Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Could Get Stormy Again Tomorrow

Wednesday (High 85, Low 67): Showers and thunderstorms likely off-and-on throughout the day and night. Some thunderstorms may become severe, even if they do move in after dark. 

Thursday (High 86, Low 70): Rain and clouds gradually decreasing throughout the day. But numerous showers and a few thunderstorms may linger during the morning and at least early afternoon. 

Friday (High 88, Low 69): Partly cloudy. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible.

Saturday (High 90, Low 69): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Sunday (High 91, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Monday (High 90, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Tuesday (High 91, Low 71): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Very important note I forgot yesterday: The Cullman and Arab NOAA Weather Radio transmitters appear to still be offline. So if you have the money and want a backup, I'd try a service like WeatherCall. Usually you're not going to get Severe Thunderstorm Warnings on WEA on a cell phone, unless the threat is extra-bad. But tomorrow would be a day to keep an eye on the weather. Even if you can just tune to a regular radio station that you know you can count on, if you're at home resting after work or something when the storms get to you. Of course if out and about during day, can use TV and Internet. But if you think you might fall asleep, those are my suggestions since weather radio is not helping us out a lot right now. It's unfortunate when these things go down with bad timing like this sometimes. I'm sure it is especially frustrating for people who work for the National Weather Service. But things could get stormy again tomorrow, so please have a reliable way to know what the weather is doing, whether it is daylight or dark. None of the seven channels on my weather radio are worth anything right now, no decent reception except on one channel which does include Walker County, and it is barely picking up at all. So I know circumstances are not ideal, but in light of the damage we saw yesterday, I would take tomorrow's threat seriously, to be on the safe side. 

Here is a news story from WVTM-13 about yesterday's storms. 

Today we had a High of only 77 and Low of 66 in Cullman with periods of sun but also periods of clouds and light rain. 




The frontal boundary is currently down around Montgomery. 

It'll be lifting back through here tomorrow as a warm front, and then will stall and waffle around through the region the rest of the forecast period, or most of the period. 

The interesting thing is that model trends make it look like we may heat up during the day tomorrow and then a lot of the storms hold off until the evening or even after dark. This setup is an anomaly for August. Going to estimate a High of 85 for tomorrow, but if storms are later arriving, we may exceed that and be closer to 88 or 90. Low tonight should be about 66 again. 





Tomorrow's storms may become severe, especially along and North of the Tennessee River. But even around Cullman, Jasper, Double Springs, have to keep an eye on it. This is mainly a threat for damaging thunderstorm winds, but it looks more organized than usual for summer. And in light of yesterday's damage, I would encourage people to take it seriously. There is a marginal threat for hail, and it would not be impossible to see an isolated tornado, but the greatest threat of that is back into Arkansas and Southern Missouri. 




Also keep in mind that tomorrow's severe weather threat may not end after dark. We could see another wave lasting well into the night or even into Thursday morning. This pattern is unusual. 

If you get a Severe Thunderstorm Warning tomorrow, if you find yourself within that polygon area, ideally you want to get into a small central room on the lowest floor of a sturdy house. It's better if you can be in a sturdy house anchored to the ground instead of a mobile home or a house sitting up on blocks. Especially if you live in Tennessee where the threat is a bit enhanced, I would take the damaging wind threat seriously, even though the tornado threat is very low. As we saw yesterday, sometimes severe thunderstorms can do structural damage, like blowing the windows out of a good strong building. Of course you want to stay away from any windows and avoid using anything electrical until the storms have passed your location. And at this point, I don't say that lightly. I had two different electrical outlets nearly catch fire before we shut the breakers off at my place the other day, right after a severe thunderstorm hit. 

The fact we might see severe activity after dark is why I say, with the weather radio transmitters being down, some of them, you might want to tune to a reliable radio station. I know that Live 95.5 in Cullman is reliable for weather, and 92.7 FUN in Arab used to be, not sure about now. The classical stations, NPR, 89.3 Huntsville and 90.3 Birmingham, will cut in for severe weather warnings with that abrasive sound that will wake you up, the sound you hear if your weather radio is already playing when a new warning comes out. Not everybody can afford something like WeatherCall, and I'm not doing to vouch for any apps anymore. That has become a mess. But Weathercall has stood the test of time. And usually NOAA Weather Radio is better than the Weathercall service, in my opinion. But we are in a bind where weather radio is likely to still be out tomorrow, at least for the counties covered by the Cullman and Arab transmitters. If you can afford it, Weathercall is a great backup service. If you can't, I would tune to a good radio station. Even if you don't like the music, hey, classical stuff could help you get to sleep, and then the EAS tone will wake you up if a warning comes out. 

I just hate these situations where we're going into an organized severe thunderstorm potential without our best tools working. And I'm trying to throw out some ideas on how to deal with it. If you have a good cell phone app that you trust, of course make sure that is ready to alert you too. It may be great. Since they quit doing the one from Weather Decision Technologies, I have not kept up with the apps for getting alerts. There are too many of them for me to make an intelligent recommendation. So these days I tell people NOAA Weather Radio or WeatherCall. And for people around Cullman and Arab, weather radio is not going to cut it this time, unless somehow they manage to restore service by tomorrow. Which I doubt. What makes this situation worse is that the Arab transmitter is usually recommended as the backup when the Cullman one goes out for a while. And now they are both out. 

So back to the forecast, thunderstorms are likely tomorrow, but we'll have time to heat up ahead of them, not expecting an all-day rain. But we could see numerous rounds of showers and storms, and like I said, even after dark, we may have enough unstable air and some wind shear to support some storms going severe even in the dark hours. This looks unusually organized for this time of the year. And we've had some events like that this summer. 

Thursday looks like showers are still likely, maybe some thunderstorms in the mix, but the risk of additional severe thunderstorms (past the early morning) looks low, since the atmosphere will be worked over and probably a lot stabler. High probably mid-to-upper-80's. Low near 70.

Looks like upper 80's and upper 60's for Friday with rain chance decreasing to about 40%. 

And really looking at the overall pattern, think I'll knock the rain chance down to 50% for Thursday. But tomorrow going with "likely". 

Looks like can decrease to 30% rain chance for Saturday with High near 90, Low in upper 60's. That heat bubble from out West will be expanding closer to our region. 

Then by Sunday we can go with a 20% chance of rain, High staying about 90. 

And Monday and Tuesday look similar, only tweak might be for Monday, bump rain chance up to 30% because model guidance does show a little extra moisture around. That's not always reliable this time of year, but it does vary from day to day, and it is a sensible enough thing to put in the forecast. 

Could see some isolated flash flooding or river flooding tomorrow or tomorrow night as well, so of course if driving, stop and turn around if you see water covering a roadway or especially a bridge. More people end up drowning in flood waters than end up being killed by damaging winds anyway. 


But the past two days were pretty awful around here for wind damage. So that's why I'm taking the time to remind readers to respect the threat. I regret being complacent both days. I didn't have any actual damage yesterday, but on Sunday, I was asleep when the storm came in. And I assumed the weather radio transmitter would be back online by the time we had more storms. It wasn't. It has been a crazy summer. And we do have some more severe thunderstorm potential tomorrow. So we need to pay attention and be prepared. 

By the way, if you wonder why I make fun of 10-Day-Forecasts on here once every week or two, check out how drastically Day 7 has changed just from today's versus yesterday's. Yesterday I thought Monday looked like we'd be clearing up with only a 20% chance of rain. And now it looks like we'll have a 30% chance, just a slight increase of rain chances, while the chance for Sunday has come down from yesterday's forecast too. And this is in the summer, the most boring and predictable season usually. Really by the time you get to 6-7 days out, it is usually more of an educated guess than something you can bank on. And beyond a week in advance, you're really just looking at trends. That's why I do respect the way they do it at ABC-33/40, showing those extra three days for a 10-Day-Outlook but in a way that shows it is only looking at a general trend. Still can't believe Taylor Sarallo is gone from there. That can really be a cut-throat business where people get moved around on a whim. But considering the quality of work she did, I hate to see her go. Loved the tribute James Spann posted to her on what's left of Twitter. Best wishes to her wherever she goes. I may start watching Wes Wyatt and the gang now, since he's great too, and they don't bother with trying 10-Day outlooks at the old station on Red Mountain. I can't remember if Jason Simpson is doing that. Weird thing about Huntsville is that WHNT-19 used to do those for a while, seemed experimental, and now they are the only one of the three main channels, last I checked, that doesn't try to go out ten days. 

Whenever you see a forecast beyond a week in advance, please take it with a chunk of salt, whether it comes from me or anyone else. And certainly do not worry about people posting random model guidance at that time range. Just look at it for fun. 

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