Matt Barrentine

Tracking Disturbance Moving Into Gulf

September 12th, 2014 at 1:31 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather
Tropical Disturbance Models

Tropical Disturbance Models

Mobile (WALA) – A tropical disturbance labeled as investigation 92L that is moving west over the Florida Peninsula will soon be in the Gulf of Mexico. Once there, the system will have warm 86°+ water to work with, but strong upper-level wind shear should hamper it’s development.

Because of that, the National Hurricane Center is keeping the risk of this system developing into a full-blown tropical system low, 30% for the next five days.

Regardless of what it ultimately becomes it will have essentially the same impact on the Gulf Coast: rain. The system should continue due west in the Gulf through the weekend before beginning to turn north due to a front moving down to the Gulf Coast. That front will likely grab the tropical moisture increasing our rain chances for several days. Accumulation models are forecasting a possible 2″-4″ of rain especially for our coastal areas.

So the bottom line for 92L is not to worry about a hurricane, strong winds, or storm surge just make sure you’re ready for some rain.


Tropics: Atlantic Quiet… Eastern Pacific Active…

September 10th, 2014 at 3:17 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather
Mobile (WALA) – Mother nature has a way of balancing things out. We’ve seen that this year with the hurricane season across the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Historical 2014 Historical 2014-2
In the Atlantic we’ve had four named storms; three off the east coast of the U.S. and Dolly which made landfall on the east coast of Mexico.
It’s been another story in the Eastern Pacific where there have 15 named storms. It’s been very busy and continues to be with the 15th named storm, Odile forming today.
Odile is forecast to become a Category 2 hurricane and make landfall near Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. That could draw more moisture up into the desert southwest.
So why is it so busy in the Pacific, but so quiet in the Atlantic? In the tropical Atlantic the water temperatures are below normal, which doesn’t help tropical formation. As you can guess the water temperatures across the Eastern Pacific are quite warm and can easily sustain and strengthen tropical systems.
Another big factor limiting storms in the Atlantic has been strong wind shear in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Strong wind shear rips the tops off of developing tropical systems.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, wind shear has been low, especially over the areas of the warmest water temperatures creating a “hot spot” for tropical formation southwest of Mexico.
We don’t see any major changes in these conditions in the Atlantic or the Pacific as we get closer to the end of hurricane season.

Now is the Busiest Party of Hurricane Season… What Gives?

September 3rd, 2014 at 4:37 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather
Tropical Satellite

Tropical Satellite

Peak of the Season?

We know September is the busiest month of hurricane season. One-third of all named storms occur during this month. We have had Dolly, which quickly flared up in the Southwestern Gulf and moved into Mexico, but across the rest of the tropics it is extremely quiet for this time of year.




Water Temperatures

Water Temperatures


Limiting Factors

It’s quiet because the tropical waves coming off of Africa continue to run into several problems. The first one is, the water temperatures, which are colder than normal.




Dry Air

Dry Air



There is also dry air across much of the tropical Atlantic. Tropical systems need a lot of moisture, and it just isn’t there.




Wind Shear

Wind Shear


Storms also need low wind shear, but there is strong wind shear across much of the Atlantic and right into the Caribbean.

So any storms trying to form farther out will have a difficult time reaching the Gulf of Mexico. For a storm to affect us it would likely take a system that develops or redevelops in the Gulf itself.






Quiet Continues?

There’s a lot of factors working against tropical systems even at the height of hurricane season and it’s likely these conditions will persist through the rest of hurricane season. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! It may well be a very quiet year!

September: A Month of Changes…

September 3rd, 2014 at 4:31 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather
Early September

Early September



Hot Start

We know September begins just like July and August left off; very hot and very humid. Temperatures average around 90 degrees for highs and 72 for morning lows and it can stay hot through a good bit of the month. The all-time September high of 101 was set on the 16th.


Late September

Late September



September Changes

But as we go through September there are changes and things will improve. Fall begins on the 22nd , around the time when we usually start having some fronts moving through. The average high drops to 84 by the end of the month and average morning lows to 63. The record September low, set on the 29th, is 42 degrees.


Heat Hiccups

Heat Hiccups

Fall Heat Hiccups

As we move through September big changes begin to occur in the second half of the month. The caveat here is that October is not necessarily cool, there’s always a few hiccups and the heat will come back once or twice. Record highs in October are above 90 for 16 of the 31 days and the all-time record is a sweltering 95 degrees.

We’ll be going through some changes during the next month and a half to two months, but generally they’re changes for the better as we move into fall.

Severe Risk Increased

April 6th, 2014 at 3:45 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Severe Risk Increased
The Storm Prediction Center has increased our risk of severe weather tonight and early Monday morning, particularly for the threat of tornadoes.
Most of our viewing area is included in the 10% risk zone for tornadoes. That doesn’t sound like a big chance, but we’re talking about tornadoes here. Because of that, the SPC added a black hatched area within that 10% risk area to denote that this is a significant chance of not just tornadoes, but strong EF 2+ tornadoes.

Atmospheric Conditions

Why the increased concern? Well we’re expecting discrete, supercell thunderstorms to form out ahead of the main line late tonight. These lone thunderstorms will be able to grow in a moisture-rich environment and strong low-level winds will create the shear to get them rotating. It’s these type of storms that are able to produce the strongest tornadoes, so that’s why the SPC is warning of EF 2+ tornadoes.

There is a limiting factor on the strength of these storms tonight and that is the overnight timing. The heating of the day will be gone and the atmosphere will be slightly more stable.


The stronger storms ahead of the main line could start building early this evening west of us and then move through the area during the overnight hours. A squall line will move through with the cold front itself early Monday morning just before or during the morning commute. We may see more severe weather with the squall line, but that would be mainly a straight-line wind threat.
After the squall line moves through Monday morning the rain will be done and conditions will improve as we go through the day.

Heavy Rain and Severe Possibilities

April 5th, 2014 at 3:35 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Web Clip
Two-Day Soaker:

Get ready for a soaker! A warm front generated by a low in Texas will be moving across the deep south Sunday and Monday. We will see our rain chances increasing through the day on Sunday with showers and storms a near certainty.

Severe Risk:

For now the Storm Prediction Center has our area in a Slight Risk environment for severe weather Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. The main threat will be for strong winds and hail, but there is also a threat of isolated tornadoes in discrete cells out in front of the main squall line Sunday night.

The main squall line will move through early Monday morning, possibly impacting our morning commute. The main threat with the squall line will be damaging winds and hail.

Flood Risk:

Another overall risk for the next 48 hours will be the heavy rain. Models are currently forecasting 2” to 4” of total rain with isolated spots getting possibly as much as 6”. That could cause problematic flooding and road issues.

Clearing Out:

The system will clear out by lunchtime Monday and our weather will quickly improve. We will have pleasant spring conditions from Tuesday right through next Saturday.

Beautiful for the rest of the (work) week…

March 17th, 2014 at 3:34 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

St. Patrick’s Evening

Temps will be turning much cooler tonight! If you’re going out for any St. Patrick’s festivities dress warmly as temps drop into the 40s during the early evening. Temperatures continue to drop overnight and many areas will be in the upper 30s for morning lows on Tuesday. Skies will gradually be clearing during this time as well.

Sunshine Returns; Temps Rebound!

The clearing skies will lead to plenty of sun for our Tuesday and a quick rebound with the temps. We will top out in the mid to upper 60s by the afternoon and it just gets warmer from there!
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all look great with mostly sunny skies and mid 70s for highs!

Weekend Bummer

Unfortunately the timing for our next system is next weekend. A few showers are possible Saturday as that system approaches and the chances will increase for Sunday.
It’s too early to forecast any severe possibilities with this system, but at this time of year any system bears watching for rough weather.

Severe Risk Upgraded

March 15th, 2014 at 2:59 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Slight Risk For Severe Weather:

The Storm Prediction Center has elevated our severe risk for Sunday. We are now in the ‘slight risk’ sector across our part of the Gulf Coast. The reason for the upgrade is that there is some low-level energy developing, mainly offshore. So the possibility is, a severe storm our two developing over the Gulf and then holding together long enough to bring damaging winds to coastal areas. The chance one of those storms spawns a significant tornado is extremely low, but not zero either.

These possible strong storms will be coming due to a cold front that will pass through the area Sunday. Outside of anything severe expect heavy rain as the system moves through.

St Patrick’s Day:

Some leftover showers are possible Monday morning, otherwise it will be a cloudy and grey day with cooler air moving in. Highs will struggle reach 6o and overnight temps will drop to around 40 in many areas.

Nicer Weather:

Severe Risk

Severe Risk

After Monday, things clear up and sunshine returns. In fact, the rest of the work week looks really nice with cool mornings and warm afternoons!

Rainy Sunday; Unsettled Week Ahead

February 22nd, 2014 at 3:40 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Weather Summary:

The second half of the weekend will be a soaker! A warm front will move north overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. This will mean plenty of rain, heavy at times for Sunday morning. Severe weather is unlikely, but there is risks of small hail in the stronger storms and definitely expect plenty of lightning with some of the storms.
If there is good news here it’s that rain chances go down later in the day (but they don’t go away!). No guarantees, but hopefully as Neptune’s Daughters roll in the evening we’ll get that parade in with no issues.

Warm & Unsettled

Conditions will be warm and unsettled for the beginning of the work week. We have parades rolling both Monday night and Tuesday night and we will have rain chances on those days. Once again, the good news here is that the chances are just for scattered rain showers by the time the parades are rolling.

Colder & Still Unsettled

7 Day Outlook

7 Day Outlook

A cold front moves through Wednesday morning turning conditions colder. Compared to some of the earlier systems we’ve had this year this one doesn’t pack much of a cold punch, but it will be noticeably cooler for the second half of the week.
After a break in the rain most of Wednesday and Thursday another disturbance cranks up rain chances for Friday and the following weekend. This is of course as we are moving in the heart of the Mardi Gras parade season. Right now the chances call for scattered storms, but we’ll definitely refine the forecast as we move closer to the weekend.

Matt’s Weekend Forecast: Warming Up!!

February 16th, 2014 at 2:41 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather


We are hitting a run of spring-like weather! Thanks to a strong southerly flow of the Gulf we will go from low 70s Monday afternoon to Mid 70s by Wednesday afternoon. Morning lows will follow suit going from the 40s Monday morning, to the upper 50s and low 60s for the rest of the week.


That southerly flow of the Gulf will also increase the moisture in the air. That will mean fog most mornings this week and isolated showers during the day from Tuesday through Thursday.


The next cold front will be this coming Friday. Expect a good chance of showers and possible thunderstorms that day. The good news with this system is that it doesn’t appear to be that cold. Temps will come down a bit for next weekend, but will likely stay a above normal anyway with lows in the upper 40s and highs in the upper 60s.

Enjoy the spring weather this week!