Warm Today but Turning Colder

| December 9, 2012 @ 8:11 am

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It appears certain that the mild weather of the last week or so will be coming to an end after today with Monday a transition day and much colder air coming into the area on Tuesday and Wednesday. And there is a marginal risk for severe storms on Monday with damaging wind the main threat.

Today we will be mild to warm with highs around the 70-degree mark. But the upper air trough brings a system out of the Rockies tonight and Monday with a strong cold front moving through Alabama. This will make Monday a transition day with the high Monday coming during the early morning hours with temperatures steady or falling during much of the rest of the day. As temperatures fall Monday evening we should see lows by Tuesday morning down close to freezing. And Tuesday should be a rather bitter day with clouds holding tough, a strong north to northwest wind, and highs struggling to reach the 50-degree mark.

As to severe weather, SPC has placed much of the northern half of Alabama and Georgia in a slight risk area for Monday. They note that the system is marginal with the greatest threat coming from damaging wind. Instability values as represented by the CAPE values are generally at or below about 700 with the lifted index values around -2 to -3. So there is some instability, just not a lot. And as James noted below, helicity values are low so we don’t think there is a tornado threat. But just like we saw last night with the isolated severe thunderstorm in northern Mississippi, we have just enough instability that could generate a few severe storms in what is likely to be a squall line configuration Monday.

We are certainly in need of some rain after the eight driest November on record for Central Alabama. It appears that we will see rainfall amounts in the three-quarters to one and a quarter range (0.75″ to 1.25″) for most locations.

While the main energy with this system zips by, a small piece of it holds back which will help to keep Wednesday chilly too. We probably will not clear out completely on Tuesday but should see some sun on Wednesday.

By Thursday we come under a ridge and the 540 thickness line zips back to the north all the way to the Great Lakes so we should see out highs bounce back to around 60 by Thursday and Friday. Another system coming out of the Rockies on Friday promises to bring some showers to the area on Saturday, but the showers should be ending early Sunday.

And looking out into the long range, also known as voodoo country, we see that the GFS has flipped again going from what appeared to be a fairly chilly pattern to a more zonal pattern which would be mild. Not sure that I truly buy the flip with the GFS this time. There appears to be enough evidence that we should be into a somewhat colder pattern, so this flip in the long range GFS projections just does not seem to fit. But perhaps we’ll see it flip back in the next run or two.

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Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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