View Full Version : WDW Weather Forecast - March 31, 2007
03-01-2007, 09:34 AM
Each day in March I'll update this first post (usually by noon CT, though it may be afternoons on Sundays) with the forecast, both long and short term. As a general rule, up to 7 days is a pretty accurate forecast, beyond that it's educated guessing and largely dependent upon how well the models are doing at that moment. If you have any specific weather questions or comments, even if it's for an area other than WDW, please post and I'll answer throughout the thread. I'll also post weather tidbits every so often. Without further delay, let's get to the forecast:
Weather at WDW - Updated Saturday pm, March 31, 2007
Ah, sweet home, Alabama. I was starting to miss the heat, humidity, and pollen after spending a week in Kentucky. :D As for WDW, hot and humid are the correct words as this spring heat wave continues. Looks like WDW will see highs in the mid 80s at least through Thursday. Coastal showers will develop today and tomorrow, and though the chance exists for one to drift inland, that chance is pretty small. A slight rain chance exists for late afternoon Thursday through Friday morning. The rain will be mostly scattered showers, though, so no deluge. Once the front comes through, highs will drop to the mid 70s on Friday, and low 70s for next Saturday. This afternoon's GFS has a pretty strong low developing in the Gulf and moving across FL bringing showers and thunderstorms for Easter Sunday. This is right at the edge of voodooland, though, so I'm not sure I totally believe that. As I've mentioned before, these models rarely handle smaller scale features like this little lows well more than 5 days out. By tomorrow afternoon I should begin to have a better picture about next Sunday. We'll see if the low hangs around. The high for Sunday should remain in the low 70s, but rebound to the mid to upper 70s by Monday, April 9. After the 8th, no rain is currently on the map until about April 16-17. Highs will move back into the low to mid 80s during the 10-16th.
Travel Impact :plane: :car: :drive:
A huge area has been placed under a "slight" risk for severe weather today, including east TX, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, west Tennessee and Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, most of Iowa, SW Indiana, and extreme southern Minnesota. Most of Iowa is currently under a Tornado Watch with a few tornado warnings and several severe thunderstorm and flood warnings are going off across these states, so if you have to travel through any of those expect delays, but airline and car. Also, LOTS of people are starting spring break today (I think I got behind every single car from Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan driving down I-65 today) so be careful. For tomorrow, all of Alabama and part of MS and the FL panhandle are under a "slight" risk of severe weather, but I honestly think the main dynamics will stay north.
As for delays, Chicago Midway is closed to inbound flights for the next hour or two due to the radar being out. Houston is at a 20 minute delay and O'Hare is at 40 minutes. For tomorrow's delay potential, include Minneapolis and Chicago, then draw a line from New Orleans to Atlanta to DC to Buffalo and include surrounding areas. This could create problems tomorrow for anyone going to or from WDW as most flights have to go through Atlanta (or, as we say in the South, to go to heaven or hell you still have to change flights in Atlanta), so be prepared for that potential.
03-01-2007, 09:35 AM
This is not good. From the NWS:
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 44
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
730 AM CST THU MAR 1 2007
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
MUCH OF ALABAMA
PARTS OF EASTERN ARKANSAS
WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE
WESTERN AND MIDDLE TENNESSEE
EFFECTIVE THIS THURSDAY MORNING AND EVENING FROM 730 AM UNTIL 600
…THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION…
DESTRUCTIVE TORNADOES…LARGE HAIL TO 2.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER…
THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 80 MPH…AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE
POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.
THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 140 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 5 MILES EAST NORTHEAST OF FORT
CAMPBELL KENTUCKY TO 45 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF NEW ORLEANS
LOUISIANA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE
ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU4).
REMEMBER…A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.
OTHER WATCH INFORMATION…CONTINUE…WW 40…WW 41…WW 42…WW
DISCUSSION…SCATTERED SEVERE/SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED
TO INCREASE IN AREAL COVERAGE AND INTENSITY THIS MORNING AHEAD OF
POWERFUL UPPER TROUGH. STRONG SOUTHERLY LOW LEVEL WINDS ACROSS
WATCH AREA WILL TRANSPORT GULF MOISTURE NORTHWARD. VERY STRONG
VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES AND SUFFICIENT INSTABILITY WILL POSE THE
RISK OF STRONG/VIOLENT TORNADOES…AS WELL AS DAMAGING WINDS.
AVIATION…TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 2.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
WIND GUSTS TO 70 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
500. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 24045.
03-01-2007, 09:38 AM
Let's hope that none of those nasty storms actually forms!
03-01-2007, 09:44 AM
Wow! Thanks Chris, for the update. Between you, and The Weather Channel on TV, I'm all about the weather today! I know I'm not in the deep South, but this is one big storm! Be safe. :mickey:
03-01-2007, 09:51 AM
Lisa, definitely keep a watch on it today. NC is in the "slight risk" area and there's a fairly large mass of thunderstorms heading your way. I don't look for any big outbreak of severe weather in NC, but there will be scattered severe thunderstorms this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow morning. You stay safe, too. Hey, these days are what gets the meteorologist in me pumped up!!! :thumbsup:
03-01-2007, 10:31 AM
Thanks Chris. Stay safe and we will all pray for better weather.
03-01-2007, 12:04 PM
Radars are generally clear across North and Central Alabama at this hour. A few showers are scattered across the middle of the state from Sumter to Chambers Counties. Strong thunderstorms are over South Alabama and Northwest Florida, where a tornado warning was in effect for Bladwin County. It has now been shifted eastward into northern Escambia County, FL.
Showers and storms are in progress over Mississippi. Some of them are entering Northwest Alabama. They are strong, but not severe at this time. They will continue to intensify also, with a new severe thunderstorm warning for Lee and Pontotoc Counties in NE Mississippi, or the area around Tupelo.
Of more concern are the developing storms over Central and Southwest Mississippi. A tornado warning is in effect for the parishes and counties around Natchez, MS.
Thunderstorms will develop over Mississippi as we go through the morning hours. They will intensify under a very strong wind shear pattern and quickly become severe and produce tornadoes. This activity will shift eastward into Alabama and additional storms will develop. These discrete individual storms will have the greatest chance of producing tornadoes, but they will also produce damaging winds, large hail, deadly lightning and blinding rains.
Tornado watches cover all 67 counties in Alabama now. The western half of the state until 6 p.m., the eastern half until 8 p.m. Both are PDS watches…meaning they are for a particularly dangerous situation.
Tornado watches extend as far north as Central Illinois and Indiana.
Sadly, a 7 year old child was killed in Caufield MO in a tornado that struck overnight. The goal is no fatalities in today. Be ready, not lucky. I know the focus of this thread is WDW weather, but I want you updated as to all kinds of weather when a widespread threatening situation appears.
This storm system has a wintry side also, with widespead winter weather advisories and warnings, even blizzard warnings across a wide area from the Dakotas and Nebraska over to New England.
I will update as I'm able (when I'm not out chasing) throughout the day.
03-01-2007, 12:12 PM
Mods, if you need to delete this post, please go ahead. Wasn't sure if it was allowed. Hopefully it is:
Get Your Weather Radio HERE (http://store.handytv.com/detail.aspx?ID=447)
Handy TV in Alabama (along with Publix if you have one of those near you) is running a special on weather radios. They are doing this in conjunction with the NWS and local meteorologists. With so much of Alabama being rural, it's the goal to get a weather radio in every home, school, business and church. Anyway, these radios I've linked you to are normally $60, but they're being sold at Handy TV and Publix for $30 due to sponsorship. This is a top of the line weather radio that you can program to only go off for your specific county. Every home needs a weather radio, so please get one! Don't count on hearing the sirens.
03-02-2007, 11:37 AM
Here's a recap on the “morning after” our big severe weather events. There will be a number of storm survey teams from the NWS and it will be interesting to see their reports over the next few days.
According to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK:
31 tornado reports
88 wind reports
51 hail reports
Remember, those numbers will be adjusted for the final tally because there may be more than one report on the same tornado. Also, some of the high wind reports may not have caused damage.
1:05 PM…First reported on the ground near or at Enterprise Airport
1:10 PM…Moving through the heart of Enterprise (this based on the radar track from NWS, Tallahassee. (That office has warning responsibility for several SE Alabama counties) There were several other SE Alabama tornadoes that did not get much mention, naturally overshadowed by the Enterprise tragedy.
Americus was hard hit including the hospital and there were several fatalities. This is only 9 miles east of Plains, Ga., the hometown of President Jimmy Carter.
A tornado stayed on the ground for seven miles yesterday as it moved across the north part of Mitchell County, Georgia.
Major flooding in the Big Apple from this same storm system. 1.76 inches of rain in Central Park and 1.79 at Laguardia. 1.77 in nearby Teterboro, New Jersey.
Yes, this same storm system caused that, too. It could be called a Supermarket Storm because you could find almost anything. 12 to 14 inches of snow fell around Oakland, Iowa with 6-foot drifts. That is just one sample report of many.
03-05-2007, 04:46 PM
Many of you have asked about the tornadoes that hit Alabama last Thursday. Of course, much discussion has been made about whether or not the students should have been sent home early. I was going to comment about it myself, but my good friend in Birmingham, James Spann, did a great job already, so here's his comments:
The administration of Enterprise High School did the right thing by keeping students in the school building during the March 1 tornado. I applaud their plan, which probably saved the lives of dozens of students. Yes, we mourn the loss of the precious lives that were lost, but we can’t let that distort the school closing issue.
I truly regret that our friends in Enterprise are having to deal with the countless array of national TV “talking heads” who are playing Monday Morning Quarterback, and being critical of their decision not to dismiss school. All of these people have basically no understanding of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, the tornado warning process, Alabama weather history, and engineering methods in home and school design and construction. It is all noise, and I know the people in Southeast Alabama will be glad when those people leave town.
Lets say that the school was dismissed at mid-morning (just like the national media insists was the right plan). Lets face it; a large percentage of high school students would not have gone home to watch severe weather coverage. They would be on the phone talking with friends, playing video games, watching cable or satellite TV (most likely not local stations), logging in to MySpace on the Internet, or driving in their car (the ones with a drivers license). And, some of the students (not a majority of them in that system, however) would be in a mobile home. I would suggest the death toll could have been much higher in this case.
In my 29 years in broadcast meteorology, I cannot recall one single death, or even an injury in an Alabama school prior to last Thursday (since 1978). However, there have been hundreds of deaths in mobile homes and vehicles. Many have died in site built homes as well. There is no doubt, and I mean no doubt, that a school building is safer than a mobile home or car during a tornado. And, quite frankly, school buildings are safer than many site built homes. You might be surprised to know how many homes in Alabama sit on a concrete slab with absolutely no anchors; the only thing that is keeping them on the slab is gravity.
Is a school building perfectly safe? Of course not. We sure learned that this past Thursday. Is any building or home perfectly safe? No really, unless you are in an underground bunker, or in a concrete and steel structure designed for F5 tornado winds.
it is important to understand every severe weather situation and every school system is different. And, there are no black and white rules about what is right and wrong concerning school closings during a tornado threat. But, I remain a general proponent of leaving students in a school building on a day when severe weather is a major threat. Parents should have the option of keeping their children home with them if they believe that is the safest place for them. But, in many rural areas a large percentage of Alabama children live in mobile homes, and when there is no school that means the kids won’t have access to the safest possible place for them, and they will stay home in the worst place.
We do need a good engineering study of the failed wall at the school in Enterprise, and that study needs to be used for every new school that is designed and built in Alabama, and other tornado prone areas. There is always something to learn from a tragedy like this.
But, once again, I applaud the school officials for keeping the students in the school building last Thursday. For everyone (especially the national media crowd) critical of them, I suggest they need to ride out a tornado in a car, truck, bus, mobile home, or non-anchored site built home, and they just might change their mind, if they survive.
03-13-2007, 04:49 PM
A very tragic accident this morning on the Florida turnpike in Oceola County. At least 4 people were killed when a tractor trailer suddenly came up on a thick fog bank along with some smoke from woods fire. There was a chain reaction including 13 vehicles. This included a fire truck and police cruiser headed to another minor accident. A lot of people die on U.S. highways each year from suddenly driving into dense fog creating a chain reaction. That can also happen occasionally in the Arizona desert in sudden dust storms that can drop the visibility to almost zero. So, please be very careful when driving near fog, which becomes more common this year as the higher humidity levels creep back and the cooler air occasionally comes through.
03-18-2007, 04:48 PM
We are flying in on Saturday, March 24th. Sounds like the weather will be ideal. These forecasts are really nice. Thanks for the information.
03-21-2007, 10:50 AM
Many of you ask me about the weather for this summer. The very dry weather occurring this spring is making it look like a hotter than normal summer. Orlando was close to 20" below normal for rain in 2006 (largely due to the abnormally calm tropical season) and is already 2.5" below normal for 2007. This means the soil is very dry. As the soil dries out the sun has to expend less energy evaporating moisture and all of its energy goes towards heating the ground, thus higher temps. More rain in the spring = cooler summer, less rain in the spring = hotter summer. So, this is looking like a hot summer in FL and the SE, but for FL this also looks like a very dangerous fire year. For those of you with smoke allergies, you need to be aware of this danger as you head for your vacation this summer.
03-24-2007, 11:13 PM
A "slight" risk of severe weather has been posted for Nebraska tonight as well as a tornado watch. Please be alert if you're in this area.
For Sunday, a moderate risk has been issue for central Wisconsin, with a slight risk for the rest of the state, plus eastern Iowa, Minnesota, northern Illinois (including Chicago), and parts of west Texas.
03-27-2007, 04:21 PM
A tornado watch is in effect for much of southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana; as I write this Bossier Parrish (the eastern part of the Shreveport metro area) is under a tornado warning. Those big storms will fizzle out long before reaching Alabama, however, as the upper trough over Texas lifts to the northeast and weakens tonight.
03-31-2007, 08:49 PM
As of 7:45 pm CDT, the storms are moving eastward. A new tornado watch has been issued for northern Illinois (including the Chicago area) and souther Wisconsin. As the storms march east the SPC has moved the "slight risk" line out of TX. It now cuts Louisiana, Arkansas, and MO, though it still includes all of Iowa, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, all of Illinois and Mississippi, and western KY and TN, plus the western half of Indiana. I'm sure this line will keep moving eastward with the storms tonight, so keep a check on your weather, even if you're to the east of the current line.
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