January 31, 2011 Leave a comment
A good Monday afternoon to you! The weather starting off the weekend was very nice, as we dealt with a tease of spring. As an upper air disturbance moved across our area yesterday, the sunny and warm weather turned into cool, cloudy and rainy conditions. The upper air disturbance has now moved out, but clouds are still with us. There are some big changes coming over the next 48 hours, as a monstrous storm system gets organized west of Alabama.
Blizzard warnings stretch from Oklahoma City to Chicago, where 20 inches of snow are possible in spots. Winds will gust over 50 MPH, which will send visibility to zero at times. On the flip side of the storm is the threat of severe weather over the deep south, as moisture and heat surge northward from the Gulf of Mexico. As the surface low begins its rapid development in the morning, winds will begin to get gusty here in Alabama, where a wind advisory is in place. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph due to the tight pressure gradient. Winds will continue to gust to 40 until the late afternoon hours. Once the cold front moves through, the wind will switch around to the northwest at 10 to 25 mph.
Showers will become possible tonight, but any rain out there should be light. Showers will increase tomorrow morning. As instability increases and the better dynamics move into the area tomorrow afternoon, the chance of a few severe storms become possible. The main threat will be damaging strait line winds and isolated tornadoes. This system will need to be watched close because any increase in instability could mean for much more serious event. Right now, the threat is on the low end. Stay with WVUA as we fine-tune the forecast.
Cold air arrives on Ground Hog Day, as temperatures struggle to reach the middle 40s. The howling north wind will make it feel even colder. With a southwest flow aloft, I don’t see skies really clearing out all that much on Wednesday and Thursday. An upper air disturbance will spin up a gulf low on Friday, which will bring more rain to parts of Alabama. It will be a cold rain, with highs in the 40s. Temperatures gradually warm on Sunday and Monday, with highs back in the upper 50s. Be sure to join me tonight at 5, 6, and 10 for the latest on your forecast. Have a great day!
WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott