1:18AM October 22, 2021

STORMS MOVING SOUTHEAST… For anyone who may be awakened by the sound of heavy rain on the roof or by loud thunder in Clarke, Wilcox, Monroe, Butler, or Conecuh counties over the next few hours, please understand that storms remain well below severe limits.

A line of thunderstorms is currently pushing southeast across Alabama. This line of storms extends from near Auburn and Opelika all the way to near Thomasville and Fulton in Clarke County at the time I’m writing this update (1:18AM).

This line of storms will move into parts of northern Monroe, northern Conecuh, and Butler counties in the next few hours. Severe weather remains unlikely, but you may hear thunder at times as storms move by your location.

Rain clears out by daybreak in most spots and we’ll have clearing skies later this morning.

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8:45PM October 21, 2021

WARMER THAN NORMAL WINTER LIKELY THIS YEAR, PER NOAA FORECAST… For the second consecutive year, NOAA is forecasting temperatures to be above our long term climatological norms for the upcoming winter season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issues seasonal forecasts projecting the probability of temperatures and precipitation being above or below normal. The upcoming winter will likely be warmer than normal, mainly due to La Niña (explained in detail below). If you have been reading my content for awhile, you know that I do not put much stock into these long range outlooks. Even in “warmer than normal” winters, you can get some really cold air intrusions into the Deep South, sometimes featuring record cold.

WARM WINTER? BLAME LA NIÑA THIS YEAR… Long-time viewers and readers know I consistently caution against putting terribly too much faith in the seasonal outlooks issued this far in advance of any season. There ARE teleconnections and other factors that can help to give a broad overview of how hurricane season may pan out, however, any forecasts beyond 7 days out are prone to errors. One of these teleconnections is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase, which refers to the sea surface temperatures near the Equator west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The NOAA forecast for the El Nino teleconnection is for “La Niña” conditions in a few months as the Northern Hemisphere goes through the winter season. Without getting TOO technical, teleconnections are observed weather conditions in other parts of the world that can have broad effects on local weather conditions. Generally speaking, La Nina conditions are usually more favorable for warmer than normal temperatures in winter for the Deep South along with drier conditions for the southern half of the country. Keep in mind that variances from the overall pattern are likely. We WILL, inevitably, have some severe weather issues over the next few months. Our core tornado season happens in the spring, but we do usually have an uptick in the number of tornadoes locally in November and December.

VARIANCES LIKELY; SNOW UNLIKELY YET STILL POSSIBLE… While the overall trend of warmer and drier conditions this winter will probably prevail, that does not mean that we won’t have some bitterly cold nights with lows in the 10s and 20s being possible. On the contrary, I would bet we probably will have some nights with lows in the 20s this winter. It almost always happens at least once or twice around our region each winter. As far as snow, there is no way to know whether any snow events will happen locally, although if you bet against any snow happening locally this winter, that is a bet that may pay off. Snow simply is not common around the Deep South. It DOES happen occasionally, but Alabama and Florida simply are low latitude states that don’t have much snow each year. It also never “gets cold and stays cold here.” Cold snaps, yes. Extended, months long cold, NO. It simply doesn’t happen that way. If you’re looking for pronounced cold, head north by about 400 miles.

APP… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

My next forecast video will be posted by 7:15AM tomorrow (Friday) morning. Have a nice Thursday evening!

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6:53AM October 21, 2021

SHOWERS & STORMS LIKELY TODAY; SUNNY WEEKEND AHEAD… Rain and thunderstorms will be possible throughout the day across south Alabama and northwest Florida as a cold front moves across our region. Rain chances will peak this afternoon into this evening, although we note that rain and storms will be possible this morning and extending well into the evening hours. Fortunately, severe weather is not expected today. You may hear a rumble of thunder or two before the end of the day. A few showers may linger into Friday but our area will be trending drier late in the day on Friday, just in time for high school football games across the region. The weekend looks fantastic with sunny skies expected both on Saturday and on Sunday. Highs today and over the next few days will be near 80 with morning lows near 60. A few more Thursday morning forecast notes are below.

RAIN & STORMS LIKELY TODAY… Scattered thunderstorms will be possible throughout the day on this Thursday. Rain chances will be elevated across the region, both inland and closer to the coast. Any stronger thunderstorms that develop will be capable of producing heavy rain, cloud-to-ground lightning, and loud thunder. The overall tornado risk today remains very low, if not near zero in most spots.

FEW SHOWERS ON FRIDAY; DRIER EVENING LIKELY… Rain chances will be lower, but not quite zero, on Friday. Most of the showers and thunderstorms should fade away by 5-6PM. This means that the vast majority of the high school football games across our region should be dry. High temperatures Friday will be near 80 degrees. By 7PM, temperatures will be in the low- to mid-70s.

SUNNY, NICE WEEKEND… Ample sunshine is ahead for Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures will consistently be in the low-80s with morning lows near 60. I see no reason to modify the forecast for the weekend. Full sunshine is expected both days!

RAIN SET TO RETURN BY TUESDAY… Mostly sunny skies are likely on Monday ahead of another round of rain and storms setting up for the middle part of the upcoming week. While it remains too early for specifics, plan for rain to be around Tuesday into Wednesday of the upcoming week. Thunderstorms, including a few stronger storms, may become possible by Thursday.

TROPICS REMAIN QUIET… The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean are quiet. No tropical storms are expected to form over the next 5-7 days in the Atlantic Basin. Great news!

APP… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

See all the details in your Thursday morning #rzw forecast video. Have a great day!

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