Monday, April 3, 2023

A Break From the Rain Tomorrow, Few Storms Possible Wednesday Night, Staying Cool and Rainy for a While

Tuesday (High 82, Low 61): Partly cloudy. Warm and muggy.

Wednesday (High 78, Low 67): Thunderstorms likely, mainly in the evening and night hours. A few storms may become severe. 

Thursday (High 67, Low 58): Rain showers continuing. Breezy and cooler.

Friday (High 66, Low 51): Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers.

Saturday (High 68, Low 50): Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers.

Easter Sunday (High 69, Low 49): Partly to mostly sunny with a 30% chance of showers.

Monday (High 72, Low 50): Mostly sunny with a 20% chance of a shower. 

It has been overcast and breezy today in Cullman with periods of light rain and fog or mist. Our current temperature of 64 will probably end up being our High of the day. Low this morning was 52. Jasper also had a Low of 52 this morning, got up to 68 this afternoon. And Haleyville's observations are still screwed up. 

We have a warm front still moving slowly through the area. 

It looks like tomorrow will be dry around here after all, just a few clouds, mix of clouds with the sunshine. Should see a High of about 80 and a Low of 60 tonight. But looks like the rain and storms will leave us alone for at least one day. 

Unfortunately for people in the Midwest and Midsouth, it looks like another potential tornado outbreak tomorrow, also with a risk of damaging winds and large hail in severe thunderstorms. But in the areas most affected (which are similar to this past Friday, talk about rotten luck), the tornado threat is significant. Of course it is not an exact replay of the setup just this past Friday, but it is "bimodal", with two distinct areas most likely to see supercell thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes. The northern area is Eastern Iowa into Northwestern Illinois. That should take place during the daylight hours. But the threat for mainly Arkansas should come at night. And that will be particularly dangerous, because here we've got another threat for long-tracked, especially damaging tornadoes, for people who are still trying to catch their breaths from the last event, and it's happening at night. We had a really significant overnight threat Super Tuesday 2008 that affected several states but included Alabama and Tennessee. And of course, tomorrow is April 4, and one of the worst tornado outbreaks in history happened April 3-4, 1974, a lot of the tornadoes coming at night. The only outbreak that was close to being as bad as that since was April 27, 2011. And of course this does not look like anything quite on that scale. But any tornado outbreak is rough for the people who go through it. And I remember J.B. Elliott saying that the Smithfield tornado in 1977 (I believe, from memory) was almost as bad as the 1974 outbreak. The 2011 outbreak had more tornadoes reported than 1974, but the 1974 had more of the really damaging tornadoes, many rated F-4 and F-5. Theodore Fujita was all over that event, the scientist who invented the F-scale along with Allen Pearson. He actually started surveying the damage done to Nagasaki in World War II but then got interested in tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. We owe him a lot. 

Anyway it is unfortunate timing i guess, to be on the anniversary of one of the absolute worst outbreaks. Gives some people the creeps. But truth is, if we even had one tornado like the one that hit Little Rock or the one that hit in Iowa the other day out of an event, that takes it bad enough. And these people have had it rough. And are in for a rough ride tomorrow and tomorrow night. I'm glad we are not under the gun this time, but a large part of the country is. And I feel bad for the people who may be dealing with the dread of what if they get hit twice in a row. I hope they are able to get to reasonably safe places before the storms hit. The National Weather Service offices have been working hard doing the surveys, and I suspect the local Emergency Management Agencies are also working hard to get things more under control again. This kind of thing does happen, lightning can strike twice in the same place, but it can be tough to see happening, even from a distance. I doubt I will watch it unfold in real-time. After a certain point it becomes what Chuck Doswell used to call "storm porn" or "disaster porn". And I've been force-fed enough of that the past few years. This gives me a lot of the feeling I had in 2011, where I'd rather not even have to hear about another tornado for a while. They have been devastating this season, too much right in a row. 

It looks like our severe weather potential on Wednesday will be on the marginal side. 

The low pressure system looks like it will be lifting all the way up into Canada. The Ohio Valley and up around the Great Lakes may have more of an organized threat for severe weather. But this far South, think it will be confined to Wednesday evening and night, and probably not that big a threat. Looks like more of a deal where a few storms in the line could become severe, but overall the threat is low. 

This is one forecast where I do not find the ECMWF guidance very helpful at all and think the GFS has a much better handle on it. Looks like a Low in the mid-60's to start off Wednesday, then warming to about 80 degrees again. Looks like a windy day even before storms arrive. 

The front will stall out after that. Showers are likely on Thursday, probably not enough instability for thunderstorms, Highs in 60's, Lows upper 50's.

Looks like after that, several shortwaves may move through the stalled front to our South so that we keep rain chances each day, slowly tapering off toward end of forecast period. Lows down around 50, Highs in 60's, maybe up into 70's again by Easter Monday. 

We'll see about two inches of average rainfall totals for this forecast period, and there is a slight risk for some flooding issues somewhere in the region starting on Wednesday. Remember if you see water covering the road, turn around, don't drown.

If we do see any severe thunderstorms Wednesday night, remember that when you get a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, ideally you want to be in a sturdier house than a mobile home and to be as low and as near the center of the house as you can get until the storm passes. At minimum I would stay away from windows and anything electrical until it blows through. Had too many people get hurt, a few even killed lately, from storms. So definitely would not want to add to that list of injuries where it'd be easily preventable. 

After the marginal threat Wednesday night, there really are no signs of severe weather around here again for a while. And that is sort of a novelty this month of the year sometimes. 

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