Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Some Rain Tomorrow Night, Otherwise Mild and Sunny Days

FORECAST:

Thursday (High 69, Low 48): Mostly cloudy and breezy during the day. Showers are likely at night - an isolated thunderstorm is also possible.

Friday (High 63, Low 50): Mostly sunny. Staying breezy.

Saturday (High 60, Low 34): Sunny. Still breezy.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Sunday (High 66, Low 36): Sunny.

Monday (High 70, Low 47): Mostly sunny.

Tuesday (High 73, Low 58): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of a shower or thunderstorm.

Wednesday (High 71, Low 60): Showers and thunderstorms likely. 

NOTES:

The National Weather Service in Birmingham is holding several online SKYWARN classes soon. The National Weather Service in Huntsville is holding an in-person class this coming Tuesday 6 PM at the Limestone County EOC. The National Weather Service in Nashville is holding Severe Weather Awareness Day this Saturday at Trevecca Nazarene University. 

Not directly related to weather, but was saddened to learn of the death of Scott Richards a few days ago. Many fond memories of watching his newscasts with my great-grandmother while we waited on the weather segment. I didn't even realized he had retired, because I can't get my TV to pick up channels and watch everything through the internet or on disc. He and Janet Hall made a great team. 

DISCUSSION:





We have Northwest winds aloft and down at the surface, high pressure currently centered down around Pensacola. We do have a weak warm front moving through the MS River Valley. About the only clouds you'll see around here today are either high cirrus or actually some smoke from controlled burns, know they were doing some of those in Central Alabama at least, remember seeing pictures from some in Tuscaloosa. 

At the Noon hour, skies are clear and sunny in Cullman. The temperature is 66 degrees. The dewpoint is 37 degrees, making the relative humidity 35%. Winds are from the Southwest at 12 miles per hour, with higher gusts to 21 mph. The pressure is 30.24 inches and falling. Winds have stayed on the breezy side and generally South/Southwest this morning. This morning's Low was 34. 

Jasper is already up to 68 degrees under sunny skies. The dewpoint is 45, making the relative humidity 43%. Winds are calm. The pressure is 30.23 inches and falling. Winds have been lighter and more variable down that way. The Low this morning was 30. Also noticed a little fog this morning for Jasper. 

Haleyville has sunny skies and 67 degrees. Dewpoint is 40, making the relative humidity 37%. Winds are out of the South at 14 mph with higher gusts up to 20 mph. The pressure is 30.23 inches and falling. And they also got down to 30 degrees this morning, did not have problems with any fog. 

Elsewhere around the area, Fort Payne is sunny and 64 degrees. Decatur is up to 68 degrees, just assume it's sunny everywhere unless I say different. Ah, and it is partly cloudy in Huntsville at 67 degrees, South winds at 13 mph, Low of 37 this morning. I find myself wondering if they are doing any prescribed burns up there. A quick scan of Twitter/X/whatever-the-hell-it-is-with-Elon-Musk-preening-himself does not confirm it if so. Cities tend to have more clouds. Actually you have to go outside to smoke nearly everywhere now, so maybe that joke doesn't work now. Winchester is sunny and 64. Same for Fayetteville, good Southerly breeze blowing there. You have to remember that when the wind is in the South, it blows the flies in the fishes' mouth. Then over on the other side of Tennessee, Savannah is already up to 70 degrees today, also with a good southerly breeze, gusts over 20 mph. Muscle Shoals also up to 70 degrees. And with all this warmth, maybe I'll look at a few other spots. 

Tupelo is also sunny and 70. Memphis has a few clouds, but mostly sunny, and 71 degrees, wind gusts up to 26 mph there from the South. Dyersburg is sunny and 69, South winds gusting to 20. Jackson is sunny and 71 (that's where Johnny Cash was goin' to mess around, I think), winds gusting to 24 mph. And Nashville is partly cloudy and 66 at this hour, winds gusting in the 16-23 mph range from the South. But you pretty much have to head to the city to see much in the way of clouds today. 

Based on current trends, I'd guess Cullman stays sunny and breezy today with a High near 70, or at least 69. Both of those seem like numbers I'd be happy with. Except that they busted my forecast. Ah well, sometimes it warms up quicker than we expect as we get closer to March.



Latest model runs are making tomorrow look mostly dry during the day. 


Overall our rain chances should hold off until the evening and night hours. And these are expected to be just light showers, maybe an isolated thunderstorm here and there. 



And then the front quickly clears the area on Friday. 




So tomorrow will be another breezy day with a High in the upper 60's, about 69, clouds increasing throughout the day, and if we see any rain during the daylight hours, should stay isolated. Showers are likely overnight, and we could see an isolated thunderstorm. 

Then Friday will be mostly sunny, still breezy, with winds turning back to the Northwest behind the front, High near 63, Low around 50 or maybe upper 40's, like 48-49. 



Then on Saturday we have high pressure building into the ArkLATex. We;ll have sunny skies and get up to about 60 degrees, the Low in the mid-30's. A secondary shortwave trough moving through the Appalachian Mountains will keep us breezy. 



On Sunday we will stay sunny but our winds will become more zonal from the West at the upper levels (500 millibars here/about 18,000 feet), which means down at the surface we'll have Southwest wind flow. And our temperatures will climb from mid-30's again in the morning to upper 60's in the afternoon. 



The High should climb to about 70 or so Monday, staying mostly sunny, the morning Low rebounding as well, into the upper 40's. 



We might see enough moisture return on Tuesday for a few pretty isolated showers/thunderstorms at least in Tennessee counties. But overall the GFS has come into better agreement with what the ECMWF was showing all along, that Wednesday is our better chance of rain. Looks like definitely clouds on the increase though, and a High in the lower 70's, the Low rebounding well into the 50's. 



Then on Wednesday, again the GFS has come around to the idea of the rain event and any thunderstorms holding off mainly until during the day on Wednesday. 





Unfortunately the ECMWF has slowed down even more. These graphics are valid at Noon, 6 PM, and then Midnight. 

So the extended period does carry some uncertainty, as usual this time of year. Still going to go with likely rain and thunderstorms on Wednesday with a High near 70 and Low near 60. 


It's getting to that time of year that we do have to watch for severe weather potential, but at the moment, the guidance as far as unstable air and available wind shear with this system makes that threat look definitely down on the low, marginal side. Still worth keeping an eye on, especially if you live in a mobile home or something like an apartment up on the top floor, if your severe weather safety plan involves going somewhere else for shelter. Just to be on the safe side, watch every system as get into March and April. And really you have to watch things through at least part of the month of May most years. It usually settles down in the summer months, but last year was a wild ride sometimes. We even had a little damage where I live, from a severe thunderstorm, straight-line winds. And it was more organized for stuff like that than most summers. 



Both models agree on kicking the system out of here next Thursday though. And here we are getting into the land of almost reading tea leaves. (Though I had a grandmother who did that.) So we'd be looking at mostly sunny skies again, a High back down at about 60 and a Low down in the 40's again. 

And it is now 3:15 PM. I better wind this up or it'll be a new run of the GFS pretty soon. Salem had some adventures with some other cats across the sidewalk and got to enjoy the sunshine while I got distracted with other things though. 

Looks like I was only looking beyond seven days anyway, which is getting into tea leaves territory, can't rely on it all that much most of the time. 



In this particular case, the model projections do look plausible, and the GFS and ECMWF are in good agreement for Friday of next week, high pressure in place over the region. So skies would be sunny, High near 60, Low near 40. 



Then that basic pattern looks to hold for Saturday, which is March 2nd, so that would mean mostly sunny skies and a High in the 60's, Low in the 40's. 


Rainfall totals between the event tomorrow night and whatever rain and storms we get next Wednesday should average about a half-inch to one inch, the higher amounts more likely up across the Tennessee state line.

Overall a benign weather pattern, have to keep an eye on this coming Wednesday to be on the safe side, but for the most part, looks like a comfortable transition to more of an early Spring feel. 

4:41 Pm Update - Upon skimming back over this for mistakes, I saw I made a major one, referring to the death of Richard Scott, when I meant to say Scott Richards. Far as I know, Richard Scott is still doing weather in Tuscaloosa. It was just a mistake I made when I was in a hurry. An aunt of mine used to tell me I was too young to be absent-minded. 

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