Nice Weekend Ahead… Mild Next Week… Thursday Forecast Update – 4:25pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Thursday afternoon! Our local weather feels much more like fall this afternoon, with temperatures only reaching the 70s, despite lots of sunshine. A deep upper air trough and upper level low over the eastern US is sending the cooler air all the way to the Gulf Coast. Expect a rapid drop in temperatures this evening, with all of central Alabama in the lower 50s after midnight.

Friday will feature another bright sunny day, with a light north breeze. Highs will reach the upper 70s to near 80 on Friday. High School Friday night will include temperatures falling into the 60s during game-time, with a clear sky and calm wind.

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Saturday is homecoming for the University of Alabama. Expect highs to reach the lower 80s Saturday afternoon, with a kickoff temperature in the low 70s at 6pm. Game time temps will fall into the lower 60s by the end of the game.

Monday through Wednesday features mild days, with highs reaching the middle to upper 80s. Skies remain mostly sunny, with no risk of rain.

In the tropics, we have Hurricane Matthew. Winds at sustained at 75mph for the 5pm advisory, with a movement towards the west at 17mph. This could become a major hurricane before impacting Jamaica and east Cuba on Monday and Tuesday of next week. At this time, it is unlikely this system makes it into the Gulf. The east coast may have a direct impact from Matthew next week, but it’s possible the storm turns into the open Atlantic as well. Either way, we’ll watch it and update you as needed.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Matthew Is Nearing Hurricane Status… Thursday AM Update – 8:40am #alwx @wvua23

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Good Thursday morning! Hurricane hunters are investigating Tropical Storm Matthew and find winds at 70mph. Matthew is moving west at 16mph. Models have trended east with the track of Matthew after 72 hours, which could potentially allow the storm to pass just east of the US mainland. This would be fantastic! Still, there are lots of questions and major track changes are possible. Here’s the discussion from the National Hurricane Center:

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Matthew was
located near latitude 14.1 North, longitude 65.5 West. Matthew is
moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h), and a general westward
motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the
next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew
is forecast to pass to the north of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao
through Friday.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h)
with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the
next 48 hours, and Matthew is forecast to become a hurricane later
today or tonight.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km)
primarily to the north and east of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from
reconnaissance aircraft is 995 mb (29.38 inches).

Cooler Temps Ahead! Complicated Tropical Forecast… Wednesday Update – 4:15pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Wednesday afternoon! The air over Alabama is very dry this afternoon, allowing for conditions to feel much more comfortable. While it is still rather hot this afternoon, there is no noticeable humidity and a light breeze helps. With dry air in place this evening and a clear sky, expect a rapid drop in temperatures. We’ll reach the upper 60s at 9pm, then middle to upper 50s after 1am.

A deep upper level low to our north will build southward, allowing the air to cool even more. A gusty northwest wind will help to advect cooler temperatures deeper into Alabama, with most of the area only reaching the upper 70s on Thursday and Friday for highs. Lows will dip into the lower 50s Thursday night and Friday night. Expect dry weather to stick around through the weekend, with afternoon temperatures modifying back into the lower 80s.

In the east Caribbean, we now have Tropical Storm Matthew, with winds at 60mph. Matthew should gain hurricane status on Friday, with a chance of this becoming a major hurricane at some point in the Caribbean. The storm is moving west and this trend will continue for the next 2 to 3 days. After that, the forecast becomes incredibly complicated, as several upper air influences could turn the storm north or continue the storm west. While I think the chance of this being a gulf coast issue is low, we need to carefully watch it over the next 5 to 7 days. Some models suggest the storm may impact the east coast of the US or even remain out to sea. There’s simply lots of uncertainty with this one. We will continue to update the forecast on Matthew through the weekend and into next week.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Tropical Storm Matthew Forms Near Lesser Antilles… Wednesday Update 11am #alwx @wvua23

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Good Wednesday morning! The National Hurricane Center has named Tropical Storm Matthew out of the tropical wave near the southern Lesser Antilles. Winds are at 60mph, with a movement towards the west at 21mph. Here’s the discussion from the NHC:

TROPICAL STORM MATTHEW DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142016
1100 AM AST WED SEP 28 2016

Surface observations and data from an Air Force Reserve
reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the tropical wave passing
through the Windward Islands has acquired a closed circulation. The
aircraft found peak flight-level winds of 64 kt, and SFMR surface
winds of around 50 kt over the northern portion of the circulation.
As a result, advisories are being initiated on a 50-kt tropical
storm. The current lack of inner core structure suggests that
further strengthening should be limited today, but environmental
conditions consisting of warm water and low shear ahead of Matthew
favor intensification throughout the remainder of the forecast
period. The NHC intensity forecast is more conservative than the
statistical guidance, but follows the trends of the global models
in deepening the system.

Since the center has very recently formed, the initial motion
estimate is a highly uncertain 275/18 kt. A strong deep-layer ridge
over the western Atlantic should steer Matthew westward across the
eastern Caribbean during the next few days, and the track guidance
is tightly clustered through 72 hours. After that time, the
tropical cyclone will be approaching the western portion of the
ridge and a northwestward turn is expected, although there are
significant differences among the track models as to when the turn
takes place and how sharp it will be. The GFS takes the cyclone
northwestward much faster than the ECMWF with more troughing
developing over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. For now, the NHC track
lies near a consensus of the faster GFS and slower ECMWF.

Richard Scott

Nice Fall Days Ahead… Tropical Update – Tuesday Forecast Discussion 4:10pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Tuesday afternoon! Today is the first of many nice days ahead, as drier and cooler air slowly works southward into the state. While today is somewhat cooler and drier than recent days, we’ll get a secondary surge of cooler and drier air Wednesday night. A deep upper level low and associated trough axis will deepen across the eastern US, allowing for the cooler numbers to make it further south.

Expect temperatures to drop into the upper 60s by 10pm and upper 50s before sunrise. Skies will remain clear overnight with a light to calm wind. We’ll warm into the middle 80s on Wednesday, but the air will be very dry. Given the dry air, conditions will not feel all that hot. As the trough sharpens up and a increasing north wind develops Wednesday night into Thursday, expect the airmass to cool a good bit on Thursday and Friday. Highs will only reach the upper 70s, with lows in the lower 50s. A few spots across north Alabama may drop into the upper 40s Thursday night and Friday night.

The weekend will be beautiful, with a very slow warming trend by Sunday and into Monday of next week. The University of Alabama homecoming parade and game will include fantastic fall conditions.

In the tropics, we’re watching a large are of low pressure develop to the east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west. There’s a very high chance this becomes a tropical storm at any time, likely tonight or on Wednesday. By late week or the weekend, there’s a real chance this could become a hurricane in the Caribbean. Below is the current satellite and model plots on this storm. Some models bend it north into the Bahamas in 5 to 7 days, while other models continue the storm westward, into the Jamaica area. Will the storm turn north and out to sea by catching the trough, or miss the trough and move into the US coastline? Given we’re likely more than 7 days out before any sort of US impact, it is way too early to speculate, especially given the high amounts of uncertainty. We’ll continue to nail down a path as we get a little closer, so keep checking back with us for updates.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Cooler, Drier Days Ahead… Monday Forecast Update – 4:30pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Monday afternoon! A much advertised cold front is moving southeast across Alabama this afternoon, which will bring a nice airmass change to the state. At 4:30pm, a few scattered storms were oriented from northeast to southwest across central Alabama, but some areas will miss out on the rain. Given the drought situation, it would be nice to see a more widespread coverage of storms, but unfortunately, there’s not enough coverage to combat the drought. Temperatures will drop into the middle 60s overnight, as the front slowly tracks southeast across the state.

We’ll still have a mix of sun and clouds on Tuesday before the main surge of dry air moves in this week, with highs in the lower 80s on Tuesday and Wednesday. Areas along and north of HWY 278 will remain in the 70s for highs both Tuesday and Wednesday. Lows will drop into the middle or upper 50s Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

A secondary surge of cooler and drier air will move in on Thursday, with highs both Thursday and Friday in the upper 70s. Skies will be in full sunshine mode Thursday through the weekend, with no risk of rain. Lows will dip well into the lower 50s Thursday night and Friday night, with a few spots reaching the upper 40s across north Alabama!

In the tropics, we’re watching a very large tropical low develop in the central Atlantic. All models agree this will become a tropical storm by mid week and a hurricane later this week. The system will move across the southern Lesser Antilles by mid to late week, so interests there need to carefully monitor the intensification. Some models develop this into a major hurricane in the central Caribbean, then turn the storm north into Greater Antilles. This would be in response to the trough across the eastern US, if the storm indeed catches the trough north. This would lead to the possibility to the storm turning north before reaching the US, however, if the storm misses the trough, it could progress further west. We’ll carefully watching this one, but the risk of it impacting our local weather appears low at this time… not impossible… just a low risk for now. If evidence points towards this becoming a Gulf storm, I will update you.

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Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Pattern Change Coming. Rain Chances Monday, First Taste of Fall.

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Finally, a change to this unbearably warm pattern is on the way. Monday morning looks like another mild start, with temperatures climbing in the afternoon. Some much needed rain is in the forecast for Monday, although as drought conditions continue to get worse, the spotty shower and storm coverage Monday afternoon and evening likely won’t make any drastic improvements to our drought situation.

Monday is also our last day in the 90s for a while. Sunshine returns Tuesday, and brings with it a significant change in temperatures. Highs will only be topping out in the low to mid 80s this week, and low temperatures will be topping out in the mid 50s to around 60. This week won’t exactly be frigid, but it will be a nice relief from the heat we have been dealing with all summer long.

Monday Bus Stop Forecast: Mild morning, but hot in the afternoon. Be sure to pack some rain gear with the kids, as a few scattered storms will be possible when they come home from school.

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Tropics:

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We are continuing to monitor this tropical wave, Invest 97-L, in the open Atlantic. It is moving westward at about 20 mph, and has a high likelihood of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 5 days as it enters the southern Caribbean Sea. We are still about 2 weeks away from this having any impact on US weather, but as we enter the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin, this will be a system everyone on the WVUA23 weather team will monitor closely.

 

 

Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Alex Puckett
WVUA Weekend Weather Anchor
Twitter: @puckettwx
Facebook: Meteorologist Alex Puckett