Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all of our wonderful friends here on AlabamaWX. Our weather, while not egg-ceptional, will be improving today. We do have one thing of interest in the Gulf of Mexico, which we will talk about in a moment, so let’s dive right in.
ALMANAC: The average high for Birmingham for April 9th is 74, and the average low is 50. We are starting off in the 40s this morning and will rise into the mid and upper 60s to near 70 degrees this afternoon.
THE WEEK AHEAD: High pressure is centered over western North Carolina this morning. The circulation around that anti-cyclone will keep most of Alabama high and dry through at least Tuesday. Highs Monday will range from 65-70 and from 68-72 on Tuesday. Lows both mornings will be mostly in the 40s
A LITTLE EARLY-SEASON TROPICAL MISCHIEF? The GFS has been very consistent lately showing a piece of upper-level energy to move off of the Texas coast Monday. This will result in the formation of a surface low-pressure system just south of the Louisiana coast by Tuesday. From there, the GFS hints at this low-pressure system trying to acquire sub-tropical characteristics as it heads eastward and then northeastward on Wednesday into Thursday. By Thursday night or Friday, the GFS model forecasts this low-pressure system to move onshore along the Gulf Coast, in Alabama or Florida Panhandle. Anything that does form would be very weak from a wind standpoint but could produce very heavy rain starting Wednesday along the Gulf Coast. Areas along the coast could receive 2-3 inches of rain or more, and if it moves up into our area, so could we.
MIDWEEK FOR US: Wednesday looks dry for Central Alabama, but as the low lurches toward the coast, showers could begin affecting Central and even North Alabama on Thursday. Some runs have the low pinwheeling up to near Birmingham on Friday, meaning widespread showers with some heavy rain. Even as the low dissipates, the residual moisture would keep showers in the forecast into the weekend. Highs will be in the middle 70s with lows in the upper 40s to near 50F.
PEERING INTO WEEK TWO: It looks like another storm system will impact Alabama beginning next Sunday night with rain and thunderstorms. It should move out by Monday night, followed by nice weather for the remainder of that week. Temperatures will be kind of all over the place in week two, with highs in the 60s and 70s. Lows will be in the 40s and 50s warming into the 60s by the weekend.
BEACHCAST: Now is a good time to start talking about the threat of rip currents at the beaches. Many Alabamians will be making a trip to the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida over the next few months. Unfortunately, the leading cause of death from natural hazards along those beaches is drowning from rip currents. The rip current risk has been high all weekend and could escalate again if the low forms over the Gulf. Go to https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/rip_safety to learn more about the danger and how to educate yourself and your family about how to Break the Grip of the Rip! Otherwise, it will be a rather unsettled week along the beaches, with the potential low developing. Clouds will be plentiful along with showers and some heavy rain. It will also become windy as well if the low forms. Water temperatures are in the mid-70s.
NATIONALLY: Very quiet nationally with just some freeze watches and warning in the Mid-Atlantic, river flood warnings from the Midwest through the Mississippi Valley and into the Southeast, and some flood watches out west.
DANCING WITH THE STATS: Cold temperatures out west, with the mercury falling to -7F Saturday morning at one of my favorite places, West Yellowstone Lake, MT. Closer to home, Tuscaloosa established a new record precipitation for April 8th, with 2.45 inches of rain.
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. Contact me, Bill Murray, at (205) 687-0782, and let’s talk.
WEATHERBRAINS: This week was a great show with student mets from the University of Oklahoma talking about their live coverage of the February 20th tornadoes that menaced Norman, where the University is located. This week, the panel will entertain Bahamas Hurricane Expert Wayne Neely. Wayne has written a book about 2019’s Hurricane Dorian, which is the strongest and deadliest hurricane to affect the Bahamas in the modern era. 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 1953: Glenn Stout, a technician at the Illinois State Water Survey in Champagne, IL was testing a rebuilt weather radar unit. As Stout and his associates studied the thunderstorm, they noticed that its radar echo had taken on an unusual shape. It appeared to develop a tail, that resembled a hook. They would learn later that when the “hook echo” developed, the thunderstorm was producing a tornado. Later analysis of the film taken during the test revealed that the hook-shaped echo was closely associated with the tornado. It was hypothesized that the hook was associated with the tornado that the thunderstorm produced. Analysis of radar film from a tornado that devastated Waco TX and the deadly Worcester MA tornado all indicated the same hook formation. It became apparent that tornadoes did display a unique echo and that communities could be warned when the echo appeared. Radar indications of hook echoes would become one of the most important tools of meteorologists in issuing tornado warnings with the WSR-57 radar network. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at Twitter.com.
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