Friday, April 19, 2024

Turning Cooler, Rain Clearing Out By Monday

Saturday (High 67, Low 56): Mostly cloudy and cool. Widely scattered showers are possible. 

Sunday (High 58, Low 47): Overcast and cold. Numerous showers are possible.

Monday (High 68, Low 40): Mostly sunny. Staying cool.

Tuesday (High 73, Low 39): Sunny. 

Wednesday (High 75, Low 48): Mostly sunny. 

Thursday (High 78, Low 51): Mostly sunny.

Friday (High 80, Low 54): Partly cloudy. 

Well I wasn't going to make another weather post tonight, but then I found that the Tennessee Valley managed to hit the isolated severe thunderstorm jackpot again today. 

This storm did down some trees and powerlines in Haleyville, and one tree fell on a home. I did not see any reports of injuries.

And a lot of us didn't even see much rain today, just a lot of clouds off and on. 

Even at this late hour, about 8:30 PM CDT, the rain is isolated, from about Birmingham up through Georgia and the Carolinas. 

That cold front is slowly making its way through the region now, going to bring us some much cooler air tomorrow and Sunday especially. Then our temperatures will moderate next week. 

And this looks like a pretty good forecast for late April around here, much calmer and more comfortable weather than we'd typically have this time of the year. Of course our luck could still run out in May. Our severe weather season isn't technically over until we get to June, but most years, if we're going to have anything really organized, it happens in about the first week or two of May. After that, the severe weather tends to shift more out into the Plains. 

I'm glad this year gave more credence to that old thing teachers used to write on the blackboards, "April showers bring May flowers."

Let's look at a few of today's stats from around the region before delving into the forecast. 

It was a mostly overcast day in Cullman with some morning rain and thunder. The High was 79, and the Low was 64. In Jasper, it was also overcast, a few periods of rain throughout the day, also a little thunder, High of 79, Low of 61. Haleyville mostly had an overcast day, and that storm that produced the wind damage rolled through between 6-7 AM. So far I have not seen any evidence of a warning being issued for it. And you know, that's another thing that can still happen, unfortunately, a storm can become severe and slip through the cracks, even in the era of dual-pol radar. The science is getting better, but there is a lot of work to be done over the years and decades. The local offices definitely study whenever they miss something or when a false alarm happens. And the Birmingham office (which serves Winston County) is unusually conscientious in trying to learn from mistakes. Nobody got hurt, and that's the bottom line for me. Haleyville saw a High of 72 and Low of 64 today. They are at 65 tonight and winds already shifted back around to the North at 5 miles per hour behind the cold front. 

And I had included several other observations around the region, all the way up to Nashville. But the computer froze up without saving the draft. So I guess we only get three this time. 

Tomorrow is going to be cooler, the High only making it up to about 66 or 67, the Low tonight about 55 or 56. We'll see mostly overcast conditions, with showers a little more widely scattered than today, about a 30% chance of any one spot getting wet. Then Sunday we'll see a High in the upper 50's, Low in the mid-to-upper-40's, again overcast skies, rain chance more like 50%, so showers will be more numerous around the region. 

And then once the front passes, high pressure moves in from the West. Monday should be mostly sunny with a High in the upper 60's and Low near 40. Really low humidity levels Monday night into Tuesday, and the Low will be near 40 again with great radiational cooling, could dip into 30's or might get slightly above 40, but that's in the ballpark anyway; then during the day Tuesday, plenty of sunshine, High getting up into the lower 70's again. 

We'll see a few clouds come back on Wednesday, but the global models now keep us rain-free, more sun than clouds overall. High should be in the lower 70's again, Low rebounding to near 50. Basically the same forecast for Thursday, except the High may be more toward the mid-70's. And then Friday is in question, the GFS bringing some rain chances back, the ECMWF keeping us dry. The European has performed better with this pattern so far, with the American model coming around to agreeing with it as the days get closer. Earlier the GFS wanted us wet for Wed/Thu. So for the time being, going to keep rain out of the extended forecast and predict a High in the upper 70's, a Low in the lower-to-mid-50's. 

The global model guidance beyond seven days doesn't really offer any clues, to my eye, of how the pattern will change next. It's just a big mess. Not worth trying to make a forecast out of. 

Unless you work in television, where they think 10-Day-Outlooks are good for ratings or something. Then I guess I'd ham it up, if I was in that position. Fortunately for all of us, I'm not. 

And our rainfall totals are going to stay light in this pattern, less than a quarter-inch on average, and really, for far Northern Alabama into Tennessee, amounts lower than a tenth of an inch will be more common. 

For the forecast above, I trended warmer in the extended than in the discussion here. Sometimes when the model guidance isn't all that great and consistent from one day to the next, in the end I just go with my gut feeling for the approximate temperatures rebounding. 

The National Weather Service in Huntsville has posted some weather highlights from last year

The National Weather Service in Nashville is still doing Weather101 classes, free and enjoyable. 

And the Weatherbrains podcast interviewed Heather Tesch this past Monday, a retired meteorologist who now interviews people about their near-death-experiences. It was interesting, but I think Neil Jacobs was the guy I could relate to the most on that show, in just not knowing how to frame such experiences. Some of them make pretty good sense, some make a lot of sense, but then some sound about as reliable as the "insights" a hippie has to offer after tripping on some psychedelic street drugs. It might take such a person hours to figure out they need to put on their socks or shoes, and when they figure it out, they act like it's the unified field theory. Nah, I'm not cynical . . . not a bit . . . 

But seriously, there was one NDE on that channel that I felt as disgusted with as if I was listening to somebody totally plastered trying to enlighten me as to the meaning of life. 

There are many reasons I never got into broadcast weather . . . if only I had been a better bullshitter. 

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