign of any winter weather mischief for now… 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.

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

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Twitter
Google Plus
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I have a weather program this morning at Floyd Elementary in Gadsden… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Strong Storms, Colder, Some Snow

| 3:25 pm January 20, 2016

VERY ACTIVE WEATHER: Rain is still falling this afternoon across parts of Central Alabama, mainly south of I-20. Otherwise, it is a cloudy and cold day. Temperatures are barely above freezing across Northeast Alabama, where some light icing has been reported. Photo below is from Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne… via @rolltide23

rolltide23_2016-Jan-20

The sky will stay cloudy tonight, with some patchy light rain possible.

We have two issues we will focus on this afternoon….

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TOMORROW AFTERNOON/TOMORROW NIGHT: SPC has adjusted the “Day Two” convective outlook, and the standard “slight risk” of severe storms now extends northward to Tuscaloosa, with a “marginal” risk to Birmingham…

AL_swody2

The primary threat of severe storms will come from about 4:00 p.m. tomorrow to midnight tomorrow night. The main risk will come from hail and strong, perhaps damaging straight line winds, but an isolated tornado can’t be completely ruled out. Higher tornado probabilities exist to the west over South Mississippi.

This is a very dynamic weather system, and we will watch radar trends very closely tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night. Rain amounts of around 1 inch are likely.

A RISK OF SNOW FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT: As the surface low pulls northeast, away from Alabama, much colder air will drop into the state Friday with a gusty north wind. We start the day in the 50s at daybreak, then we fall through the 40s during the midday hours, reaching the 30s by mid to late afternoon.

Lingering light rain on the back side of the departing low will turn to light snow; the change will initially happen over Northwest Alabama, and it could happen as early as 12:00 noon near the Mississippi border across counties like Lamar, Marion, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale. This is where some communities could see over 1 inch of snow; to the west most of North Mississippi is under a winter storm watch, where 4 inches of snow is possible.

For most of North/Central Alabama, the change from rain to snow will come between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. And, temperatures won’t drop below freezing until after 6:00, so we do not expect any travel impact during the day Friday, with the possible exception of far Northwest Alabama (Lamar, Marion, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale Counties).

Light snow/snow flurries will continue Friday night, and some light accumulation is possible as far south as I-20. We will project amounts under 1 inch, probably closer to 1/4 inch, for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston. The European model seems to have a good grasp on this potential…

snow_ecmwf

There could be a few slick/icy spots Friday night and Saturday morning due to light snow and sub freezing temperatures over the northern half of Alabama, especially along and north of I-20. While I don’t think this will be an especially high impact event, anyone that needs to travel Friday night needs to be aware of the potential for some ice/snow issues.

As is the case with any winter weather situation, please keep up with the latest blog posts for forecast changes…

MAJOR EAST COAST SNOW STORM: A blizzard watch is in effect for Washington D.C. for Friday/Saturday; still looks like some spots across KY/WV/VA/MD will see two feet of snow from this blockbuster system. The snow will ultimately impact larger cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Travel around Washington and Baltimore will become difficult, if not impossible Friday and Saturday. Expect major airport delays across the eastern third of the U.S.

bigsnow_ecmwf

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be breezy and cold with a mix of sun and clouds along with a risk of morning snow flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s. Then, on Sunday, after a low down in the low 20s, we rise to near 50 degrees with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: Some light rain will return Monday night and Tuesday thanks to an approaching cold front, and we see evidence of a warmer period toward the end of January and the first of February. 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.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the 2nd graders at Bluff Park Elementary School in Hoover… 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….

A Look At Today’s Severe Weather Threat

| 5:48 am December 28, 2015

Brian Peters will be along shortly with the Weather Xtreme video… I am on “vacation” this week, but of course will be around today to handle severe weather coverage on ABC 33/40 if needed.

PLACEMENT: The Storm Prediction Center has most of West and Central Alabama in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather today, with a “marginal risk” for far East Alabama…

AL_swody1 (7)

We note the higher tornado probabilities are over West Alabama…

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Just understand any part of Alabama could see severe storms today, but the greatest risk is west of a line from Huntsville to Geneva, in the “slight risk” area.

TIMING: Storms will enter West Alabama as early as 8:00… then moving across the state during the day.

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MODES: The core threat will come from damaging straight line winds, however a few tornadoes are certainly possible. Hail is not especially likely. As noted above, the higher tornado probabilities are over West Alabama, especially north of I-20 and west of I-65.

FLOODING: Much of North and Central Alabama is under a flash flood watch.

WatchWarning (2)

Rain amounts of 1-2 inches can be expected today, and needless to say the ground is saturated. Rivers remain in flood; see this site for the latest river flood information.

BE READY: See this post on ways to get warnings, watch our coverage, and stay safe today. This includes information about apps.

TRAVELING? The weather is very active over much of the nation; see the map below.

Screen_Shot_2015-12-28_at_5_43_57_AM

COTTON BOWL: Alabama will take on Michigan State Thursday night at the “Cotton Bowl”, which is played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The weather will be clear and cold; after a high of 44 Thursday afternoon temperatures will drop into the 30s quickly after sunset. Wind chill index values will drop into the 20s Thursday night.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: Auburn plays Memphis at Legion Field Wednesday at 11:00. The sky will be cloudy, and unfortunately periods of rain are likely. It will be a cool day with temperatures hovering in the low to mid 50s during the game. Take the rain gear; but on the positive side we don’t expect any thunder, and certainly no risk of severe weather.

Stay tuned today for updates on the blog…

Tomorrow’s Severe Weather Risk

| 7:30 am December 27, 2015

This discussion concerns the potential for severe weather in Alabama tomorrow; and also includes a look at college football game bowl weather in Birmingham and Dallas.

TOMORROW: The SPC (Storm Prediction Center) has the standard “slight risk” of severe weather defined for much of Alabama…

AL_swody2 (1)

A deep surface low/upper trough will be positioned northwest of Alabama tomorrow morning, and warm, moist, unstable air will remain in place.

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Here my current thinking…

TIMING: This will be a daytime event. The main window for strong storms will come from roughly 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The storms will move into West Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Fayette, etc) initially between 8 and 10:00. They, the I-65 corridor (Cullman, Birmingham Clanton, etc) will be impacted 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. and then into East Alabama (Anniston, Gadsden, etc) by mid to late afternoon.

MODES: The primary threat will come from damaging straight line winds, but a few isolated tornadoes are certainly possible. Lapse rates are somewhat marginal, and hopefully will prevent this from becoming a “major” situation, but with thunderstorms, you have to expect the unexpected. Below is the STP, or Significant Tornado Parameter, valid at 9:00 a.m…

stpse__8_

FLOODING: Needless to say, the ground is completely saturated across Alabama, and many rivers are well out of their banks. A flash flood watch is now in effect for much of North and Central Alabama; rain tomorrow will be in the 1-2 inch range, and some flooding issues could develop, but not to the extreme levels we saw Christmas day.

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Concerning river flooding… get detailed information here.

Please take a minute to read this, to be sure you can hear warnings and understand what to do if we do have severe storms in Alabama tomorrow.

Much cooler, stable air rolls in on Tuesday, and we are done with severe weather problems for a while.

ATTENTION TRAVELERS: The system that will bring the threat of severe weather to Alabama tomorrow continues to bring a big variety of nasty weather to the U.S… see the map below.

Screen_Shot_2015-12-27_at_7_23_59_AM

COTTON BOWL: Alabama will take on Michigan State Thursday night at the “Cotton Bowl”, which is played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The weather will be clear and cold; after a high of 44 Thursday afternoon temperatures will drop into the 30s quickly after sunset. Wind chill index values will drop into the 20s Thursday night.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: Auburn plays Memphis at Legion Field Wednesday at 11:00. The sky will be cloudy, and unfortunately periods of rain are likely. It will be a cool day with temperatures hovering in the low to mid 50s during the game. Take the rain gear; but on the positive side we don’t expect any thunder, and certainly no risk of severe weather.

We will have updates on the blog… stay tuned…

Merry Christmas!

| 7:30 am December 25, 2015

**No Weather Xtreme video today**

From all of us that work the blog… Despite all the problems, this is still a good world. May you and your family enjoy God’s richest blessings this Christmas; usually found in the smaller things we sometimes overlook.

ACTIVE DAY: A flash flood watch is in effect for much of Central Alabama on this Christmas Day…

WatchWarning

Thunderstorms with torrential rain are moving northeast….

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 7.14.15 AM

Several businesses in downtown Columbiana (Shelby County) are flooded, and water rescues have also been reported. Not the way you want to start Christmas morning. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Chilton, Shelby, Talladega counties until 10:15.

Please be careful with these storms… There is a multiple fatality wreck on county road 73 about 3 miles from Montevallo. There is a car in a pond; first responders are currently searching for more victims. Happened about the time the thunderstorm rolled through.

Showers and storms are likely today across the northern half of the state, and some of the storms could be severe. The guys at the Storm Prediction Center have placed much of North and West Alabama under the standard “slight risk” of severe storms for today and tonight.

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A severe weather watch could be required for parts of Mississippi and Alabama soon…

mcd2060

The prime threat is from strong straight line winds and flooding, but an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out. Temperatures hold in the 70s today, very close to record levels for Christmas Day.

THE WEEKEND: Warm weather continues tomorrow and Sunday with highs in the mid 70s. More clouds than sun, but only scattered showers. Nothing too heavy or widespread, and you will see the sun peek out at times.

MONDAY: A dynamic system will bring strong storms to Alabama Monday.

gfs_ptype_slp_ky_15

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Severe storms will be a possibility, but the threat levels remains uncertain. We will be much more specific later today and tomorrow.

Cooler air follows the storm system by the middle of the week.

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…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Stay tuned for updates on this active weather situation through the day…

Evening Look At The Overnight Risk

| 6:46 pm December 23, 2015

Thanks to Bill Murray for all his work today; he will be manning the blog overnight and will keep it up to date with fresh information.

Just a quick note some important observations…

*There is no severe weather in Alabama at 6:30 p.m.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.34.46 PM

Storms are producing heavy rain over East Alabama around Anniston, but they are below severe limits.

*Just because there is no severe weather now, doesn’t mean there won’t be any severe weather in coming hours. The combination of shear, instability, and dynamics continue to support a significant threat of severe storms across Alabama tonight, and into the daytime hours tomorrow. This is a long duration event. The highest STP (significant tornado parameter) values are now near the Alabama/Mississippi border, and severe storms could form at any time over West Alabama. Storms can fire out of nowhere in a hurry in this pattern.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.37.14 PM

*All of North and Central Alabama has a risk of severe storms overnight. It doesn’t matter where you live. Highest chance of stronger tornadoes will come over West Alabama, but a tornado or two is certainly possible over the eastern counties as well. Here is the new convective outlook from SPC…

AL_swody1 (3)

*I have fear we will have tornado warnings after midnight and into the pre-dawn hours. You do not want to sleep through a tornado warning; be sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio and smart phone app near your bedroom. See this post on apps and other things you can do to be prepared.

*This is a serious weather system; at least two people have been killed in North Mississippi with several others injured seriously. Stay on your guard overnight, and during the day tomorrow.

If there are tornado warnings issued for our market in Alabama, we will be on ABC 33/40 with continuous coverage. You can also watch online, or through the ABC 33/40 app. Again, see this post on how to access the live streams.

Stay tuned for more updates from Bill shortly.

Mid-Morning Update

| 10:16 am December 23, 2015

RADAR CHECK: A fairly large mass of rain and storms covers Alabama…

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 10.11.01 AM

This activity will exit the state by early afternoon, leaving an unstable atmosphere, and with a dynamic system approaching, the door is open for a significant severe weather threat late this afternoon and tonight.

This is the STP (significant tornado parameter) valid at 6:00 p.m…

stpse (7)

Severe storms should begin to fire over Northwest Alabama in the 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. time frame, slowly expanding to the south and east tonight.

The highest risk of a strong tornado or two is over that part of the state, where SPC has an “enhanced” severe weather risk defined…

AL_swody1 (1)

Please understand this is going to be a long duration threat… from about 3:00 p.m. today through 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. You will need a good way of getting tornado warnings during the night, and that way is not an outdoor siren. See this post for information about apps and other ways you can prepare.

Bill Murray will have a longer post coming shortly… stay tuned… and scroll down for my morning discussion if you missed it. Everything there is still valid.

Long Duration Severe Weather Threat Begins Today

| 6:36 am December 23, 2015

If you have a few minutes, please take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and additional thoughts on what is to come. I promise a very good briefing, and if you are traveling you can see other parts of the country and know what to expect.

POTENTIAL HIGH IMPACT SEVERE WEATHER EVENT: A significant, long duration severe weather event will begin in Alabama later today, extending through tomorrow. This is not unusual for this time of the year; the November/December tornado season is just as active as spring most years in Alabama. And, there is no reason for anxiety or worry; we have events like this often here in “Dixie alley”. It has just been unusually quiet for the past four years. We are Alabamians, and know how to get through these.

Here is what you can expect:

TIMING: Unfortunately we will need to open up a 24 hour window for severe weather in Alabama, from 3:00 this afternoon through 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. No, that doesn’t mean it will be storming at your house the entire time, but it means any storm that passes through could be severe.

Initially, severe storms will form over Northwest Alabama this afternoon between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m… with the area of storms slowly expanding to the east and south tonight. I should also mention we can’t rule out a severe storm before 3:00 p.m. over West Alabama.

The storms associated with this event will not be linear, they will be cellular, scattered, and random, meaning we can’t give you specific start/stop times for any one community. Just be ready for a severe storm at any time during this 24 hour period.

PLACEMENT: The highest risk of a strong/violent tornado will be over Northwest Alabama, where the “enhanced” severe weather risk is defined. But, the standard “slight risk” extends down into South Alabama, and storms there would also produce damaging straight line winds and a few tornadoes. Even in Southeast Alabama, a “marginal” severe weather risk is in place; the tornado threat is much lower there, but not zero.

I am very worried too many people are getting hung up with lines, colors, and risk categories (yes, I know there is some confusion with local weather services offices and the SPC using different colors, areas, and terms). Please know storms have no idea where those lines are drawn, and they can’t see colors on a map. They are just a guideline… everybody in Alabama needs to be vigilant and prepared for severe weather. It doesn’t matter where you live.

THREATS: In addition to tornadoes, severe storms will be capable of producing large hail and damaging straight line winds. Heavy rain will fall from stronger storms, but we don’t expect enough rain for flooding problems.

CONFIDENCE: Forecast confidence is high. The convection near the Gulf Coast early this morning will move eastward, and all guidance shows no widespread activity near the coast to block the inflow up into the northern half of the state. And, all high resolution models are showing supercell storms firing over Northwest Alabama this afternoon with potential for rotation.

TOMORROW: All of Alabama is in a “marginal” severe weather risk tomorrow…

The threat of severe storms will continue; while the main dynamic support begins to lift away, the air will remain very unstable, and storms could produce damaging winds and some hail. And, the tornado threat is smaller, but certainly not zero. You will need to continue to pay close attention to the weather tomorrow. The overall threat will diminish after 3:00 p.m. as the dynamic support continues to fade.

WILL THIS BE LIKE APRIL 27, 2011? I actually choose not to answer that question any more. Of course, the answer is no; April 27, 2011 was a generational event. But please understand this; if all we have is one tornado in the entire state, and if that one tornado happens to come down your street, then that day is YOUR April 27.

CALL TO ACTION: If you are reading this, then you are aware of the situation and stay informed. My concern is for those who don’t pay attention; please tell your friends and neighbors about this threat. So many people are traveling this time of the year, making it harder to reach the masses. And, please see this post on things you need to think about and do in preparation for tomorrow’s severe weather threat. It answers questions about how to get warnings, apps, live coverage, etc.

CHRISTMAS DAY: The weather stays mostly cloudy and warm with a chance of showers, but no severe weather worries. Temperatures will reach the mid 70s tomorrow and Friday, very close to record levels. I don’t think we break the record tomorrow (77 set in 1964), but a decent chance we do break the record on Christmas Day, 74 set in 1987.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Warm, showery weather continues. More clouds than sun, a few passing showers, and highs in the mid 70s Saturday and Sunday. To the west, a major storm gathers strength Sunday, and that will bring the risk of strong storms back to Alabama late Sunday night into Monday.

It is simply way too early to know if we will deal with severe weather again with this feature, but it is certainly possible. And, back in the cold sector, a huge snow storm will set up from West Texas through parts of Oklahoma, with amounts of 10-20 inches likely. Travelers beware.

Cooler and drier air follows by the middle of next week.

AT THE BEACH: Warm, unsettled weather continues along the Gulf Coast through the weekend. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

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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We will have frequent updates on the blog over the next 36 hours, so check often!