Saturday, June 30, 2007

Severe Thunderstorm Watch



The SPC has issued watch 465 for North Alabama until 7 p.m.

Here is the text of the mesoscale discussion from the SPC that preceded the watch.

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1328
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1147 AM CDT SAT JUN 30 2007

AREAS AFFECTED...NORTHERN MS...CENTRAL AL...SOUTHWEST GA

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 301647Z - 301815Z

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY SOON ALONG
A BROAD AXIS FROM NORTHERN MS INTO SOUTHWEST GA. A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM WATCH MAY BE ISSUED FOR THIS REGION.

VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS SCATTERED CU/TCU BEGINNING
TO DEVELOP IN A ZONE FROM NORTHERN MS...ACROSS AL...INTO
SOUTHWEST AL. FULL MORNING SUNSHINE HAS ALLOWED TEMPERATURES
IN THIS REGION TO RISE INTO THE 90S. DEWPOINTS IN THE LOWER
70S AND CONTINUED DIURNAL HEATING WILL YIELD MLCAPE VALUES
OVER 1500 J/KG AND STEEP LOW LEVEL LAPSE RATES. WATER VAPOR
IMAGERY SHOWS WEAK RESIDUAL FEATURES FROM YESTERDAYS
CONVECTION...BUT OVERALL LARGE SCALE FORCING IS NEGLIGIBLE.
VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES ARE ALSO QUITE WEAK. HOWEVER...PW
VALUES OF NEARLY 2 INCHES ON 12Z JAN/BHM SOUNDINGS AND
DEGREE OF INSTABILITY INDICATE A RISK OF SLOW MOVING INTENSE
THUNDERSTORMS WITH LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS AND HEAVY RAINFALL.

..HART.. 06/30/2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Is there a consensus on the global warming issue?

Local scientist calls global warming theory hooey

Dr. Reid Bryson, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor illustrates the fact that there is no consensus in the scientific community about global warming. As a matter of fact, I have noticed a growing trend of meteorologists showing courage to stand up and say that they are not convinced climate change is induced by human activity. James Spann of ABC 33/40 in Birmingham was one of the first to make a public stance on this issue.

Here is an excerpt:

Dr. Byson said, "However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to
mankind and carbon dioxide. We've been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300
years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It's been
warming up for a long time."

Just because almost all of the scientific
community believes in man-made global warming proves absolutely nothing, Bryson
said. "Consensus doesn't prove anything, in science or anywhere else, except in
democracy, maybe."

Bryson, 87, was the founding chairman of the
department of meteorology at UW-Madison and of the Institute for Environmental
Studies, now known as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He
retired in 1985, but has gone into the office almost every day since. He does it
without pay.

"I have now worked for zero dollars since I retired, long
enough that I have paid back the people of Wisconsin every cent they paid me to
give me a wonderful, wonderful career. So we are even now. And I feel good about
that," said Bryson.

So, if global warming isn't such a burning issue,
why are thousands of scientists so concerned about it?

"Why are so many
thousands not concerned about it?" Bryson shot back.

"There is a lot of
money to be made in this," he added. "If you want to be an eminent scientist you
have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can't get grants
unless you say, 'Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'"

Speaking
out against global warming is like being a heretic, Bryson noted.
And it's
not something that he does regularly.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

More storms today...

I first saw some towers developing in southern Morgan County.





Hanceville - Cullman Co, AL emergency mngr reported thunderstorm
wind damage
at 03:20 PM CDT -- storm damage at dairy queen.

1 NW Hanceville - Cullman Co, AL emergency mngr reported
thunderstorm wind damage
at 03:20 PM CDT -- damage to a barn
and chicken house. Trees down along CR 617...CR 599 and Hopewell
Dr.



3 Se Joppa - Cullman Co, AL - Emergency mngr reports tstorm wind
damage at 04:20 PM CDT -- damage along CR 1763...2 miles east of
Hwy 231 in Thrasher Crossroads. Damage includes structural damage
to two homes...with the tin roof blown off one...and power poles snapped.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
327 PM CDT THU JUN 28 2007

ALZ016-282100-
CULLMAN-
327 PM CDT THU JUN 28 2007

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ALERT FOR CULLMAN COUNTY UNTIL 400
PM CDT...

AT 325 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR
WAS TRACKING A STRONG THUNDERSTORM NEAR HANCEVILLE...OR
8 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CULLMAN. THIS STORM WAS NEARLY
STATIONARY.

ONE HALF INCH DIAMETER HAIL...WIND GUSTS TO 50 MPH...FREQUENT
CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING...AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS ARE EXPECTED
WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH INCLUDE... HANCEVILLE.
GOOD HOPE.

SEEK SHELTER AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM
HAS PASSED.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...COMMERCIAL RADIO...OR
YOUR LOCAL
TELEVISION STATIONS FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS CONCERNING THIS WEATHER SITUATION.

Huntsville - Madison Co, AL emergency mngr reports tsorm wind
damage at 04:20 PM CDT -- tree limb down on Governors Dr/Hwy
431 west of California St.



Eva, Morgan County, AL - Broadcast media reported nickel sized hail
(.88") at 04:27 PM CDT


BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
429 PM CDT THU JUN 28 2007

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN MORGAN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL ALABAMA...

* UNTIL 500 PM CDT

* AT 425 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR
INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING NICKEL
SIZE HAIL...AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR EVA...OR ABOUT 11 MILES SOUTHEAST
OF HARTSELLE...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 5 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
COLE SPRINGS...
EVA...
FLORETTE...

THIS STORM HAS PRODUCED NICKEL SIZED HAIL IN EVA. SEEK SHELTER
NOW INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS!

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
502 PM CDT THU JUN 28 2007

ALZ007-016-282230-
CULLMAN-MORGAN-
502 PM CDT THU JUN 28 2007

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ALERT FOR CULLMAN AND MORGAN COUNTIES
UNTIL 530 PM CDT...

AT 459 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR WAS
TRACKING STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 6
MILES EAST OF PRICEVILLE TO 6 MILES NORTH OF CULLMAN...MOVING
EAST AT 5 MPH.

ONE HALF INCH DIAMETER HAIL...WINDS UP TO 50 MPH...FREQUENT
CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING...AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS ARE EXPECTED
WITH THESE STORMS.

* LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH INCLUDE...
SOMERVILLE...
EVA...
FLORETTE...
AND RURAL PORTIONS OF NORTHERN CULLMAN AND CENTRAL MORGAN
COUNTIES.

SEEK SHELTER AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM HAS
PASSED.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...COMMERCIAL RADIO...OR YOUR
LOCAL TELEVISION STATIONS FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS CONCERNING THIS WEATHER SITUATION.


Damage Reports by J.B. Elliott

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Strong storms tonight



Thunderboomers still at work...J.B. Elliott

From Cullman County... (lightning pics)...James Spann

But no rain here at the house...






SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
552 PM CDT WED JUN 27 2007

ALZ016-272330-
CULLMAN-
552 PM CDT WED JUN 27 2007

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ALERT FOR CULLMAN COUNTY EXTENDED
UNTIL 630 PM CDT...

AT 552 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR WAS
TRACKING A STRONG THUNDERSTORM NEAR CRANE HILL...OR 12 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF CULLMAN...MOVING NORTH AT 15 MPH. ANOTHER
INTENSIFYING THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED BETWEEN WEST POINT
AND BATTLEGROUND IN NORTHWEST CULLMAN COUNTY.

WINDS UP TO 50 MPH AND FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING
ARE EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS.

* LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH INCLUDE...
CRANE HILL.
LOGAN.
BALDWIN.
JONES CHAPEL.
WEST POINT.
BATTLEGROUND.

REMEMBER...IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH
TO THE STORM TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. SEEK SAFE SHELTER
IMMEDIATELY.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...COMMERCIAL RADIO...OR
YOUR LOCAL TELEVISION STATIONS FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS CONCERNING THIS WEATHER SITUATION.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How a weather geek survived the 1970's...


I was only 13. This was typical of me at the time. Can you find the meteorological error in my map?

November 20, 1988 Tuscaloosa Tornado

At 12:53 a.m. on 11/20/88 an F3 tornado touched down in the southern part of Tuscaloosa, AL, just south of I-59/20. Moving to the northeast, it was 400 yards wide and on the ground for about one-half mile. Eight people were injured but there were no fatalities. Fifteen homes were destroyed, 25 sustained light to moderate damage, and 50 were slightly damaged. Over $1.2 million in damage occurred.

This was part of a weather system that spawned 23 tornadoes throughout the South, destroying homes and ripping down trees. At least two people were killed and 11 injured in Mississippi. Torrential rain also fell across the South from Arkansas into Kentucky, washing out one small dam and sending streams over their banks.

In the colder air west of the rain, 5 inches of snow fell at Joplin, Mo., 3 to 8 inches of snow was reported in Montgomery County, Kan.

Here is an old video I took after the storm. I apologize for the poor quality.




Monday, June 25, 2007

Damage reports in North Alabama today

Here are a few damage reports from the NWS Huntsville for today.

LAUDERDLE COUNTY: Roof and siding damage to multiple homes two miles SW of Eglin at 1:29 PM.

LAUDERDLE COUNTY: Power lines down at Walnut Creek Lane two miles south of Center Star at 1:25 PM.

DEKALB COUNTY: Trees and power lines were blown down by thunderstorm wind gusts in Sylvania at 7:15 PM.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A second storm...


After the initial storm we had another, weaker storm bring a little more rain to the area!

Finally, a storm today!






A very strong thunderstorm rolled across Heritage Park in Cullman during my baseball team's party. We had lots of cloud to ground lightning, torrential downpours, and high winds. I saw large limbs blown down around the area on my way home. It was like God turned on the AC as it got real cool during the storm, under the pavilion. But as soon as the storm left and the wind changed directions, it almost instantaneously got hot, sunny, and muggy again. Then another weaker storm rolled through the area around 5:00. Thank God for the rain!

 TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION TABLE FOR THE TN VALLEY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
714 PM CDT SUN JUN 24 2007

: HIGH AND LOW SINCE MIDNIGHT LST. PRECIP LAST 24 HOURS.
:
.B HUN 0624 C DH18/TAIRZS/TAIRZI/PP
:
: STATION ID HI LO PCPN
:
:ALBERTVILLE AIRPORT :8A0 96 / 68 / 0.14
:BANKHEAD NATL FOREST :BHFA1 91 / 67 / 0.12
:CROSSVILLE REF STN :SMCA1 91 / 64 / 0.02
:DECATUR AIRPORT :DCU 96 / 68 / T
:DE SOTO STATE PARK :LRWA1 97 / 59 / 0.00
:FORT PAYNE AIRPORT :4A9 94 / 63 / 0.03
:HUNTSVILLE AIRPORT :HSV 98 / 70 / T
:HUNTSVILLE - UAH :UAHA1 97 / 73 / 0.00
:MERIDIANVILLE AIRPORT :MDQ 96 / 68 / 0.00
:MUSCLE SHOALS AIRPORT :MSL 94 / 68 / 0.00
:VINEMONT-CULLMAN ARPT :3A1 96 / 66 / 0.65

Hot, dry days of summer continue


My son David took this picture in our yard yesterday. We really need rain as the extreme drought conditions persist. High temperatures will back off slightly today and much of this week as moisture levels increase due to a more southerly flow. I expect highs mostly in the low to mid 90's across Alabama today. With higher humidities it might actually feel less comfortable than yesterday when many locations reached the upper 90's. Pinson, near Birmingham, reached 100 degrees yesterday. The good news is that increasing dewpoints will bring chances of isolated afternoon thundershowers back into the picture.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A hot day...

From the NWS Birmingham:

:STATION ID HI LO PCPN
:ANNISTON :ANB 99 / 61 / 0.00
:AUBURN :AUO 97 / 70 / 0.00
:BIRMINGHAM INTL :BHM 97 / 71 / 0.00
:BROOKLEY FIELD :BFM 93 / 72 / 0.00
:CALERA :EET 98 / 65 / 0.00
:DECATUR :DCU 95 / 66 / 0.00
:DOTHAN :DHN 95 / 69 / 0.00
:EVERGREEN :GZH 94 / 67 / 0.00
:HUNTSVILLE :HSV 96 / 68 / 0.00
:MOBILE :MOB 92 / 68 / 0.00
:MONTGOMERY :MGM 97 / 68 / 0.00
:MUSCLE SHOALS :MSL 96 / 68 / 0.00
:TROY :TOI 96 / 64 / 0.00
:TUSCALOOSA :TCL 98 / 65 / 0.00
:PINSON :PSNA1 100 / 62 / 0.00

Here at my house the high was 96. The low this morning was 66.

Morgan County Tornado

Tuesday's storm in Trinity in Morgan County has been ruled a tornado by the NWS Huntsville. Here's an article in the Decatur Daily.

It's warming up...

Humidity is on the rise in North Alabama and the 50's apear to be a thing of the past. Thursday morning I woke up to 58 degrees. Friday it was 59. This morning's low was 66. I expect today will be hot, around the mid to upper 90's in parts of North and Central Alabama. There is practically no chance of rain today. Next week we may have some scattered showers but the drought remains.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Greensburg, KS Tornado


Paper about the 5/4/07 Greensburg, KS EF5 tornado written by Daniel McCarthy of the SPC and Larry Ruthi and Jeff Hutton of NWS Dodge City, KS.

Thank you...

Thanks to my friend Sharp for the banner you see at the top of my page. He made this for my previous web site about seven years ago. I started a weather web site in March 1998.

Also thank you for reading my blog. One of the best parts of doing this is knowing that there are people out there who read. I have gotten to know some of you and I appreciate your viewing my page and especially your comments!

God bless,

Mike

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Over 3000 fires...


According to the Alabama Forestry Commission there have been 3000 wildfires in Alabama since the beginning of the year.
Here is an exerpt from an article in the Cullman Times:
Despite statewide news reports that as many as a third of this year’s estimated 3,000 wildfires in Alabama were the result of arson, local officials say they have no ongoing arson investigations.In a story reported by The Associated Press Monday, a spokesperson for the Alabama Forestry Commission said about 1,300 wildfires occurring in the state since Jan. 1 were set intentionally by arsonists....According the National Weather Service in Huntsville, as of Monday, Cullman County was about 18 inches below normal for rainfall this year, making the first half of 2007 the driest in more than a century and classifying much of North Alabama in “exceptional drought,” this highest classification.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Strong Storm

Here is a post about a recent storm I encountered in Morgan and Madison counties in North Alabama.

The Decatur Daily had this article on the storm:

Trinity residents said Tuesday they thought they saw a tornado during the middle of a drought. As the storm passed through the community at about 11 a.m., it wasn't raining in Decatur.

Patrick Gatlin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville, said that according to Doppler radar, the storm did not appear to be strong enough to produce any damage as it moved into the Trinity area.

Rain we asked for and rain we got...


Graphic by the NWS Birmingham

It was NOT a drought buster (as predicted), but it was a welcome sight in Alabama. Some people around Smith Lake west of Cullman still didn't get any rain!

J.B. Elliott posted a complete list of rainfall totals (and I mean complete) for North and Central Alabama. Unfortunately only one quarter inch fell in my area. :(

The drought continues...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thinking cool thoughts

My sister took these photos for me from her window in Chicago on 3/3/07.





Bring it on!


SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
1110 AM CDT TUE JUN 19 2007
ALZ005-007-191630-
LIMESTONE-MORGAN-
1110 AM CDT TUE JUN 19 2007

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ALERT FOR LIMESTONE AND MORGAN COUNTIES UNTIL
1130 AM CDT...

AT 1106 AM CDT...SATELLITE IMAGERY AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED SHOWERS WERE RAPIDLY DEVELOPING NEAR
DECATUR...MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH. ANOTHER HEAVY SHOWER WAS LOCATED
ABOUT 3 MILES WEST OF HARTSELLE...MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.
WIND GUSTS OF UP TO 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH THIS ACTIVITY.
* LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH INCLUDE...

DECATUR.
TANNER.
PRICEVILLE.
BELLE MINA.
SOMERVILLE.
FRENCH MILL.
THE GUSTY WINDS WILL BE CAPABLE OF KNOCKING DOWN SMALL TREES AND
TREE LIMBS. SEEK SAFE SHELTER UNTIL THESE SHOWERS HAVE PASSED.
STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...COMMERCIAL RADIO...OR YOUR LOCAL
TELEVISION STATIONS FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS
CONCERNING THIS WEATHER SITUATION.
$$
RSB

A new site

Check out this cool new station at Alabaster (south of Birmingham) from fellow ABC 33/40 Weather Watcher and Skywarn team member Stephanie Honeycutt. I will add this site to my "links".

It's raining!


Yesterday one of my friends at work who raises cattle said that everyone is selling right now and the price is plummeting. Apparently everyone is selling due to the high cost of feed and hay. My friend was only able to harvest 9 and one half rolls of hay on 13 acres where he usually harvests 40 at this time of the year. A couple of ladies were staring out the window this morning watching the rain begin. You would have thought that it was snowing outside! I cannot remember when everyone was talking about and praying for rain to this extent. One of the ladies said that her neighbor has a sign in her yard that says, “Pray for rain!”.

It looks like those prayers are being answered affirmatively today! Again, this will not be a drought-buster but rain has begun to fall and I sure get the idea that most of us will get around one half an inch today. Some areas may receive up to an inch. I should mention that the QPF map is painting a maximum of 1.4” in North Central Alabama.
As of 10 a.m., Decatur has received .09". Here are some more totals from J.B. Elliott. So far West Alabama is hogging the precip!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fizzling out...


My friends Rick and Dew have terms for this...the curse of Rick and the Dewvoid. Storms seem to fizzle out when they realize they are about to meet up with any member of the Southern Weather Brigade. I held up my end of the bargain tonight.

I'm sticking to my forecast for rain tomorrow. You know; that wet stuff that sometimes falls from the sky.

Damaging storm headed this way

Bill Murray of Alabamawx.com is reporting damage in NW Alabama and NE MS from a severe thunderstorm. Lots of trees down, lightning-sparked fires, and power out in many areas, especially in Franklin and Marion counties on the MS border.

Rain is on it's way!!!




I sure hope it holds together by the time it gets to the I-65 corridor tonight!

Drought update


From The Alabama State Climatologist

The Lawn-and-Garden Moisture Index
The lawn-and-garden moisture index measures the capacity of current soil moisture to sustain healthy lawns and gardens. The index is computed in two stages.

Drought Info from NWS Birmingham
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has expanded the area considered under exceptional drought to include all areas from Interstate 20 northward. A few of the larger cities within this classification include: Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Gadsden, Jasper, and Livingston. Areas between Interstate 20 and US Highway 80 remain under extreme drought...with areas south of Highway 80 under severe drought.

Is there rain in our future?

Yes and no. Yes there is a pretty good chance of rain tomorrow (Tuesday), but no, it will not be enough to put a dent in our drought conditions. Then we will return to hot and dry conditions for the rest of the week.

Drought status: North Alabama and parts of Southern Middle Tennessee continue in exceptional drought conditions. This is the worst category (D4) of drought conditions according to the US Drought Monitor. According to the NWS Huntsville, as of June 13, Huntsville has received only 10.91" of rain thus far in 2007, which is 17.91" below normal. So far in May and the first half of June, Huntsville has received only 1.17" of rain. This will be the driest May and June on record if we do not receive at least .83" by the end of this month.

Forecast: Tonight a short wave will approach Alabama with an associated front. This feature, combined with increasing low level moisture will give Alabama a very good chance for rain on Tuesday. Average rainfall amounts will be on the order of one-half of an inch. Some areas may receive more. While this will be a welcome sight to Alabamians, it will not be enough to make much difference in our drought. Conditions will become dry and hot again Wednesday through the end of the week.

Here comes the heat! Yesterday's highs included 98 at Muscle Shoals and 97 in Huntsville. According to the NWS Huntsville these were the warmest temperatures recorded so early in the year since 1985. With the dry regime we are under, I am expecting hotter than normal temperatures over the next month. I would not be surprised at all if we are consistently in the mid to upper 90's. 100 degree temperatures are not out of the question this summer.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Measles


The radar has measles today. That means a few fortunate folks will get some much needed rain. Dewpoints have increased to the mid to upper 60's across the area. The shortwave moving through the Ohio Valley is helping trigger these storms. Other than lightning, these storms will not be particularly dangerous.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Storms beginning to pop


WAFF 48 Doppler RADAR 3:23 p.m.

Storms are beginning to fire across North and Central Alabama. J.B. Elliott of Alabamawx.com stated that he has received a note from the SPC that North Alabama will be included in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch at 4:00 p.m.

A chance of water falling from the sky?

What a novel idea! We are nearly 18" below normal rainfall so far this year, so any chance of relief is met with high hopes. Recent days have been very dry with unusually cool mornings and hot days. Lows have been between 60 and 62 (at my place) and the afternoons highs have been between 90 and 96.



Dewpoints have increased a bit today and the latest visible satellite (above) shows an upper level low pressure area moving across northeast Alabama.



At 12:48 p.m. the Hytop NEXRAD image is showing areas of convection forming in a broken line extending from Chattanooga northward. Another area of convection is occurring in near the GA, TN, and NC borders.

As daytime heating increases and interacts with this upper level low, I expect showers and thunderstorms to develop over the eastern half of Alabama. I am not expecting this to be a major drought-buster, but it may provide some relief to a few Alabamians.




The SPC has placed much of Alabama (except for the extreme northwest part of the state) under a slight risk for severe storms. In my humble opinion, the threat appears marginal. I believe the greatest threat may be large hail and gusty winds. Always remember that lightning is an underrated killer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Drought Update




New info just in from the NWS Huntsville...

HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
315 PM CDT WED JUN 13 2007...
HISTORIC DROUGHT PERSISTS......
RAINFALL DOES LITTLE TO HELP WORST-IN-THE-NATION DROUGHT STATUS...

ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...MOST OF NORTHERN ALABAMA IS NOW IN THE EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CATEGORY...OR D4. THIS IS THE WORST OF THE FIVE-LEVEL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM USED BY THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...AND INDICATIVE OF AT LEAST A ONCE-IN-FIFTY YEAR DROUGHT. CITIES IN THE EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT AREA INCLUDE HUNTSVILLE...MOULTON...CULLMAN...GUNTERSVILLE...FORT PAYNE...DECATUR...AND SCOTTSBORO.

RAINFALL AND RAINFALL DEFICITS:
HUNTSVILLE...THROUGH JUNE 11TH:

SINCE JUNE 1 ... 0.39 INCH ... DEFICIT 1.22 INCH
SINCE MAY 1 ... 1.17 INCH ... DEFICIT 5.68 INCHES
SINCE MARCH 1 ... 5.57 INCHES ... DEFICIT 12.50 INCHES
YEAR-TO-DATE ... 10.91 INCHES ... DEFICIT 17.63 INCHES
SINCE JAN 2006... 53.50 INCHES ... DEFICIT 32.55 INCHES
SINCE JAN 2005... 93.65 INCHES ... DEFICIT 49.91 INCHES

Is this the worst drought ever?

The answer is "yes" for North Alabama.

As of June 3 the Huntsville NWS office had recorded only 10.52" of rain which is 16.4" below normal. This is the lowest rainfall amount for the first five months of any year since records have been kept in Huntsville. The second closest year was 1914 when 12.84" fell the first five months of that year.

Combined with the late season freeze, crops across North and Central Alabama are in peril. Normally health yards are drying up, shrivelling, and dying.

The last few evenings extreme East and Southeast Alabama saw a little relief.

Lord, please send rain!

All's quiet in the tropics, for now

NOAA is predicting 13 to 17 named storms this hurricane season, which officially began June 1. The season got off to an unusually quick start with two named storms already. Barry provided some much needed relief to drought and fire stricken South Georgia and North Florida. Seven to ten hurricanes are predicted with three to five of those being major hurricanes.

Nothing is happening of significance now in the tropics. However the water temperature at the Dauphin Island, Alabama Sea Lab Buoy is now a very warm 84! The State of Alabama has a new web site for hurricane tracking which provides numerous helpful links.

We will definitely be keeping a close eye on the tropics over the next several months!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Storms chasing people



One week ago the boys and I ran into a strong to severe storm just east of Lake Charles, LA on our way to Galveston TX. Friend and fellow blogger Rick captured this radar image. The video shows what it looked like on the ground.








Saturday, June 02, 2007

Can you say thunder?



I'd almost understand if you live around here and forgot! We actually heard some while we were cleaning and packing a few minutes ago. I gave the boys a 15 minute root beer break. I decided I'd slip in a blog entry. It's actually sprinkling outside with high humidity and 77 degrees. Our high was 88.0. This morning a few folks around here had 1/2" of rain while others had very little.

Friday, June 01, 2007

More thoughts on chasing...

I have a dear friend from middle and high school whose life (and especially his wife's life) was forever changed as a result of an F4 tornado in Huntsville, Alabama on 11/15/1989. I think that my close friendship with them and my knowledge of what has happened in their lives then and since then will forever temper my "excitement" about severe weather.

His blogs are at:
http://packthesuitcase.blogspot.com/
http://sharpreviews.blogspot.com/
http://carryabigstick.blogspot.com/

Send him a comment sometime!

Wishing for the dark side?
This is a post by my friend Rick in which he refers to one of my earlier posts. Thanks, Rick!

Fire, smoke, and drought continue in Bama

Land Trust Blames Campfires for blazes Huntsville Times
No camping, fires allowed on group's property
The Land Trust of Huntsville and North Alabama is cracking down on illegal campfires after three recent forest fires in south Huntsville. Andy Prewett, the group's land manager, spent Wednesday inspecting damage from a May 20 fire in the Land Trust's Green Mountain preserve. It charred about half an acre near Montcrest Road before being doused by Huntsville and Green Mountain firefighters, he said.

Haze expected to return
Cullman Times
Widespread haze from wildfires in southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida is expected to return to Cullman County again today, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Huntsville.

Up in smoke in Alabama Decatur Daily

Alabama is so dry that a spark from a flat tire can close part of an interstate highway.

Drought continues, relief not likely
Scottsboro Daily Sentinel
Jackson County’s weather, like most of the southeastern United States, is like being stuck in a rut. It’s hot, dry. And there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. The first mention of rain in the forecast is Saturday when a 20 percent chance of scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms enters the picture. That chance increases to 30 percent on Sunday before dropping back to 20 percent Monday.

Forecast shows little relief for state Montgomery Advertiser
The weather in central Alabama just seems to get more arid by the day.
Drought conditions statewide are the worst in half a century. May is shaping up to be the driest on record, and there doesn't seem to be any relief in sight.

Skimpy harvest Decatur Daily
The drought is delaying growth of mostly beans and potato crops of farmers who do not irrigate and who sell their produce at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmer's Market.