Sunday, November 5, 2023

A Warm Snap, Then a Little Rain, Then Cool Sunny Days Again

Monday (High 77, Low 43): Mostly sunny. A bit warmer in the afternoon. 

Tuesday (High 80, Low 49): Sunny. Mild morning, warm afternoon. 

Wednesday (High 83, Low 52): Sunny. Warmer.

Thursday (High 78, Low 56): Partly to mostly sunny with an isolated shower possible.

Friday (High 64, Low 55): Cloudy with a 50% chance of showers. 

Veterans Day (High 60, Low 44): Mostly sunny.

Sunday (High 60, Low 39): Mostly sunny. 
The Alabama Forestry Commission still has us under a fire alert because of the drought. 

It was a sunny day overall in the Tennessee Valley, variable winds, breezy at times. The High in Cullman was 72 after a morning Low of 41. Jasper had a High of 77 and Low of 39. And Haleyville saw a High of 75 this afternoon after a morning Low of 43. 


We are staying dry for now, and temperatures have moderated from the cold snap and hard freeze we had lately. I know I haven't been doing this site much lately, and actually I've had so much other stuff going on that I totally forgot about Daylight Savings Time ending this weekend until it was already the weekend. So we are on Standard Time again until the Spring Solstice next year. 

We are also in our secondary tornado season now, which is usually just the month of November for North Alabama into Tennessee. Once in a while we can get something later in December or in the Winter months, but it's rare. As you get into Central and South Alabama, then the frequency of severe weather days during the cold season does go up. Technically we can have severe storms any time of the year, as we saw this summer, some crazy weather patterns this time. But I don't really watch it extra closely except in the Spring months and then again in November, sometimes December, depending on what the weather patterns are that year. Usually in late Fall and early Winter, we end up having plenty of wind shear and lift, but not enough unstable air to get severe thunderstorms. So we just get some rain, and often some gusty winds. Every now and then, the ingredients come together just right for severe weather this time of year though. And we'll have to watch for that whenever this drought ends. We might just get heavy rain that could pose a flooding risk, but sometimes these droughts end with a threat for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. So that's something to keep an eye on even as you're wishing for more rain. And hey, once in a while, a drought does end peacefully. It just seems like the exception to me, what I've observed over the years. Usually they end with a bang. 



We actually have a weak, dry front associated with that Low up around the Great Lakes. Up there they have some rain with it, around here we just have warmer air moving through the area tomorrow, a little warmer than today. We'll see a High of about 77, Low tonight down around 43. Mostly sunny skies and light winds shifting to the East and then to the South. 



A ridge of high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico will work with that stalled dry/weak front on Monday night into Tuesday to bring us more warm air advection. And under sunny skies, we'll see the High climb to about 80 degrees on Tuesday, the morning Low around 50, or at least in the upper 40's. 



Then on Wednesday, that ridge of high pressure actually strengthens over our general region (Southeast) and pushes that front, which was a weak one without moisture here anyway, further to the North. And here I think we'll see a High in the lower 80's, Low in the lower 50's. So one especially warm day before we get another pattern change. 



During the day Thursday, it looks like this next cold front only has a minimal rain of bringing us some isolated rain, about a 20% chance, so 1-in-5 for any spot getting wet. 

But then during the night hours, rain will become more likely. It still doesn't look like a lot, certainly nothing to end this drought. Cloud cover and any rain on Thursday will probably keep the High for Thursday in the mid-to-upper-70's. The Low should be in the 50's.



Most of the rain should be Thursday night into Friday, as this front looks like a slow-mover. And for Friday, looks like a cloudy day, 50% chance of rain through the day and night, High only down in the 60's again, Low in 50's. A few places could see up to a half-inch or more of rainfall, but most of us probably only seeing up to about a quarter-inch, and a lot of places less than that. This is not going to help our drought conditions much. 



And then Saturday is actually Veterans Day, which used to be Armistice Day. And it looks like a nice day, a little cool, High near 60 degrees, mostly sunny skies returning behind the cold front, the overnight Low in about the lower 40's. Could see an isolated shower hanging around in the morning, but I doubt it, think the rain will be basically over with some time Friday night. 



And then looks like high pressure will predominate our weather again on Sunday, some hints of moisture trying to hang around the region, but even if this guidance is right about that, I think it'd just be in the form of a few fair-weather clouds. Expecting a High near 60 and the Low probably dropping back into the upper 30's. It looks like the transition back to cooler, drier weather this next weekend will be more gradual than with our big front that caused us to go straight to freezing here lately. 

Looking beyond this forecast period at the model guidance, it looks to stay dry and pretty cool until we get toward about the 18th or so, and then we may have our first chance at thunderstorms in a while. But that's so far out there, you can't really rely on it, just fun to look at if you like to look at model trends and speculate. But the guidance does show a cold front coming through the Midwest around that time frame that might also affect us and end our drought. But it's too soon to make that call. It is only a trend that the model guidance is suggesting right now. Kind of like when it shows a hurricane more than a week in advance, you don't really put a lot of stock in that. You watch future model runs, and often it disappears. Only if you see evidence increasing as the date grows closer is it worth worrying about. 

And by the way, even our severe weather days are not necessary worth worrying about, just being prepared within whatever your means are. Most of the time, people survive tornadoes by sheltering in a sturdy house on the ground floor, in a small central room, away from any windows. You do have to get out of a mobile home, and you do need a reliable way to get the warning (not just an outdoor siren - weather radio or a cell phone alert are probably best, since they can wake you up if need be). Most the serious injuries or deaths we still see with tornadoes or other severe thunderstorms around here are still happening in trailers or because somebody did not get the warning and have time to get to a safe room or hallway on the lowest floor of a building. 

And listen at me prattling about severe weather when things are so calm. I must find all this calm weather boring. But actually I don't mind it a bit after the kind of summer we had. We'll probably have a severe weather threat before this month is over with, but I wouldn't mind if we only had one of 'em. If the weather has to get exciting, let's hope for some snow in December or January, and I don't mean the kind that causes so many traffic problems, I just mean the pretty kind. 

There are no tropical systems expected to pose a threat to land. Tropical Storm Pilar is expected to dissipate over water in a few days, so no need to grab those graphics. 


Most places in our region will probably only see about a quarter-inch of total rainfall for this forecast period. And all of that is likely to happen between Thursday afternoon and Friday night. 

If we do get any heavier rains or some storms to end the drought, I'm confident in saying it'll be in the latter half of the month. We'll have to watch those model trends as we get toward Thanksgiving week, but in the same breath, if you are hoping for rain, I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. Model guidance can be notoriously unreliable at this time range in a dynamic time of the year like this. Even in the summer, it ain't all that great. Though it is fun to watch. 

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