Christmas Day Forecast

A Merry Christmas to you! Today has turned out like a typical Christmas forecast, with cool temperatures and lots of clouds around. I’ve noticed that the Tuscaloosa airport has temperatures of 64 degrees; that is not correct, as the temperatures are in the 40s in most locations. I’m not sure why the airport is giving us a goofy number like that, but hopefully, the problem will be solved soon! For the rest of today, you can expect the upper-air low to be moving across the state. That will help generate a few sprinkles; in-fact, there was even some sleet reported in some areas this morning over east Alabama. I bet that was a surprise to wake up Christmas morning with sleet falling! That won’t amount to much as the temperatures are well above freezing. Tonight, lows will dip below freezing, with clearing skies. Wednesday, you can expect highs closer to 60 degrees, with a chance of showers by the late evening hours. The best chance of rain will come Wednesday night. Thursday looks dry at the moment, but here comes another storm system by Friday, with a good bet for rain and storms; highs will be back into the middle 60s and with some good warm air advection taking place, we will deal with the threat of strong storms. The Storm Prediction Center has much of West Alabama under a slight risk for severe weather for Friday, so be sure you have a reliable weather source for then. Also, we will be back in for a newscast tomorrow morning at 11 a.m., so be sure to join us then for a full look at your weather forecast.

Richard Scott
WVUA TV’s Weekend Weather Anchor

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Christmas Eve Forecast Discussion

I hope you are having a happy Christmas Eve! Today, we saw a few more clouds than expected. The upper air system made it in here a little early, and with more clouds today, the temperatures were cooler as well. Highs were near 50 degrees. Tomorrow, you can expect lots of clouds around to start off Christmas, but we will see more sunshine by the afternoon hours; highs tomorrow will be in the 50s. Tomorrow night, lows will be back in the freezing range, with lows around 30 degrees. Temperatures warm up by Wednesday, with highs in the lower 60s; there is also a chance of showers by the evening hours. That chance of rain will continue through Thursday and Friday, with highs in the low 60s; highs will warm into the middle 60s by next weekend, with the chance of rain in our forecast. This will continue to be the trend until Monday.

Looking ahead, there are signs of a major outbreak of colder weather to start off 2008. There is even the possibility of winter weather for the Deep South, so be sure to stay tuned for that. We will be back on the air Wednesday for a live newscast at 11 a.m., so be sure to check us out there.

Richard Scott
WVUA TV’s Weekend Weather Anchor

Sunday Afternoon Weather Discussion

I hope you are having a great Sunday! Today is the second official day of winter, and it certainly feels like winter outside. As I write this discussion, the temperatures are near freezing in some places. If you are going to be out tonight, be sure to bundle up because we are in for a hard freeze tonight; lows will be in the upper 20s. For Christmas Eve, the weather is going to be perfect, with lots of sunshine. I believe we will see some high and thin cirrus clouds by late tomorrow afternoon; this is ahead of an upper-air system that will be working in here on Tuesday. With very dry air in place, any rain that falls should be light, and the temperatures are expected to stay above freezing on Christmas, so no problems are expected.

Another system will march our way on Wednesday, giving us a 40% chance of rain; highs will be back into the low 60s, but we will be dealing with limited moisture, so we will just see a few showers around. We will dry out on Thursday, but here comes our next round of rain and storms on Friday. This looks like our best rain opportunity this week, so let’s all hope for some good rain totals to end 2007.

Next weekend, the active pattern continues, with several chances of rain and storms; highs over the weekend will warm into the low and middle 60s. Be sure to join us tonight at 10 p.m. for the latest on your forecast. We won’t have a newscast for Monday and Tuesday, but I will be back in on Wednesday morning for the news at midday. I hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Richard Scott
WVUA TV’s Weekend Weather Anchor

Saturday Afternoon Weather Discussion

I hope you are having a great weekend and first day of winter! It certainly doesn’t feel like winter today, with highs near 60. This nice weather is about to change in a hurry, with highs tomorrow forecasted to only reach into the low 50s. Also tomorrow, there will be a brisk northwest wind in-place. Before we get to tomorrow, we have to get through the transition of warm into cold weather. Being in Alabama, we typically see a round of showers and thunderstorms with that transition. At 5 p.m., there was a tornado watch for much of western Mississippi, as a line of showers and thunderstorms were developing. The environment we are in today isn’t especially favorable for tornados, but we will keep an eye on things throughout the night. The line of showers and storms will progress through our area between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. That is the main window for rain here in the Tuscaloosa area. The greatest risk for strong storms will be south of Tuscaloosa; places like Marengo, Sumter, Green, Hale and Perry Counties see the main risk, but even there it is low.

We are under a very active pattern, so over the next 10 days, you can expect drastic changes in your weather, with warm days, followed by rain and pops of colder weather. Tomorrow will be much different than today, with a fresh pop of colder weather. We are also expecting a freeze to start off Christmas Eve; highs will be in the middle 50s, with lots of sunshine around. Our next chance of rain will arrive on Tuesday evening, with a 30% chance of showers. There is even the possibility of a few snowflakes mixing in north of town; especially over the Tennessee Valley. The best chance of rain will come on Wednesday, with a 60% chance of showers. Then, we have another dry day for Thursday, with highs back into the lower 50s. Another disturbance marches into town on Friday.

Looking ahead, there is some interesting data pointing out the chance of winter weather for someone in the south on New Year’s Eve. That would make for an interesting start of 2008! That is still too far out to be specific, but be sure to stay tuned over the next few days as we fine-tune our forecast on that system. Also, be sure to join us tonight at 10 p.m. for the latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA TV’s Weekend Weather Anchor

Friday Afternoon Forecast Discussion Update

Christmas is almost here and today it sure feels far from Christmas-like. I do want to mention that our weather graphics on the site are currently being updated so bear with us. We are trying to get everything switched over due to our new graphics platform. I did want to briefly mention some things about the higher winds yesterday. This was due to what is called a “gravity wave.” I know this took many of us by surprise as we had light winds and a steady rain, which suddenly transitioned into a high wind event. A gravity wave is a strong propagation in the flow or as it’s called a wave, caused by density differences in the air. When the wave is present this can enhance uplift. The air rising or being lifted then cools and becomes dense, later sinking towards the surface in the form of gusty winds. I’ve had several question regarding this term and wanted to hopefully provide some answers. This event led to lots of trees being downed and people loosing power yesterday.

Today turned out just the opposite, with calm and tranquil conditions. Tomorrow we will top out near 70, but the parade of storm system will begin. Tomorrow the winds will grow quite gusty and we will have a cold front moving in tomorrow night. A band of rain will march through tomorrow night and there could be some thunderstorms. The threat for thunderstorms however, will mainly be in areas south of Tuscaloosa.

We will catch a break through much of Sunday and Christmas Eve Day. A shower could pass over by Christmas morning as moisture begins to lift into Alabama again. We will bottom out in the lower 30s Christmas morning, but we should stay above freezing. More showers will be possible with temperatures rising on Christmas day. Low pressure will move in on Wednesday and bring us a good chance of rain for the day after Christmas.

The long range data is showing another storm system taking a similar track late next week for the Friday/Saturday timeframe. As the year 2007 comes to a close, there is a chance we will be talking lots of rain for the last weekend of the year.

Wes Wyatt
WVUA Chief Meteorologist

Thursday Afternoon Weather Discussion

I hope you are having a great Thursday! We finally saw some good rainfall totals across the area today; in-fact, Home Team Interactive Radar has estimated 3 inches of rainfall fell in Sumter County. That is some great news for our drought-stricken area. With the rain, we saw some gusty winds. Parts of Lamar County have dealt with damaging winds, with trees and power lines down. As the rain moved through Tuscaloosa, we dealt with some gusty winds here as well. The rain is beginning to move out of our area and drier air is filling in behind this system. Tomorrow will remain dry, with highs near 70 degrees, so it is going to be a mild day. Our next storm system marches into town on Saturday and Sunday, with a 30% chance of rain and storms on Saturday; it looks like the best chance of rain will come during the overnight hours on Saturday and early Sunday morning. There is a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday. Also, some of those storms may be on the strong side. If thing get out of hand, we will be sure to let you know about it. The temperatures will be on a downhill trend for Sunday, with highs in the upper 50s, but the rain will hang around until Christmas Eve, with a 60% chance of showers.

The good news is that Christmas day looks dry and cool, with highs in the middle 50s. Our next system makes it in here on Wednesday, with a 70% chance of rain and storms; highs will be in the low 50s. After that system moves out, some colder air will move in, with highs in the upper 40s.

Looking ahead, we will remain under a southwest flow aloft, keeping under a very active pattern, with chances of rain and storms. Fortunately, we will see good chances of rain down the road. Since we are nearly 30 inches behind what we should have seen for this time of the year, which is some great news. Be sure to tune in tonight at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. for the latest in your forecast.

(Image Source: HPC Friday’s Surface Map)

Richard Scott
WVUA TV’s Weekend Weather Anchor

Storm Reports Over West Alabama

We are getting numerous damage reports from Lamar County, with widespread tree and power line damage, which is being caused by a gravity wave. There was one report from the Lamar County EMA of an East wind at 50 mph. So, as the rain ends from West to east, it is possible to see some strong winds in Lamar, Pickens, Fayette, and Tuscaloosa Counties. Be cautious if you are going to be driving over the next hour or so, as there are some damaging winds being reported over parts of west Alabama. The reports began coming to us at about 1:15 p.m. Stay tuned. 

WVUA TV’s Richard Scott