Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Dry and Mild For Now/Another Rainy Weekend on the Way

Today (High 64): Sunny. Mild and lightly breezy.

Tonight (Low 39): Partly cloudy. Not as cold.

Tomorrow (High 60): Partly to mostly cloudy and lightly breezy. An isolated shower is possible at night.

Friday (High 62, Low 48): Mostly cloudy and breezy. Scattered showers are possible.

Saturday (High 65, Low 56): Rain likely - isolated thunderstorms possible. Periods of rain showers will continue through the night.

Sunday (High 63, Low 54): Rain likely.

Monday (High 55, Low 46): Gradual clearing with a 40% chance of lingering showers.

Tuesday (High 54, Low 33): Sunny.

Wednesday (High 53, Low 29): Sunny.

At 9:30 AM skies are sunny in Cullman with a temperature of 54 degrees. The dewpoint-temperature is 32 degrees, making the relative humidity 44%. Winds are from the Southeast at 10 miles per hour, so still a little breezy today. The pressure is 30.24 inches and steady. The Low this morning was 32. The forecast Low was 33, so pretty close. 

High pressure is still controlling the weather over our region, though it is now centered up in the Carolinas and Virginias. Meanwhile we've got a storm system that's brought snow and ice to areas along and West of the Rocky Mountains lately. That will bring us some rain this weekend, probably a good bit of rain as the front stalls out. 

We'll stay sunny today with that light southerly breeze, High near 64 this afternoon. 

Tomorrow we'll start clouding up some, but even at night, I think the rain holds off for most of us, might see an isolated shower or two mainly in Northwest Alabama. Another day of a light southerly breeze, High of only about 60 though, morning Low rebounding to the upper 30's or near 40 as we get some moisture return, so won't cool quite as much overnight tonight. 

Then the front makes it in here Friday, and we'll have mostly cloudy skies, a pretty good breeze picking up (gusts up to about 20 mph), and scattered rain showers throughout the day and night. High in lower 60's, Low in the upper 40's. 

Saturday and Sunday are the days we'll be covered up in rain showers off and on throughout pretty much the whole day. Like if you look at the radar, you'll probably see rain areawide without many dry pockets at any given time of day. 

Saturday looks like a High in the mid-60's and Low in the mid-50's. And then Sunday the High should drop to the lower 60's because of slightly rain-cooled air. We could still see an isolated thunderstorm or two in the mix with marginally unstable air possible with these temperatures. And it may be breezy at times, mainly Friday into Saturday, not so much Sunday.

Then Monday is a day of gradual clearing, but keeping a 40% chance of scattered rain showers in there at least for the morning hours. But the rain may linger, at least for Eastern counties, through the evening or night. Since we'll have a frontal passage by then, the High on Monday should only make it to the mid-50's with the Low down in the 40's. 

The global models have come into good agreement now that high pressure will be moving back in Tuesday and that sunshine will return. Should start the day down around freezing and then only warm up to the lower to mid-50's. 

Then on Wednesday high pressure stays in place. We'll be sunny with a High in the 50's, Low down around 30. 

And as of right now, model guidance makes it look like that basic pattern will hold with Highs in the 50's, Lows in the 30's (perhaps lower 30's with a lot of dry air) until next Saturday the 18th, when we might get yet another round of weekend rain. And pardon my mistake, Saturday is actually the 17th. 

If you want to speculate beyond that, the Climate Prediction Center does think we'll be below average temperatures and also drier than average in their last 8-14 day guidance that I posted yesterday, don't feel like fetching again today. 

Ah, what the heck. Above you have the straight dope as opposed to the dopey doomsday scenarios that a few people try to suggest, mainly on social media rather than any reliable sources. We could have another terrible cold spell later this Winter, or we could just have temperatures slightly below average, like lower 50's instead of upper 50's as we get closer to March. Will we see any more snow this season? Probably not, but it can always happen. There is only skill in forecasting specifics of those things for about the next 7-10 days. And even then, as you get to Day 7 and beyond, it becomes more of an educated guess. Certainly not expecting any anomalous cold or any wintry weather problems for the next week. 

The only real hazard that jumps out with this weather pattern is that with all the rain this weekend, some low-lying areas and roads could see some flash flooding. But even the risk of that is marginal, forecast to be very low. 

Rainfall amounts will average about 2-3 inches over the region though, with perhaps a focus over North/Central Alabama, where the waves of rain will probably train over the most as the front moves very slowly through the region between Friday and Monday, Saturday and Sunday having the most widespread and consistent rain. 

Frankly this forecast is not all that bad considering what a rough start we've had to the year. It's a drag to keep having rain on the weekends, when some people are off work, and most everybody is out of school. But in the scheme of things, this weather pattern is pretty benign. 

The Salem cat is stir-crazy wanting to get out and enjoy this weather, but the neighborhood I live in has proven to no longer be safe for cats to roam freely. And so far, I can't keep a harness on this guy. I've recently discovered that he loves Meow Mix, giving him almost all adult food now since he's coming up on a year old. His hip has not given him any more trouble that I can tell. He's back to jumping up on the sink or stove when he sees me getting some food out, really turning on the charm in case it's anything he wants a bite of. Strangely he won't potted meat. Does go insane over sardines. 

Last year was the warmest year on record worldwide.

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week for Alabama and Tennessee. Today's topic is Tornadoes

Rocket City Weather Fest will be held at UAH this Saturday, free to the public as usual, and the main attraction this year is that James Spann will be doing a case study of the March 2021 tornado event in which his own house sustained some damage. As well as signing books afterward. 

So if you have kids who are interested in weather, and live reasonably close, I'd go to that thing. There are worse ways to spend a rainy day. 

P.S. Update as of 11:57 AM - While scrolling other weather stuff on social media after posting this, I looked back over my forecast and realized that I was lazy and hurried in writing the official forecast after spending a lot of time on the discussion. So changing the forecast to account for some increase in clouds tonight. Which is why we should be closer to 40 degrees instead of down at freezing again, clouds prevent good radiational cooling. 

12:01 PM - Another update from something I caught on social media, something I wish the National Weather Service in Huntsville had posted in their news headlines on their main website. But there is a SKYWARN class tomorrow evening at 6 PM at Cherokee High School. That is in Colbert County in Northwest Alabama. 

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