Sunday, February 11, 2024

Strong Storms Possible Tomorrow, Then Turning Seasonably Cold Again with Plenty of Sunshine

Monday (High 66, Low 54): Rain and thunderstorms likely. A few thunderstorms could become severe. 

Tuesday (High 54, Low 35): Mostly sunny. Breezy and seasonably cold. 

Wednesday (High 60, Low 31): Sunny. Cold morning, cool afternoon.

Thursday (High 64, Low 36): Mostly sunny.

Friday (High 62, Low 41): Partly to mostly cloudy.

Saturday (High 53, Low 40): Rain likely.

Sunday (High 51, Low 27): Mostly sunny.

We had a cloudy, breezy day in the Tennessee Valley with periods of rain and thunderstorms, also a lot of fog this morning. Visibility is back up to 10 miles in Cullman this evening, but this morning, got down to less than a mile, I remember. We had a High of 57 and Low of 52 today. That cool, stable air kept us from having any preliminaries of severe thunderstorms. We'll have to watch things tomorrow. 

The front has stalled out around Montgomery for now. They had some flash flooding issues down that way earlier, but for now, the problems with that or with a few thunderstorms reaching severe limits is staying back in Mississippi and Louisiana. And even that hasn't been as organized as it could have been. Not many of the storms today were trying to produce a tornado as opposed to damaging thunderstorm winds. 

And up this way, our air has been so cool and stable that we got some regular thunderstorms this evening with just a good bit of lightning and some minor wind gusts. I didn't even see any Special Weather Statements have to be issued for them, let alone any warnings. 

A lot of our weather overnight will depend on how far North the warm front gets. If it were to make it to the Tennessee River, then we could see an isolated severe thunderstorm or two up this way. 

But unless the front really did lift far North like that, I think we're going to be fine tonight in North Alabama. It's a dicey situation, but I think the odds are in our favor. 

We are at 55 degrees right now, and I'm going to forecast a Low of 54 for tonight/tomorrow morning. 

Tomorrow is the main time to watch for some thunderstorms that could become severe. The latest runs of the NAM and HRRR have slowed down the timing to more tomorrow afternoon being the best shot at it for the Tennessee Valley. And they do show a messy storm mode. We'll see plenty of rain, some thunder, and gusty winds tomorrow, with a High near 66. The situation is really borderline for if any storms can become severe. Mentioning the risk as a "better safe than sorry" approach. 

Then Tuesday we'll turn mostly sunny again, clearing quickly behind the front as high pressure overtakes the region again. Staying sort of breezy, at least early in the day. High near 53-54, Low around 35. 

Actually Monday night, tomorrow night, we could see some wraparound moisture, so maybe some snow flurries, especially up across the Tennessee border. But even if that happens, no accumulations (or problems) are expected, even if you go well up into Northern Tennessee, much less along the AL/TN border, which is more within the scope of this blog's forecasts. 

Wednesday looks sunny with a High near 60, Low about 30-32. 

Then as the high pressure shifts to the East on Thursday, we stay mostly sunny, the High in the lower 60's, the Low rebounding to about the mid-30's, could edge into upper 30's, but I'm not sure we'll have enough moisture return for upper 30's quite yet. 

On Friday clouds will be on the increase as a cold front drops into our region. We'll have a High of 60 or so, Low near 40. 

With that cold air arriving before the rain, the High on Saturday is only expected to be in the lower 50's, the Low near 40 again. But we'll have the rain by then. Started to bump the rain chance up to 50% for Saturday but will stick with 40% for now. The MOS guidance is showing a 20% chance early in day, 60% chance later in day. Some of the rain could start Friday night. 

And then Sunday looks like rapid clearing, sunny skies, a High of 50 or so, Low down near 30 or even upper 20's again. 

And you know what . . . I'm going to second-guess the models on this and put the rain chance for Saturday at "likely", 60%. Because that's how this pattern really looks likely to play out to me, based on past experience. And that's what I will tweak over the next few days if I have to, instead of playing it all conservative. 

I would show model guidance for the severe weather potential for tomorrow, but as I said above, I found it to be a big mess, as messy as the storm mode has been today and is likely to be tomorrow. I feel like I understand it, but it is not worth the time and energy to illustrate in detail for such a conditional/dicey severe weather potential. It's easier to admit it is a big mess and that the situation is not clear-cut, and I think that gets the message across better than half a dozen graphics and a lot of rambling commentary to go with those graphics. 

To keep it simple and to the point, our severe weather risk tonight is minimal. And areas generally North of the Tennessee River are only expected to have general rain and thunderstorms. 

Tomorrow, between about daybreak and mid-afternoon, we have a chance that severe thunderstorms could get a little more organized, despite the messy storm mode (lines of showers and storms, isolated cells, clusters all possible), with potential for damaging winds, and maybe some large hail or even an isolated tornado. If it does get organized, it'll probably be in that yellow zone of the Level 2/5 Risk, which includes Fayette, Jasper, Double Springs, Cullman, Oneonta, Gadsden, Arab, Guntersville, Scottsboro, and Fort Payne. In that green zone, the Level 1/5 Risk, places like Huntsville, Athens, Decatur, Russellville, and Hamilton could see some isolated severe activity. Ditto for places like Fayetteville and Sewanee up across the Tennessee line. Those are the basic guidelines on what to expect. 

The only reason I mention mid-afternoon is that I'm keeping an open mind to the latest trends from the HRRR and NAM. It may all be over by Noon, or already winding down in far Northeast Alabama. That strikes me as a more likely scenario, and is what the models were advertising before. 

If you get a Severe Thunderstorm Warning tomorrow, the best place to be is in a small central room on the lowest floor of a sturdy house, not a mobile home, away from windows. 

Here is a convenient review of severe thunderstorm safety, tornado safety, and getting alerts reliably. We just had severe weather awareness week, so might as well use these links if you don't already know this stuff. 

One thing I want to emphasize: The Cullman weather radio transmitter is offline right now. It is Channel 3 on weather radios around here, 162.450 mhz. 

So if you are in Cullman County, you need to either tune to Channel 6 (Arab) or Channel 2 (Oneonta), whichever one picks up better for you. The Oneonta transmitter also covers Walker County. 

If you are in Winston County and were relying on the Cullman transmitter, then you can tune to Channel 6 (Winfield) and get alerts for not only Winston but counties to the West, where storms might form before reaching you, including three counties in Mississippi. And it also includes Walker County. 

We might get by without any problems tonight and tomorrow both, but when a weather radio transmitter goes down on superbowl day and we've got severe thunderstorm potential, I would rather play it safe than to be sorry if I didn't say something. 

Most of us will probably squeeze out about another inch of rain between this system and whatever we get next Saturday. A few places in Northeast Alabama or Central Alabama may see closer to two more inches of rain totals. Just in case of any flooded roads before this thing winds down tomorrow, remember to "turn around, don't drown" if you see any water covering a roadway, or especially if it's a bridge, like don't even risk it. 

And I'm pissed off tonight. Some thugs stole the AM radio tower from a Jasper station (unless it was abducted by aliens, I guess) and effectively cancelled my favorite radio show that aired Sunday nights. Guess it's back to "Echoes" on NPR. If you would like to drop a dollar in the bucket to help that radio get back on the air, or offer any words of support, they have a GoFundMe page, as the tower was not insured, and they are only allowed to broadcast online for now. Silver lining: In only a few days, they have already raised one-tenth of what they need to get a new tower. I hope that DJ will come back and do his "Cemetery of Rock" show once they are back on the real airwaves. That was the most I'd enjoyed local radio in a long time. 

And this new Twister movie coming out looks like a dud, with chasers way dumber and more obnoxious than the characters Bill Paxton (RIP) and Helen Hunt played could have dreamed of being. At least it's more true to life than the original. Because the real world has changed a lot since the 1990's. To the point some of the chasers have caused more hazards than the storms they're after. But they got a good TV spot. Or their clip went viral. Woohoo. Yay. Yippee. HELL YEAH, BABY! 

I love a rainy night. 

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