Transition Day then Colder Monday

| December 29, 2013 @ 7:28 am

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The rain is moving out of East Alabama this morning, so it appears that today will be a transition day as the rain leaves and we wait on the colder air to arrive tonight.

See the video for an interesting plot of the temperatures yesterday. Birmingham’s high came yesterday morning about the time you expect to see the morning low. There was little change in temperature all day with readings across Central Alabama hovering in the lower and middle 40s with plenty of clouds and a good soaking rain that brought a widespread 1 to 2 inches to the area.

The short wave responsible for the rain along with the surface low zip into the Mid Atlantic States today taking the rain with it. But the cold air is a few hundred miles behind this system with a short wave that is moving through the North Central US this morning. We should see the clouds break out some by late morning and afternoon, so we should warm a tad with highs climbing into the lower 50s. The front arrives tonight, so look for lows to dip back to the middle 30s on Monday morning as most folks head back to work. Clouds with that next impulse will make Monday a mixed kind of day with some clouds and some peeks at the sun. But with good cold air advection, the afternoon highs will only reach the middle 40s with a northwest wind.

The last day of 2013 should be dry with the ECMWF and GFS coming to a consensus with the southern stream system. Both models keep it further south with the rain confined to the Gulf of Mexico. Yet another shot of cold air arrives on January 2nd, but the moisture appears to be limited. The ECMWF is a little more aggressive with the rain than the GFS but they both agree that the cold air won’t arrive until the moisture has cleared the area.

The overall pattern of the long wave trough over the eastern US weakens as we get into 2014. The GFS shows the general troughiness to flatten somewhat with the transition to a West Coast trough pattern. This should keep the Southeast US and Central Alabama dry for the first weekend of 2014.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For those planning to attend the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the game between Alabama and Oklahoma at 7:30 pm on January 2, 2014, it looks like you will need to plan for rain going to or from the Superdome. The latest forecast suggests a mix of sun and clouds with scattered showers a possibility. I’m not sure where they set the thermostat for the system inside the Superdome, but outside you should see highs around 64. Morning lows will be around 50. Too early for a specific forecast for the BCS Championship when the Florida State Seminoles meet the Auburn Tigers, but climatological data for Pasadena shows the average highs in January to be around 64 degrees and average lows around 48 degrees. MOS guidance for the days just before the game showed highs around 70 and lows in the lower 50s. The Vanderbilt Commodores will take on the Houston Cougars at the Old Gray Lady in west Birmingham in the BBVA Compass Bowl on January 4, 2014 at noon. It looks like a terrific day for a football game. The game looks dry and temperatures Saturday will be near seasonal. The day starts off with lows around 30 with afternoon highs reaching the lower 50s.

Over the last week, we’ve see the long range GFS make at least one flip and it has done another flip of sorts this morning. While the GFS maintains a long wave trough over the eastern US, the magnitude of the trough is not as much as we’ve see in recent days. This means a more zonal flow across the southern tier of the US, and I would expect to see temperatures closer to seasonal averages from the 10th through the 15th if this pattern is correct.

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I believe that James Spann returns from his vacation on Monday morning, so he should have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video then. I will be filling in for Ashley Brand on ABC 3340 at 5 and 10 pm this evening, so be sure catch the news and the latest weather forecasts then. Have a wonderful day and Godspeed.


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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