Saturday, April 29, 2023

Some Rain Tonight, Then Plenty of Sunshine and Mild Temperatures for the New Week


Sunday (High 68, Low 53): Mostly sunny. Breezy.

May Day (High 65, Low 42): Sunny. Cool and breezy.

Tuesday (High 67, Low 40): Sunny and cool. Lightly breezy at times.

(Extended Outlook)

Wednesday (High 70, Low 43): Sunny.

Thursday (High 76, Low 45): Mostly sunny.

Friday (High 75, Low 56): Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Saturday (High 76, Low 58): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms.


This Thursday was April 27, the anniversary of one of our region's most widespread and deadly tornado outbreaks back in 2011. We tend to have an event like that roughly every 40 years or so. And I can tell you, nobody knew how bad it was going to be until it was ongoing. The two events I remember the setup being compared to the most were April 8, 1998 when an F-5 tornado hit Oak Grove near Birmingham and the Veterans Day Outbreak of 2002. And of course it far surpassed both of those, and the other analog events I am not remembering that people said it might be as bad as. It is a terrible memory for me, but it really happened. So whenever that time of year rolls around, we give it a reluctant nod of respect. Certainly we respect the people who lost their lives or were seriously injured by the storms that day. Or many who survived but lost their homes and livelihood, had to built things up from scratch. It is a fascinating case study from a meteorological perspective. And I'd recommend What Stands in a Storm by Kim Cross or All You Can Do Is Pray by James Spann to anyone who wants to learn more about it. The human impact is what haunts me when I think about it. As beautiful as some of those storms were on radar or on camera . . . at what price.

The National Weather Service in Nashville is still doing Weather101 classes well into the month of May, and this coming Tuesday morning's class is on Global Circulations. The last class I took in this series, on forecast models, was excellent. A lot of the classes I've taken from them in Weather101 have been enjoyable, and I learned something. They are free to anyone, so if you are interested, by all means, take one of these. 

We did have a severe thunderstorm in Cullman County, including the city of Cullman, late Thursday night/Friday morning after midnight. It was a supercell thunderstorm that produced hail up to egg or golfball size and also damaging winds, strong enough to even do some structural damage. No injuries were reported. 


We do have some showers and thunderbumpers moving through the region this evening, but overall we have seen more sun than clouds in the Tennessee Valley today. 

Plenty of towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds showing up on satellite imagery. The air has been unstable enough to support some thunderstorms today. 

We have an upper-level trough and a surface cold front traversing the Mid-South and Mississippi River Valley bringing us the rain chances this evening, tonight, and tomorrow. 

We have gotten up to 73 degrees in Cullman, this afternoon, and it looks like that will be our High. Skies have been mostly sunny overall, although as you saw above, rain is not far away. The dewpoint at this hour (5 PM) is 61, making the relative humidity 65%. Well actually that observation comes from 4:35 PM, but is not updating, so I'll go with the most recent available. Barometric pressure is 29.71 inches and falling. Visibility is ten miles, perfect. Winds are from the South at 8 miles per hour. Winds have generally been from 5-10 mph today and from the South and West. This morning's Low was 48. 

Jasper got up to 75 today after a morning Low of 46. Haleyville also got down to 46 this morning and have warmed to 73 this afternoon. Muscle Shoals saw a High of 74 and Low of 51. Decatur also saw a High of 74 but a Low of 52. Fort Payne saw a High of 73 and Low of 47. Huntsville had a High of 74 and Low of 51 at the International Airport. They also had some fog this morning. Also some fog this morning in Nashville, where it's been partly to mostly cloudy this afternoon and evening, High of 72, morning Low of 49. 

Tonight and tomorrow we will have some rain and thunderstorms in the region from this front, and then as we get into next week, a dry pattern will take shape. Temperatures should start out on the mild side and them warm up as the new week goes on. 

The GFS is showing us high and dry by early tomorrow afternoon, and the NAM was also showing a similar look. Most of our rain should come tonight. In fact I'm going to go ahead and remove rain chances altogether for tomorrow. Winds will shift more to the West/Northwest, and it should be breezy at times, with gusts up to 15-20 mph common. High near 68, Low near 53. 

Then on Monday, High pressure continues to move in from the West with a longwave trough centered over the Northeastern United States. That pressure gradient will bring breezy conditions again on Monday under sunny skies. The High should only get up to about 65 degrees, and the morning Low should be able to cool to about 42 or 41 degrees. 

That pattern continues on Tuesday, we stay sunny with mild, even cool, temperatures. Meaning Highs in the upper 60's and Lows in the lower 40's. And will mention that it could still be at least lightly breezy.

Northwest wind flow aloft and High pressure at surface on Wednesday. That trough will be moving off into the Atlantic Ocean, and our winds should settle down by this time. We stay sunny, and the High only rebounds to about 70 or so, morning Lows still struggling to rise above the lower 40's. This air will be very dry, sort of unusual for early May. 

Mostly sunny skies again for Thursday, with moisture staying to our West back in the Mid-South at least until Thursday night. We'll see a High in the mid-to-upper 70's and a Low in the lower to mid 40's.

Some rain and thunderstorms may creep back in here on Friday as a cold front approaches. Looks like mid-70's for the High, mid-50's for the Low, and for now will only introduce 40% rain chances. Thunderstorms are possible with this, and this time of year, you do have to monitor every system for severe thunderstorm potential. Nothing really jumps out on model guidance that makes me concerned for stronger storms with this one as of yet though. 

Then that unsettled pattern remains for next Saturday, will keep a 30% rain chance in there with sort of a messy/unclear setup with what may turn out to be a weaker front. Temperatures should be similar except that Lows may be in upper 50's instead of mid-50's thanks to the extra moisture overnight.

Rainfall totals tonight/early tomorrow morning should average about a half-inch to one inch. 

And then we get a break from the rain for about five days. Enjoy.

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