Sunday, April 28, 2024

A Little Rain Possible Tomorrow Through Tuesday, Sunshine Returns in Full Force Wednesday and Thursday

Monday (High 80, Low 60): Partly cloudy, warm and breezy. Isolated showers and thunderstorms are possible during the day, becoming more numerous at night. 

Tuesday (High 79, Low 62): Partly cloudy. Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible.

Wednesday (High 83, Low 59): Mostly sunny. Warm but with low humidity levels. 

Thursday (High 85, Low 58): Mostly sunny. 

Friday (High 82, Low 60): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Saturday (High 79, Low 63): Partly to mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Sunday (High 80, Low 60): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Overall it was a mostly sunny day in the Tennessee Valley, though we had some periods of clouds and even light rain, mainly early in the day. The High in Cullman was 77 after a morning Low of 64. Jasper saw a High of 79 and Low of 63. Haleyville had a High of 75 and Low of 64. 

They've been having another stormy day in the Midwest and Mid-South. Around here we are still enough under that high pressure ridge to keep us from getting more than a few light showers. Even those are few and far between. 

Even tomorrow we probably stay mostly dry, mostly sunny, a lot like today, but we'll have a chance for an isolated shower or two. High expected near 80, Low near 60, so a thunderstorm is also possible if we do see any rain. We'll have a southerly breeze picking up to about 10-15 miles per hour. 

The GFS continues to think that front washes out Monday night into Tuesday as it runs into this strong ridge of high pressure. But the NAM and ECMWF are showing us getting some decent rain chances. Considering we already saw some isolated rain today, will put the rain chance at 20% tomorrow, 50% tomorrow night, and then scale it back to 30% for Tuesday. Again on Tuesday we'll see a High near 80, Low near 60. With the extra cloud cover and taking into account we might see a shower or thunderstorm, the High might only make it into the upper 70's. 

At this point, even the ECMWF has backed off on the chance of rain staying in the forecast for Wednesday. So do the GFS and NAM, show us dry now. So going to go with mostly sunny conditions, High in the lower to mid-80's, Low dipping into the upper 50's. 

Basically the same for Thursday, mid-80's for the High, upper 50's for the Low. 

Friday, Friday night, and Saturday look like another front running into this strong ridge of high pressure. This is kind of early in the year for us to have such a strong ridge like this. Usually you'd see it set up later in May or maybe June. But we had it in late April. And it saved us from the awful weather they got in the Midwest and Plains lately. Which we're used to seeing this time of year more than they are. 

The models can't agree with each other on the timing of this next front, or even with themselves from one run to the next sometimes, so only going to introduce a 20% chance of rain for Friday. Bump it up to 40% for Saturday. And then for Sunday, scale it back to 30%. 

And for all three days, a High roughly near 80, a Low roughly near 60. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here . . . ?

Rainfall totals for this forecast period will average about an inch or so, with scattered pockets seeing closer to two inches. 

The Mid-South continues to deal with severe thunderstorms tonight. 

Tomorrow the risk is very low and confined to basically Southern Mississippi, far Southwest Alabama, and other areas along the Gulf Coast. 

Things may try to get organized again Tuesday for the Midwest, especially Iowa, right where they don't need it right now. 

And then anything organized appears to shift back into Kansas and Oklahoma on Wednesday. 

Quite a severe weather outbreak they've had this weekend to our West/Northwest. 

Incredibly, from Friday's event, only one injury was reported. And then yesterday, one death was reported from a tornado in Holdenville, Oklahoma. Of course any fatality should be counted as a tragedy, but looking at it with cold logic, with a tornado outbreak this widespread, with so many tornadoes doing really significant damage, one would expect to see many more deaths and injuries. Maybe the warning process is working well, and people are prepared with adequate shelter. I am really surprised at the good outcome despite so much damage. 

If people want to compare it to what we had in 2011 in the Southeast, that three-day stretch of especially widespread/significant severe weather, then these graphics above show that 2011 was much worse. I made a mistake yesterday in saying we had about 60 tornadoes around here. I heard a broadcaster say that, and I casually repeated it. Maybe that guy meant the number of afternoon tornadic supercells in Alabama alone on April 27, or maybe he was only counting for the Birmingham area/Central Alabama. But our tornado count even on that one day was much higher than what they have seen out in the Midwest and Plains this weekend. Not that anybody wants to win the contest of the most tornadoes. But as bad as this outbreak has been for our neighbors, the one we had in 2011 around here truly was something else. You might see one event like that in your lifetime, or maybe two. My great-grandmother built a storm pit on her land after the 1974 event and lived just long enough to catch the 2011 one, when she had to rely on a so-so basement one of her kids had, her old storm pit was so falling apart and neglected. She died just three years later. That's a lot of why I hate to remember that tornado outbreak. I could have dealt with the weather, but the same stupid stuff kept going on in my family tree, and that is what was too much for me. I remember missing the big weather conference in Birmingham that year because I had just lost my spirit for it. That summer, dealing with her situation, realizing there was nothing I could do to help things anymore, pretty much destroyed me as far as the weather stuff went. Strangely that was right around the time people on campus started recognizing me as the weather guy, like they'd say hello in the hallway and ask me about the weather. Sometimes I was out of the loop for a day or two, and didn't realize another storm system was cooking up yet, so it was kind of embarrassing. I've always wondered what role I played in that woman not having access to her own storm cellar late in her life. Somebody in my family told me that the last time she went to take a look at our Granny's old house, rotting away, she literally threw up. And I expect I would do the same. The pace of modern life makes it hard to have a family and slow down and appreciate things together though. And I've got that pretty easy compared to a lot of people. 

Anyway, I was glad to see that the folks in the Midwest and the Plains made it through this tornado outbreak so well. They are going to need a lot of help with the property damage, but it looks like they are already getting some of it. 

Wasn't really going to write any weather stuff tonight, but somehow listening to Coyote J's Cemetery of Rock puts me in a better mood. I miss the days when he played cutting-edge new stuff along with the classics, but I'll take what I can get. There are not many DJ's left with a lot of personality. Shea Fox from 95.1 FM in Huntsville is another great one who is still around. That station's antenna got stolen (I almost want to say abducted by aliens, the situation was so bizarre) last year, so if you want to throw them a few dollars, I'm sure they'd appreciate it. They still don't even have half the funding they need to replace the antenna, but iHeartRadio was nice enough to give them a way to still broadcast in the meantime. So whenever you think there's no good left in the world . . . lo and behold, sometimes people do come through and show their better sides. Whether it's something like music or something even more important like helping the survivors of these tornadoes this weekend. 

Somebody seriously needs to study what went right with this multi-day tornado event, so that we haven't even seen many serious injuries from it. It is really amazing. Usually a tornado outbreak like that, I'd expect to see at least a dozen fatalities, maybe more like two or three dozen. It doesn't sound like people just got lucky with this. Several towns were hit very hard, lots of damage. Some chasers had close calls. Yet we only have one serious injury and one death reported from two days of a pretty significant tornado outbreak that affected several states. I hope our really good research meteorologists are taking note. Because this is a breath of fresh air. And we'd like to see this more often. I guess the ideal would be if our death toll was zero, but with a full-blown outbreak, if you've got less than 30 deaths, that's traditionally been considered a good outcome. And this one went a lot, lot better than it could have. 

By the way, if anyone wonders why I often make fun of 10-day-outlooks, go check out my own from about this past Thursday. Compare it to the forecast for next weekend here just a few days later. I had us drying out by Sunday and probably by Saturday. And now it looks opposite of that. The best you can usually do with 10 days out is general trends. And lots of times in a dynamic time of year like late April, early May, you can't even get a good sense of that from the model guidance. 

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