Saturday Afternoon Weather Discussion; Posted at 2:21 p.m.

Current Active Tropical Systems

Current Active Tropical Systems

I hope you are having a great Saturday! Things are certainly busy in Tuscaloosa this afternoon, with Alabama playing at home. The good news is that the rain is out of here, but a mostly cloudy sky has kept temperatures from getting too hot. In-fact, temperatures were in the lower 80s at the Tuscaloosa Airport as of the 2 p.m. updated reading. Also, a breeze out of the northwest will keep things feeling better throughout the afternoon. Skies will begin to clear out later this evening and tonight, with lows in the middle 60s. For Sunday, expect highs near 90s degrees, as we see a return to mostly sunny skies. Conditions will remain very similar through Tuesday, but there are some changes by Wednesday and Thursday. We will have some gulf moisture moving in, which will help to enhance our shower coverage during the afternoon hours. Don’t expect much rain out of that, but more interesting weather comes by the end of the week and into the weekend.

Hurricane Ike is now a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 115 mph. It is moving towards the west-southwest at 15 mph, and this motion is expected over the next few days. On Monday and Tuesday, Ike will be interacting with Cuba, which will weaken it some. It will also begin a west and eventually northwest turn, and re-emerge out into the Gulf of Mexico sometime Tuesday afternoon. There are a lot of uncertainties on the strength and position of the storm by that time, so be sure to stay with us as we continue to monitor the latest track and strength of the storm. It is expected to be a major hurricane by Thursday morning, while it is moving into the central Gulf of Mexico.

The ridge that is blocking Ike from turning northward will continue to build westward, which will keep Ike on the track to the west and northwest. As a strong trough builds into the central portion of the nation later next week, it is expected to turn Ike northward sometime by the weekend. This could spell a major threat for anyone from New Orleans to Tampa Bay. It is still too early to pinpoint on an exact location, but confidence is increasing on a central or eastern Gulf of Mexico landfall. This could spell some big changes in the forecast by the weekend. I have forecasted highs in the upper 80s with more rain and clouds for Friday and Saturday, but that could all chance if the track of Ike changes. Be sure to join us tonight at 10 p.m. for the latest on Ike and much more. Have a great day!

Richard Scott
WVUA-TV’s Weekend Weather Anchor