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Tennessee Valley Weather Blog

Monday 04/20/2015
A Nice Start But A Rainy Finish This Week

HEADLINES: Things are looking good for us over the next 48 hours. Our next system that comes in will be weak and only provide a few showers late on Wednesday. More rain is expected at times for the rest of this week but so far the weekend is looking about 70% dry.

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TUESDAY: Carpe Diem! This will be the nicest day all week. Even through Thursday is looking good. This will be the only dry where all 24 hours of it will be dry.

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POLLEN: With the lack of rain over the next few days our pollen count will continue to be in the medium to high range.

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Stormy Start to Monday, Decent Tuesday Ahead

MONDAY: Severe thunderstorms this morning have caused multiple large trees to snap and fall across the Valley. Be careful of debris on the roads. Otherwise, we'll start the day off with patchy, dense fog for the commute into work. Look for a gradual decrease in cloud cover by the afternoon time with temperatures rebounding back into the upper 60's today.

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TUESDAY: For the first time in 8 days the Tennessee Valley will finally see higher pressure settling in to give us a full day of sunshine! Temperatures will boost back into the mid 70's. Overnight lows will dip into the upper 40's.

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UNSETTLED WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: Another stalled disturbance over Texas will bring back rain chances and a few strong thunderstorms heading into the end of the workweek.  Temperatures will stay into the mid to lower 70's with mostly cloudy skies. The best chance of strong thunderstorms and heavy rains will be Saturday.wilson dam 2

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Sunday 04/19/2015
UPDATE: Severe weather potential tonight through Monday morning

Already seeing thunderstorms firing up in portions of Arkansas.  They'll be crossing the Mississippi River in just a few hours.

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TONIGHT:  We continue to see low CAPE (instability) values through the overnight hours.  We will have better wind shear available for severe storms. I'm expecting storms to arrive around midnight and exit the Valley before sunrise.  

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TORNADO THREAT:  Although the threat is minimal, we could still see tornadoes.  These are the very weak, quick spin-up, EF-0 type tornadoes.  

WIND:  Things will get breezy during the overnight hours.  Some of the stronger storms will be capable of producing wind 40 to 50mph and gusts over 60.  

HAIL:  Most of these storms will be capable of producing hail.  Hail will be at the smallest pea sized, and go all the way up to quarter size. 

Flood potential is low, but pooling on the roadways can cause problems with travel, so cautious driving is advised.  

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SWIRLL takes center stage in tornado research project

In a story we first brought to you in February, UAH's SWIRLL, or Severe Weather Institute and Radar & Lightning Laboratory, will be part of a severe weather research project called Vortex Southeast.  This project will specifically study southeastern tornadoes . 

 It is lead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and will include scientist from the National Weather Service and the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

It's no secret the weather can be very nasty in the south.  After April 2011, scientist from around the country took notice of how volatile the weather is in the south, and Vortex Southeast hopes to learn more about our violent weather. 
 

Kevin Knupp, professor of atmospheric science UAH, says "It's not just about the science, but it's about advancing technology." 
 

That's the main mission of Vortex southeast which is slated for the Spring 2016.  Southeastern storms have unique structures and conditions that help to spawn tornadoes.  One of those conditions that is different from the great plains, is our terrain. 
 

Knupp says "We have trees, and hills and mountains that obscure the view and actually modify or can impact tornadoes." 
 

In addition to topography, half of our tornadoes originate from squall lines that produce quick spin up tornadoes, and many of our storms travel much faster than their counter parts on the great plains, often times moving at 50 to 70mph.  That's part of the science of the research, but what about the technology? 
 

"Tornadoes actually make sound but its on a low frequency, below what humans can hear.  We could not hear it, but if you develop a sensor that could hear that, then its possible to have a means of direct detection," according to Knupp.     
 

Once Vortex Southeast launches, SWIRLL will be the base of operations for the project since it has its own designated command center, called the war room.  This will put the city of Huntsville on center stage for severe weather research.

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UPDATE: Severe Weather Potential for Sunday afternoon/evening

THIS AFTERNOON:  Although we could see a few isolated storms this afternoon, the instability is very limited.  Most models have CAPE (instability) values less 1000 j/kg.  In addition to a lack of instability, we aren't seeing a lot of wind shear, the other ingredient of severe weather.  Overall, our chances are low to see severe weather this afternoon, but a few storms could be severe.  The storms that do come through could see winds gusting 30-40 mph at the strongest, and hail pea to dime size is also possible.

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CURRENT RADAR:  You can see a narrow band of showers and storms in central Mississippi that will make it's way to the valley this afternoon.

THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT:  During the overnight hours will be watching for the greatest chance of severe weather.  These storms will have more CAPE available to them, as well as better wind shear.  Even then, the storms won't be terribly bad.  With the added wind shear, its is possible (but unlikely) that we could see a brief, weak, spin-up EF-O type tornado.  Hail threat includes pea to nickel size hail, and winds a bit gusty at 30-50 mph with stronger storms.  The high resolution models shows it coming through around 1AM local time, other models bring it in closer to 3AM.

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Saturday 04/18/2015
Severe weather potential tonight

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL:  Tonight through Sunday morning, we’ll track the potential for some isolated severe storms moving through the area.  The main threats are small dime to nickel size hail, and winds gusting 30-40mph. Showers will be on the increase after midnight, with the heaviest rain moving after 3am. 

SHOWER CHANCES CONTINUE:  Showers will be a little more isolated Sunday afternoon, and we’ll see a chance of rain through Monday evening.  We could see up to an inch of rain through Monday. 

SHORT BREAK IN THE WEATHER, THEN MORE RAIN:  Tuesday will be very nice, lots of sunshine and warm temperatures with highs reaching the 70’s.  Slight increase in rain chances for Wednesday and a few more showers through the end of the work wee and into the weekend means you’ll need to keep umbrella handy.  Overall we could get up to an inch and a half

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Friday 04/17/2015
Rain And Storms Likely This Weekend

A-DAY: It should be mainly dry for both of these games but I would bring a poncho just to be on the safe side.

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SEVERE WEATHER POSSIBILITIES: A cold front along with an upper level low will move just northeast of the Tennessee Valley. Conditions for severe weather not ideal but there could be a line that forms as the system moves across the Valley. Timing is still not nailed down yet but it looks like this will be an early Sunday morning event. The tornado threat looks very low but we could see damaging winds and large hail as the primary threats.

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Rain Chance Stay In Forecast For The Weekend

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FRIDAY: Dense fog will persist throughout the Tennessee Valley until 9 A.M. Be careful as some places off into the Shoals and Southern Tennessee have seen visibility drop down to less than a mile. Temperatures will remain into the upper 60's for highs due to cloudiness and an Easterly flow of wind, bringing in cooler conditions. By late this morning, showers will return in the forecast, becoming widespread with possible thunderstorms in the mix for this afternoon and evening. Possible 1 inch of rain could accumulate.

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WEEKEND: Unsettled weather will continue into the weekend as we'll pick up on Isolated showers especially during the afternoon time come Saturday. This system that's been stalling over the Valley since this past Monday will finally get a kick come Sunday and create very unstable conditions for Sunday afternoon. That's why the Storm Prediction Center has put us under a Slight Risk for Sunday where possible severe thunderstorms with large hail, gusty winds, and possible flooding could occur. Up to 1 to 2 inches of rain could accumulate by Monday morning. Otherwise it will be warm and soupy with temperatures into the upper 70's.

WORKWEEK NEXT WEEK: Showers will linger in the forecast Monday morning, but then we'll see gradual clearing as higher pressure will move in from the West. This will lead to plenty of sunshine and temperatures into the mid to lower 70's. Next chance for showers will be next Thursday.

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Thursday 04/16/2015
Rain Chances Expected Through Monday

TONIGHT: We should see more scattered showers and storms throughout tonight. More of the wet weather should be more towards dawn.

FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY: The wet weather pattern continues for the next couple of days. What has been the most challenging is trying to forecast the upper level low across the Rockies. Now it looks like that energy will make it to the Valley Saturday afternoon and night. Sunday morning we could see some lingering moderate rain and storms. But the wet weather will last through Monday morning. So until that point be sure to keep your umbrella handy!

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Stormy Star to The Day, Drier Weather By This Afternoon

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THURSDAY: Thunderstorms are developing across the Tennessee Valley this morning and should move out by lunch time. Some of these thunderstorms are producing very heavy rain, frequent lightning and small hail. Winds are in excess of 40 mph or greater. An easterly flow of wind will move in for this afternoon to bring in drier weather and give us a few peaks of sunshine. Temperature will range from the mid 60's in Northeast Alabama to the mid 70's in the Shoals. Our second batch of thunderstorms will move through tonight and into early Friday morning. Lows will dip into the mid to lower 60's.

FRIDAY: Things look calmer than what we're seeing this morning as a few stray showers may develop, but the majority of the Valley should stay dry. Temperatures will be in the mid 70's.

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WEEKEND WOES: Scattered showers and thunderstorms will plague our forecast this weekend. A few thunderstorms could be strong at times. Temperatures will be into the lower 70's possibly 1 to 2 inches of rain accumulation could occur.

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UPDATE: Crews rescue kayakers from Tennessee River

TRIANA, Ala. (WAAY)-According to Danny Kelso with the Morgan County Rescue Squad, 2 females were found safe in the Tennessee River after their kayak overturned. 

Fund launched for three AAMU victims of Panama City Beach shooting

NORMAL, Ala. (WAAY) - A fund has been launched for the three Alabama A&M students who were shot while on spring break in Panama City Beach. 

Honoring an "Aviation Patriot"

There are many ways to remember a beloved family member or friend who has passed, but few receive the honor bestowed upon Colonel Dennis A. Williamson, former PEO Aviation chief of staff.