Saturday Afternoon Discussion

The Atlantic Hurricane Season kicks off tomorrow and already a tropical storm has formed. Arthur developed near Belize and has made a landfall. The system could briefly strengthen into a tropical storm again as it moves over the Bay of Campeche. The Caribbean has been rather unsettled and we will watch this region closely in the weeks ahead. Be sure to visit our links section on the daily weather discussion page for blank hurricane tracking charts and forecast data.

The weather around here won’t be too bad tonight, with a partly cloudy sky and lows in the upper 60s. Tomorrow is the day in which things may turn rocky. A passing shower or thunderstorm will be possible and some of the storms may produce damaging winds and large hail. A slight risk for severe weather is in place for the northern half of the state. By Monday there will be the chance for another shower or thunderstorm, with highs warming to near 90-degrees.

Hot and dry weather will be the story for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each day the sky will be mostly sunny, with high temperatures soaring into the middle 90s. Due to the high moisture content it’s going to feel even hotter at times. I will be filling for Richard tonight at 10:00. Be sure to tune for a detailed local forecast update!

May 2008 Rain Statistics: Total Rain For Tuscaloosa 5.48″, putting us 2.18″ above average for the month. For the year we are 2.65″ below average.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Alabama Weekend Beach Forecast

If you’re traveling to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach this weekend, you picked the perfect time for a getaway. At last check, the temperature was 84-degrees in Gulf Shores, with a 12 mph south wind; the sky condition was fair. The forecast is calling for lots of sunshine for both tomorrow and Sunday, with highs in the mid 80s. Also, water temperatures are near 80-degrees. There will be a 1-2 ft sea, with south winds developing each day between 6-12 mph. (Image: NWS Mobile Nexrad) 

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Friday Afternoon Discussion

At last report, the temperature in Tuscaloosa was 88-degrees and there is still a chance we could see the big 90-degree mark today. It is very hot and some folks are actually catching a break from the heat due to very isolated showers. The rain this afternoon has popped up between Birmingham and Gadsden. A couple of showers tried to flare up over West Alabama, but for now, things have settled down. On the national scale you can see a large ridge dominating the southern U.S. The center of this ridge was over south Texas and northern Mexico. This should keep us dry for the most part tomorrow, although a lone shower can’t be ruled out. If anything pops up it will be due to daytime heating and left over small scale boundaries from today’s activity. The big story tomorrow will be the heat and make sure you have plenty of sunscreen handy if you’re going to be out for an extended period of time. The sky will be mostly sunny through much of the day.

The eastern portion of the ridge is expected to weaken and this will allow for more storms to fire-up on Sunday and Monday. Even though we will have a better chance for a passing shower or thunderstorm, you will have lots of time to tackle outdoor activities. There will also be many spots that may see little to no rain through the start of next week. Once again, the rainy weather will be on the scattered side. The only change is that more thunderstorms will be drifting through the area on Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday the ridge looks to tighten its grip again, so temperatures will soar and sunshine will dominate.

Things look a bit more interesting regarding the setup late next week. Now the data seems to be developing a deeper trough over the nation’s midsection. Also, this feature looks to draw in plenty of moisture from the Gulf. It’s going to take a few more days to get a better handle on the most likely outcome, but I think it’s safe to say rain chances are looking much better for the end of next week. Stay tuned! (Image: RUC 500mb Heights/Showing the Ridge over the Southern U.S.)

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Thursday Afternoon Discussion

Last night around 10:00 PM a tropical depression formed on the Pacific Side of Central America. In the past hours, since that advisory, the system has been upgraded to a tropical storm and made a landfall along the Northern pacific Coast of Nicaragua. The Pacific Hurricane Season has already started and the Atlantic Season will begin on Sunday. We will be watching the far southern Caribbean in the weeks ahead as that region is a hot breeding ground for tropical systems early in the season. Some of the long range data is already hinting at disturbed weather over the warm waters over the Caribbean.

Here at home, the weather has been hot and sticky. There have been some isolated showers and thunderstorms firing up over south Alabama. One shower popped up near Tuscaloosa over the past hours and we could still have a stray shower during the evening hours tonight. Overall, I think the rain is going to be hard to find through Saturday. Even though we can’t rule out a lone thundershower, high pressure to our northeast should keep the rain threat to a minimal. The big story will be the heat, with highs reaching the lower 90s throughout the weekend. Lows at night will be near 70-degrees.

The ridge will weaken enough to allow for a slightly better coverage of afternoon storms on Sunday and Monday. Even during this timeframe we will have plenty of sunshine, with hot temperatures. The rain threat should drop off again on Tuesday as the atmosphere becomes more stable. Some data is hinting at temperatures as warm as 94-degrees for Tuesday. Basically, look for hot and mainly dry conditions for the mid portion of next week.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

AMS CERTIFIED

Other than my normal daily broadcasts, I have been rather busy behind the scenes. I was informed today that I am now an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist. I currently hold the NWA Seal of Approval, which involved a detailed comprehensive exam. Now the AMS has a similar exam and I took the test last week. I’m proud to be AMS Certified, however, its all about bringing you weather information that can be trusted. Thanks for your support and for trusting your local weather team!

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Wednesday Afternoon Discussion

I had a great time over at Coleman Coliseum today playing host for the annual financial Affairs Celebration. Hundreds of people where attending the event and there was some great musical talent. Gary and I managed to break out a classic rendition of Brown Eyed Girl. It was lots of fun and I always look forward to being a part of this event. I did get a few questions regarding the weather. The one thing I noticed is that we’ve had very little sunshine. It feels like stepping out of a steamy shower today. It’s very warm and humid, with light showers to sprinkles continuing over the area. A front is currently stalled over the state and this feature is draped right across Pickens, Tuscaloosa, and Jefferson County. Patchy areas of light rain continue to march eastward along this focal point and the trend should continue overnight. We haven’t seen much thunderstorm action, but don’t be surprised if you hear a few rumbles of thunder. Tomorrow we will have more showers and the possibility of thunderstorms, especially south of Tuscaloosa.

Friday and Saturday are still looking dry for the part. Other than a stray shower, the main weather impact will be the heat. Highs will be in the lower 90s, with a partly cloudy sky overhead. Saturday will be a similar day and with the humidity in place, it’s going to feel quite steamy. High pressure looks to build in from the north and east by Monday. This will keep the warm flow in place.

The ridge looks to lessen its grip a bit as a disturbance works into the Midwest. This should occur late in the weekend and our chances for a passing shower or thunderstorm will pickup in coverage, slightly, for Monday and Tuesday. Other than smaller scale weather elements, I don’t foresee any major storm systems impacting our area through the early portion of next week.

June kicks off on Sunday and that date also marks the start of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The long range data is already starting to show some impressive disturbances over the Gulf. However, much like our winter weather situations, the long range data has a bias in showing lots of tropical features in the long range.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Phoenix Mars Lander

A big event took place this past weekend and you may have heard about this on our live broadcast last night. The Phoenix Mars Lander made a safe approach and entry into the atmosphere of the Planet Mars on Sunday. The spacecraft successfully entered the atmosphere, slowed to an appropriate velocity, and landed safely on the planet surface. The goal is to collect information from the upper polar region of the red planet in a hope to gain evidence of previous life. The link I’ve included will take you to NASA’s website regarding the program and the page contains great video of the actual landing and what the program is all about. This is really neat stuff and I always find it amazing how scientist at NASA are able to make such achievements, as to land a spacecraft on the surface of a plant so very far away. Click here to see the video from NASA.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

(Image Source: NASA)