Sunday Morning Weather Update: There was a significant tornado outbreak in Oklahoma yesterday

Thirteen years ago today, the people of Alabama woke up to the shocking reality of a devastating tornado outbreak that claimed the lives of many, leaving us in disbelief. This tragic event served as a stark reminder that despite advancements in warning systems, we still have a lot of work to do in ensuring the safety of our communities during severe weather. Thankfully, there are no signs of such a catastrophic event on the horizon for Alabama in the near future.

Yesterday, severe weather wreaked havoc across parts of North Texas, central Oklahoma, and southeastern Kansas. The unstable and sheared atmosphere saw multiple supercells that produced large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. The day kicked off with a PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch that covered areas from Vernon and Wichita Falls in Texas to Lawton, Oklahoma City, and Ponca City in Oklahoma. As the day progressed, three tornadic supercells made their way over Ardmore, Oklahoma. Around 9:50 p.m., a tornado tore through the western part of Ardmore, causing debris to be lifted to over 20,000 feet, a clear sign of a powerful tornado. By 11 p.m., at least three monstrous tornadoes were reported on the ground in Oklahoma. Three tornadoes also passed over Lake Murray, located southeast of Ardmore. Among the hardest-hit areas is Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Severe weather is expected today as the threat shifts slightly eastward. The areas most at risk include southeastern Iowa, western Illinois, much of Missouri, eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. There is also a significant threat in western Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana. The greatest risk of tornadoes will be found in cities such as St. Louis, Shreveport, Alexandria, Waco, and Dallas.

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Saturday turned out to be a delightful day in Alabama, with warm temperatures and a gentle breeze. The sky displayed a mix of clouds and sunshine, creating a pleasant ambiance. The mercury rose to the lower 80s, providing a comfortable atmosphere for outdoor activities. A southerly wind blew throughout the day, adding a touch of freshness to the air.

Sunday’s weather in Central Alabama will resemble today’s conditions, with a mix of sunshine and clouds. There is a slight chance of a few light sprinkles in the western areas. Temperatures will peak in the low to mid-80s, with occasional gusts of wind reaching 20 mph. It’s an ideal day to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature or experience the thrill of high-speed action at Barber Motorsports Park.

The upcoming week will bring a noticeable change in the weather pattern, starting on Monday. A upper trough will move from the Plains states towards the Great Lakes, impacting the weather across the Central Gulf Coast states, including Alabama. The best chance for rainfall will be on Monday afternoon and night. However, as the trough weakens, the northern parts of the expected rainfall line may dissipate. Instead, more intense convection is likely to trend southeast towards southern Mississippi, where there is greater instability. As a result, any severe storms are expected to be confined to Mississippi. By Wednesday, rain chances will decrease as a weak upper ridge begins to build over the area. This will likely lead to drier conditions for the remainder of the week.

Looking ahead to next weekend, it appears that the drier conditions established later in the week will continue. The weak upper ridge is expected to stay put, bringing about stable and potentially warmer weather. Although there may be some refinements in the specific details as the week progresses, early indications suggest that the weekend will be devoid of any significant rainfall. This makes it a perfect time for outdoor activities and events.

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Last week, the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida experienced another delightful week of weather. However, there will be a slight change in the coming days as we expect a few showers to occur late on Monday and continue into Tuesday. Despite this, temperatures will remain pleasant with highs ranging from 80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. During the nighttime, lows will be in the 60s. It’s important to note that there is a high risk of rip currents until Wednesday. Additionally, the water temperatures are currently in the lower 70s, providing a comfortable environment for beachgoers.

This week, we will be discussing the issue of false alarms in our warning process on WeatherBrains. Joining us will be Kevin Laws from the National Weather Service in Birmingham, bringing his expertise to the conversation. Kim Klockow McClain, our very own expert, will play a vital role in the discussion. Don’t forget to check out the show at and subscribe on iTunes. You can also catch the live broadcast on our new YouTube channel. For those who prefer watching on TV, you can tune in to the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly on the dot 2 feed.

On this day in 1863, the field of meteorology saw the emergence of important professional designations. Just like in other fields, there are seals of approval and certifications such as CCMs and CBMs. However, the first designation may have been a self-appointed one – the Certified Practical Meteorologist. Frances Capen, a man who claimed to be a Certified Practical Meteorologist, managed to gain access to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He promised that his weather forecasts could potentially save countless lives and millions of dollars.

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Unfortunately, Capen’s first official forecast turned out to be a failure. President Lincoln expressed his disappointment, stating that Capen seemed to know nothing about the weather in advance. Lincoln recounted how Capen had assured him three days prior that there would be no rain until the end of April or the beginning of May. However, it was currently raining and had been for the past ten hours. Frustrated, Lincoln declared that he could no longer spare any more time for Mr. Capen.

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