Sunday, February 18, 2024

Sunshine and Seasonable Temperatures, a Little Rain Thursday Night

President's Day (High 56, Low 25): Sunny. Seasonably cold. 

Tuesday (High 60, Low 30): Mostly sunny. Cold morning, cool afternoon.

Wednesday (High 67, Low 36): Mostly sunny. Cool.

Thursday (High 69, Low 48): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Friday (High 60, Low 46): Mostly sunny.

Saturday (High 63, Low 34): Sunny.

Sunday (High 66, Low 35): Sunny. 

Well here I am talking about the weather again. As I've said many times before, it's a sickness. 

We have had sunny skies and a cold, breezy day in the Tennessee Valley, more wind gusts hanging around than was expected after the morning hours. So the wind chill values have stayed in the 30's for many of us. Technically speaking, Cullman saw a High of 46 today with a morning Low of 25. And there too, that Low is not quite as cold as what model guidance led us to expect. The forecasts were more for a Low of 22-23. Still, it's within three degrees, which I consider good enough. I forecast a High of 50 today, and saw others forecasting more like 49. And we only made it to 46. Still it is within the ballpark. Jasper saw a High of 52 and Low of 27. For whatever reason, Haleyville was not as breezy today and saw a High of 49 and Low of 22. Figuring all three of those sites together, I'd say the forecast was basically on target. But the weather can vary a lot even within three adjacent counties, or even across the same county sometimes. A few degrees of temperature difference, or how long the winds stay a little gusty and where, can sometimes be beyond the scope of the science, as great as it is these days. 

Decatur was not all that breezy either, and the winds have already shifted back to the West there. Direction has been variable today. Looks like a High of 48 and Low of 24 there. By the day, I am assuming we don't warm any more past 4 PM. These current temperatures, I am assuming to be the High for today. Huntsville had a High of 48 and Low of 25, that's at the International Airport. Across the Tennessee line, Winchester is another site where the winds have been light and variable today, sunny skies, High of 46 and a Low of 19. Well . . . some places did get as frigid as what my forecast was (believe I went with 22 degrees for the Low), or even more frigid this morning. Fayetteville saw a High of 48 and Low of 21. And let's look at one more site, Nashville, the Music City, made it up to 50 degrees after a morning Low of 20. 

So the forecast wasn't perfect for every single site, but I'd say for the region as a whole, it got the basics right. 

Before we did into the current weather, a reminder that the National Weather Service in Birmingham is doing SKYWARN classes starting at the end of this month. Taking one of these (which are free) will help you to keep yourself and loved ones safe during any severe weather (which we can have a lot of in March and April, sometimes still into the month of May) and also make you a reliable source of weather reports. You'll know what to look for and also when what you are seeing is not an indication of any severe weather. 

The National Weather Service in Nashville is hosting a Severe Weather Awareness Day at Trevecca University this next Saturday, the 24th. 



The front that brought us a little rain night before last is now a weak stalled boundary over about Miami and adjacent waters. Our weather this week for the most part will be coming from the high pressure currently centered over Texas. Notice another area of high pressure up there in the Carolinas. At the moment, our upper-level winds at 500 millibars (about 18,000 feet) are split, Southwest flow around here in the Tennessee Valley, and a Northwest flow for the Ohio River Valley. 



I'm sure nobody noticed this, what with school being out and all, but tomorrow is George Washington's birthday. And it looks like a really nice day around here. You can't expect it not to be a little nippy in the latter half of February, and we'll start the day in the mid-20's again, about 25 degrees for the Low. And then warm to the upper 50's in the afternoon, about 56-58 range. If you look closely at the upper-air pattern between current observations and tomorrow's GFS graphics shown above, you can notice a shortwave trough dropping through here via the Mississippi River Valley. It is starved for moisture and probably won't even produce much in the way of clouds or fog. 



For Tuesday, after that trough is on out of here, you can see that our upper-level winds take on a distinct Northwest component in the Southeast/TN Valley. And at the surface, we have high pressure parked in the Gulf of Mexico, centered near places like Biloxi and Mobile. Although it is not as apparent, if you look closely you can see another shortwave trough moving through the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys on Tuesday. You might need to go look for yourself and look at the 500 millibar animation from the GFS (or the NAM if you prefer). The links for such things are on the left hand side of the screen on the main website, all kinds of weather links and tools. Seeing the animation and being able to control it sometimes makes these features more apparent. The mid-and-high-level clouds that result from this trough should mainly stay over the Tennessee counties. Around here we'll see another sunny day, a High near 60 and a Low near 30. 



And this is just a calm pattern. Wednesday should feature plenty of sunshine again with high pressure firmly in place in our region, a High rebounding to the upper 60's and the Low to about the mid-30's. 



Thursday our upper-level winds turn more westerly as another front approaches. I'm showing it on the WPC maps for Thursday morning. But reading between the lines of the GFS and ECMWF guidance, I think mainly the rain will come Thursday night, a lot like this last round of rain we had. It also looks like light rain for the most part. Any rain during the day Thursday should stay pretty isolated, with a High in the upper 60's and Low in the upper 40's. We could see a few thunderstorms in the mix, though overall instability is looking weak. 




Looks like clearing will be rapid going into Friday though, a mostly sunny day with a High near 60, Low in mid-40's. And the model guidance has backed off on how much of a cooldown we see behind this next front, now looking like Saturday will feature a High in the lower 60's and a Low in the lower 30's. And then next Sunday, High getting into mid/upper 60's, Low in about the mid-30's. 

If you want to peek beyond that, it does look like we'll get a preview of Spring temperatures next week, Highs getting up to about 70 or so. If we see showers and thunderstorms, that is probably going to hold off until at least Wednesday, which is February 28. This is a leap year, so not quite the last day of the month. 


Sticking to this week though, the thing Thursday night should only bring us up to about a quarter-inch of rainfall for places like Huntsville and up into Tennessee. For places like Cullman, Jasper, Oneonta, Blountsville, Double Springs, Haleyville, Hamilton, probably more like a tenth of an inch. 

And our drought is just about done with. 

Not directly related to weather, but glad to report that the radio station whose tower and transmitter were recently stolen has raised about a third already of what they need to replace that equipment and get back on the air instead of only streaming online. One of their DJ's had a relative who wrote books about meteorology though. Sometimes my tangents are relevant even if they are not obviously so. 

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