Thursday, April 4, 2024

Pleasant Weekend Other Than Some Frosty Mornings, Good Bit of Rain Next Week

FORECAST:

Friday (High 62, Low 34): Sunny and lightly breezy. Cool in the afternoon, cold in the morning with some frost possible. 

Saturday (High 65, Low 35): Mostly sunny and cool. Cold in the morning with some frost possible. 

Sunday (High 73, Low 40): Mostly sunny and warmer during the day. Then isolated rain is possible at night. 

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Monday (High 76, Low 54): Partly to mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Tuesday (High 71, Low 58): Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Wednesday (High 72, Low 59): Partly to mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Thursday (High 69, Low 61): Rain showers likely - thunderstorms possible. 

PRONÓSTICO:

Viernes (Máxima 62, Mínima 34): Soleado y ligeramente ventoso. Fresco por la tarde, frío por la mañana con posibilidad de algunas heladas.

Sábado (Máxima 65, Mínima 35): Mayormente soleado y fresco. Frío por la mañana con posibilidad de algunas heladas.

Domingo (Máxima 73, Mínima 40): Mayormente soleado y más cálido durante el día. Entonces es posible que llueva aisladamente por la noche.

PERSPECTIVA EXTENDIDA:

Lunes (Máxima 76, Mínima 54): Parcialmente a mayormente nublado con un 30% de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Martes (Máxima 71, Mínima 58): Mayormente nublado con un 50 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Miércoles (Máxima 72, Mínima 59): Parcialmente a mayormente nublado con un 40% de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Jueves (Máxima 69, Mínima 61): Es probable que llueva; es posible que se produzcan tormentas eléctricas.

NOTES:

We did have a couple tornadoes in North Alabama Tuesday. The longer-tracked tornadoes that produced injuries stayed well to our North and South this time. 

Last night marked the anniversary of the April 3-4, 1974 tornado outbreak. The only similar event we have good records of is the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. The Weatherbrains podcast did two shows with people who lived through the event, one with meteorologists and one with ordinary people who survived it. 

DISCUSSION:





It has been mostly sunny and breezy in the Tennessee Valley today, those winds now out of the West/Northwest. The High in Cullman looks like it was 61, or at least that's close enough in case it were to warm back up before sundown. The Low this morning was 39. Huntsville also got up to 61 this afternoon after a morning Low of 43. Nashville is at 54 as of 3 PM, the High so far today, had a morning Low of 47. The farther North you go, the more the cloud cover, and even that is sporadic. Humidity levels are low and air pressure is on the rise again. 



Tomorrow we have Northwest flow aloft, and that upper-level Low moves into New England, where they will continue to have snow. Down here, our weather will be influenced by that High down in the Gulf of Mexico. The winds should settle down a little, only lightly breezy during the day tomorrow. We'll be sunny with a High of about 61-62. The morning Low will probably average about 35 in the region, which means a lot of places will likely see frost. I'd give it another week before planting any crops that are sensitive to that. 



We'll stay mostly sunny on Saturday with a High in the mid-60's, Low in the mid-30's. Again could see frost in the morning from these temperatures. 



Another cold front will be coming in our direction on Sunday. We might see widely scattered rain by night, but the day should stay dry, just mostly sunny skies, a pretty good temperature jump as you see the winds aloft shift back to the Southwest direction. We should see a High in the lower 70's and a Low of about 40 or so. 



Sunday night into Monday, that front does move into our region. Monday is the day of the Solar Eclipse, by the way. I doubt the viewing will be good around here, even if you've got those special glasses. Monday will feature a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms. This is in the extended period, so will start giving percentages. High in mid-70's and Low in mid-50's. 



Then Tuesday has the look of one of those overcast days with periods of rain showers, maybe isolated thunderstorms in the mix across the region. High should be about 70 or so, the Low in the upper 50's. Going to cap the rain chance at 50% here though instead of thinking 60% and just saying "likely". 



Then for Wednesday, with this messy, slow-moving system with a Low down there around New Orleans, trending toward another 50% chance of rain forecast here. High should be in lower 70's, Low near 60, maybe upper 50's again. Kind of a tough call, going to look over at least one more day's guidance before reviewing it all and estimating the overall trend of this system and how to break it down day by day. 




The GFS has that Low swinging right through Alabama on Thursday. 


The ECMWF shows a slightly more Northerly track for it, but it is still a wet look for us. 

With this much uncertainty, an unsettled mess next week, going to refrain from posting a 10-Day-Outlook up top. But will glance at the model guidance out to 10 Days here, for whatever it may be worth. 

Thursday looks rainy, could see a few thunderstorms, High near 70, Low near 60. 

The way this overall picture looks, I think the best estimates are a 30% chance of rain for Monday, a 50% chance for Tuesday, a 40% chance for Wednesday, and then Thursday I'd put the probability at 70% at least, so will just say "likely" for that, even though it is the last day of the extended period. 

Now let's peek beyond that if we dare. 



Looks like clearing skies on Friday, mostly sunny, with a High still around 70 or so, Low dropping back down to lower 50's. 

Both the GFS and ECMWF show strong high pressure over the Southeast on Saturday the 13th. So we would have sunny conditions and expect a High roughly in the mid-70's, Low down near 50 or maybe even dipping into upper 40's because of the drier air, great radiational cooling if this model guidance turns out to be reliable. 

And then on Sunday April 14, that High should be shifting off into the Atlantic. We should stay mostly sunny, High in the upper 70's, Low rebounding well into the 50's with that strong return of Southwest wind flow from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Please remember that forecasts beyond seven days can be notoriously unreliable, even in boring seasons like summer. (Last summer wasn't. But most years, it gets boring.) In the most active month of the Spring season, it is just about worthless. Which is why I'm not putting it up top as part of the official forecast, with the disclaimer that it is "reading tea leaves". Not this time. 

If you care enough to read this discussion, you're smart enough to know it is fine to look at general trends out to mid-month like this, but you can't take a specific forecast to the bank, not even close. 




As far as severe weather chances, there is a Marginal 5% Risk for the Plains on Sunday. 

And then there is a Basic 15% Risk for the Ark-LA-Tex region on Monday and Tuesday. 

Beyond that, the Storm Prediction Center has not outlooked any severe weather risk areas for the following days. And while we have to watch any system this time of the year (peak month for severe weather around here), nothing about this setup makes it look likely to me that we will be dealing with any stronger thunderstorms. A lot of it may just be rain without a lot of thunder. It wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on it, considering the time of year, in case anything were to change in this messy/unsettled pattern next week. Check on the weather every day or two. But nothing leads me to believe we'll have those kinds of problems. We got off really easy with this last severe weather setup, and Bobby Boyd (former Meteorologist in Charge of NWS Nashville, now retired but a frequent weather tweeter) was the only one who gave reasons that really sounded satisfactory to me. He compared the special balloon launch on April 2nd of this year to the one he launched on April 3, 1974 (which did turn out to be a tornado outbreak - about as bad as it ever gets) and what parameters were different. It gets into a lot of details that are too technical for me to rattle off, off the top of my head here. Follow him on social media, especially Twitter/X, if it interests you. Or take the next Weather101 class on upper-air soundings, scheduled for April 16. If they don't mention it on their own, you can ask about it. Usually the meteorologists who do these classes are very friendly about taking questions and answering them thoroughly. 


We may see a good bit of rain this next week. Average totals could get up to two inches or even three inches, the higher totals expected across Northwest Alabama, closer to the surface Low. 

Since the weather looks calm at the moment, I'm taking at least a few days off this blog, maybe more like a week or so. Other things require my attention that are a lot more important. Everybody enjoy the calmer weather, if you are so inclined, or just be grouchy like my dear cat Salem, who always finds a reason to bite me at some point during the span of a day. Usually it is playful. If you do actually bite someone because you insist on being grouchy in more pleasant weather, well . . . I disclaim any responsibility for how you use your canine teeth or incisors. And I hope you at least have a good reason. 

There was one story that did crack me up lately. It was not so amusing how the guy behaved once they got him into custody, but the reason the man was arrested made me laugh out loud, even though the story popped up along with all the severe weather info on Tuesday this week. This guy in or near Nashville just started shooting a gun randomly in town, like in the street. And when the cops finally got him to admit it, and asked him why, he said that he'd just gotten divorced, and was so happy that he had to fire off a few shots to celebrate his freedom. The police officers did not share his celebratory attitude, and they took him on in. But that has such a Tennessee flavor to it. Some country singer should write a song about that. It would be a little more cerebral and interesting than most modern country music. Johnny Cash might switch to a punk rock label and fire a gun in celebration of his freedom from ultra-commercialism, if somebody like him was alive to hear what's on the radio now. I think he was already getting tired of it. He covered Nine Inch Nails and Simon and Garfunkel on his last album, among others I can't remember. Oh yeah, he covered a Sting song too. And I thought they were all great. Meanwhile, if someone like Blake Shelton were to cover "Folsom Prison Blues", I would turn it off within the first ten seconds. I'd honestly rather hear the damned Sponge-Bob Squarepants theme songs than that. Or maybe even that horrendous Barney the purple dinosaur that one of my brothers used to watch. When some girls in my extended family saw him on YouTube, they were appalled that anything like that was ever on television and that any kids watched it. He said something about the kids coming up to play with him in the treehouse, and one of my cousins said, "I think I would push him OUT of the treehouse!" And she's actually a sweetheart, like she wants to be a vegetarian, one time we had to stop her from trying to save a chipmunk that was being killed by a dog. But she found that giggly dinosaur to be beneath contempt. 

And that's how I feel about bro country trying to cover the classics. Those guys are not worthy. Not that I've ever been opinionated, about music or anything else . . . 

These things are more fun to gripe about than the serious issues in the world that nobody has any clear solutions to at the moment, no matter how loudly they pretend to. Tacking those is above my pay-grade here. I have mused on them a little on a website that actually paid something. But it requires a lot of thought and time. When just talking about the weather, I like to clown around about things that people can laugh about, and are free to disagree with me, without their blood pressure spiking at least twenty points. I guess somebody might be offended by my laughing at that divorced guy's method of celebration, but hey . . . check out some other sites, I guarantee you, you'll find a lot more to be pissed off about on the internet. Scroll Facebook or Twitter for five minutes, and you'll forget all about this blog post. 

Come to think of it, there are even people who love to focus on the worst case scenarios of what the weather could do, and some of them speculate beyond even 10 days. So you can probably find someone expecting a catastrophic tornado outbreak before we get to the end of May. And I've already heard about some people predicting the end of the world on the day of the solar eclipse. (That's only four days away, folks. Say yer prayers.) You'd think these people never had to read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain when they were in school. (Now that I think of it, that's one I read on my own, out of curiosity. Ditto with the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn stories. The original books without all the abridging and pictures were great, hilarious, even with the old-fashioned writing style.) And I have to give kudos to Rick and Bubba for debunking such absolute foolishness on their show lately. I get a wide range of YouTube suggestions thrown at me, and that was one of the better ones. Even if my personal preference is for a cranky old writer like Twain mercilessly making fun of people being superstitious about an eclipse. These guys are appealing to the modern hipster religious crowd. More power to 'em. They're still pretty funny, even if they are far too kind to the people spreading this tripe. 

Ah well . . . see you in the funny papers. If any of you read this and go shooting a gun to celebrate your divorce, or go biting someone . . . the Salem cat will send reptilian humanoids to stare at you disapprovingly for your literal interpretation of the obviously facetious. Don't worry, they only give the anal probe to South Park characters. Because Salem is a fair man. And is not into torturing people (well except his owner to an extent). But if these reptilians can glare even half as fiercely as my buddy can, trust me, you do not want to be on the receiving end. 

So I suggest you only bite into food, keep any use of firearms responsible, and enjoy the better weather, even if the rain next week could be sort of a drag. Even if you wish the aliens would abduct me so you never have to read another mess like this.

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