Bertha Update/Storms Settling Down-9:25 p.m.

Bertha continues to churn away tonight as a category two hurricane over the Atlantic. This is an Enhanced Infrared Satellite image of Bertha, which shows the nice oval structure and well defined eye. Bertha is on a northward course and should stay safely away from the United States. Sometimes you wonder what we would do without our weather satellites. Years ago, before the age of satellites, reports of hurricanes were relayed through other avenues such as ship reports. In today’s age, satellite not only reveals cloud structure but certain sensors on board can extract other data such as water temperature.

Storms Settling Down: The latest radar round-up shows the storms weakening near the Birmingham area. The only cluster of storms on radar was near the Leeds area. In fact, you could see quite a lightning show east of Tuscaloosa tonight due to the towering cumulus clouds associated with this activity. I still can’t rule out a stray thunderstorm or shower overnight. The new model data is rolling in and our chance for a shower or thunderstorm still looks good for tomorrow.

Wes Wyatt
WVUA-TV Chief Meteorologist

Wednesday Afternoon Update-3:28 p.m.

I think it is safe to say that it feels much hotter than the actual temperature. The latest airport observation showed a temperature of 92 and the heat index was a blistering 98. We’ve had a few more clouds overhead today and the storm development has been very isolated. There is a more organized line of thunderstorms and showers to our northwest and this activity will slowly drop southward through the evening hours tonight. You can expect muggy conditions through this evening with the chance for a passing shower or thunderstorms. A stray shower or storm can’t be ruled out overnight.

Tomorrow and Friday will be partly cloudy days and the weak boundary over the region will help to trigger a good coverage of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could be strong or severe with frequent lightning and gusty straight-line winds. High pressure will start to tighten its grip by Saturday and Sunday and this will mean hotter temperatures and fewer storms in the afternoon hours. A northwest flow aloft will be in place next week and storms that develop to our north, may track into our area.

In the tropics, Bertha looks more impressive on the enhanced satellite imagery. The system has made a northward turn out of the central Atlantic and now Bertha is expected to slow down and continue a movement northward. The trough responsible for sending the boundary into Alabama tomorrow will eventually pick up Bertha and turn the system northeast by Sunday.

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist