So it's a cold November night as I write this around 10-10:30 p.m. We're around 35 in Cullman, and most places hovering around the 40-degree mark across North Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee.
We made it up to 56 degrees today with sunny skies. Our Low this morning was 38, but since we're now down to 35 I guess that will go down as the official low, as close as it is to midnight. Maybe a degree or two cooler is possible for the 11 p.m. observation. But I guess only meteorologists nitpick about such things.
And as you can see on the national view, the active weather is nowhere in our proximity. We're under nice northwest flow, keeping us cool, and strong high pressure. They're having some snow out around the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest region.
Tomorrow the high pressure hangs on but its gradually shifting to the east. We'll warm up a little bit. Probably see a High in the upper-60's.
Just by the way, I think we'll see some patches of dense fog overnight, and while the average Low temperature for the TN Valley will probably be from about 34-38, a few places (I would include the Cullman area in this and places around bodies of water, even Smith Lake for example) may get down to freezing, and some of this fog is likely to freeze on the road just enough to cause a few slick spots. So if driving tonight or early in the morning, just take it a little slower and mainly watch for any spots on bridges. Just a minor caveat there. Also obviously these kinds of temperatures are not good for plants or even pets that are outside. In fact, if you look at the temperature graphic way up at the beginning of this discussion, you'll see counties just to our south under a Freeze Warning and then counties further down into Alabama under a Frost Advisory - they used two different shades of blue to make the distinction there.
On Saturday we see more warming as the cold front edges a little closer and our high pressure system eases slowly to the east. Should stay sunny with a High in the lower 70's and a Low in the mid-40's.
Sunday, Veteran's Day, temperatures should warm just a little more, maybe into the mid-70's during the day and for the morning Low probably upper 40's. Should start to notice some clouds moving in and probably a bit of a breeze in advance of this fairly strong cold front.
Monday looks stormy as the cold front pushes through, and we may well see some stronger thunderstorms with high wind gusts. However, since it is the month of November, you have to watch for any severe weather threat . . . so I'm just going to say that based on current model guidance, severe weather looks doubtful - just not enough instability to work with.
Tuesday, high pressure sets in quickly behind the front, and our wind flow looks more zonal from the west. We'll probably be in the mid 50's on Tuesday with mostly sunny skies.
Wednesday, looks like mostly sunny skies and probably warming up to around 60. Morning Low will probably be down into the 30's.
And Thursday, end of the forecast period, even though the center of high pressure is moving a little off to our northeast, we should stay mostly sunny and fairly cool - High probably in the lower 60's.
Although the only rain is on Monday, and it'll probably be a big line of thunderstorms, we might squeeze out about an inch of rain, maybe slightly higher in our northwest counties. And of course, if a strong storm were to cause any brief flooding in a spot, it'd be higher . . . but this stuff from HPC is just a good generalization.
If you would like to help the victims of T.C. Sandy, the Red Cross has a page dedicated to it. I'm no expert in these things, but they are the ones I would most trust with making a donation to . . . have been hearing that they are doing a lot.
So it was a day with a fair amount of sunshine, but we had some fog this morning and some clouds later today. Our High in Cullman was 58, and the Low was 32. Wow. I thought it felt colder than what I'd forecast. There were probably a few slick spots on the roads in spots this morning. Slaps self in head, try to remember to mention chances of freezing fog next time. Anyway, for the moment, we had a shortwave trough rotating through. Our temperatures are in the 50's throughout the TN Valley, and it's just going to be light rain tonight and perhaps lasting into tomorrow morning. Low tonight will probably be in the mid-40's.
The rain should be almost completely gone by midday tomorrow, and skies should start to gradually clear. We probably will see a High in the upper 50's.
On Wednesday another shortwave (which previously looked like it was going to stay up around the Great Lakes) is likely to wind through here. I'll mention only minimal chances of a few isolated light showers with this. A lot of us might only see an increase in clouds as it moves through. Sticking with a High in the upper 50's. Morning Low probably around 40.
Then by Thursday it's just the plain old northwest flow from the longwave trough, and it looks sunny and fairly cool. Probably a High around 60-63 and a Low about in the 38-40 range.
The weekend looks quite nice as well. There is only one feature I wanted to look at in the long range, just in case:
This is Monday, well after our current longwave trough has sailed out to sea, and another trough coming from way out west is nosing in here. Looks like a strong cold front here, so definite chances for thunderstorms. Although it's seven days out, I'm tempted to say "likely" thunderstorms, and since this is the month of November, we will have to monitor this system carefully for severe weather potential. Having said that, current model guidance is showing plenty of forcing and wind shear but not enough instability to support anything more than a few high wind gusts with a linear mode of convection.
Overall it looks like a great week around here; of course keeping the poor folks on the East Coast in our thoughts, because by Wednesday this shortwave we are dealing with tonight will be another nor'easter for them. You might never see another one as severe as Tropical Cyclone Sandy in your life, but still . . . the timing of it . . . talk about rotten luck . . . these people are just trying to get over something horrible, and I can't say I'd wish such a chain of events on anyone. It's likely to first affect the Carolina coast and should be just a normal nor'easter like people are used to seeing - obviously nowhere near as bad as "Sandy." If you are in touch with people up there, they may already be aware of it, but . . . I'd make sure. This sucks. At times I wonder if perhaps the most extreme of the global warming alarmists or even the Mayan calendar-makers (half-joking here) were/are on to something. Of course, I've heard from people who lived through the 1970's that the weather was whacko back then, too. Even if it is a natural cycle, it is one that I wouldn't mind seeing burn itself out fairly soon . . . so many crazy weather events . . . I'm quite young in this science, but in my limited experience it does seem like overkill.
Obviously they'll have heavy rains up there where this nor'easter hits, but around here, our northeast areas might see up to a half inch, areas like Cullman/Huntsville will probably see roughly one quarter-inch, and some of our western areas like the Shoals might just see about a tenth of an inch - just for some rough estimates from HPC here. Light rain any way you slice it.
Oh well, you might as well enjoy the nicer weather we're having though, while being concerned for those in the path of danger. See you in the funny papers . . . wishing the best for our neighbors up on the East coast.
Well, our rain from the cold front came in a little earlier than expected, late last night, and early this morning we just had a little leftover fog and clouds. Overall a beautiful, sunny day in Cullman and the rest of the Tennessee Valley. Our High was 60. Our Low so far has been 42, which is where we are now, as I write this. Areawide temperatures are starting to cool into the lower 40's already, so with clear skies we could have a pretty nippy night. Could see a little fog here and there, but it should be gone by sunrise.
So we're under a fairly strong upper-level trough keeping winds generally from the northwest behind this cold front that pushed through last night. Aside from a shortwave trough (which you can see as the rain in the Midwest right now) that will affect us mainly tomorrow night, the longwave trough and fairly cool, dry air will dominate this forecast.
Most of the day tomorrow should be dry, with a few clouds around. It'll be late evening or possibly night before we're likely to see any rain. High should be in the low-to-mid 60's. Our Low tonight/tomorrow morning will probably end up being in the upper 30's. Any fog that develops will inhibit the radiational cooling just a little bit.
Overnight is mainly when we'll have higher rain chances. This should be just a cool, light, steady rain that'll probably affect most of the Tennessee Valley. Temperature probably won't get much lower than the mid 40's due to increase in moisture.
The shortwave trough and associated showers should be clearing out of here by Tuesday afternoon, if not sooner. The High probably won't even make it up to 60.
On Wednesday I think we'll be as dry as a bone. I'm saying sunny skies with a High around 60 or perhaps a few degrees cooler, like 58 or so. Morning Low probably around 40. I think the GFS is too slow in moving this out of here in this case - the moisture.
And the rest of the week and going into the weekend looks great. Of course temperatures will rebound, but overall it looks mild in the afternoons, pretty cool in the mornings (enough to need a jacket, at least), and plenty of sunshine. I don't see any evidence of rain chances for the next seven days.
I have been monitoring with interest a storm system that may get together over the Plains/Midwest late in this forecast period (too soon to tell but currently not looking quite as potent as it did yesterday) and also kind of concerned about the nor'easter that is likely to hit the East/Northeast coast (same area affected by Hurricane Sandy [!]) on Wednesday. This will be just a regular nor'easter storm, but considering that people are still getting over "the big one," man, that's just some rotten news. If you know anybody up that way, might give them a heads up just in case, because a lot of people have power outages and so on. And judging from our historic tornado outbreak of 2011, I can say that word of mouth isn't always effective during such events . . . people are shaken up, and if you know something important . . . don't assume they know . . . spread the word. Here's wishing much quieter weather on those folks for a good while after this.
Obviously, rainfall totals with the nor'easter will be pretty heavy, although nowhere near what they were with T.C. Sandy. Around here, our thing tomorrow night/Tuesday morning will probably only squeeze out about one tenth to one quarter of an inch of rain.
So it was a sunny day here in the Tennessee Valley for the most part. Our High in Cullman was 80, and to show you how dry the air has been, our Low this morning was all the way down to 44 - five degrees less than predicted. Oh well, it's my favorite season, when things are in flux, and the process of decay is strangely beautiful . . . leaves falling from the trees and such.
And we have a line of showers moving through the region along this cold front. Temperatures behind it, especially in Tennessee, are starting to drop toward the 50's, and even in some of our cities like Huntsville and Decatur, winds have shifted to the northwest and are gusting to roughly 20-30 mph. So it may very well be that this front has come in early . . . and we might not see hardly any rain tomorrow after all. Let's take a look in detail.
The GFS model seems to support this. We might see a light shower somewhere tomorrow (more likely early in the morning) or some clouds, but certainly by afternoon things will be clearing up. The temperature is a little more of a challenge: The front will certainly cool us down, but with the sun breaking out it'll try to fight the cold air advection a little bit. We'll probably top out in the mid 60's.
Monday should be a quiet weather day for us; note the shortwave trough in the Missouri area there. That will probably bring us some additional rain, but it looks like it'll all be overnight between Monday and Tuesday. Just kind of light showers like we're having tonight probably. As for the day Monday, mostly sunny skies and a High in the lower 60's. Morning low probably close to 40-43.
The GFS and NAM models were in good agreement that during the day on Tuesday will be mostly clear too, with this shortwave trough passing overnight - just a little rain from it. It's tough to call the temperatures for Tuesday, guess you could say a High around 60, but this trough may try to cool us into the upper 50's. The Low Monday night/Tuesday morning will probably be elevated into the mid 40's due to the higher humidity as the rain comes through.
On Wednesday our northwest flow is firmly in place, and it just looks nice and sunny. Highs will probably be around 60-62 and Lows around 40.
Thursday also a very nice day. Temperatures will gradually warm up, but nighttime Lows should still be pretty chilly. I'm gonna' say a High in the mid-60's and a Low perhaps dipping into the upper 30's here. Cool, dry air.
Friday also just a very nice day. I think Highs in the upper 60's or even approaching 70 by this time, and Lows should be hanging around down in the lower 40's. This is really shaping up to be a great week, especially if you like to spend time outside.
And Saturday, the weekend . . . still mostly sunny, and Highs will probably be in the lower 70's with Lows hopping up into the mid to upper 40's - probably mid 40's - but as both the GFS and ECMWF models have suggestions of a (rather potent) storm system developing in the West/Midwest, I wonder if some of that moisture might edge out ahead of it. This does remind me that November is typically our secondary severe weather season in the Southeast region, so while you are setting your clocks back, it might also be a good idea to change the batteries in your weather radio - not a bad idea to change them in smoke detectors and such too. I normally forget these things, but I read the reminders from NWS/EMA sources and kinda' pass it on as friendly advice. Just by the way, if you don't have a weather radio, you can get these things for about $30 at most grocery stores. And that's less money than most people pay monthly for their TV or internet for something that lasts many, many years. The batteries are just in case the power goes out. I love the Midland models like I provided the link to (also the kind most grocery stores sell), because they now take regular AA batteries, fairly cheap and easier to put in than those square batteries we had in the old days . . . heh.
Oh well, enjoy the nice week . . . even the little bit of rain early in the week probably will barely be enough to notice, for a lot of people. HPC is showing just trace rainfall totals, a quarter-inch at very most for the whole period, and I agree with that.
As I was writing this, Alabama's football team pulled off an INCREDIBLE comeback to beat LSU with only about a minute to spare. I'm not a huge sports fan, but in the spirit of state pride - ROLL TIDE! :)
P.S. Also should mention that, mainly on Wednesday, it looks like there is a threat for the area affected by Tropical Cyclone Sandy in the East/Northeast U.S. to get another (much weaker, of course) nor'easter storm. This is very minor compared to Sandy, but obviously it is also very unwelcome news for folks who live there. So anybody you know up that way, just tell them to get ready for round two . . . even though Sandy was a rare, historic thing . . . this is just a regular nor'easter. Dan Satterfield, who did some great work in weather in these parts for many years but is now bestowing his gifts on the fine folks in Maryland, has posted a blog about this.
Well, it was a very nice sunny day here in Cullman, with a High of 76 and a Low of 41. Almost no humidity. Our wind flow is mainly from the northwest.
Still some snow going on up in the northeast . . . of course to say they have had a rough time with the interaction of Hurricane Sandy and that cold front is a gross understatement. However, from what I hear, things are slightly less chaotic than I was concerned they would be. Sure have seen a lot of extreme weather events in the past couple years.
Guess that makes you appreciate the peaceful stuff like we're having now - more.
Northwest flow should continue through tomorrow, and it looks like a sunny day with a High around 80. Tonight's low will probably be around 50 or upper 40's.
Sunday a weak cool front pushes on through, and we should see some scattered showers with it and a bit of a cooldown to a High around 70. Some of this activity may move in Saturday night. Not a big deal, just scattered showers and maybe a rumble or two of thunder.
Monday looks like a quiet day in between frontal systems. Should see mostly sunny skies with a High in the low 60's and a Low in the lower 40's.
The next front is a little more ambiguous via model output, but it looks like it'll mostly pass through Monday night/Tuesday morning, and instability will be low enough that it looks like just showers again. Tuesday we'll see a reinforcing shot of cooler air behind this front, and we might struggle to even see 60 degrees in several spots in the TN Valley.
Rainfall totals from both systems combined should be light, less than half an inch, for most of us. There are no active tropical systems and no severe weather threats coming up in the near future. It's going to stay mostly sunny the rest of the week with temperatures a bit chilly at night and nice and mild during the day.