Another All Nighter Ahead

| March 3, 2008 @ 6:42 am | 14 Replies

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I am always cautious of excess hyperbole prior to severe weather events, but there is no doubt we will have a decent chance of severe weather in Alabama during the pre-dawn hours tomorrow. The prime window will actually come from 12:00 midnight tonight through 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. Lets get down to the specifics….

TODAY: Another beautiful day for Alabama. Lots of sunshine, with a high well up in the 70s. I would not be surprised if some folks over in West Alabama hit 80 today. Winds will be increasing; gusting up to 30 mph at times this afternoon out of the south.

TONIGHT: A significant tornado outbreak is likely over Mississippi tonight, and we will be watching that very carefully. However, for Alabama, it still appears that the storms won’t be in here until after midnight with a decent cap keeping a lid on things until then.

AFTER MIDNIGHT: Scroll down to read Tim Coleman’s post for a detailed meteorological discussion on the event early tomorrow morning, and watch the Weather Xtreme video for all of the associated graphics. More than likely, this is going to be a squall line event for Alabama, with the primary threat coming from damaging straight line winds. But, with the degree of helicity showing up on the models, there is no doubt a few tornadoes will be possible. The bottom line is that we need to be prepared for all modes of severe weather after midnight.

Concerning the timing; it looks like the storms will enter West Alabama between 12:00 and 2:00… impacting the Birmingham metro between 3:00 and 5:00… and then the Anniston/Gadsden area between 6:00 and 8:00. This, of course, is an estimate, and is subject to change as the event unfolds tonight.

TEMPS GO THE WRONG WAY TOMORROW: I think we will begin the day tomorrow with temperatures around 60 degrees, but they will fall into the 40s tomorrow afternoon as the storms move into Georgia and cold air advection kicks in. We will be close to freezing by daybreak Wednesday.

REST OF THE WEEK: Wednesday will be a dry day with ample sunshine and a high in the upper 50s. We should reach the 60s Thursday afternoon, but clouds will increase in advance of another wave approaching from the west. This should bring a few showers to Alabama Thursday night, but no severe weather this time. And, rain probably won’t be all that heavy with only limited moisture. Then, another shot of cold air blows in here Friday as a surface low moves from the eastern Gulf of Mexico up the Atlantic coast.

SNOW FLAKES? The 06Z GFS is hinting at the risk of a few snow flakes on the back side of the departing storm Friday morning. We will take a closer look at this after we get the storms out of here tomorrow morning. But, one way or another, Friday will be blustery and much colder with temperatures failing to get out of the 40s, and we should be well down in the 20s by Saturday morning. Just a reminder it can get pretty cold around here in March in Alabama.

WEEKEND PEEK: Saturday looks dry and cold with a high only in the 40s. After another freeze Sunday morning, we should recover into the low 60s by Sunday afternoon. Sunday should be partly to mostly sunny.

LONG RANGE: The land of voodoo still looks active, but no way of dealing with specific systems far in advance with this kind of pattern. Lets take em one at a time.

SPECIAL ABC 33/40 NOAA WEATHER RADIO OFFER: You can purchase a top of the line Midland NOAA Weather Radio at any Handy TV location in this part of Alabama for only $29.95. These receivers have the new digital technology that allows you to choose the counties for which the alarm sounds. Get more information here. These receivers come in very handy with overnight events, like the one we are expecting after midnight tonight. Every Alabama home, business, and church needs one.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 30 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. You can even listen here on the blog; look for the player on the top left. We should have a new episode posted tonight by 10:00 or so.

I will be down at Vincent Elementary School today… then back in the office by early afternoon, and the next Weather Xtreme video and discussion should be posted by 3:30 or so. We will keep the blog updated with fresh content through the day, so stay tuned!

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James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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