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Muggy Days, Scattered Showers And Storms

| 6:31 am July 26, 2016

TROPICAL MOISTURE: Not much overall change in Alabama’s weather today. Partly sunny, hot, humid weather continues with scattered showers and storms around this afternoon and early tonight. The high will be in the 92-95 degree range, and the chance of any one spot getting wet today is about one in four. Just what you expect in late July.

REST OF THE WEEK: The upper ridge weakens a bit, and with instability values increasing we expect general increase in the number of scattered showers and storms tomorrow through Friday. We still can’t promise rain for everyone, but most communities should see a decent downpour on one or more of these days. And, with the increase in clouds and showers, temperatures will back off a bit. In fact, some places won’t get out of the 80s. The NAM model is printing a high of only 86 for Birmingham tomorrow and Thursday. We will keep it close to 90 in the forecast.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: No real change. Mixed sun and clouds, scattered showers and thunderstorms, highs around 90 Saturday and Sunday. Of course, in summer, there is no way of knowing in advance when and where storms pop up since they are random and scattered, but the best chance of one will come during the afternoon and evening hours. But, with a weaker ridge and potential for a few small scale boundaries around, we can’t rule out a late night or morning shower.

NEXT WEEK: The persistence forecast is the best idea. Partly sunny days, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms with highs in the low 90s. No sign of any triple digit heat issues for the next 10-15 days. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily on the coast from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach through the weekend… with an occasional passing thunderstorm just to make it interesting. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

Here is a nice look at an early morning offshore storm at Fort Morgan… photo from @seshau

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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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I have a weather program this morning at Lake View Elementary in Tuscaloosa County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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WeatherBrains 549: Do We Look Like Dorks Wearing It

| 5:15 am July 26, 2016

WeatherBrains Episode 549 is now online (July 25, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Our guest WeatherBrain for this episode is Trevor White. Trevor started at Virginia Tech as a Business Information Technology major, expecting to graduate in four years and go into the corporate world. He joined the student newspaper in 2011 as a photographer. He’d always loved photographing lightning, and one of his photographer friends pointed out to him in May, 2012, that the “Hokie Storm Chasers” had left for the central US. He resolved to try to embed and shoot a piece on them and met with Dave Carroll in 2012. He talked his way into the first trip of the 2013 storm chase. He absolutely fell in love with severe weather and chasing. Searching for things to do with his programming background in the weather enterprise, he settled on big data type applications. Beginning in 2014, he returned west with Dave as a trip leader. After a brief and disastrous career as a PhD student in BIT, he transferred to Geography and joined the Cube project, developing analysis software. He wrote the dual-Doppler analysis software that has formed the basis of more recent visualizations. He has just taken a job at Center for Severe Weather Research with Josh Wurman and company. He plans on finishing his degree from Boulder.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 122 at Death Valley, CA. and 27 at 4 miles southeast of Gould, CO
  • Main severe weather in North Central US
  • Hot weather across Central US
  • Warming in the NW US
  • Atlantic Basin is quiet – still!
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is on the horn, so she brings us up to date on incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Meteorologists use models in order to develop understanding of how the atmosphere works as well as using them to predict what the atmosphere will do. One of the earliest models was developed in the early 1900s and is still the basis for our understanding of how the atmosphere works.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 549:

Center for Severe Weather Research

Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – bows out early

Morgan Palmer – BlueSky smoke forecasts for wildfires

Brian Peters – MODIS image gallery

Kevin Selle – Gets the fog horn

James Spann – Lightning strike on Empire State Building

Trevor White – Visualization of Velocity from Goshen County, WY

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Lightning explodes pole, Chicago

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

Audible.com graphic

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Sun, Heat, Scattered Storms

| 3:21 pm July 25, 2016

TIS THE SEASON: While many in the national media are pushing “dangerous heat”, “heat domes”, and “heat emergency” type verbiage, around here we just call it summer. Temperatures are generally in the low 90s this afternoon, right at seasonal averages. The sky is partly sunny, and a few showers and storms have developed, but they are fewer in number compared to recent days…

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REST OF THE WEEK: The upper ridge over Alabama will weaken slightly in coming days, opening the door for an increase in the number of scattered showers and storms, especially Wednesday through Friday. Otherwise, the classic mid-summer pattern continues with partly sunny days and highs at or just over 90 degrees. Best chance of showers and storms will come from about 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m… and we can’t rule out a few late night or morning showers late in the week.

And, of course, in summer there is no way of knowing in advance exactly when or where the storms pop up. You just have to keep an eye on radar.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We continue to roll with a persistence forecast. Mixed sun and clouds Saturday and Sunday with scattered showers and storms, most active during the afternoon and evening hours. Highs generally in the low 90s.

And, next week, as we begin August, the weather just won’t change much. No reason to depart from the routine summer forecast. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quietly, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the week.

AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily through the weekend from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach, and of course you will deal with a passing storm from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast 87-90, with mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

Photo below is from Panama City Beach… via @lhinton125

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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 live here.

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

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I enjoyed seeing the kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Alabama in Hueytown today… 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…

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Midday Nowcast: We Need Rain, But Hard To Find On Radar

| 12:48 pm July 25, 2016

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Skies across Central Alabama are mostly clear with just a few cumulus clouds floating around. Not much in the way of rain on the radar at this hour in the area. There are a few very isolated showers that have popped up around the Alexander City and Auburn areas, and they are mainly moving to the west. Otherwise, high and dry for everyone else.

TEMPERATURES AT THIS HOUR: Heat is building as we start to reach the daytime maximum temperatures for the day across the area. Here is a list of temperature observations from across the area:

Birmingham 91
Tuscaloosa 89
Gadsden 91
Anniston 90
Cullman 90
Hamilton 89
Clanton 91
Alexander City 93
Montgomery 91

WHAT TO EXPECT FOR TODAY: Looks like another typical late July day here in Central Alabama. Partly to mostly sunny skies across the area with the risk of scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will be in the low to mid 90s, with the heat index in the upper 90s. Best chance of rain will be from 12PM to 9PM, and will probably be east of I-65 (but one could pop up anywhere). Odds of any one spot getting rain will be around 1 in 4.

CODE GREEN AIR QUALITY: The Air Quality Index for the Birmingham Metropolitan Area will be in the “Code Green” for ozone. No actions needed for today.

TODAY’S CLIMATOLOGY FOR BIRMINGHAM: The normal high for July 25th is 91, while the normal low is 70. The record high for today was set back in 1952 at 106. The record low was set back in 1911 at 60.

TUESDAY’S OUTLOOK: The “Carbon Copy Forecast” can be used for this weekend. Partly to mostly sunny skies with a risk of scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will be in the low to mid 90s, with the heat index near 100. The odds of any one spot getting rain each day is 1 in 3. Overnight lows will be in the 70s.

HEADED TO THE BEACH: It will be the usual summer setup this week on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily, but a passing thunderstorm is likely from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast 87-90, with mid 90s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 86 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

THE TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the next five days.

ON THIS DAY IN 1956: Off the coast of Massachusetts, near Nantucket Lightship, the Swedish-American liner called the Stockholm, rammed the Andrea Doria in dense fog. 52 people perished in the accident.

WEATHERBRAINS: This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

ADVERTISE WITH US: Deliver your message to a highly engaged audience by advertising on the AlabamaWX.com website. The site enjoyed 10.2 MILLION pageviews in the past 12 months. Don’t miss out! We can customize a creative, flexible and affordable package that will suit your organization’s needs. Contact Bill Murray at (205) 687-0782.

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Muggy Summer Days/Scattered Storms

| 6:17 am July 25, 2016

AN OCEAN OF HUMIDITY: Alabama’s weather won’t be changing much this week. After all, it is late July, so you know it will be hot, humid, and we will deal with scattered thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening hours.

Today we project a partly sunny sky, a high in the mid 90s, and the best chance of a shower or storm between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m. Chance of any one spot getting wet is about one in four, and the high resolution HRRR model suggests the highest coverage of afternoon showers will be east of I-65 (but, one could pop up anywhere).

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: The upper ridge is forecast to weaken slightly, meaning a gradual increase in the coverage of scattered showers and storms, and heat levels a bit lower. In fact, the GFS model is suggesting highs in the upper 80s here Thursday and Friday, but considering this is the end of July, and the typical peak of summer heat, we will keep highs in the low 90s. Thankfully no sign of any triple digit heat for us.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Mixed sun and clouds Saturday and Sunday, scattered showers and storms (mainly during the afternoon and evening hours), and highs at or just over 90 degrees.

And, no reason to change this “persistence forecast” into next week. Classic mid-summer weather here across the Deep South. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: We are getting closer to the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (August and September), but things remain very quiet due to a large amount of dry air. Tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

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GULF COAST WEATHER: It will be the usual summer setup this week on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily, but a passing thunderstorm is likely from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast 87-90, with mid 90s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 86 degrees. 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 8:30p CT… you can watch it live here.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
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I will be speaking this morning at an event in Clanton, and later today at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Alabama in Hueytown. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

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Best Storms Are In The 5 County Metro Birmingham Area For Now

| 3:15 pm July 24, 2016
Top left: base reflectivity; Top right: composite reflectivity; Bottom right: echo tops; Bottom left: Vertically Integrated Liquid

Top left: base reflectivity; Top right: composite reflectivity; Bottom right: echo tops; Bottom left: Vertically Integrated Liquid

Showers and thunderstorms are trying to get their act together at mid-afternoon across Central Alabama. Small pulse storms are bubbling up in a environment of moderate instability and almost no wind shear. They rise up and fall back to earth just as quickly.

At 305 p.m. lightning was beginning near downtown Birmingham and over southern Walker County. Other lightning strikes have occurred in the past few minutes in the storm along the Jefferson/St. Clair County line near Argo.

The storms near downtown Birmingham and near West Jefferson appear to the best candidates to hold together right now.

These storms will continue to develop and push slowly west all afternoon and into the early evening.

The stronger storms will have gusty winds, heavy rain and deadly lightning.

Storms will continue to be rather scarce through Tuesday, with little hope for widespread relief from our growing drought. The outlook should improve from midweek into the weekend as we get more troughing over Alabama and the Southeast.

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Heat, Humidity, Isolated Storms

| 7:02 am July 24, 2016

Satellite imagery shows a few clouds across the Alabama sky this morning with temperatures running in the middle and upper 70s. I expect to see a mixture of sun and clouds today with isolated showers and thunderstorms developing in the heat of the afternoon. The weakness at 500 millibars is still evident over the Lower Mississippi River Valley, so I would expect to see thunderstorms more numerous to our west today. Radar was clear for Alabama this morning, but there were a few thunderstorms occurring in the vicinity of Memphis.

The typical summer forecast for the beaches of the Northern Gulf Coast from Dauphin Island east to Panama City includes plenty of sunshine each day, but with the threat of a passing storm from time to time. Highs are around 90 on the beaches while just inland you can expect low to mid 90s. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 87 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

The tropical Atlantic was quiet and is expected to remain quiet for the next several days. Be sure to see the GFS outlook for voodoo country. In the Eastern North Pacific, Tropical Storm Frank and Hurricane Georgette were spinning away from land. In the Central North Pacific, Tropical Storm Darby was bringing some wind and heavy rain to the Hawaiian Islands.

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SPC has no specific areas outlooked for severe weather for the next several days with just some marginal areas along and ahead of the frontal system moving through the northern tier of the US.

The upper air pattern remains in a ridge into the first of the week, but a series of upper troughs manage to split the ridge with centers over the Four Corners area and just off the Southeast US coast by Tuesday. The one off the South Carolina coast pushes into the Southeast US on Wednesday, but another strong trough is forecast to dig into the Great Lakes area on Thursday and Friday potentially bringing a front into Tennessee by Friday. And the overall troughiness is forecast to stick with us into the weekend.

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For the first half of the week ahead, I expect to see isolated thunderstorms driven by the heat of the day with highs in the lower and middle 90s. But as we head into the latter part of the week from Thursday into the weekend, rain chances appear likely to go up with the combination of the upper troughiness and the presence of the weak front edging into the northern part of the Southeast US. The lowering of the heights along with the presence of more clouds and more thunderstorms should combine to drop our temperatures back to around 90. The GFS MOS guidance takes the high Friday all the way into the middle 80s, and I’m just not buying that much of a change.

It is interesting to note that the ECMWF 500 millibar pattern is in fairly close agreement to the pattern of the GFS, but the ECMWF only drops temperatures back to around 90.

The really big surprise comes as we venture out into voodoo country. The GFS builds the upper ridge back into the Central and eastern US from Sunday through Wednesday. The surprise is the appearance of what appears to be a tropical system in the Bahamas. By Friday, August 5th, the tropical system strengthens and moves northward into the Carolinas while the upper ridge is pushed back to the west. The ridge builds east again by August 8th as the tropical system heads northeastward into the northern Atlantic. But remember, this is voodoo. By the time James has the next Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning, this whole notion of a tropical system for early August may be completely gone.

I appreciate you tuning into the blog for the Weather Xtreme Video. Mr. Spann is taking some additional time off, so I believe my next video will come next Thursday morning. Remember, it continues to be hot, so just use some common sense and don’t overdo it whether working or playing in the outdoors. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Strong Storms Over East Alabama

| 4:46 pm July 23, 2016

Several clusters of storms are impacting portions of East Alabama late this afternoon and these storms are meandering about in different directions. The most intense storms currently are affecting portions of Calhoun, Etowah, Cleburne, Blount and Jefferson counties.

No storms are currently severe, but storms are producing tremendous amounts of lightning, torrential tropical downpours, and gusty winds. These storms will continue to next several hours, before winding down with the loss of daytime heating.

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Strong Storm Over Eastern Jefferson County…Lot of Heavy Rain, Lightning

| 4:17 pm July 23, 2016

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A strong thunderstorm developed near the Birmingham Airport before 2:30 and has been pulsing up and down as it has moved slowly southwestward.

At 415 p.m. it was affecting areas from Woodlawn and Irondale back to Cahaba Heights and Liberty Park then over to Inverness and Meadowbrook.

The lightning is not especially heavy, but it only takes one bolt. 1-2 inches of rain has fallen in areas between I-20 and I-459. An areal flood advisory has been issued for eastern Jefferson County, including places inside the green polygon.

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Summer Marches On

| 2:23 pm July 23, 2016

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Hot, humid weather continues for the weekend with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Best chance of storms comes during the afternoon and evening hours, but with the moisture-rich air mass in place, a late night or morning shower can not be completely ruled out either. Highs today and tomorrow will range from 90-95 degrees, pretty much what we expect in late July around here.

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HEAT ADVISORY: The NWS maintains the heat advisory again today, as heat index values will be at or just over 105° at times through out Central Alabama. This should be the last day an advisory is needed for Alabama for the next week or so, but there is still plenty of summer left.

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RADAR CHECK: Early this afternoon, we are watching a few showers and storms that are ongoing, but these are rather isolated and confined to northern portions of the state. Through the afternoon, we will continue to see pockets of convection, that will be producing a lot of lightning, heavy rainfall, and gusty winds. General storm motion is towards the south. Typical of this time of year, what storms that are out there, should wind down after sunset.

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