Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Weather Arrives Next Week

FORECAST:

Friday: Partly cloudy. An isolated shower or thunderstorm is possible, especially over the eastern half of the area. High 84, Low 61

Saturday: Sunny. Mild. High 82, Low 60

Sunday: Mostly sunny. Clouds should increase in the evening/night hours with a chance of an isolated thunderstorm or two. High 85, Low 62

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Monday: Mostly sunny. High 79, Low 61

Tuesday: Sunny. High 77, Low 57

Wednesday: Sunny. High 78, Low 55

Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 79, Low 56

NOTES:

Next SKYWARN class is online on September 30th - you can register here.

And the National Weather Service would also like your feedback on how they are doing overall.

DISCUSSION:


It was partly to mostly cloudy in Cullman today with periods of light rain/thunder. Our High was 84. The Low was 57.



We have had more moisture and showers/thunderstorms than expected today, mostly staying over Northwest Alabama. There are some strong thunderstorms moving into Tuscaloosa, south of our area, at the moment. Otherwise most of it is back in Mississippi now. We could see some isolated thunderstorms over the western counties later tonight . . . hit or miss.

And the culprit is a fairly typical one this time of year - the northwest upper level winds. Generally they are bringing us fairly cool, dry air, but sometimes they also pick up any convection to our northwest. That convection I mentioned yesterday from Arkansas, that I did not think would be a big deal . . . actually did hang together and cause us some thunderstorms today. As another forecaster noted in a blog or discussion somewhere today, forecasting in this sort of pattern can be humbling at times.



Still, our rain chances are fairly low tonight and into tomorrow. Just not going to say "zero". Guess I'll try to be more specific with this forecast.


Actually tomorrow has another complicating factor - some cold air damming along the Appalachians may bring a "back door" cold front into our area, mainly over the eastern half of the Tennessee Valley. So that's sort of ironic, since the western half got some storms today. And Cullman sits right at the midpoint. The eastern half looks more likely to get a few showers/storms tomorrow. I think we see more sun than clouds though, and rain chances are only 20-30%.


I think we're clear on Saturday though, with a High in the lower 80's. So if there are any football games, should be in good shape.


On Sunday another cold front is heading our way. It doesn't look terribly impressive, and we probably won't have any rain chances until late Sunday, but Sunday evening and overnight, a 20-30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.


On Monday, high pressure and strong northwest flow sets up rather quickly, by about midday. Could see some showers left over early in the morning. We'll struggle to get up to 80 degrees on Monday. We are transitioning to Fall, after all . . .


That pattern holds for Tuesday, when we should see sunny skies, Highs in the upper 70's and Lows in the upper 50's.


By Wednesday, the center of high pressure is moving up into the Great Lakes/Northeast U.S. but we still should stay dry and pretty cool.


And at the end of the forecast period, on Thursday, the pattern is changing, so we might bring back a few clouds, maybe moderate temperatures by a degree or two, but overall still looks cool and dry, what you'd expect this time of year.

Tropics are pretty quiet. Tropical Storm Edouard is in its dissipating stage now. And that wave off the west coast of Africa might eventually develop, but it's quite disorganized and will develop slowly, if at all.

And we should barely see a trace of rain for this forecast period, overall. We do have a back-door front tomorrow and another cold front Sunday night that could jinx this up just a bit, though. Showers should be isolated, but of course where they form, a decent dump of rain is possible locally. Most places should stay dry.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gradual Transition to Fall Continues

FORECAST:

Thursday: Mostly sunny. Very slight chance of a passing shower. High 80, Low 56

Friday: Sunny. Mild. High 84, Low 57

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Mild. High 85, Low 60

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 84, Low 62

Monday: Partly cloudy. High 83, Low 63

Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 80, Low 60

Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 78, Low 57

NOTES:

An online SKYWARN class is being offered for September 30th.

And here is a wonderful tribute to the recently-retired meteorologist J.B. Elliott.

DISCUSSION:



So we're cool as I write this at 9:48 - 59 in Cullman, 68 in Huntsville. We had mostly sunny skies in Cullman today with light winds from the North/Northwest. Our High was 82. This temperature of 59 is our Low so far today . . . it isn't midnight yet. So that may end up as our Low for today.

The cold front is out of here, way down along the Gulf Coast, and cool/dry air continues to filter in.


 Northwest flow aloft continues tomorrow. There is a mesoscale convective system in Arkansas, but it's unlikely that will hang together enough to move our way and bring any showers. I guess there's a tiny chance of that, but I think we'll stay mostly sunny with similar temperatures to today.



On Friday the upper-level winds are not as strong over our region. We should be sunny and in the low-to-mid-80's. Lows probably still in the upper 50's.


By Saturday a cold front is affecting the Midwest/Plains. And we should stay high and dry for Saturday, but Sunday and Monday we might see some light showers from this system. Behind that, Tuesday and Wednesday, probably a reinforcing shot of cool air. Model agreement isn't great for the late extended period, but what else is new? Going with trends.

Hurricane Eduoard is recurving to the northeast as expected, no threat whatsoever to the U.S. or even the island of Bermuda. The Azore Islands will want to monitor it, but they're probably used to that sort of thing.

There is another disturbance forming off the West Coast of Africa, but it's weak and disorganized. It could eventually develop into something, but for now, nothing to worry about . . . at all.

And our rainfall amounts for this forecast period should be very light - a tenth of an inch maybe, but probably far less than that. A pretty dry seven days.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Strong Thunderstorm in Vicinity


Thunderstorm moving into Cullman/Hanceville from north, noticed it looked strong/windy on radar, and saw a couple hail reports from Vinemont on twitter, then noticed this statement on it. A couple of thunderstorms are just firing along the stalled front.

6 p.m. - Cullman EMA also reported small hail just north of the city a few minutes ago. At the moment, this is below severe limits, but still a stout little thunderstorm. This is the time of day for them to really pulse up . . .



6:10 - Storm east of Cullman is weakening now. That one on the west side of Moulton is still looking a little strong . . . these will likely remain below severe limits. And as we get into the night hours, through tomorrow, we gradually clear out. This is just from that stalled front. Which should get out of here by tomorrow.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
541 PM CDT TUE SEP 16 2014

ALZ016-162315-
CULLMAN AL-
541 PM CDT TUE SEP 16 2014

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR NORTHEASTERN CULLMAN COUNTY UNTIL
615 PM CDT...

AT 540 PM CDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A STRONG THUNDERSTORM OVER
CULLMAN...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 25 MPH.

PENNY SIZE HAIL AND WIND GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH
THIS STORM.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
CULLMAN...HANCEVILLE...GOOD HOPE...HOLLY POND...BALDWIN...VINEMONT...
WEST POINT...GARDEN CITY...FAIRVIEW AND WALTER.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

STRONG GUSTY WINDS WILL BE CAPABLE OF KNOCKING DOWN SMALL TREE
LIMBS...ALONG WITH OTHER SMALL UNSECURED ITEMS. SEEK SAFE SHELTER
UNTIL THIS STORM HAS PASSED.

FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM.
LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE SEVERAL MILES AWAY FROM THE PARENT THUNDERSTORM.
SEEK A SAFE SHELTER INSIDE A BUILDING OR VEHICLE.

Sunny and Mild Days Ahead

FORECAST:

Wednesday: Becoming mostly sunny. High 80, Low 60

Thursday: Sunny. Mild. High 81, Low 58

Friday: Sunny. Mild. High 84, Low 60

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 85, Low 62

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 84, Low 63

Monday: Partly cloudy. High 83, Low 63

Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 82, Low 62

NOTES:

And the National Weather Service would like to hear from you about how they are doing.

And here's a look back at Hurricane Ivan - ten years ago today.

DISCUSSION:



So our cold front, while weak, has stalled out mid-state. Temperatures have gotten a little warmer than expected, despite northerly winds. We were partly cloudy in Cullman today with a High of 87 and a Low of 69.


Tonight and tomorrow we should see gradual clearing as the front drifts on slowly to the south. Temperatures should be around 80 tomorrow.


Northwest upper flow holds for Thursday. Should see sunny skies but similar temperatures, mild, lower 80's at most. Low temperatures may dip just a little into the upper 50's.


Friday looks mostly clear too . . . temperatures will gradually start to moderate, and over this weekend into next week, a back-door front may bring us some chances for light showers. Doesn't look like a big deal though, and by the end of the forecast period, the long-range models are all over the place with the overall weather pattern. So skimping on putting rain chances in the actual forecast.

The HPC is only predicting up to maybe a tenth of an inch of rain across the area, and I agree . . . if we see any rain over the next seven days, it ain't gonna' be much.

And Hurricane Edouard poses no threat to land, although it's up to "Category 2" strength . . . just going to recurve northeast and probably miss even the Azores Islands in the long run.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Few Scattered Showers Possible Tomorrow/Then a Dry and Mild Week

FORECAST:

Monday: Partly cloudy. A few scattered showers are possible in the afternoon/evening and going into the night hours. High 85, Low 60

Tuesday: Partly sunny. An isolated, passing shower is possible in the morning. High 81, Low 63

Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Mild temperatures. High 80, Low 57

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 82, Low 59

Friday: Mostly sunny. High 84, Low 61

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 85, Low 63

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 85, Low 64

NOTES:

Tomorrow night at 6 o' clock, the first SKYWARN class of the Fall season is scheduled to be held at the Helicon Fire Department in Arley. As usual, this class is free and open to the public . . . all you have to do is show up.

And on that note, here is some interesting information about how the National Weather Service office in Birmingham has managed to reduce their false-alarm-ratio (for tornado warnings) since the Super-Outbreak of 2011. I applaud their research and application of same; sounds like they just did it themselves . . . worth reading.

DISCUSSION:



We had a sunny day in Cullman with light northerly winds. The High was 84, and the Low was 57. In Huntsville we had a High of 85 and a Low of 60 - a few more clouds.

Anyway, this cold front is long gone, and an upper-level trough will dominate our weather for just about the whole forecast period, keeping us mostly dry and with mild temperatures. Let's look at the details.


Tomorrow would be the exception to the dry rule. It certainly doesn't look like a big rain or anything, but as a shortwave trough starts to push through the Ohio Valley, it'll bring a reinforcing cold front in our direction. And we may see some scattered showers in the afternoon/evening. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning. Temperatures might warm just a little ahead of the front, probably mid-80's.


By Tuesday I think the rain is pretty well over, and that reinforcing shot of cool air is filtering in here. We might see a few showers left in the morning - maybe. And actually with the timing of this some places may not see any rain during the day, might just get a passing shower overnight. Anyway, this is a weak system. We should cool down at least a few degrees on Tuesday, lower 80's, or around 80.


Wednesday should feature mostly sunny skies, and I'm still not comfortable lifting us out of the lower 80's. While this troughing holds over the southeast, with winds aloft from the northwest, I think our Low temperatures might even get down into the 50's some mornings. The pattern will change by the weekend, but that's just the way of things. No significant rain chances on the horizon, but temperatures should eventually moderate - not quite summer levels probably, but . . . they're going to waffle back and forth a time or two before it really starts to feel like fall.

Tropics . . . Tropical Cyclone Edouard is the only story, and it isn't much of one. Looks like it'll just recurve to the north/northeast even if it does make hurricane strength first, and pose no threat to any land whatsoever. That wave in the Gulf is drifting west, toward Texas, might bring them some rain eventually, but the upper-level-winds just killed that thing, despite the warm Gulf waters. And perhaps that is for the best.

Rainfall amounts should be very light for this forecast period, probably a ten of an inch or less. And it will probably all come tomorrow through Tuesday morning. Some spots won't see any rain at all.

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