Greetings from the National Storm Chaser Summit in Fort Worth. This weekend event brings together 460 chasers from around the country for two days of training and networking. John Oldshue made the trek with me, and we are having a blast.
NICE START TO THE WEEKEND: Stable conditions are in place across Alabama this morning, thanks to high-pressure overhead. Today will feature tranquil conditions, with mostly clear skies and above-average temperatures. Daytime highs will reach close to 70 degrees in many areas. We will see slightly cooler temperatures in eastern counties, though, as an easterly surface flow develops. While high clouds may stream overhead, overall moisture levels will remain limited, with no significant rain expected through Saturday evening.
THE WEEK AHEAD: We see a shift in the weather pattern tonight through next Thursday. An amplified system with a ridge axis from Florida to the Great Lakes and a low-pressure system over the Southern Plains will bring changes. Rain ahead of this system will spread into Central Alabama on Saturday night, becoming more widespread on Sunday. Rainfall totals will vary across the region but should average between one-half and three-quarters of an inch, with a few isolated spots topping out over an inch.
Here is the official WPC QPF map through Monday evening:
Sunday will bring cool temperatures in the 45-50°F range, accompanied by gusty winds, especially in elevated terrain. However, as the low-pressure system moves away, conditions will improve with rapid clearing and highs returning to the upper 50s on Monday.
Looking further ahead into the long term, from Monday night through Thursday, high pressure will return, bringing dry and mild conditions. Highs will be around 60°F, and by midweek, temperatures may reach the lower 60s. Dry weather is expected to persist, with the next chance of rain potentially returning by next Friday as another system approaches the region.
WEEKEND OUTLOOK: Rain will return early Friday to Alabama. It will continue a good bit of the day, but it shouldn’t be widespread or heavy. Most everyone picks up between one quarter and one half inch of rain. There will be some thunder involved, but no severe weather.
BEACHCAST: Starting on Saturday, a moderate rip current risk will be in effect along the beautiful Alabama and Northwest Florida beaches, with surf heights ranging from 1 to 2 feet. The UV index is expected to be low. The day will begin partly sunny, but cloud cover will increase after 3 PM, accompanied by patchy fog and a chance of showers. High temperatures will reach the mid-60s, and east winds will blow at speeds of 10 to 15 mph. The rip current risk will increase tonight through Sunday night, with surf heights increasing to 4 to 9 feet and red flags flying. Conditions will remain cloudy with showers likely, and there’s also a slight chance of thunderstorms. Beachgoers and residents should remain cautious due to the high rip current risk. Water temperatures are in the lower 60s.
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK: The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham has announced that Alabama’s annual Severe Weather Awareness Week (SWAW) is scheduled for February 5-9, 2024. During the week, they will cover various topics, including preparedness, safety, hazards, tornado safety, manufactured home messaging, and resiliency. Weather permitting, a NWR Test Warning Message will be conducted at 9:00 AM during the week to help trigger severe weather and tornado safety actions and procedures for schools, businesses, and other groups. The NWS Birmingham will share daily topic information on their social media accounts (@NWSBirmingham) and encourages everyone to share this valuable information with their stakeholders.
NATIONALLY: More heavy snows are coming for the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California. In Northern California, intermittent snow showers are expected to continue across the Sierra today. A significant winter storm with widespread snow impacts is forecasted to affect the Sierra and western Nevada late Saturday into early next week, leading to major travel disruptions. The storm is expected to bring heavy snowfall, especially to the Sierra region, with snow rates of 1-2 inches per hour possible. In Mono County, there is a high probability of receiving several feet of heavy snow. Travel in the Sierra, including Tahoe Basin and mountain passes, will become very difficult to impossible, with white-out conditions expected.
DANCING WITH THE STATS: In the Los Angeles metro area, there is a possibility of receiving 5 inches or more of rainfall from Sunday through the middle of the week, while the mountainous regions may experience even higher totals, reaching approximately 8-9 inches.
ADVERTISE WITH US: Deliver your message to a highly engaged audience by advertising on the AlabamaWX.com website. We have a lot of big plans for this year. Don’t miss out! We can customize a creative, flexible, and affordable package that will suit your organization’s needs.
WEATHERBRAINS: This week, the panel will entertain the head of the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Mike Gremillion. Check out the show at www.WeatherBrains.com. You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can watch the show live on our new YouTube channel for the show.You will be able to see the show on the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly over the air on the dot 2 feed.
ON THIS DATE IN 1814: London’s Frost Fairs are historically unique, occurring in years when the River Thames has frozen solid. They were characterized by an array of merchants, food vendors, and entertainers set up in long aisle on the ice. The first Frost Fairs were held on the frozen river beginning as early as the 7th Century. The last Frost Fair was held from February 1-4, 1814 as temperatures in London fell below freezing from December 27, 1813 and February 7, 1814. Most were held during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Winters were colder then, especially during the Little Ice Age, and the river’s water moved more slowly because of the constriction of the Old London Bridge, which was removed in 1831. Vendors set up booths on the ice to sell food and beverage. Activities like bowling and dancing were also available. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at Twitter.com.
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