James Spann: Records fall across Alabama as unusual February heat continues

James Spann: February takes a blowtorch to Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

RECORD-BREAKING WEEK: These new daily record highs were established across Alabama yesterday:

  • Birmingham — 78 (old record was 76 in 2011, 1986 and 1971)
  • Anniston — 78 (old record was 76 in 2011 and 1971)
  • Huntsville — 77 (old record was 75 in 1939)

Montgomery soared to 82, missing the record high by one degree (83, set in 1891). Mobile’s high was 80, missing the record by three degrees.

We will have potential for new daily record highs every day this week as a strong upper ridge continues to dominate the eastern third of the continental U.S.

TODAY: We will forecast a mix of sun and clouds today with a high very close to 80 degrees; a few showers could pop up during the afternoon warmth, but they should be pretty isolated. The main band of organized showers and storms will remain west of Alabama, where flooding issues are possible from East Texas to the Great Lakes, along a very sharp cold front. The western and northern U.S. remain very cold and, in some places, very snowy under a deep upper trough.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Moisture will deepen a bit tomorrow and Thursday; we will mention some risk of scattered showers and storms both days over the northern half of the state. The most widespread rain coverage will be over the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama, close to a surface front that will stall over Tennessee tomorrow. Highs will be in the 77- to 81-degree range both days. Then, on Friday, the front moves northward as a warm front and the ridge strengthens a bit, setting the stage for a very warm, dry day with a high in the low 80s. For now we are forecasting a high of 82 in Birmingham Friday; that is within one degree of the all-time record for February, 83, set on Feb. 8, 1918; Feb. 13, 1962; and Feb. 23, 1996.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Not much change Saturday. It will be a partly sunny, warm day with a few scattered afternoon showers or storms possible; the high will be close to 80. Showers and storms become more likely Saturday night into Sunday morning, however, as another cold front approaches. The Storm Prediction Center maintains a risk of severe storms over the northwest corner of Alabama Saturday night, but the threat for the rest of the state for now looks low. Sunday will be cooler with rain ending during the morning, most likely. The high will be back in the mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The front will stall out over the state, and we will need to bring in a chance of rain daily for at least the first half of the week; highs next week should be mostly in the 60s.

MARCH: With the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation headed into negative territory (based on global model guidance), it certainly opens the door for sharp cold snaps as we get into March and, in turn, brings up the potential for active thunderstorm days. Winter isn’t over.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

WEATHER BRAINS: You can listen to our weekly 90-minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including meteorologists at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks:

Google Plus
Snapchat: spannwx

For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit Alabama Wx.

Related Stories