Saturday, April 1, 2023

Beautiful Weekend, Unsettled New Workweek

Today (High 75): Sunny. Breezy.

Tonight (Low 39): Clear skies and a light breeze at times. Patchy frost is possible.

Palm Sunday (High 70): Sunny during the day. Scattered showers will return to the area at night.

Monday (High 71, Low 52): Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered showers are possible as well as an isolated thunderstorm or two.

Tuesday (High 81, Low 60): Partly cloudy. Isolated thunderstorms are possible during the day, then will increase in coverage as the night goes on - a few storms could be strong or even reach severe limits.

Wednesday (High 78, Low 67): Thunderstorms likely - a few could become severe. 

Thursday (High 67, Low 54): Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers.

Friday (High 66, Low 51): Partly to mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers.

Saturday (High 69, Low 55): Partly to mostly sunny with a 20% chance of showers. 

So yesterday was a long day and night. This forecast discussion won't be as in-depth or heavy with graphics as I would prefer, because the storms knocked out the internet as they came through here last night, and I'm having to fall back on mobile data. I'd like to thank my brother for turning me onto this possibility a few years ago. I really did not know it was a thing, and if not for his efforts, this forecast would simply have to wait another day or two, however long it took to get service restored. 

Even as it is, things are running pretty slow. I'll try to be thorough on the stuff that's important anyway.

As we approach the Noon hour, we are sunny in Cullman with a temperature of 75 degrees. The dewpoint-temperature is 41, which makes the relative humidity 29%. Winds are from the West at 8 miles per hour, with higher gusts to 20 mph. The higher gusts are what I can hear happening outside. The pressure is 29.99 inches and rising slowly. Our Low this morning was 59 degrees. Yesterday's High was 72, and the Low was 61. In Jasper it is 77 degrees, their winds gusting up to 25 mph at times under sunny skies. Fort Payne is sunny and 74, wind gusts up to 28 at times. 

And I see that we are under a Wind Advisory until 7 PM this evening. 

It is partly cloudy in Huntsville at the International Airport, 74 degrees there, winds gusting to 31 mph. Decatur is sunny and 78, similar wind gusts. Fayetteville reports clear and fair skies, but visibility down to 8 miles for some reason, 72 degrees, winds gusting to 33 mph there. Similar weather at Winchester but visibility of 10 miles. 

This cold front and the trough up around Lake Michigan, taking their time about moving all the way through. There is still a squall line of severe thunderstorms moving through Southeast Alabama and Southern Georgia. 

Still today should be staying sunny and breezy with a High near 75. 

It isn't until tomorrow night into Monday that we get our next rain chances as a warm front approaches from the Southwest.

Tomorrow should be another sunny day, but only warming up to about 70 degrees after a morning Low roughly around 40, but I'm thinking 39 or 38 for many of us. The winds should be enough to keep most places from getting frost this time, but a few places might. 

Then Sunday night into Monday, a warm front will be moving through and setting up unsettled conditions for the new workweek. The Low should rebound into the lower 50's, High staying around 70. About a 40% chance of scattered showers. 

Not able to look at European model this time because of connectivity issues I mentioned before. But from what I remember, it was pretty consistent with the GFS here in backing off rain chances for Tuesday. I know that the NAM is in good agreement. Will bring the rain chance down to 30%, so widely scattered showers and thunderstorms possible. And with the High going up to about 80 degrees, definitely could see some thunderstorms instead of just rain. The Low should be near 60. 

The Storm Prediction Center has outlooked a basic severe weather risk that includes far Northwest Alabama, like around Florence or Muscle Shoals, extends up through places like Waynesboro and about the Western half of Tennessee. Actually the risk includes much of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and even Northern Mississippi. The really hot zone where the risk is enhanced to 30% is mainly over Northern Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Southern Iowa. This outlook is valid from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning. For now it looks like the storms will be weakening as they move toward us but may still be severe up around the Shoals and into Tennessee West of I-65. As a general estimate. 

And I started to look at parameters, was mainly going to use the SREF for this time range, but with the almost dial-up internet speed at times, I will admit that I simply do not have the patience. It doesn't look like even the SPC has gotten much clarity on whatever Wednesday may hold if there is any severe potential. 

With the Low lifting so far North, maybe into Canada, on Wednesday, we may have a hard time getting any really organized severe weather around here. But as we saw again last night, even getting the leftovers of a system can cause a few problems. The Low was not quite this far away but was still displaced up to where it affected mostly the Midwest. Yesterday's event was pretty unique with that "bimodal" setup and how widespread a lot of really intense damage from storms was. Anyway I think in the forecast I'll only mention a chance of severe thunderstorms on Wednesday because even if it only gets rough Tuesday night, it would technically be probably Wednesday morning around here. And it seems like there should be some mention of severe potential, even if it turns out to be on the low end. 

Trying to look over analogs for Tuesday and Wednesday, but once again . . . slow internet speed interferes. 

Seriously though, a lot of people lost their homes completely yesterday in places like Arkansas and Missouri, or even around here, there were people who were without power, may still be for all I know. There is a part of me that is glad to still have a house and be alive. 

Managed to get the analog stuff to load enough to give it a quick look. And most of it suggests a lower-end severe weather threat around here, does not confine it to the Shoals though. A lot of the analog events were really rough for the Midwest, especially Missouri I noticed, which lines up with the current SPC outlook. I think they may be underestimating the eastward extent of a low-end severe potential around here. But give it another day, that may be adjusted. 

Wednesday looks like we'll have a High in the upper 70's and a Low in the mid/upper 60's. The severe weather potential may be similar to last night's (and some of it may be Tuesday night), or it may even be a lower-end threat compared to last night's, around here. But I think some chance for strong storms needs to be in the forecast, especially considering the time of year and the kind of pattern we're in. The only thing that makes me think of dropping that from the forecast is how far North the focus of the system is expected to be, the Low lifting all the way into Canada on Wednesday. That may really help us out, at least those of us who might appreciate a break in all the action. 

Thursday looks like kind of a raw day with lingering scattered showers, High in the 60's, Low in the 50's as the front progresses slowly through the region behind the potentially stormy weather from Wednesday.

Then on Friday the front is still hanging around, stalling out. So the Low should only get down to lower 50's, High staying in mid-60's. And we should still at least see scattered rain, maybe more numerous showers. 

And not much change in the pattern around here even on Saturday. Might see a High closer to 70 again as the front slowly washes itself out over the region. Think best approach is to taper the rain chances down each day starting on Thursday. 

Over the next couple days, the threat for any flooding issues around here looks low, except maybe a decent chance in far West-Central Alabama back into Mississippi. 

It is something we will have to watch over the long-term though, over the next week with this stalled front after any heavier storms that may happen Tuesday night or Wednesday. Most of us should see an average of 2-3 inches of rainfall totals.

And yesterday sure was a humdinger. I have not had a chance to check the latest media reports, even social media. But going to take a look at the most interesting parts of the government reports for now. 

First off, there were 66 tornadoes reported in one day across seven states, including Alabama and Tennessee. 

Of course the Little Rock tornado and the one that hit Iowa City (I believe, but somewhere in Iowa that made everyone's stomach churn) got the most attention. But there were too many to sort out at this time. 

Around here, our tornadoes came late at night and into the dark hours of the morning. There was the tornado that affected McNairy and Hardin Counties, trees down and tore a roof off a home at Adamsville, before heading up through the northern side of Waynesboro (if I'm remembering right) and toward Columbia and then just East of Spring Hill before it dissipated. That was a supercell thunderstorm when the squall line was still broken, trying to form, and about the time it was moving toward the northern part of Wayne County, I remember seeing where someone (chasing?) took a picture of it having a wedge shape at the same time as debris was showing up on radar. And with a report of a roof blown off a house, that is consistent with a supercell tornado that was a little above average strength. And you might remember, that was in the forecast, especially for that area, could see an isolated "strong" tornado. 

Which I put in quotes because any tornado feels strong if you're in the path of it. But we owe Dr. Fujita and Allen Pearson a lot for giving us ideas on how to rate their strength based on damage, and then the wind engineers about 15 years ago who tried to "enhance" the scale. 

Another tornado reported near Red Bay in Franklin County, Northwest Alabama, also in that hot zone for higher supercell potential, although that was after Midnight, when the squall line was pretty well together. Then in Hackleburg and Bear Creek in Marion County, Northwest Alabama, we already have a report of a mobile home overturned and some other structural damage. I feel certain that this was a tornado, even though the velocity couplet went through phases where it would weaken for a while. I thought the National Weather Service in Birmingham did a perfect job of handling that situation. Which I would have found tough if I was sitting at the warning desk in real-time. At one point they coordinated with the NWS Huntsville, who issued an extension of the warning up into Franklin and Lawrence Counties in case the track went a little more Northeast than East. And even if it wasn't going to be a tornado quite as bad as they had in Arkansas or Iowa earlier in the day, you had to respect these storms last night. That one that moved North of Waynesboro looked plenty bad enough, and we were lucky to be able to see it at night. And I'm so glad that the local NWS offices kept a warning in effect for this storm until sure it was weakening as far as trying to produce a tornado anymore. It did produce a tornado in Marion County. We'll just have to give them time to survey all the damage. And with how unplugged I've been from any technology for several hours, and catching up on sleep, for all I know they might already have a preliminary survey done. Sometimes I've been amazed how quickly they can knock those out. They work really hard. 

Then in Madison County, near Hazel Green, there was a tornado report. I remember the tornado debris signature hugging the AL/TN state line. So there may be damage found on the Tennessee side of it too. 

Started to write more about the severe weather event overall, public safety, and communications. But will save that for another time. If I eventually bother to do it at all. Nobody has ever cared what I had to say in the weather community. Except for a couple of people from the National Weather Service who did try to improve things on a college campus, but failed miserably even though it was certified as "Storm Ready". That turned out to be lamer than any April Fools joke. 

Nonetheless, we're alive, and the sun is shining. Enjoy. 

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