Aerial View of the Alabama Snow/Ice Storm

February 3rd, 2014 at 6:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

alabama storm   Got this comment from Mark F:  My uncle lives just outside Birmingham, Alabama. A friend of his from his church mounted a GoPro camera on a radio controlled quadcopter and shot aerial footage of this week’s storm aftermath in the Birmingham area.   (Credit and Alabama Aerial Photography and website ). Video is around south & east Birmingham, Alabama captured by Kevin Henderson and edited by Daniel Clark. . Check out the people burning a fire to keep warm 2:48.  They have a truck load of wood!  , For more photos see the Facebook Page “Alabama Aerial Photos”.

I think the National Weather Service did a good job with the Winter Storm Warnings for this event.  This area, from Alabama into Georgia has hills and when they got icy, people couldn’t get up the hills and traffic just backed up.  They have miles and miles of concrete barriers (to prevent head-on collisions) so no one could turn around.  I don’t like to blame here, but we have to note there is some personal responsibility.  If at all possible, it’s best to avoid driving in a situation like this.  There were far too many cars on the roads.  Second, cancel activities – cancel school, church, business activity if possible.  Stay put.  Also, keep some supplies in your car, make sure it has enough gas to run the heater for a while.  Keep a blanket, kitty litter (though when you’re wedged in, you can’t go anywhere).   Government can only do so much in a widespread weather event (Katrina, Sandy, etc.) and people need to be prepared and take action (or may take no action and stay home in this case).   Lots of good in this event.  Many people along the expressways took strangers into their homes or brought out food and drink.  Businesses helped too.

6 Responses to “Aerial View of the Alabama Snow/Ice Storm”

  1. Dan says:

    State of emergency there? Historic for that area maybe!

  2. S Churchill PhD says:

    By now, most of us realize this is NOT a typical winter for weather. We are seeing a repeat with strengthening of winter conditions from Jan-early March 2013, when the upper atmosphere poleward suddenly warmed and displaced polar air masses south over the US and Siberia. Bills blog gives clear indication that weather forecasters had correctly shown a REPEAT of the early Jan 2014 polar air mass invasion that extended all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

    No surpise when that air mass collides with and sucks up wet warm air from the Gulf (anticyclonic movement) to form a massive ice (ahead of the cold front) and snow storm for the region.

    If you watch the progression of the jetstream from the pole down view, you will see a systematic progression of bi-lobed polar air that moves around the northern hemisphere with warm air dumping (from the much warmer than normal polar front region) that is bringing record snows preceeding record cold to continental interior regions.

    All you have to do is look Westward to see the weather coming at us, about a week ahead of estimated arrival in our area. Don’t be surprised if Spring is delayed this year – the *cause* of the high altitude warming and displacement of polar air masses southward isn’t going away soon.

    1. S Churchill PhD says:

      PS: The Central and Eastern US is seeing the exceptional winter forecast last November for the UK!

      Did you read about the record number of snowy owl sightings this winter in the Easter and Central US, far south of their normal range?

      Yup! The map of sitings matches the excursion of cold air and snow this winter. Those snowy owls followed the cold air South!

  3. GunLakeDeb says:

    Well, as I said before (having driven through that whole mess) – a little pre-emptive salt would have gone a LOOONG way towards helping people. And yes, the GDOT DOES have salt and trucks to spread it because I saw them with my own two eyes.

    Part of the problem in N GA, was that you couldn’t get off the expressways. Most exit ramps are banked a bit; and as cars/trucks tried to get off at 2 mph, they simply slid sideways down the ramps and crashed; or truck trailers would slide downhill into cars or other trucks. Thank God we had JUST fueled up; so we just kept crawling along with the rest of the traffic, until we reached the Tennessee state line, where they had thrown down some salt before it snowed, and the roads were safe.

  4. Thanks for sharing the video! :)

  5. Also curious, who is your uncle’s friend?

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