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Remembering the February 1-2, 1996 Winter Storm with a Series of Hilarious NWS Forecast Discussions : The Alabama Weather Blog

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A three-day winter storm brought a mixture of freezing and frozen precipitation to the northern half of Alabama on February 1-3, 1996. A period of freezing rain followed by light snow brought traffic to a standstill across North Alabama. Ice accumulations were large enough to break off tree limbs and fell some trees and power lines. Power outages were not common or as severe as they might have been fortunately.

Several chicken houses collapsed over Northeast Alabama under the weight of the snow and ice. Ice and snow accumulations ranged from 1-3 inches and varied widely. The effects of the storm wer felt through the following Tuesday and several school systems remained closed for the duration.

The wintry precipitation began on Thursday the 1st and ended mainly by the evening of Saturday the third, when forecasters at the National Weather Service office south of Birmingham started penning some hilarious Forecast Discussions. These belong in the Hall of Fame.

Alabaster Al was the local groundhog, by the way. He was not actually harmed in the storm of its aftermath.

Here is an excellent page from the NWS Birmingham on the event.

STATE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
923 PM CST SAT FEB 03 1996

DAY TWO…FORECASTERS HELD HOSTAGE…

GOT THRU TO INDIAN SPRINGS THIS MRNG…PARTLY ON FOOT..FOR A CHG OF
CLOTHES AND PROVISIONS. FELIPE HAS BEEN HERE FOR THE DURATION (40 HRS
NOW) AND DOESNT LOOK WELL. HE’S TALKING IN TONGUES. RON M. HAS
BEEN TALKING COHERENTLY (UNUSUAL FOR HIM) AND WAS LAST SEEN WANDERING
AROUND OUTSIDE ON THE EXTREMELY REMOTE CHC HE MIGHT SEE UP A PIZZA
DELIVERY CAR. CHRIS SEEMS OKAY BUT EVEN YOUTH WEARS DOWN SOONER OR
LATER. FEARING CANNIBALISM…HAVE DECLARED MARTIAL LAW AND RULED
ALL FOOD IN THE BUILDING TO BE COMMUNITY PROPERTY.

NOTE TO T.V. GUYS…WHY DON’T U CHG THAT CRAWL TO SHOW WHAT’S OPEN
INSTEAD OF VISE-VERSA?

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE IS WANING. BASICLY THE WX HAS BEEN BAD…
IS BAD…AND WL STAY BAD….AS PER YOUR LOCAL NWS FCST. NEAR AS
I CAN TELL THE FORECASTS ARE PERFECT BUT WL TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT
4 AM.

ALL-IN-ALL WE ARE DOING PRETTY GOOD HERE IN SAGINAW-ALABASTER.
ONLY TWO EMPLOYEES VEHICLES WRECKED AND NO INJURIES. A LOT OF
GUYS HAVE THE FLU THO. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THE BOSS…WHO WAS
BRAGGING ABOUT BEING IN SAN DIEGO…HAS BEEN STRANDED AT THE
NASHVILLE AIRPORT. WE LOVE U MAN.
07
.BHM…
AL…WIND CHILL ADVISORY TONIGHT.
FL…WIND CHILL ADVISORY TONIGHT.
GA…WIND CHILL ADVISORY TONIGHT.

STATE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
325 AM CST SUN FEB 04 1996

MAINLY A TEMP FCST AND A CHALLENGING ONE. NGM-MOS WHICH HAS BEEN
REALLY BAD…IS STARTING TO LOCK ON BUT NOT THERE YET. AVN-MOS
HAS BEEN PRETTY GUD BUT WL FADE BACK TO OBSCURITY AS TEMPS WARM UP.
WE’VE DONE OK SO FAR USING LCL OBJCTV TECHNIQUES ALG WITH A LOT OF
GUESSING AND LUCK. TDY WE ARE STILL LEANING TWD THE WAG AND HUNCH
SYSTM. FOR TNGT AVN-MOS LOOKS CLOSE. AND FOR MON…WITH STG WAA
SETTG IN MAINLY OVR THE N…THE LOCAL TOBIAS SYSTM (PAIRED WITH THE
ETA IN THIS CASE) IS OUR MODL OF CHOICE.

THE BIG ARCTIC SFC HI WL BE SMACK OVR AL TNGT WITH LO DWPTS…CLR
SKIES AND DYING WNDS. BUT ARCTIC AIR MASSES DON’T REALLY RADIATE
WELL AND IN THE PAST WE HAVE FOUND THAT OUR COLDEST MINS HAVE
OCCURRD WITH THE WNDS STILL UP. SO THERE IS A CHC THAT MINS BLO
ARE TOO LO FM BHM S. ON THE OTHER HAND…LO TEMP RECORDS CONT TO BE
BKN NR THE HI CNTR. XPCT THE SUN TO WIPE OUT MOST OF THE ICE COVER
IN THE BHM AREA TDY IN SPITE OF COLD TEMPS. IN TN VLY HWVR BLV THE
POLAR ICE CAP WL STILL BE ARND TNGT ALLOWG MINS TO APPCH ZERO AGN.

THE WARMUP WL REALLY GET UNDERWAY MON ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE HI.
IN FACT IF U GO OUT TNGT ARND MIDNITE AND LOOK DIRECTLY OVERHEAD…
U CAN WAVE BYE-BYE TO THE 850 -10 C ISOTHERM…IT WL APPR AS A FAINT
RED DASHED LINE ORIENTED NW-SE.

ETA HAS A MINOR S/W APPCHG FM THE NW MON WITH SOME MID-UPPR LVL MOISTR
BUT DON’T LOOK FOR CLDS TO AMT TO MUCH. STG WAA OVR THE TOP OF THE
850 RDG USUALLY MEANS CLDS SOON…BUT LOOKS LIKE AIR TOO DRY.

WIND CHILL…FRANKLY GETTG KINDA TIRED OF HEARING ABT IT. STILL
SGFNT TN VLY TDY AND MRGNL ELSW THRU THIS MRNG. INSTEAD OF ISSUING
ANOTHER WSW AND HIGH-LIGHTG IN THE ZNS…WUD LIKE TO JUST INCLUDE IN
THE TEXT OF THE TN VLY ZNS AND OMIT ELSW. NOT GETTG ANY WORSE AND
CRRNT CONDS WL LET THEM KNOW ALL THEY NEED TO KNOW. MOB-TLH NOW’S
PERFECTLY SUITED FOR THE SITUATN.

WIND CHILL. NOW THATS WUSSY ANYWAY ISNT IT? MAYBE SHUD BE THE
WIND-WHIPPED INDEX OR WIND-BLAST INDEX. OR WIND-KILL! WE TELL
BUBBA ITS GONNA FEEL LIKE 10 BELOW. WELL ME AND BUBBA HAVE NEVER
FELT 10 BELOW. CAN’T RELATE. I WENT OUTSIDE WHILE AGO TO SEE
WHAT A 12 BELOW WND CHILL FELT LIKE. FELT EXACTLY LIKE 12 ABOVE
WITH THE WIND BLOWING.

SORRY…ITS DAY 3 OF FCSTRS HELD HOSTAGE AND GETTG A LTL TESTY.
ANYWAY HERE ARE THE CERTIFIED OFFICIAL GUARANTEED NUMBERS FOR
YOUR ADMIRATION AND PRAISE.
07
HSV 19/02/36 00- BHM 24/04/38 000 AUB 29/08/39 000
MGM 28/08/40 000 CSG 29/09/40 000
MOB 33/10/46 000 PNS 36/12/47 000
DHN 31/10/46 000 AQQ 39/18/49 000

.BHM…
AL…NONE.
FL…NONzE.
GA…NONE.

And finally, this one…

STATE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AL
949 AM CST SUN FEB 04 1996

NEW PUBLIC FCSTR NOW ON DUTY HERE AT BHM. ARRIVED AT THE OFFICE
WITH MUCH TREPIDATION…FEARFUL OF ENCOUNTERING SOME KIND OF DONNER
PARTY REDUX. FORTUNATELY…THIS SCENARIO NEVER MATERIALIZED…BUT A
GRUESOME DISCOVERY WAS MADE JUST MINUTES AGO: SUBLIMATION/WIND/
FEEBLE SUNSHINE HAVE CONSPIRED TO WEAR AWAY A SLEET DRIFT
SUFFICIENTLY TO REVEAL THE CHARRED…CANNIBALIZED REMAINS OF
ALABASTER AL. FUNNY…HIS DISAPPEARANCE WASNT MENTIONED DURING THE
SHIFT CHANGE BRIEFING. INVESTIGATIVE BRANCH OF NOAA CORPS WL BE
AIRDROPPED IN SHORTLY TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS.

CRNT FCST LUKG PRTY GUD…AND CANT REALLY QUARREL WITH IT. BASED ON
LOLVL THICKNESSES/CRNT OBS…WL LWR BHM/ANB HIGHS SLGTLY TDA…REST
OF HIGHS LUK OK. SCT-BKN SC HOLDING IN ACRS N/ECNTL AL ATTM…MAY
NEED TO GO PCLDY THIS AFTN…THO BLV SKIES WL EVENTUALLY CLR BY MID
AFTN. MAY B2ACK OFF ON WINDS SLGTLY ACRS NRN AL AS WELL THIS
AFTN…WHICH WL BRING UP WIND CHILLS SOMEWHAT. REST OF FCST OK. 66
>
.BHM…
AL…NONE.
FL…NONE.
GA…NONE.

Category: Alabama’s Weather, ALL POSTS, Met 101/Weather History, Winter Weather



Bill Murray

2024-02-03 15:00:21

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