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Sun, Heat, Storms

| 5:10 pm May 31, 2016

**We apologize for the blog outage this afternoon… admins have been working hard, dealing with malware issues. We are back in service now**

A FEW STRONG STORMS: While most Alabama communities are hot and dry with temperatures up in the low 90s, widely scattered storms have formed producing heavy rain, small hail, and strong gusty winds. One isolated storm just north of Birmingham produced estimated winds to 50 mph in the Fultondale area. The storms are moving little, and will fade away once the sun goes down later this evening. Pretty much a classic mid-summer type afternoon on this last day of meteorological summer.

Heavier storms at 5:00 this afternoon were over West Alabama’s Pickens and Lamar Counties..

We should note Birmingham reached 93 degrees this afternoon, making it the hottest day so far in 2016.

The weather won’t change much tomorrow; partly sunny, hot and humid with a few isolated afternoon showers or storms; we reach the low 90s again.

Showers and storms become gradually more numerous by Thursday, Friday, and the weekend as an upper trough approaches from the west, and a surface front from the north. We can’t promise beneficial rain for everyone, but many communities should see a decent downpour or two along the way. The high will drop back into the mid 80s Saturday, and low 80s Sunday because of the increased cloud cover and showers.

And, still good evidence that dry, continental air invades Alabama early next week with lower humidity and cooler nights. 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.

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

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Tuesday Midday Nowcast for Central Alabama: Last Day of May Edition

| 11:42 am May 31, 2016

simuawips

SATELLITE & RADAR CHECK: Hello on this beautiful, but warm, Tuesday morning. As we are nearing the noon hour in Central Alabama. The radar is currently clear and skies are mostly sunny across the area. Some shower activity that is currently located in northeastern Mississippi is slowly moving to the northeast, and may enter into Lamar and Marion counties within the next 60-90 minutes, if they hold together. There is an outflow boundary that has pushed across the state line and is currently located over Winston, Walker, Tuscaloosa, and Greene Counties. This may be a focal point for development of any more showers later on today.

As I type that, a shower has developed over the county line of northeastern Sumter and eastern Greene Counties. It appears to be stationary in movement, but still currently developing off to the northeast. Looks like a decent shower ahead for people in Gainesville. Another shower had developed in northeastern Walker County, just to the east of Carbon Hill. And yet another one has popped up just south of Clanton in Chilton County. This just goes to show you how fast these showers can pop during the daytime heating during summer conditions.

QUICK LOOK AT TEMPERATURES: Temperatures at this time are already well up in the upper 80s, with some 90s showing up in the southern part of the area. The warm spot in the state is Montgomery at 92. Here is a list of temperature readings from across the state at this time:

Birmingham 88
Tuscaloosa 90
Muscle Shoals 88
Huntsville 87
Anniston 87
Alexander City 88
Montgomery 90
Dothan 90
Mobile 88

REST OF TODAY: For most communities in Central Alabama, with partly to mostly sunny skies. It will be hot and humid, with afternoon highs in the low 90s today. Just as with a typical summertime forecast, the chance for any one location to get rain today is only about one in five.

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We do not that the SPC has the southern-third of the state defined in a “Marginal Risk” for severe storms through the rest of the day. A few storms in that area could produce some small hail and gusty winds.

AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR BIRMINGHAM AREA: Today’s Air Quality Index will be in the CODE YELLOW (moderate) for ozone and particulate matter. Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.

CLIMATOLOGY FOR BIRMINGHAM: The normal high temperature for May 31th in Birmingham is 84, while the normal low is 62. The record high of 94 was reached in 2006. The record low of 40 was set back in 1984.

TOMORROW: Hot and humid once again tomorrow, with partly to mostly sunny skies and afternoon highs in the low 90s. Expect a small risk of isolated shower and storm development once again, but most communities in the area will remain dry.

HEADED TO THE BEACH: Expect mostly sunny days and fair nights on the Gulf Coast (Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores) through Friday with only isolated showers and storms. Highs will be in the 80s along the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. Scattered showers and storms will increase a bit this weekend on the coast, but you will still see a decent amount of sun Saturday and Sunday. See a very detailed beach forecast here.

WEATHERBRAINS: 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 at ABC 33/40. You can find it here.

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Hot, Humid Weather Continues

| 6:23 am May 31, 2016

LAST DAY OF METEOROLOGICAL SPRING: But, it will feel more like the middle of meteorological summer. Not much change in our weather today and tomorrow… hot and humid afternoons with highs in the low 90s, and only isolated showers and storms during the peak of the daytime heating process. The chance of any one spot getting wet today is only about one in five.

We do note SPC has a “marginal risk” of severe storms defined for South Alabama… a few storms there could produce gusty winds and some small hail.

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As we get into the summer season, I suggest reading this post about understanding summer weather forecasts in Alabama.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: We should see an increase in the number of scattered showers and storms on these two days as the upper ridge weakens, and a weak surface front approaches from the north. Nothing widespread, and the best chance of a shower or storm will remain during the afternoon and evening hours. The high both days will be close to 90 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds.

THE WEEKEND: While the sun will be out at times, the chance of showers and storms will slowly rise over the weekend as an upper trough forms over the eastern U.S., pushing a more significant cold front in our direction. Seems like the most widespread rain will come Sunday, but even then we still can’t promise beneficial rain for everyone. But, most places stand a good chance of seeing a few decent showers over the weekend. Temperatures will trend downward; the high Saturday will be in the mid 80s, and close to 80 degrees Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: A dry, continental airmass will settle into Alabama Monday and Tuesday with sunny days, cooler nights, and lower humidity. Dry conditions are likely through the rest of the week with a trend toward hotter afternoons by Wednesday… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Expect mostly sunny days and fair nights on the Gulf Coast (Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores) through Friday with only isolated showers and storms. We note an isolated storm early this morning south of Pensacola… photo below is from @dcgue

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Highs will be in the 80s along the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. Scattered showers and storms will increase a bit this weekend on the coast, but you will still see a decent amount of sun Saturday and Sunday. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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 live here.

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

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Hot Afternoons; Isolated Storms

| 3:15 pm May 30, 2016

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video… back to the “two a day” schedule tomorrow**\

RADAR CHECK: Showers and storms are isolated across Alabama this afternoon… but the ones that have formed are producing heavy rain and some lightning as they move southeast.

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Temperatures are over 90 degrees in most spots, making the hottest day so far this year. Montgomery leads the way with 95… Birmingham is at 92 at mid-afternoon, with 90 at Tuscaloosa and Anniston.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: Not much change. Partly sunny, hot days with only isolated afternoon showers or storms. Afternoon highs will be in the 90 to 93 degree range; that is about five degrees above average for the first few days of June.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: We expect to see an increase in the number of scattered showers and storms on these two days as a weak surface front approaches from the north, and an upper trough forms to the west. The rain won’t be especially widespread, but hopefully a few communities will see a decent downpour or two. Otherwise, with mix of sun and clouds we project a high in the 87-90 degree range both days.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We will maintain the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday, but it won’t be a “wash out” with some sun at times. Best chance of showers will come during the afternoon and evening hour… the high Saturday will be in the mid 80s, with low 80s Sunday.

Still seeing some evidence of drier, continental air arriving next week with potential for lower humidity and cooler nights; temperatures could drop down into the 50s in cooler pockets by Tuesday morning.

AT THE BEACH: Mostly sunny days, fair nights on the Gulf Coast (from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach) through Friday with only a slight risk of a shower daily. Highs will be in the 80s on the immediate coast, and closer to 90 degrees inland. Scattered storms will be little more likely by the weekend, but you will still see a decent amount of sun both days. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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 tomorrow night at 8:30 CT.

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

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here tomorrow morning by 7:00…

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The Memorial Day Midday Nowcast for Central Alabama

| 12:02 pm May 30, 2016

simuawips

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY: So far, it has been a beautiful and warm day across the Central Alabama area. Remember that Memorial Day is meant to be about honoring our hero warriors who gave their lives protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Let’s take time to remember that today and the families left behind.

SATELLITE & RADAR CHECK: Currently across the area, it is mostly sunny with a few cumulus clouds dotting the skies. There is currently no rain showing on radar, and I believe that for most areas through the rest of today will stay hot and dry.

QUICK LOOK AT TEMPERATURES: Temperatures at this time are already well up in the upper 80s, with some 90s showing up in the southern part of the area. The warm spot in the state is Montgomery at 92. Here is a list of temperature readings from across the state at this time:

Birmingham 86
Tuscaloosa 89
Muscle Shoals 86
Huntsville 88
Anniston 87
Alexander City 88
Montgomery 92
Dothan 91
Mobile 89

REST OF TODAY: It will be hot out there today, but other than that, the weather looks great for any outdoor activities that you may have planned this afternoon and into the evening. Skies will remain mostly sunny, and afternoon highs will reach at or slightly above 90 degrees. There is a very slight chance of a shower, but the odds are so small that it’s really not worth mentioning.

AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR BIRMINGHAM AREA: Today’s Air Quality Index will be in the CODE YELLOW (moderate) for ozone and particulate matter. Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.

CLIMATOLOGY FOR BIRMINGHAM: The normal high temperature for May 27th in Birmingham is 84, while the normal low is 62. The record high of 97 was reached in 1914. The record low of 41 was set back in 1984.

TOMORROW: Pretty much a carbon copy of today. Partly to mostly sunny skies and hot during the day, and fair skies during the evening. Afternoon highs will be at or slightly over 90 degrees again. Little, if any, chance of rain.

HEADED TO THE BEACH: Mostly sunny days, fair nights on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through Friday; a few widely scattered showers or storms will be possible over the weekend, but you will see see a good supply of sunshine both days. Highs in the low to mid 80s on the immediate coast, and closer to 90 inland. See a very detailed beach forecast here.

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THE TROPICS: Weak, disorganized Post-Tropical Cyclone Bonnie is near Charleston, South Carolina, and will move northeast along the coast of the Carolinas in coming days with breezy, showery conditions continuing. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

WEATHERBRAINS: 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 at ABC 33/40. You can find it here.

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Dry Through Tomorrow; Hot Afternoons

| 6:54 am May 30, 2016

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY: Memorial Day is meant to be about honoring our hero warriors who gave their lives protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Let’s take time to remember that today and the families left behind.

The weather looks great for anything you want to do outdoors today. Ample sunshine with a high close to 90 degrees this afternoon. The chance of an afternoon shower is so small we won’t mention it in the forecast.

Pretty much the same story tomorrow and Wednesday… partly to mostly sunny days, fair nights, and afternoon highs between 89 and 92 degrees. Little if any risk of rain.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: A weak surface front will approach from the north, and become stationary over Tennessee. This should bring the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms back to the northern half of Alabama on these two days. This won’t be a major, widespread rain event, but hopefully some communities will get a decent shower or two.

Since May 15, Birmingham has received only 0.15″ of rain, and soil moisture continues to lessen with these dry days.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Not much change; a moist airmass will remain in place, we will maintain the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. For those planning outdoor events, the showers will be random and scattered, and there is no way to resolve start/stop times or specific locations of the showers. Just be ready for a passing shower or storm from time to time with a mix of sun and clouds both days. Highs will drop down into the mid 80s.

NEXT WEEK: Global models suggest a rather deep upper trough will form over the eastern third of the nation, suggesting that drier, continental air will invade Alabama for the first half of the week. This would mean sunny days, cooler nights, and lower humidity levels. Some spots could see a low in the 50s by Tuesday morning. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Weak, disorganized Tropical Storm Bonnie is near Charleston, South Carolina, and will move northeast along the coast of the Carolinas in coming days with breezy, showery conditions continuing.

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The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

AT THE BEACH: Mostly sunny days, fair nights on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through Friday; a few widely scattered showers or storms will be possible over the weekend, but you will see see a good supply of sunshine both days. Highs in the low to mid 80s on the immediate coast, and closer to 90 inland.

This is the sunset last night at Mexico Beach, Florida… photo from Brittany Vines

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See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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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We are on a holiday schedule, so just one Weather Xtreme video today… but we will post new forecast notes later this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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A Noonday Look at Alabama’s Weather

| 12:34 pm May 29, 2016

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A healthy field of cumulus is developing over Alabama on this late May Sunday.

Some drier air is working in aloft over the northwestern part of the state, thanks to the circulation around Tropical Depression Bonnie, which moved inland this morning east of Charleston SC as a weak tropical storm.

It will turn north and northeast over the next couple of days, remaining over South Carolina through tomorrow, then traversing the coastal sections of North Carolina through Wednesday.

There has been some heavy rain this morning over South Carolina. 7 inches fell over Jasper County, forcing I-95 to be shut down near Ridgeland. One fatality has been reported due to rip currents.

A coupe of isolated storms could form southeast of I-59 this afternoon, but don’t expect much today or tomorrow in the way of cooling showers, so your barbecues and lake trips should be fine.

Highs will be near 90F both days.

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Summer-like Weather in the Week Ahead

| 7:17 am May 29, 2016

Looks like Central Alabama will be in a summer-like weather pattern for the week ahead as we remain between active weather east and west of us.

Tropical Storm Bonnie was located right on the South Carolina coast this morning bringing heavy rain to parts of South Carolina, eastern Georgia, and North Carolina. Bonnie was still classified as a tropical storm, however, with about half of the circulation over land, it should continue to weaken and become a depression on Memorial Day as it drifts northeastward along the coast. To our west, active weather continued to plague West Texas with an upper trough over the Southwest US.

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Here in Central Alabama, we remained under a weakened upper ridge, but an upper ridge nevertheless. That along with the relatively high humidity will keep us in a summer-ish pattern where we’ll have to mention the possibility of isolated thunderstorms just about each day through the end of the week when our chances are likely to get boosted a bit with the approach of a weak frontal boundary. Radar was clear this morning, and the infrared satellite image indicated a few clouds passing across the Alabama sky. With less clouds today, we should see the highs rebound back into the upper 80s with some spots possibly pushing the 90-degree mark. Great weather for the SEC Championship game today at the Hoover Met where the Florida Gators will take on the Texas A & M Aggies. You can get your tickets here.

Great weather continues for the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida through the rest of the holiday weekend and for much of the week ahead. Expect mostly sunny days and fair nights. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the lower to mid 80s with upper 80s and lower 90s just inland. Rip currents are in the moderate range for most locations, so pay attention to the flags at the beaches. The water temperature at Perdido Pass at Orange Beach was 82 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

Weak ridging remains the primary pattern for us through much of the week ahead. This means morning lows in the upper 60s and afternoon highs in the 88 to 92 range. That pattern begins to change Wednesday and into the latter part of the week as a strong trough comes across the North Central US and finally breaks down the ridge pattern that has been with us for so many days. That trough will come across the Great Lakes on Thursday and Friday dragging the trough across the Mississippi River and bringing a surface frontal boundary into the Southeast US. The GFS is holding back a piece of that trough over the Northwest Gulf of Mexico, so rain chances should drop off Saturday but may not drop completely to zero as the front washes out south of Central Alabama. More clouds along with more numerous showers should see our highs drop back into the 80s.

The seven day periods ends next Sunday with a trough position over the eastern third of the US. The GFS keeps that pattern in place through June 8th and then gradually moves the upper ridge back into the eastern US while the traveling weather systems stay well north of Alabama along the US-Canadian border.

It is a holiday weekend, so while James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video, he will probably produce only one video on Memorial Day. You can always check back for notes on what we expect the Alabama weather to do. Enjoy the day and take a moment to remember all of those people in the armed services that have sacrificed to keep our country strong and free. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Note: While I was preparing the video, NHC downgraded Bonnie to a tropical depression.

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TD 2 Becomes Bonnie

| 3:45 pm May 28, 2016

The National Hurricane Center has issued an advisory to upgrade Tropical Depression 2 to Tropical Storm Bonnie.

The center of Bonnie was located about 120 miles southeast of Beaufort, SC, with maximum sustained wind of 40 mph. Heavy rain from Bonnie was spreading across the coastal sections of South Carolina. The image below is from the radar at Charleston, SC.

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A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the area from Savannah River to Little River Inlet, South Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 12 hours.

At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Bonnie was located by satellite and NOAA Doppler radars near latitude 31.1 North, longitude 79.4 West. Bonnie was moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). This general motion, accompanied by a decrease in forward speed, is expected through this evening and on Sunday as the system nears the coast within the warning area.

Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center, mainly to the northwest of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure was 1008 mb (29.77 inches).

Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area later tonight or early Sunday.

Bonnie is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches with maximum totals of 5 inches from eastern
South Carolina through southeastern North Carolina.

Storm surge inundation of 1 to 2 feet above ground level is possible within the tropical storm warning area during the
next high tide on Sunday morning.

Bonnie is expected to produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along portions of the southeastern United
States coast through the weekend.

An isolated tornado or two will be possible late tonight and early Sunday over the immediate coastal region from central
South Carolina through southern North Carolina.

-Brian-

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Sun, Clouds, and A Few Showers

| 1:38 pm May 28, 2016

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We are seeing a few more clouds today and with those clouds, a few light showers are ongoing. These are mainly along or just east of the Interstate 65 corridor, but for the most part are very light.

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The clouds and rain are holding temperatures down a bit, with upper 70s, but outside these areas, where there is more sun, temperatures are in the 80s this afternoon.

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Tomorrow, we are not expecting as many clouds or showers, so temperatures will likely once again approach the 90s for Central Alabama. Rain chances are very low, but not zero, so don’t be surprised to see a few isolated showers across the Alabama landscape.

WAITING ON BONNIE: Still a tropical depression as of the 1100 AM EDT update. The center of Tropical Depression Two was estimated by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft to be near latitude 30.3 North, longitude 78.5 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph. This general motion, accompanied by a decrease in forward speed, is expected later today and on Sunday as the system nears the coast. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.

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Recent data from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the tropical cyclone remains just below tropical storm strength. However, the depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches). No impact for Alabama, but weather along the Georgia and Carolina Coast is only going to deteriorate the next 24 hours as the system approaches the coast.

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MEMORIAL DAY: Not much change in the overall weather pattern. Monday, there could still be a few isolated showers possible, but many communities will remain dry with a partly sunny day. The high will be close to 90F Monday.

SEC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: The final two days of the tournament continue at the Hoover Met. Today a few more clouds with temps a little lower, tomorrow for the championship game, more sun is expected with warmer temps. We will continue to mention a small risk of an afternoon shower or storm today and tomorrow, but rain should pose no big issues. Click Here For Event and Ticket information. .

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