Wednesday Afternoon Update 3:07 PM

Ike Forecast Cone

Ike Forecast Cone

I sure had a great time visiting my alma mater earlier today. I was out at Hillcrest High School bright and early speaking to the mass media class. The class gave me an opportunity to give a weather forecast and read announcements on the schools broadcast station. It was lots of fun and I look forward to returning to Hillcrest in November. 

Ike is now a category two hurricane with winds of 100 mph and the system may be a stronger hurricane by 4:00 pm. Ike has been slowly strengthening over the past 24 hours. This system will be tracking westward over the Gulf and we will notice a slight increase in easterly winds for our area tomorrow and Friday. This should bring us some relief from the hot and humid conditions being felt over Alabama. As for sky conditions and precipitation, we will continue to deal with scattered showers and thunderstorms through the rest of today and this evening. Some of the rain could be heavy in some communities. This was quite noticeable yesterday as over an inch of rain fell just south of Winfield while Fayette measured little rain.

The upper air ridge guiding Ike westward will tighten its grip over Alabama and this will mean fewer clouds and hotter temperatures for the weekend. Some spots may be warming into the middle 90s on Saturday and Sunday. Rain will be harder to find and I’m forecasting mainly isolated showers and thunderstorms.

The latest guidance paints a landfall point for Ike near San Antonia Bay, which is just north of Corpus Christi. The landfall time looks to occur on Saturday and by that time Ike could be a major category 3 hurricane. This hurricane will be tracking northward after landfall and a front will sweep Ike’s remnants eastward. We will have showers and thunderstorms increasing in coverage on Monday and Tuesday, with highs near 90 degrees.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist