Spring-like Weekend for Central Alabama

| March 9, 2013 @ 7:18 am

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Central Alabama is in for a spring-like weekend as temperatures warm up nicely with a gradual return to a southerly flow. The air near the ground remains quite dry, so despite the appearance of some patchy echoes on weather radar, I do not expect anyone to see more than a few spits of rain with the passing clouds. Highs should warm nicely today into the upper 60s with lower 70s for Sunday.

Sunday night into Monday the upper trough now over the Southwest US will eject eastward bringing a strong low pressure storm system through the Central Plains and dragging a cold front into the Southeast US. The front will move slowly across Alabama on Monday. Rain should stay to our west on Sunday as clouds increase with rain entering the state after midnight. The front will move through slowly so that rain is likely to occur for much of the day Monday. The front exits the state early Tuesday morning which brings drier weather to us Tuesday. We should see sun by late Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon. But as the upper trough passes we return to a northwesterly flow aloft bringing another cool down to us. This one should drop our highs back into the upper 50s for highs on Tuesday.

Severe weather is not expected to be an issue with the passage of the upper trough and the cold front. Instability values do climb much so there is no specific risk area identified by SPC for Day 3, Monday. Rainfall amounts on Monday should be in the 1 to 2 inch range thanks in part to the slow passage of the front.

It is good to note that the GFS and the ECMWF are in very good agreement on the passage of the front on Monday, both in timing and position. This agreement in the two models enhances confidence in the forecast.

The northwesterly flow aloft does stick with us into the latter half of the week but slowly loses its grip on us as the big ridge to our west slowly moves our way. The result for us will be a gradual warming trend with highs slowly climbing toward the 70-degree mark by next Friday. Lows will warm slowly, too, starting out in the mid and upper 30s on Tuesday and Wednesday and climbing into the 40s by Friday.

James noted yesterday that we might be in for a long dry spell according to the GFS run yesterday morning. Looks like that has changed. The 06Z GFS run today shows a substantial ridge for us for week 2, however, the southwesterly flow should bring a good deal of Pacific moisture in our direction which means that week 2 could be warm AND wet. Time will tell.

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I was at Academy Sports in Tuscaloosa on Thursday, and what a turnout we had for programming weather radios. It was great to see the large crowd, and it was a great feeling to help get so many people prepared for severe weather this spring. I hope you have a great day whatever your plans. I expect to have the next Xtreme video posted first thing Sunday morning. And don’t forget to set your clocks again tonight when you go to bed! Godspeed.



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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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