Warm Start to Week, Storms Tuesday PM… Sunday Forecast Update — 5:15pm

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Another warm and breezy day across Central Alabama. Temperatures were in the low 70’s with a variety of different cloud types in the sky. Overnight tonight, there might be a light shower as moisture continue to funnel into the area from the south. Temperatures will remain warm, we will only drop into the upper 50’s.

To start the work week, a few light showers are still possible Monday morning, but those will come to an end as the day progresses. Winds will still be out of the south (at 5-10 mph), so temperatures will remain warm. We will see the low and mid 70’s Monday afternoon. Monday night into Tuesday morning will be the transition between two systems. The one that has brought the clouds in today will have lifted north, but the next system will be marching across the Mississippi Delta Tuesday morning and afternoon. During the day in Central Alabama, it will feel like spring. Warm and humid air will be in place with breezy conditions. High temperatures will be in the mid 70’s. A few showers or small thunderstorms are possible Tuesday afternoon ahead of the line associated with the cold front.

The Storm Prediction Center does have all of Central Alabama under a slight risk for severe weather Tuesday evening and overnight. This is in connection with the line of storms that will trek east across Mississippi during the day. We could begin to see the leading edge of the line early Tuesday evening; however, I think we are looking at an 8 p.m. or later timetable. Ahead of this line could be some strong individual thunderstorms coming up from the Gulf. We will be keeping a close eye throughout the day to make sure you are informed and up to date on the latest weather conditions. For now, the main threats are for damaging winds and some isolated tornadoes Tuesday evening.

Once the front passes through Wednesday morning, the clouds will slowly clear and cooler air will move back in. Temperatures will be in the upper 50’s to near 60° Wednesday afternoon. Sunshine and seasonable temperatures are anticipated for the rest of the work week and into the weekend.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to pcrank@wvua23.com. Also, look us up on Facebook and Twitter. Like my weather page on Facebook by searching WVUA 23 Peter Crank. You can find me on Twitter by searching Peter Crank or @crankyweather. Another great way to get weather updates!

Join us live on WVUA 23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10 P.M. for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Peter Crank
WVUA Staff Meteorologist
pcrank@wvua23.com
Twitter: crankyweather

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Warming Trend…Strong/Severe Storms Tuesday…Cooler Late Week – Saturday Update (7:20 pm)

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Good Saturday Evening! It was a beautiful Saturday to do outdoor activities as we had a little taste of spring in the air! Highs today got into the upper 60’s and lower 70’s across Central Alabama, but even warmer weather is expected as we get into early next week. This is all due to a very strong southerly flow that is in place ahead of our next storm system. Winds have already become gusty across the area, and will continue to be, with this setup. Tomorrow, expect some increase in cloud cover and temperatures. Highs are expected to be in the lower 70’s.

Next week, all eyes will be on a very dynamic storm system that will be forming across the Southern Plains on Monday. Strong to severe storms will be possible across the Arklatex region Monday as the system starts to gain strength. As for Central Alabama on Monday, a few stray showers will be possible due to the moist airmass in place, but nothing widespread or heavy expected. Rain chances ramp up as we head into Tuesday, showers and thunderstorms will move east across the state of Mississippi through the day on Tuesday. Best chances for showers and storms will be in the evening as the line moves through. There is potential for strong to severe storms late Tuesday afternoon into the overnight hours. Severe threat include damaging winds, isolated tornadoes, and large hail. Should the threat for severe weather occur, we will be updating the blog, social media, and on television to keep you informed.

Showers linger into the day on Wednesday as the system moves northeast. Once it clears the area, more seasonable temperatures return with highs in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s for Thursday and Friday, and lows in the 20’s and 30’s.  Highs will be back into the mid to upper 50’s for next weekend.

Have a great night!

-Taylor Plott (Twitter: @tplottwx)

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to pcrank@wvua23.com. Also, look us up on Facebook and Twitter. Like my weather page on Facebook by searching WVUA 23 Peter Crank. You can find me on Twitter by searching Peter Crank or @crankyweather. Another great way to get weather updates!

Join us live on WVUA 23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10 P.M. for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Peter Crank
WVUA Staff Meteorologist
pcrank@wvua23.com
Twitter: crankyweather

Warm Weekend…. Severe Storms Tuesday PM… Friday Update – 4:30pm #alwx

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Good Friday afternoon! Today has turned out to be a nice mid Winter day, with temperatures reaching the lower 60s across the area. Expect clear skies tonight, with a rather cool night. Lows will dip into the 30s overnight, with upper 30s over west Alabama and lower to middle 30s in northeast Alabama.

Saturday will continue the warming trend, with highs reaching the upper 60s. Some spots over southwest Alabama will touch 70 on Saturday, with a good supply of sunshine. Area-wide, we’ll reach the low 70s on Sunday, as a south wind continues to transport moisture and warm air in from the Gulf. Clouds will gradually increase on Sunday, but I don’t expect any organized rain chances at this time.

A weak cold front will dip into far north Alabama on Monday. That will help to spark off the development of isolated showers in parts of our area. The best chance of getting a quick shower will be north of I-20.

The main show comes on Tuesday, as a very intense upper air trough and surface low swing across the central US. The upper air trough will dig and become negatively tilted with time Monday night and on Tuesday. Storms will fire up on Tuesday to our west and quickly become severe over Mississippi. Data continues to indicate the best chance of severe weather issues will occur near and north of I-20 and west of I-65. Keep in mind, our entire area is in a risk of severe storms Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night. Some data has been lessening the amount of instability, in our local area. While the chance of that appears low at this time, a lower amount of instability would help prevent major issues, however, our more reliable forecast data suggests there will be plenty of instability for severe weather issues in our state. The risks include tornadoes, damaging wind and large hail. I don’t think flooding will be a big issue with this system, but we will watch trends carefully, as rain could be very heavy in spots.

Please keep checking back with us over the next few days, as we fine-tune the forecast. Given we’re still several days out, there’s room for changes. My hope is this changes to a less severe look and we just get some rain and thunder. Go over your severe weather safety plans now, incase we get issues in our area Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Warmer Days Ahead… Severe Weather Tuesday… Thursday Update – 4:40pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Thursday afternoon! It has turned out to be a nice and sunny day across the state, with no weather issues to speak of. Clouds are increasing across parts of our area this evening, ahead of a weak surface front. Temperatures will drop into the middle 30s overnight, under a mostly clear sky.

Friday will continue to mark the warming trend, as we reach the upper 50s to near 60. The best chance of reaching 60 will be south of Tuscaloosa. A ridge will build into the area on Saturday and Sunday, which means the air will get warmer. Plus, a south wind will transport lots of warm and moist air into the state. Expect highs to reach the upper 60s on Saturday and low 70s on Sunday. As moisture continues to move into the area, a stray shower or two will become possible Monday afternoon.

By Tuesday, a very strong and dynamic storm system will develop and send a cold front into Alabama Tuesday night. Ahead of the front, strong to severe storms appear likely. This is a high confidence forecast based off great model consistency in this idea. There is an enhancement in the severe weather risk over Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. All modes of severe weather will be possible. We’re still working on the exact timing, but it appears anytime from noon through midnight will be valid.

Wind shear will be maxed out across the area, as well as uplift and instability. It doesn’t take much instability this time of the year for issues, and models continue to indicate there will be more than enough. Please keep checking back with us for details on this, as it has the chance of becoming a high impact event.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Looking Back at the Jan 28, 2014 Significant Snow Event… #alwx @wvua23

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Here’s a look back at the winter weather disaster that impacted much of Alabama on the day of January 28, 2014. Thousands of people were stranded on the roads as the snow fell and quickly caused roads to become blocks of ice. It was a bad combination of very cold air, heavy snow, and tons of traffic thrown into the wintry weather at it’s peak. Schools and businesses let out at the same time, causing a rapid increase in traffic. This occurred at the peak of the snow, causing traffic to stop on all roads and interstates in our area. With people stranded in their cars, many hiked in the snow to get to shelter for the night, as temperatures were dangerously cold. Here’s a great re-cap of the event from the National Weather Service in Birmingham:

The Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast states were impacted by a rather significant winter storm during the period of January 28-30, 2014. Central Alabama had it’s encounter with the system on Tuesday, January 28th, when freezing rain and snow fell across much of the area. Below is a recap of the event across NWS Birmingham’s county warning area.

The snow event on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, really began two days earlier on Sunday the 26th. On that Sunday afternoon, it was nearly unfathomable that conditions were going to be so radically different in just a mere 48 hours. Temperatures were near 60 degrees in the northern sections of Central Alabama, while further south, it was even warmer with temperatures rising into the middle 60s in the Montgomery area. This led to the first forecast problem, the warmer ground and especially the warmer road temperatures.

As we went into Monday, a major change was taking place as yet another Arctic front was headed south across the area. Most of the region warmed rapidly during the morning through the mid afternoon hours, but just a few hours after sunset most locations had dropped well into the 20s with really dry air diving southward. In fact, several dewpoints registered in the negative digits. This drier air only served to re-enforce the already problematic forecast by making it difficult to determine exactly how long it would take to moisten the atmosphere on Tuesday. The issue of just how far north the winter precipitation would fall was also a huge concern considering the extrememly low dewpoints that were in place across portions of the area.

By early Tuesday, it was apparent that a lot of moisture was moving into the area, and those negative dewpoints were quickly rising. Meanwhile, the surface temperatures were dropping in conjunction with the heavy precipitation, and most surface temperatures were struggling to get past 20 degrees! This caused huge forecast headaches because the atmosphere had moistened so quickly that snow up north and sleet and freezing rain south were already beginning to reach the ground several hours earlier than anticipated. The next forecast issue was the colder than forecast surface temperatures that were allowing the snow ratios to be nearly 20:1, almost unheard of in Alabama. (Typically snow to liquid ratios are around 10:1 in our part of the country.) Thirdly, even though there was a lot of dry air across the northern half of the state, the snow rates were just heavy enough to allow snow to accumulate further north than originally forecast. Finally, and the worst impact of all – those warm temperatures from Sunday and early Monday allowed the first layer of snow to melt on contact and refreeze as a sheet of ice on all the roadways in the 20 degree weather. This led to all of the traffic nightmares across the entire area and people being stranded for many hours Tuesday!

In the end, Alabama State Troopers responded to 731 vehicle accidents across the state during the period Tuesday through Friday (Jan 28th-31st). Sadly, there were nine deaths attributed to accidents that occurred due to the icy road conditions. Snowfall totals across Central Alabama ranged from zero in the far northwest to 2-3 inches in a corridor from Chilton County northeast to Randolph County.  Prior to the snowfall, some counties in the southeast half of the state reported up to 0.25 inches of ice accumulation.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter. Like us on facebook by searching facebook.com/wvuaweather or WVUA-TV Weather. You can find us on twitter by searching weather@wvuatv.comor WVUA-TV Weather. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott

WVUA Chief Meteorologist

Source: NWS Birmingham

Cold Tonight… Warmer Days Ahead… Severe Wx Next Week? Wednesday Forecast Update – 4pm #alwx

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Good Wednesday afternoon! After a cloudy and gloomy start to the day, some afternoon sunshine has made a return. Conditions remain cool today, with a light north breeze. Expect a light freeze tonight, with low 30s along and south of I-20 and upper 20s to the north.

Thursday will mark the beginning of the nice warming trend. We will reach the middle to upper 50s on Thursday, with lots of sunshine. As the trough continues to move east of Alabama, as will continue to warm a bit. Highs will approach 60 on Friday, under a sunny sky.

A south wind will develop on Saturday and Sunday, ahead of a weak surface front. Highs will reach the middle 60s on Saturday, with lower 70s on Sunday. Clouds increase late Sunday, as a weak cold front stalls to the north of Alabama Sunday night. A stray shower or two will be possible near the front, over northern Alabama on Monday. The front will serve as a primer, allowing warm and tropical moisture to pool up over our area. A second cold front and much more dynamic system will develop to our west on Monday, and send a cold front into Alabama Tuesday night. Showers and storms will become likely sometime Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night. Given all of our forecast data continues to suggest the idea of unstable air over Alabama and a very dynamic system passing through, we’ve highlighted the area under a severe weather risk. Please keep in mind, this could all change and the risk could fade with time. Confidence is high enough to mention there’s a risk worth watching over the coming days. See the map below for Tuesday afternoon. As we get a little closer, I’ll be much more specific on a time-frame and risk type.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Rain Ending… Chilly… Nice Weekend Ahead! Tuesday Forecast Update – 4pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Tuesday afternoon! It has turned out to be a wet day across Alabama, with rain pretty much all day across central and west Alabama. Rain amounts are generally between 1/2 an inch in portions of east Alabama and approaching 2″ in west Alabama. Rain will gradually end from northwest to southeast tonight, as chilly air takes over. Expect lows in the upper 30s tonight.

A few showers could begin the day on Wednesday south of I-20, but that will end well before noon. Highs will top out in the upper 40s on Wednesday, with a cool north breeze. Expect a light freeze Wednesday night.

Sunshine will return on Thursday and Friday, with a warming trend. Highs will the middle 50s on Thursday, then upper 50s to near 60 on Friday. The weekend will feature even warmer temperatures, with highs reaching the mid 60s on Saturday and 70 on Sunday.

Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott