Check out the difference in low temperatures versus high temperatures today! Temperatures rebounded some 30° to 40° in a 9 hour period. How is that possible? It's all about the air mass and especially the amount of moisture in the air. Dry air cools and warms up much faster than humid air and this happens all of the time in the summer across the desert southwest. The drier the air, the greater the diurnal (within one day) temperature swings. The lower the moisture the faster the air will both warm during the day and cool at night. The air temperature cannot cool below the dew point temperature and if the dew point temperature is very low, the air can cool to that number or close to it depending on other weather factors such as wind speed and direction and soil conditions. Humidity tends to increase at night as the temperatures decreases and humidity decreases during the day as temperatures increase. Dew points are a good indicator as to how cool it might get the next morning. The warmer the dew points the warmer the overnight lows. Warmer dew points equal higher moisture content in the air and a smaller diurnal temperature swing.
HERE'S A LOOK AT SUNDAY'S FORECAST TEMPERATURES AND DEW POINTS:
Temperatures start off in the middle to upper 50s on Sunday...
Dew points on Sunday afternoon are in the upper 50s to around 60°...
Temperatures on Sunday afternoon rise to near 80°...
TODAY: Low of 42°
High of 77°
Dew point temperature of 35°.
TEMPERATURE SWING: 35°
SUNDAY: Predicted low of 56°
Predicted high of 81°
Predicted dew point of 58°
PREDICTED TEMPERATURE SWING: 24°
So you can now get a better idea as to how moisture impacts temperatures diurnally!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
We could be looking at two opportunities for severe weather. One threat will begin late Thursday night into Friday morning. The other threat may come late Sunday into Monday. April is the month known for the most tornadoes and severe weather in Alabama so any system we watch closely.
Our first threat comes late tomorrow night. While the worst of the severe weather will impact Missouri and Arkansas, it is likely we will see some strong storms move into West Alabama by as early as 3am and lasting through 10am. This is not a severe weather outbreak, but we will have enough instability and wind shear to raise the red flag. The best chance for tornado development will be in the northwestern part of the state. The low-end tornado threat would include Marion, Lamar, Winston, Fayette, and Pickens County. My primary concern will be winds over 50mph through the early drive-time hours.
We will see the rain come to an end from west to east across the area during the afternoon. Expect clear skies and cooler temperatures Friday night.
The Storm Prediction Center still keeps most of the state in a Slight Risk for severe weather on Friday. Saturday looks like a gorgeous day with cooler temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Highs will only reach the mid 60s. This is the calm before the storm because a more vigorous system is set to move into the state late Sunday.
A surface low will track toward Memphis during the day on Sunday. An associated warm front will lift to the north during the day. While the low will provide plenty of wind shear, the question is how much instability will we realize during the day Sunday. Just how far will the warm front travel to the north? That is the what we will be watching closely. The farther northward the warm front - the better the chance for severe storms including supercells and even some tornadoes.
At this point, I would suggest paying close attention to the weather late Sunday. It's possible the severe weather could be confined closer to the coast. But, this is a system that does get my attention based on the wind shear involved. It's possible we could see supercell thunderstorms develop first and then a line of strong to severe storms connected with the primary cold front.
It's still too early to have an idea on the severity of this system, but I feel confident at least parts of the Southeast will experience some severe weather from the late weekend system.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
Fox 6 Meteorologist Jill Gilardi spent the day at Gresham Elementary School for their Career Day. It was a perfect opportunity for K-5th graders to ask her all about what she does for a living. Some of the popular questions were: 1. Are you on tv? How much money do you make? Are you nervous ever? Do you work with Mickey? How do severe storms form? Do you like your job? The big hit was the weather radio, something that should be in every ones home, just like smoke detectors. Here's some pictures from the fun day at Gresham.
Fox 6 thanks Ms. Terri Christian for inviting us to come out and share our passion for the field of weather and broadcasting.
Want the Fox 6 Storm Warn Team to visit to your school?
You can always connect with me on social media and set up a school visit:
Wintry weather stopped me a month ago but not rainy weather! ;) I finally, was able to re-schedule the visit to Vestavia Hills East Elementary School's Extended Day Program. I truly enjoyed my time with the K-3rd graders and teaching them about how storms form, static electricity and severe weather safety. My goal each time I visit a school is to teach the students something they didn't know before and sometimes it's not always weather related. I was really impressed by how much the students know about math and science. Way to go teachers and students!!!
1st & 3rd graders
Kindergarten working hard on their drawing of a thunderstorm.
A couple 2nd graders and their drawing of a severe thunderstorm.
Explaining lightning and static electricity
When teaching students about severe weather safety, the first thing I ask them is, "What county do you live in?" Most of the time the younger ones shout out, "Alabama" and are not sure what a county even is. I make sure by the end of my visit that they know what county they live in so that if there is a severe weather warning issued for say Jefferson county, a light bulb goes off and they pay attention to the message. I was truly impressed that the students today knew what county they live in.
Safety is number one! Weather impacts everyone and everyday! Understanding how and why storms form and what to do during severe weather warnings can ease anxiety. Most of us have experienced tramatic weather which can have life long impacts, especially psychologically. So if you haven't already come up with a family disaster plan, now is the time to do so. This plan should be implimented if a tornado watch is issued and especially a tornado warning. Know what you would do if you were at home, work, at the store, in the car, etc. Set aside a bin for severe weather days that have safety supplies in it, an emergency preparedness kit, bike helmets, maybe some games/toys for the kids to distract them during warnings. Always have your weather radio plugged in and on and have a way to get warnings no matter where you are.
For more helpful tips go here: http://www.myfoxal.com/story/24650822/stay-prepared-for-a-weather-emergency
Thank again Mary Clark for inviting us out to talk to the students!
If you would like the Fox 6 Storm Warn Team to come talk to your school about the weather feel free to contact us:
You can also find me on social media and contact me that way:
A weak batch of showers continue to track eastward across the state, most of which are not reaching the ground because of dry air in place. A process known as evaporative cooling is occurring and while most of the precipitation will dry up before it reaches the ground, we heard reports of some ice pellets reaching the ground in Bessemer. If you were to look at the current temperatures in the 40's, you might be scratching your head wondering how is it possible to get ice to form at temperatures so high above freezing. The answer is evaporative cooling! As meteorologists, we not only examine the temperature but also the dew point temperature and when evaporative cooling takes place we have to calculate the wet bulb temperature. The wet bulb temperature is the temperature air would have if it were cooled to saturation.
It's 44° in Tuscaloosa with a dew point temperature of 22° and by using a little math the wet bulb temperature is 36°.
It's 45° in Jasper with a dew point temperature of 21° and the wet bulb temperature is 36°.
It's 45° in Birmingham with a dew point temperature of 15° and the wet bulb is 34°.
So in spotty areas the temperature will cool enough due to evaporation to change liquid precipitation over to ice pellets.
It's not going to cause any problems...
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
253 PM CST THU FEB 27 2014
...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 02/21/2014 TORNADO EVENT...
.DELAYED PUBLIC REPORTS PROMPTED NWS STORM SURVEY...
BASED ON DAMAGE REPORTS AND STORM DAMAGE PHOTOS FROM
THE FEBRUARY 21ST EVENT RECEIVED FROM THE PUBLIC THIS WEEK,
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS CONDUCTED A STORM
SURVEY IN ST CLAIR COUNTY ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH. THE
FOLLOWING IS RESULTS FROM THAT SURVEY.
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 85 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 4.1 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 150 YARDS
START DATE: 02/21/2014
START TIME: 0156 AM CST
START LOCATION: 2 MILES WSW OF BRANCHVILLE
START LAT/LON: 33.6516/-86.4682
END DATE: 02/21/2014
END TIME: 0200 AM CST
END LOCATION: 2 MILES ENE OF BRANCHVILLE
SURVEY_SUMMARY: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGIST
SURVEYED THE DAMAGE IN CENTRAL ST. CLAIR COUNTY AND
HAVE DETERMINED THAT THE DAMAGE WAS DUE TO AN EF-0 TORNADO.
THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR JAMAICA LN WHERE ONLY MINOR
ROOF DAMAGE TO A DOUBLE-WIDE MOBILE HOME WAS OBSERVED WITH
SOME SMALLER TREES UPROOTED. THE TORNADO INCREASED IN
INTENSITY AS IT NEARED THE SANIE RD AND NELSIE ANN DR
INTERSECTION. MINOR ROOF DAMAGE TO 6-8 TWO-STORY HOMES
WAS OBSERVED ALONG WITH 30-50 UPROOTED OR SNAPPED TREES.
A COUPLE OF THE SMALLER TREES ON THE NORTHERN EDGE OF THE
DAMAGE WERE FACING SOUTHEAST. SIMILAR DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED
ALONG HURST DR WITH 25-40 TREES EITHER SNAPPED OR UPROOTED
WITH SOME MINOR ROOF DAMAGE TO A TWO-STORY HOME AND A BARN.
THE TORNADO NARROWED AS IT APPROACHED HWY 411. ANOTHER 25-40
TREES WERE OBSERVED EITHER UPROOTED OR SNAPPED ALONG THE
INTERSECTION OF SHADOW BEND RD AND HWY 411. A MAJORITY OF
THE TREES WERE FACING NORTHEAST BUT A COUPLE OF SMALL
TREES ALONG THE NORTHERN EDGE OF THE DAMAGE WERE FACING
SOUTHEAST...CLEARLY INDICATING A CONVERGENT DAMAGE PATH.
THE LAST POINT OF CONCENTRATED DAMAGE OCCURRED ALONG TUCKER
RD WHERE 10-20 TREES WERE EITHER UPROOTED OR SNAPPED WITH ONE
DOWN ON A HOME. THE TORNADO LIFTED JUST TO THE EAST-NORTHEAST
OF THIS LOCATION WITH SPORADIC DAMAGE BEYOND THIS POINT.
EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES
TORNADOES INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES.
EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT
TO CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION
IN NWS STORM DATA.
A MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUCCESS OF OUR SEVERE WEATHER
WARNING PROGRAM IS THE RECEIPT OF STORM REPORTS FROM ALL OUR
CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS. WITHOUT THE REPORTS FROM THE
PUBLIC...THIS TORNADO WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED!
IF YOU EVER WITNESS OR OTHERWISE BECOME AWARE OF ANY STORM
DAMAGE DUE TO HIGH WINDS OR TORNADOES...PLEASE CONTACT YOUR
LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE...OR CALL OUR STORM REPORTING
HOTLINE AT 1-800-856-0758. YOU CAN ALSO POST INFORMATION TO
OUR FACEBOOK PAGE...US NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM
ALABAMA...OR TWEET YOUR INFORMATION AND INCLUDE HASHTAG
#ALWX AND #BMXWX.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM WOULD LIKE TO
THANK SUSAN AND ROY GLOVER AND THE ST CLAIR COUNTY EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT AGENCY FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE IN CONDUCTING THIS
Winter is described from both an astronomical and meteorological standpoint.
Meteorological winter is defined as the three coldest months throughout the winter, or December 1st through March 1st.
MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN BIRMINGHAM
Astronomical winter is defined as December 21, 2013 through March 19, 2014. Most are pretty familiar with the astronomical-based seasons but if not, they are defined by the rotation of the earth around the sun and the tilt of the earth's axis. Over the course of a year, the earth experiences changes in weather, ecology and hours of daylight. The earth’s axis is an imaginary line that runs through the middle of the earth from the North Pole to the South Pole. The axis of the earth is tilted about 23½ degrees. The tilt of the earth remains the same as the earth follows its yearly path around the sun. This path is known as an orbit.
The beginning of astronomical winter is called the Winter Solstice. On the December solstice incoming solar radiation is at a minimum in the Northern Hemisphere. Since the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun this time of year, places north of the equator receive significantly less energy from the sun, hence it's colder.
The end of astronomical winter aka the beginning of spring is called the Vernal Equinox. It's when the plane of Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun. At this time the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. Around the equinox, night and day are about equal length. More sunlight equals warmer days ahead and plants and trees coming to life!
Here's one sign of spring sent to me by a viewer in Hoover...
This is the farthest south I have worked and been amazed at the fact that some plant and tree life has stayed alive this winter. One of my favorite spring plants are Pansies and it has been so nice to see them live through the coldest months. The pines make me smile each day thanks to their evergreen color.
I just recently noticed some trees and bulbs flowering and honestly think that meteorological winter fits best for Alabama than astronomical.
Spring is my favorite season because I love seeing everything come to life and because I love storms!
What's your favorite season and why?
Connect with me on-line:
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
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