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This is a week with lots of interesting weather possibilities, and timing the rain chances and cold air shot takes a little time to explain… one of those forecasts where you just can’t look at some little sun/rain icons on your phone with highs and lows. That is why I really appreciate this forum to explain the forecast…
TODAY/TOMORROW: Both the GFS and the NAM are printing a high of 74 today… that is 11 degrees above the average high of 63, and within 7 degrees of the record high of 81 set in 1900. We expect a mix of sun and clouds, and most communities will be dry through tonight despite increasing moisture levels.
To the north, the weather is brutally cold. Glascow, Montana this hour is reporting 9 degrees below zero, which is severely cold for them for November. The leading edge of this cold airmass bisects the nation, and is providing some amazing thermal contrasts. A good example is in Kansas… at 5:00 a.m. temperatures range from 27 at Goodland to 68 at Coffeyville on the east side of the front… a 41 degree swing!
This front will approach North Alabama tomorrow night, and while we expect only a small risk of a shower during the day tomorrow, showers and possibly a thunderstorm are more likely tomorrow night, mostly in the 6:00 to 12:00 midnight time frame. This could bring about 1/2 inch of rain to the northern half of the state.
WEDNESDAY: The front will slip down to near Montgomery early Wednesday, before moving north as a warm front. So, Wednesday morning should be colder, with lows in the 40s. But, with a southerly flow returning later in the day, the high Wednesday should be in the low 70s as the mild afternoons continue. Wednesday will be mostly dry with only a slight risk of a shower.
TRAVEL WEATHER: Wednesday is the busiest travel day of the year, according to many… take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for a good look at national weather. Bottom line is that rain is likely for places like Dallas, Shreveport, Little Rock, Kansas, City, St. Louis, and Des Moines along the front. Back in the cold air, snow is likely across the High Plains, west into Wyoming and Colorado. Here in Alabama the weather should be warm and relatively dry with a high in the 70s… the mild weather is the story for the adjacent states as well.
THANKSGIVING DAY: The Polar front will only slowly move in our direction… so it now looks like Thursday will stay warm with a high in the 70s. I guess a shower could pop up somewhere, but the day will be generally dry. The main band of showers and storms along the front will finally arrive late Thursday night, most likely after midnight. There might be a strong storm involved, but at this point the chance of a major severe weather problem looks small. We, of course, will keep an eye on the situation since this is late November, during the core of our fall severe weather season.
IRON BOWL FRIDAY: Unfortunately, the weather looks raw, cold, and wet. We won’t get out of the 40s with a chilly north wind, and while the GFS suggests the rain will be over by kickoff, the Canadian and the Euro keep the rain going through the afternoon hours, and I tend to side with that slower solution for now. This is the hardest part of this forecast is clearly determining the end of the rain Friday, so keep an eye on the forecast in coming days.
For the game (1:30 p.m. kickoff in Tuscaloosa) we project a kickoff temperature of around 47 degrees, falling to near 40 by the end of the game with a cloudy sky and a brisk north wind. Some rain is possible, especially during the first half.
THE WEEKEND: We will be well down in the 20s early Saturday, but a pretty decent warm-up is likely for Saturday and Sunday. Look for a sunny sky both days with a high in the low 50s Saturday, followed by a high close to 60 Sunday. Then, another round of showers and storms seems likely early next week on Monday.
VOODOO LAND: The GFS shows a benign pattern for early December, but we have seen everything from blizzards to thunderstorms showing up on recent runs. No confidence in anything specific out here.
WEATHERBRAINS MORNING SPECIAL: We have a Monday morning special this week… we will begin at 9:30 a.m. CST… we will post the uStream here on the blog right before we start; the show will be on iTunes and the web later today.
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 3:30 this afternoon… enjoy the day!