Thursday Afternoon Forecast Discussion – 5pm Update

A good Thursday afternoon to you! I had a great time speaking to the 8th grade class at Lowndes Academy this morning. They came by WVUA-TV for a station tour. I’ll have video of that on our main weather page later this evening.

After a slight warm-up this afternoon, it’s about to get cold in a hurry. Temperatures reached the lower 60s this afternoon, which still felt chilly. Once the sun sets, temperatures will fall well into the 30s. Lower 30s are likely in spots. That being the case, the National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for central and north Alabama and a frost advisory for the rest of the area. You can scroll down for the latest on the freeze warning and frost advisory. An area of high pressure will be right overhead this evening, so that will give us a perfect setup for a cold night.

Sunshine will continue in full force this each day through early next week. As the upper air trough moves out, warmer air will move in. Temperatures will remain chilly at night, but even overnight lows will modify a bit. Highs will return into the lower 70s on Sunday and upper 70s by Monday and Tuesday. Lows will warm from the 30s tonight and tomorrow night to the lower 50s by Tuesday night.

Friday night football is looking pretty chilly. There are lots of big games happening locally. Look for temperatures to start in the upper 50s at the 7pm kickoff and will likely fall into the upper 40s by the end of 4th quarter.

Alabama takes on Tennessee in Bryant Denny Stadium on Saturday. The 6:15pm kickoff will feature clear skies and chilly weather. Temperatures will start off in the low 60s at kickoff and should fall into the lower 50s at the end of the game.

Be sure to join me on WVUA-TV news at 4, 5, 6 and 10pm weekdays for the latest on your forecast. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter by searching weather@wvuatv.com. You can like us on facebook by searching our new page WVUA-TV Weather. Also, send us your weather pictures by e-mail to weather@wvuatv.com. Have a great day!

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com

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NOAA Winter Outlook…Thursday Afternoon Update 4:15 PM

Below is the latest NOAA Winter Outlook. I will warn you that things can change and will likely change at some point. There are some indications that conditions will be cold and wet for much of the east and south this winter.

U.S. dealt another La Niña winter but ‘wild card’ could trump it

Devastating drought in Southern Plains likely to continue

The Southern Plains should prepare for continued drier and warmer than average weather, while the Pacific Northwest is likely to be colder and wetter than average from December through February, according to the annual Winter Outlook released today by NOAA.

For the second winter in a row, La Niña will influence weather patterns across the country, but as usual, it’s not the only climate factor at play. The “wild card” is the lesser-known and less predictable Arctic Oscillation that could produce dramatic short-term swings in temperatures this winter.

NOAA expects La Niña, which returned in August, to gradually strengthen and continue through the upcoming winter. It is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and influences weather throughout the world.

“The evolving La Niña will shape this winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “There is a wild card, though. The erratic Arctic Oscillation can generate strong shifts in the climate patterns that could overwhelm or amplify La Niña’s typical impacts.”

The Arctic Oscillation is always present and fluctuates between positive and negative phases. The negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation pushes cold air into the U.S. from Canada. The Arctic Oscillation went strongly negative at times the last two winters, causing outbreaks of cold and snowy conditions in the U.S. such as the “Snowmaggedon” storm of 2009. Strong Arctic Oscillation episodes typically last a few weeks and are difficult to predict more than one to two weeks in advance.

With La Niña in place Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and parts of surrounding states are unlikely to get enough rain to alleviate the ongoing drought. Texas, the epicenter of the drought, experienced its driest 12-month period on record from October 2010 through September 2011.

Stormy periods can occur anytime during the winter season. To improve the ability to predict and track winter storms, NOAA implemented a more accurate weather forecast model on Oct.18. Data gathered from the model will support local weather forecast office efforts to prepare for and protect the public from weather events. This service is helping the country to become a Weather-Ready Nation at a time when extreme weather is on the rise.

Highlights of the U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February) include:

 

  • Pacific Northwest: colder and wetter than average. La Niña often results in below-average temperatures and increased mountain snow in the Pacific Northwest and western Montana during the winter months. This may set the stage for spring flooding in the Missouri River Basin;
  • California: colder than average with odds favoring wetter than average conditions in northern California and drier than average conditions in southern California. All of the southern part of the nation are at risk of having above normal wildfire conditions starting this winter and lasting into the spring;
  • Northern Plains: colder and wetter than average. Spring flooding could be a concern in parts of this region;
  • Southern Plains and Gulf Coast States: warmer and drier than average. This will likely exacerbate drought conditions in these regions;
  • Florida and south Atlantic Coast: drier than average, with an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures. Above normal wildfire conditions;
  • Ohio and Tennessee Valleys: wetter than average with equal chances for above-, near-, or below-average temperatures. Potential for increased storminess and flooding;
  • Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: equal chances for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Winter weather for these regions is often driven not by La Niña but by the Arctic Oscillation. If enough cold air and moisture are in place, areas north of the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast could see above-average snow;
  • Great Lakes: tilt toward colder and wetter than average;
  • Hawaii: Above-average temperatures are favored in the western islands with equal chances of above-, near-, or below average average precipitation. Statewide, the current drought is expected to continue through the winter. Drought recovery is more likely over the windward slopes of the Big Island and Maui;
  • Alaska: colder than average over the southern half of the state and the panhandle with below average precipitation in the interior eastern part of the state.

This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

Be sure to join me on WVUA-TV news at 4, 5, 6 and 10pm weekdays for the latest on your forecast. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter by searching weather@wvuatv.com. You can like us on facebook by searching our new page WVUA-TV Weather. Also, send us your weather pictures by e-mail to weather@wvuatv.com. Have a great day!

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com

source: noaa.gov

Frost Advisory and Freeze Warning! Thursday Update 4 PM

It’s about to get very cold tonight; in-fact, the first frost and freeze of the season is likely in spots across central Alabama. Temperatures will fall into the lower and middle 30s area wide. A Freeze Warning has been issued for Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Shelby Counties and points northward. A frost advisory is in place for all counties across central Alabama.

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM CDT FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM CDT FRIDAY. THE WARNED AREA IS GENERALLY ALONG AND NORTH OF AN ALICEVILLE…TO SYLACAUGA…TO VALLEY LINE. THE FROST ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT FOR THESE AREAS AS IT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY THE FREEZE WARNING.

 * TEMPERATURES…WILL RANGE FROM 30 TO 34 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT ACROSS THE WARNED COUNTIES…WITH THE LOWEST READINGS EXPECTED IN SHELTERED VALLEYS.

* IMPACTS…PREMATURELY BUDDING PLANTS…SHRUBS…AND TREES WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THESE COLD TEMPERATURES AND MAY SUFFER FROST DAMAGE AND COULD BE KILLED IF LEFT UNPROTECTED.

Be sure to join me on WVUA-TV news at 4, 5, 6 and 10pm weekdays for the latest on your forecast. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter by searching weather@wvuatv.com. You can like us on facebook by searching our new page WVUA-TV Weather. Also, send us your weather pictures by e-mail to weather@wvuatv.com. Have a great day!

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com