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Storms Increasing Across Alabama

| 3:23 pm May 27, 2015

RADAR UPDATE: Showers and storms continue to increase, especially over the western half of the state at mid-afternoon. A severe thunderstorm watch is up for parts of East Mississippi until 7p CT.

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Showers and storms will progress eastward tonight; the main issues will come from gusty winds, frequent lightning, and brief heavy rain. Storms will end between 9:00 and midnight.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: A pool of warm, moist air will stay locked over the Deep South, so we will need to mention the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms both days. Then will be pretty random, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, mixed sun and clouds both days with a high in the mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: No real change; the chance of any one spot seeing a shower or storm Saturday and Sunday is about one on three, and again the core risk will come during the 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time frame. We reach the mid 80s both days with a partly sunny sky away from the showers and thunderstorms. Another words, very routine weather for the end of May in Alabama.

And, similar weather will continue into early next week. Warm, muggy days with the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms.

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GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day tomorrow through the weekend with a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms around each day; highs on the immediate coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores will be in the low 80s… the sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES: We have Alabama and Auburn playing in Oklahoma City in the tournament that begins tomorrow; if you are headed that way understand showers and storms are possible on a daily basis, and rain delays are certainly possible, if not likely. The weather will trend drier by Sunday with few, if any showers around by then.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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

Occasional Showers/Storms

| 3:46 pm May 25, 2015

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; we will resume the “two a day” schedule tomorrow**

RADAR CHECK: The stronger storms have shifted into East Alabama this afternoon…

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Storms in East Alabama are not severe, but they are producing a good bit of lighting and heavy rain as they move east. A few passing showers and storms remain possible through the night across our state as moist air stays in place.

TOMORROW: SPC maintains the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for a decent part of North and Central Alabama, with a “marginal risk” all the way down to the coast…

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It remains to be seen if some of the high surface based instability forecasts can be reached; clouds could very well be locked in place much of the day, limiting the buoyancy of the atmosphere. Wind fields are not especially strong, so for the moment we remain rather unimpressed with the overall severe weather threat tomorrow, but if the sun breaks out during the morning, things could get active during the afternoon and evening hours. The rain tomorrow would be heavy at times, and some localized flash flooding issues are certainly possible.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: While showers and storms remain possible on these three days, they should be more scattered in nature, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. The sun will break out at times, and the high will be in the mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: Pretty much the same story for Saturday and Sunday… a mix of sun and clouds both days with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will remain mostly in the mid 80s. Same setup for early next week.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine tomorrow with a few passing showers and storms likely from Panama City west to Gulf Shores, but then 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily from Wednesday through the weekend with only widely scattered showers and thunderstorms each day. Highs will remain in the low 80s, and sea water temperatures are also generally in the low 80s.

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

Another Look At Tomorrow

| 9:36 pm April 24, 2015

Some notes on what to expect in Alabama during the next 24 hours…

OVERNIGHT: Rain will increase after midnight as a warm front lifts northward; some heavy rain is possible in spots, and thunderstorm intensity will also increase as higher dewpoints advect into North Alabama from the south.

We are still looking at two main windows for severe storms tomorrow…

FIRST ROUND: Storms between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. could be strong to severe as we get into the warm sector of the storm system approaching from the west. Below is the HRRR model, valid at 5a CDT…

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The main threat will come from strong straight line winds and hail, but an isolated tornado is not out of the question.

This first batch of storms will exit the state by mid-morning, and many of the midday hours will be rain-free. The sun should break out at times, and we rise into the low 80s.

SECOND ROUND: This is a more difficult forecast, but there is as chance that new, scattered storms will begin to form by 3:00 p.m… with the risk extending through about 9:00 p.m. It is important to note that it won’t rain everywhere tomorrow afternoon due to the scattered nature of the storms. However, where the storms develop, they should become severe quickly, and will have potential for hail, strong straight line winds, and a few isolated tornadoes.

Interesting to note the new run of the high resolution NAM model shows little development tomorrow afternoon.

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The chance of severe storms developing tomorrow afternoon will simply depend on the state of the atmosphere after the overnight storms, and the degree of instability we see during the day. The best combination of dynamic lift, instability, and shear will be along and east of I-65, although we certainly can’t rule out a storm on the western side as well. But, there is also a chance very few storms will fire up. We will just have to wait and watch.

BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO: Unfortunately, the Birmingham NOAA Weather Radio transmitter is still down… so we recommend using a smart phone app like MyWarn or WeatherRadio by WDT as a good backup. You can also change the frequency on your weather radio to Mt. Cheaha (162.475) or Tuscaloosa (162.40).

We will have more updates through the night… stay tuned…

Rain/Storms Move In Tonight

| 3:41 pm April 24, 2015

ACTIVE SETUP AS THE WEEKEND BEGINS: Clouds will thicken across Alabama over the next few hours, and rain will move into West Alabama this evening as a warm front begins to push northward. We expect a good rain/thunderstorm event overnight, with the heaviest and most widespread rain along and north of I-20. Rain amounts tonight will be in the 1/2 to 1 inch range, we will monitor the storms for severe weather potential. Higher dewpoints and unstable air will advect up into the state early tomorrow.

TOMORROW: SPC has adjusted their outlook tomorrow a bit; now the standard “slight” risk of severe weather is in place north of a line from Russellville to Alabaster to Opelika… a “marginal” risk south of that line. The “enhanced” risk is north of Alabama, for parts of Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Surface based CAPE values will rise to near 3,000 j/kg tomorrow afternoon, the most unstable air we have seen all year. EHI (Energy Helicity Index) values peak at over 3 units over Northeast Alabama tomorrow afternoon. Wind fields and shear values are not overwhelming, but they are certainly supportive of the potential for a few severe thunderstorms.

Here are the important things to know about tomorrow…

*I can’t rule out a few early morning severe storms as the big rain mass moves out of Alabama… in the 4:00 to 7:00 a.m. time frame. Main risk will be from hail and gusty winds, although an isolated tornado is not completely out of the question.

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*Rain and storms will end from west to east early tomorrow morning, and most of the rain should be in Georgia by 9:00 a.m.

*The middle of the day, and a decent part of the afternoon will be dry, with some sun at times. Temperatures will rise into the low 80s.

*Scattered storms will form tomorrow afternoon and early tomorrow night, and where those storms develop they could be severe. Understand, not everyone will have a thunderstorm tomorrow evening, but where they form they could become severe quickly.

*The main window for scattered severe storms will come from about 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and the better chance of them will be along and east of I-65, where dynamic support will be higher.

*The risk of severe weather over the southern half of the state is fairly low.

Everyone should have a way of receiving severe weather watches and warnings if they are needed.

BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO: The Birmingham system remains down; the NWS is working as hard as they can to get service restored, but if you are in the Birmingham metro, understand you won’t get warnings via Weather Radio until the transmitter is back. A good alternative is a smart phone app like WeatherRadio by WDT, or MyWarn.

SUNDAY: SPC has a “marginal” severe weather threat for the southern part of Alabama, south of a surface boundary… we believe the northern half of the state will be dry with a partly sunny sky and a high around 80 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will stay dry; rain returns Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, but this system won’t bring a severe weather threat since a relatively weak surface low will pass south of us, near the Gulf Coast. For now it looks like a harmless spring rain event. Drier air returns Thursday and Friday. 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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I had a great time today visiting with the kids at Sulligent Elementary School in Lamar County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. Monday… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. And, we will post frequent updates on the Alabama weather situation over the next 24 hours, so stay tuned…

Severe Weather Risk Tomorrow

| 6:20 am April 24, 2015

COOL START: Another cool April morning across North Alabama; Fort Payne reports 37… our Skywatcher at Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden), Vic Bell, reports 39, and Cullman is at 42. We rise into the 70s this afternoon with intervals of sunshine. The bulk of the day will be dry.

WET TONIGHT: A large mass of rain and storms, associated with a northward moving warm front, will overspread the state. The latest high resolution HRRR model hints that the rain could begin this evening, in the 5:00 to 7:00 time frame. Expect periods of rain and a few thunderstorms through the night; the rain could be heavy at times, and a strong storm is certainly possible. SPC has a “marginal” risk of severe storms into the western half of Alabama late tonight, but most of the storms will be elevated, and the risk of organized severe weather is fairly small (but not zero). Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch look likely overnight.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TOMORROW: We have higher confidence in the scenario for tomorrow; SPC maintains the standard “slight” severe weather risk for much of the state, with an “enhanced” risk over far North Alabama and up into Tennessee.

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The air will be very unstable tomorrow afternoon, with surface based CAPE values exceeding 3,000 j/kg in spots over North Alabama. Low level helicity values will be supporting of rotating updrafts, and lapse rates hint that some large hail is possible in stronger storms that form late in the day.

Here is what to expect….

*The overnight batch of storms will end early in the day, and a decent part of the mid-day hours will be dry with the sun breaking out. Temperatures will rise into the low 80s, maybe even mid 80s in parts of West Alabama by afternoon.

*New storms will begin to form in the 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. time frame. It is important to note that not everyone will see an afternoon or evening storm; they will be scattered in nature.

*Where storms do form, they would be severe, with potential for large hail, damaging winds, and a few isolated tornadoes.

*The tornado threat is highest across the Tennessee Valley region of far North Alabama, where dynamic support will be greater, and wind fields stronger. But, an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out down into Central Alabama.

*Greatest risk of severe storms will come from roughly 3:00 until 9:00 p.m.

This type of event is pretty common in Alabama in late April; no need to be alarmed or worried. Just pay attention to weather developments, and have a good way of hearing severe weather watches and warnings as they are needed. We will have frequent updates here on the blog.

SUNDAY: Interesting to note the guys at SPC have the southern half of Alabama in a “marginal” severe weather risk Sunday. A surface boundary will be somewhere around the middle of our state; along and south of that a few widely scattered showers and storms could develop, and they could be strong. But, for now, we will keep a dry forecast going for the northern half of the state. The NAM is printing a high of 86 degrees for Birmingham Sunday afternoon; it would be a pretty warm day.

The weather stays dry Monday with a high in the 70s.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: The next wave in the jet will bring periods of rain to the state; the GFS is trend weaker and slower, hinting the bulk of the rain will come Tuesday evening through the day Wednesday. Again, the surface low is expected to pass south of here, meaning little if any severe weather risk. Drier air returns Thursday and Friday.

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

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WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
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I have a weather program this morning at Sulligent Elementary School in Lamar County…. be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

More Storms Ahead

| 12:52 pm April 19, 2015

Here is a projection of what the radar will look like over the next 15 hours, via the high resolution HRRR model…

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As Bill notes in the post below, we have two additional windows for severe storms in our state… one from about 1:00 until 7:00 p.m…. and another one from around 12:00 midnight tonight through 6:00 a.m. tomorrow.

New showers are forming now over West Alabama…

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These will grow stronger in coming hours as they move east… some storms this afternoon could produce hail and strong, gusty winds, but the tornado threat looks very low (although not zero).

The line of storms arriving ahead of a cold front after midnight tonight will also be capable of producing hail and gusty straight line winds. And once again, the overall tornado threat late tonight is low.

One thing to remember, with the ground saturated, some trees will come down, even with gusts under 50 mph.

NWS survey teams will look at damage in Russell County (around Fort Mitchell) this afternoon; they will review the damage in Cherokee and Calhoun Counties tomorrow (this was damage at Leesburg and Pleasant Valley).

Stay tuned for updates…

Severe Storms Possible Later Tonight/Tonight

| 6:19 am April 19, 2015

Brian will be along shortly with a new Weather Xtreme video… this is a look at what to expect over the next 24 hours.

RIGHT NOW: Rain and storms continue over much of North/Central Alabama this morning with heavy rain in spots. Organized severe weather is not expected over the northern half of the state, and this activity will slowly diminish later this morning. We should note severe storms are possible over South Alabama this morning; in fact SPC has issued a tornado watch much of Southeast Alabama until 3:00 this afternoon.

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LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT: SPC has all of Alabama in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather…

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Seems like we have two potential windows for severe storms.

One will come this afternoon when a disturbance (MCV) approaches from the west, and instability reaches a peak (ML CAPE values over 1,500 j/kg). Bulk shear values are not too impressive, and the tornado threat seems low. But, stronger storms during the afternoon could produce hail, and strong straight line winds where bowing segments develop.

Then, late tonight, more storms are likely ahead of the surface cold front. Most of this will come from about midnight tonight through 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. While there will be an increase in the low level jet (winds about 5,000 feet off the ground), the air will be pretty worked over across Alabama from previous storms, and the core dynamic support will lift northeast, away from us. A good chance the storms will weaken as they move through, but there still is some risk of a few storms with hail and gusty winds. The tornado threat late tonight is not zero, but very low.

And, don’t forget… when it comes to thunderstorms, expect the unexpected, so we will keep a very close eye on thunderstorm/radar trends today and tonight. Stay tuned for updates.

Wet/Stormy Late Tonight

| 8:20 pm April 18, 2015

Rain continues to increase over West and Southwest Alabama tonight… this big rain mass is moving northeast.

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Animation of the high resolution HRRR model shows a very wet overnight period for our state…

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The main threat overnight will be heavy rain and localized flooding issues… just a marginal severe weather threat. A few storms could produce small hail and gusty winds.

We will have a break in the rain from mid-morning tomorrow through the evening hours, but another band of showers and storms will move in tomorrow night and early Monday, and those could be strong to severe. More later… stay tuned…