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Chilly Nights Ahead – Saturday showers? – WEDNESDAY Video

Cold front sweeping through the state early this morning with a line of showers/storms.  It will usher in a quick, brisk cool-down. A couple of cold mornings are in our future. I’ll have the latest on Saturday rain chances as the next disturbance drifts through. Kind of a 50/50 weekend forecast. And, a look at that next mid-week storm system next week.

Gulf Disturbance could bring a few showers late Friday night into Saturday.  Spotty and rather widely scattered at best.  Sunday still lookls like “the pick of the litter” with lots of sunshine and highs in the 70’s.

 

New question marks about next week’s storm system, around mid week.  GFS now showing a weaker system, closer to the Gulf Coast.  Euro brings the system south of the state into the Gulf.

 

Euro out 10 days showing a couple of chilly mornings in the 30’s on Thursday & Friday AM, followed by a big recovery next week.

Strong Storms Possible Late Tonight – TUESDAY Video

Storm system on the way could bring some strong, possibly severe storms by late tonight. SPC added a severe weather risk for Alabama while you slept.  We’ll examine the threat with that storm system, plus the big cool down behind it.  Some new wrinkles in the weekend forecast, and yet another storm system on the menu next week.  We’ll break down the details in 2 minutes on your Tuesday morning weather briefing on Valentine’s Day.

Latest Severe Weather Outlook from SPC has added a Marginal severe weather risk for the southern half of Alabama for tonight.  Main threat damaging wind gusts.  Tornado threat is not zero, but small.  This outlook will be updated by SPC several times during the day.  The main threat for most of us comes after Midnight tonight through Wednesday morning.

Expected rainfall is not expected to be heavy.

 

Interesting graph below with the Euro Model Trends out 10 days.  Blue bars at the bottom shows the storm system tonight, possible new wrinkle with showers this weekend as a Gulf disturbance brushes by, and a storm system in the early to middle part of next week that needs to be monitored for its possible severe weather implications.

 

We will have a LIVE Streaming Update from the Bluewater Weather Center at 10AM, with the latest Future Radar and Updated information on SPC regarding tonight’s severe weather threat.  Have a n ice Valentine’s Day.  I’ll see you on the radio later this morning.

-Rich

 

Mid Week Storm System – Monday Video

Should be a beautiful start to the new week, with a cooler, but nice February day.  I’ll update you on changes ahead with a storm system tracking across the Gulf Coast.   More wild temperature swings and maybe 3 more storm systems to deal with over the next 15 days. Here’s your Monday personal weather briefing.

 

Mid Week storm system moves in Tuesday night into Wednesday, as a low tracks along the Gulf coast and through south Alabama.

Storm Prediction Center has a Marginal Severe Risk into SW Alabama by Tuesday night and a stronger Slight risk parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

 

ANNIVERSARY OF THE COLDEST DAY EVER: 

This is the weather map from February 13, 1899, one of the coldest mornings ever observed in the U.S.  It would become known as the “Great Arctic Outbreak”.

In Montgomery, it was the coldest day ever with  -5.

An incredibly cold airmass made it all the way to the Gulf Coast. It was 7 in New Orleans and Pensacola. Mobile dropped to a numbing -1. The reading of -2 at Tallahassee still is the state’s coldest reading ever. Many all time state record lows were observed during the cold wave. Ice was reported floating in the Mobile Bay!

Birmingham also recorded its all time record low with a reading of -10!

 

Have a great day today.  I’ll have another Video tomorrow morning at 5.  See you on the radio this morning!

–Rich

 

 

 

 

Tornado Disaster Anniversary – Montgomery’s Worst Day

72 years ago today, a powerful F3 tornado devastated a large part of Montgomery, killing 26 and injuring at least 300.  It‘s Montgomery’s biggest weather disaster.  It was a Monday afternoon, February 12, 1945, 5:18pm, about 10 minutes before sunset.  73 degrees.  The storm struck without warning.  There were no warnings in 1945.  Damage was extensive.  Several neighborhoods were affected, from the western part of the city, from around Day and Bell St., and skirting across the northern part of Montgomery.  The epicenter of the worst damage was the Chisolm community, where 35 homes were destroyed, at least a couple of dozen more heavily damaged.  The greatest loss of life was here.   It was one of 7 significant tornadoes in Alabama that day, killing close to 4 dozen people.

THE SET-UP: The morning weather map from the U.S. Weather Bureau shows, powerful low pressure developing along the Texas coast moving northeastward.  Upper Air observations were not available yet.  We can only imagine what severe weather ingredients had to be available that day. Probably, if it happened today, it would be a “high risk threat.”  Showers had occurred off and on during the day in Montgomery.  Official rainfall was .67 with a high of 73.  In those days, observations were taken at Gunter Air Field which was the Montgomery public airport at the time.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER:  We have a few snapshots from the front page of the Montgomery Advertiser that following Tuesday morning, including some damage pictures.  Keep in mind, with the tornado occurring at 5:18PM, the newspaper had to do a lot of work to get the information in the morning paper.  Thanks to Steve Arnold and his crew at the Advertiser for searching the archives.  A quote from the paper that morning, 72 years ago:  “We saw it coming and lay down behind a bush about 50 yards from the house.” Judge Carter related.  “The storm swooped in, ripped the  roof off showered bricks and boards all around us.  It seemed like two or three minutes and then it was over.”

Here’s an aerial shot of the devastation the following day.

A member of our group, Tracey Stallings, just sent in this picture from her family’s archives of the damage that day.  This is in Highland Park. Man pictured is Gordon Herring. Picture taken by E.Z. Herring (below)

Associated Press Story:  Here is an Associated Press account of the Tornado.  Remember, the year is 1945.  The reporting is very politically incorrect on the reporting of the fatalities, but that’s the way things were in that day and age.

“Montgomery alone counted its dead at 26, and its injured at nearly 300. Two government warehouses were leveled. In Chisholm, a cotton mill community, 35 homes were demolished and many others damaged in a 20-block area.  Worst hit was a crescent shaped area on the southern and western outskirts of Montgomery, Ala., where more than 50 boxcars of a freight train were ripped and tossed about like match boxes.

After a tour of the Montgomery area Gov. CHAUNCEY SPARKS of Alabama ordered three companies of the State Guard into action to prevent looting.
Montgomery hospitals, jammed with the injured, were handicapped by a lack of lighting. The entire capital city was without electricity for several hours. Telephone service was disrupted.
A baby was born at one hospital only a few minutes before the lights came back on.
One of the Montgomery dead was MRS. EDGAR BROWN, a resident of the Chisholm community, whose husband had just arrived home on a furlough from the Army.
Maxwell Field at Montgomery escaped damage but was plunged into darkness for several hours.
The State Guard distributed cots at vacant buildings to provide temporary shelter.
Fifteen of the Montgomery dead were Negroes. State patrolmen removed the bodies of six Negroes from one house.
The Montgomery storm, which came on the heels of a day long downpour of rain, struck first in the area of the Army’s huge holding and reconsignment point and leveled two of the six warehouses there.
It sliced a path of destruction through the western edge of the city and hit with new fury at Chisholm, near Kilby Prison.
As news of the tornado spread to the city, curious and anxious residents flocked to the scene by the thousands and traffic congestion blocked the roads at some places.
Law enforcement officers and military police from Maxwell and Gunter Fields, however, soon cleared the streets.
Gas escaping from broken mains threatened further devastation but no serious fires were reported.
Cadets from the two air bases were pressed into service to help clear away the debris and the Red Cross, Salvation Army and civilian defense agencies helped care for the injured and homeless.”

SWARM OF TORNADOES:  7 significant tornadoes touched down that day across Alabama, F2 and stronger, mostly from 4:30 to 10PM.  Even one F4 in Sumter county that killed 11 around Livingston.

TORNADO DATA BASE:  If you like detailed data, including times and tornado lengths and widths, here is the official Tornado Data Base from that day.

 

The 1945 Montgomery tornado was by far the strongest and deadliest tornado in the recorded history of this city.  The only other that compares in more recent history would be the F3 tornado that moved across north Alabama on May 3, 1984, killing 5 and injuring 37.

WARM FEBRUARY WEEKEND – Clouds Will Increase

Clouds will hide the sun from time to time today, but all and all, it should be a remarkable Saturday, with highs reaching and perhaps even surpassing the mid 70’s.  A few spotty showers may pop up tonight and Sunday, but even Sunday will be well above the normal.

Check out today’s high temperature map.  Not only will we be warm,  our neighbors to the west could see some widespread record highs.

TODAY:  A sun/cloud mix. Becoming mostly cloudy later.  Dry and warm.  High 76.  Nice weather for the Mardi Gras parade in Prattville today at 2.

TONIGHT:  Mostly cloudy. Can’t rule a shower or two.  Mild.  Low 61.

SUNDAY:  A weak cool front sweeping across the state will bring a tiny chance of a shower or two.  But, even still, highs will soar, probably into the mid 70’s again.  Cooler Monday.  High in the low to mid 60’s

MID WEEK STORM SYSTEM:  The global models are now in better agreement.  A low pressure system will track either into extreme south Alabama, or close to the Gulf coast, bringing  a round of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday night into Wednesday.  With the low on this every southerly track, severe weather threat would be small to nearly zero, and mainly way south.   The GFS is farthest south with the Low.  The Euro takes the low into south Alabama.

BLOG TOMORROW:  On tomorrow’s blog, we will look back at the anniversary of a fierce Montgomery tornado which devastated much of the city.  It killed dozens, injured hundreds.  Montgomery’s worst disaster, by far.  I’ll post that tomorrow on the anniversary.  Your next video will be Monday morning at 5.  Have a great weekend!

-Rich