Weather Talk Stuff

Weather Alert: My Thoughts About The January 29, 2019 Alabama Snow Event

The first winter weather event for Alabama in 2019 is upon us!  On early Tuesday morning, a band of rain changing to all snow will move from northwest to southeast across Alabama. The National Weather Service has issued their warnings and advisories for the event.

And for at least where I live here in Anniston, I really do not agree with the call.  As we all remember, five years ago today was snowmageddon.  We were only placed under a winter weather advisory, and when everything went downhill, was only when we were placed under a winter storm warning.  In other words, it was too late.  I do not expect a repeat of that horrible day, but this is only going to give some a false sense of security and some might think “oh look, nothing bad is going to happen.”  Yeah, until the roads ice over.

Now, when the snow is falling, temps will drop fast.  We will likely go below freezing when the snow is falling, and that will cause problems on our roads and bridges.  We might get a slight chance to go back above freezing during the afternoon to melt the ice and snow a little bit, but the temps will drop back below freezing when the sun is setting.  It will be super cold Wednesday morning, and I believe there will be plenty of ice and moisture left on our roads and bridges to cause problems.  The main highways will be better, but all the secondary roads, especially those in shaded areas, will have a ton of ice and snow on them.

Everyone will only see a few inches of snow.  I think someone might get up to 4-5 inches.  But the average will be around 1-3 inches.  Some people might not get much snow at all, while others could get around 5 inches.  That’s how it works here in Alabama during snow events.  My advice, plan on staying home on Tuesday.  I am sure many schools and businesses will be closed on Tuesday anyways.  Yeah, one inch of snow can close down a lot of places around here.  We are not in the north, where they have they equipment to deal with winter weather.

There will be no problems with power, as there will not be enough snow to cause any trees to fall.  Just enjoy a snow day on Tuesday, let your kids play in the snow, and sit in front of some heat and enjoy some hot chocolate.  By midday Wednesday, most of the snow and ice should be gone from the roads, except on a few secondary roads.  Yep, Alabama is fixin’ to be closed.

And before I wrap this post up, don’t make fun of us for only a few inches of snow, the people up north can’t deal with the Summer heat anyways!

Liked it? Take a second to support Geek Alabama on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
Rate This Post

1 reply »

  1. Well, I had the distinct feeling they were going to get this totally wrong.
    It seems to me, living in North Alabama almost all of my life that the weather service and the local news weather forecasters were far more accurate back in the 1970’s up until the 1990’s than they are now. In fact it seems to me they make huge errors like this now more than ever. Bob Baron – that fellow could forecast your weather and do so pretty darn accurately a week out. That was when I was quite young. The meteorologists of the time, 70’s – 80’s did not have the high speed computing and the extensive Doppler Radar networks that we do now. They did not have the “high tech” computer simulation models of today. It takes a lot of computing power to run their models. Models that I’m sure do their best with the atmospheric physics models and data available today. Thing is, I have done quite a bit of technical simulations to include guided missiles, which includes a lot of physics. Well understood physics. The subsystem models are quite good – atmosphere models, aerodynamic models, propulsion, control surfaces or impulse jets that fire as the body rolls, radar and laser seekers, inertial and strap-down guidance, navigation, and control models and algorithms. Unknown disturbances that cannot be directly measured such as wind gusts can be accurately estimated using modern control theory, which we call state observers. State observers use existing sensor data such as roll, pitch and yaw, and their rates, as well as translational accelerations/velocities in three dimensions, along with what the current control system inputs are. Using the known you can utilize mind-blowing mathematical techniques in state-space based differential equation models to get very good and fast estimates of unknown disturbances which converge rapidly to the actual wind or other disturbance inputs to the entire missile and then use the estimated states that are not directly measurable but available via state observers to provide for a more full set of state variables to be fed back to the control system algorithms and be subsequently and effectively removed from the missile system’s overall dynamics. It is like these external and uknown disturbances don’t even exist. Other techniques using statistical state observers are also used in the form of Kalman Filters to achieve the same effects. Some engineers are still into frequency methods for control systems dating back to WW-2. Those techniques work but cannot provide the knowledge of the internal states of the dynamics as state-variable modern conrtrol theory can. With all that said we get REALLY good results. Flight tests typically follow simulation flight tests using very fast computers. It seems to me the models they use to forecast are lacking in major areas and the physics of the dynamics of the storms and atmosphere just often miss the target big time. I understand the physics is quite daunting, but if I’m not
    incorrect the local meteorologists do little thinking and legwork on their own like the hard-core weather guys back in the day like Bob Baron,, did to arrive at a forecast. I believe it is primarily Raytheon, a major defense contractor, that hands the forecasts and models to the meteorologists who utilize their pre-cooked data to create purity graphics. Since they went to that method it seems the local weather wonks can rarely get it right and often it is way off from the actual storm system (or lack of a system at all). Weather does not seems to even work as it did a couple of decades ago. The “weather makers” don’t follow the paths they did back then.
    Back then it was a system came across the Rockies and four days later it arrived – predictably. The other main contributors were wam moist Gulf of Mexico fronts moving north and arctic or
    Average cold fronts from the north. Now, the weather seems out of it place, comes from nowhere, and front after front after yet another front arrives from any imaginable direction. Moisture appears out of nowhere, and dare I say, the manipulation of the weather by high tech means is now the rule and is completely obvious to a weather and radar watcher. Just look up, and take note of what you see almost every single day. Whiteout “clouds” that blind you from scattering light while you drive and monumental and beautiful cumulonimbus thunderstorm cells which hit the low atmosphere layer of criss-crossing and spreading “contrails” which will cause a thunderstorm cell to crash into the low lying blinding white “clouds” with the result of the cumulonimbus never forming or falling apart. No deep blue skies between them, and no thunderheads that hit the stratosphere and flatten out and produce temporary showers and some amazing lightening (electrical) storms. These have faded out of existence over the past ten years. Weather is nearly unpredictable. Almost NEVER did the NWS or locals get a winter storm warning wrong nor did they miss widespread tornadic activity. Now that weather almost never occurs and if it does they didn’t predict it. My bottom line: things are no longer what they seem and nor do they work along familiar patterns. It is my opinion that geoengineering the atmosphere has become global in scale and fully in operation since around 2010. If you are my age then it is very, very obvious. It’s laughably obvious. It has gone “haywire”. It’s intentional, and moisture doesn’t originate from traditional and explainable sources.
    In fact, moisture just appears from nowhere and then it doesn’t fall and moves on by. Other times it falls like the Great Flood and does so almost every day for almost the entire Winter with few to no days between and when it the rain clears the sky is full of blinding white cotton-candy, lines, X’s, which blocks the sun and the blue skies, North Alabama has an allowance of one sort-of blue sky day in ever 15 to 30’days, and I’m being quite generous there. Nothing seems natural or normal these days, and temps swing violently.