Forecast Discussion Update 3:51 PM

The month is coming to a close and this particular August has been a wet one. Compared the past five years, this has been our wettest August with nearly six inches of rain in Tuscaloosa. The impressive aspect is that the higher rain totals arrived in the absence of a major tropical system making a landfall in Alabama. A stray shower can’t totally be ruled out for the first two days of September, although most areas will be dry. Tomorrow and Wednesday will be partly cloudy days, with only a 10% chance of rain. We will enjoy some pleasant temperatures, with lows near 60 degrees. Tonight most locations will drop into the 50s for lows, with highs in the middle 80s through Friday.

A front is stationary along the gulf coast and a low pressure wave developing along the front will be the trigger for any stray showers that develop close to home. The front will settle further southward over the Gulf and we will have to monitor the boundary close for potential tropical development. Similar setups can serve as breeding grounds for tropical storms. A core of cool and dry air centered to our north will also settle southward and this will bring us dry weather through the rest of the week. Temperatures will make a slow recovery into the upper 80s by the weekend, with a bright sky overhead. If you’re a Tide fan heading to Atlanta, temperatures will be in the 80s, with scattered thunderstorms and showers. The chance for rain in the area will be ranging between 20% and 30% over the next five days.

In the Topics: A strong tropical wave could become a depression soon near the Lesser Antilles. This system may go straight to tropical storm status and the next name of the list is “Erika.” Meanwhile over in the Pacific, a northward tracking tropical cyclone named “Jimena” will spread rain and moisture into the Baja of California. The system will weaken into a depression by Saturday morning, spreading much needed rain into southern California, and aiding in the battle against the wildfires.

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

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Sunday Afternoon Weather Update – 4:30 PM

A good Sunday to you! The rainfall has been very impressive today across our state, with some locations picking up 2 inches of rainfall. In-fact, according to radar estimates, southern Marengo County has picked up nearly 6 inches since this time yesterday. The rain is moving out, but a few light showers will linger on and off through 10 PM tonight. After that, dry weather will begin to move in. A cold front is moving through the state today, and we’ll notice the effects of that front tomorrow. Lots of sun and noticeably less humid conditions will be felt. Temperatures will remain below average, with highs in the middle 80s.

You’ll really notice a difference in our temperatures Monday and Tuesday night, as lows approach 61 degrees. Some places could end up in the upper 50s both mornings. The afternoon hours will be filled with mostly sunny skies through Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, moisture levels will begin to increase, and a few storms could pop up. We don’t expect a washout, but a few storms will begin to move in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you are planning a trip to Atlanta for the Alabama Football game, expect a few showers in the area. The good news is that we aren’t expecting much in the way of rainfall.

The tropics are still rather active, as we have a tropical low developing east of the Lesser Antilles. This could become our next named storm at any time. Be sure to stay with us for the latest developments on that system.

Be sure to join me tonight at 10 PM on WVUA-TV for more weather information.

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Have a great day!

Richard Scott

Saturday’s Weather Update – 11:35 AM

A good Saturday to you! We’ve started off the day with mostly sunny skies. As temperatures warm into the upper 80s, we’ll see a few showers and storms develop. While showers and storms will be isolated today, we’ll see a much better coverage of rain tomorrow. A cold front will be moving in late tomorrow night, which will bring a good coverage of showers and storms; some storms could be rather strong. Temperatures tomorrow will top out near 82 degrees.

A cooler airmass will move into the state on Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the lower 80s. Temperatures will approach the upper 50s both Tuesday and Wednesday morning. With lower humidity back in the area, conditions will feel a lot like fall. While our skies will remain sunny, temperatures will remain below average through Thursday.

Moisture levels will increase slightly on Friday and Saturday, with temperatures climbing into the upper 80s. A few showers and storms are in the forecast, but rainfall chances look very low at this time. Saturday will be the first weekend for Alabama football in Atlanta. Their forecast looks about the same as ours. If you are taking a trip to the game, keep the rain gear handy. We’ll fine-tune that forecast as we get closer to next weekend.

As for the tropics, Danny has weakened into a Tropical Depression. Winds are not very high with this system, but rainfall is widespread in the northeast. Flooding rains will be possible all day for much of New England.

Be sure to join me tonight at 10 PM on WVUA-TV for more weather information.

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Have a great day!

Richard Scott

Hurricane Katrina, 4 Years Later…

On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border as a strong category three hurricane with sustained wind gusts of 125 mph. Hurricane force winds pounded coastal areas of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi, bringing about massive structural damage and destruction. Moreover, a catastrophic storm surge flood ensued as 24 to 27 feet of water moved ashore and precipitated widespread flooding and eventually caused the levees in the city of New Orleans to fail. Hurricane Katrina continued northward through eastern Mississippi, bringing hurricane force wind gusts into central and west-central Alabama during the afternoon and evening of August 29.

The city of New Orleans, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, was uninhabitable for weeks because of widespread wind damage and massive flooding. Residents were not allowed to return to their homes for weeks following the hurricane. In fact, the National Weather Service office in New Orleans, LA was unable to carry out operations for its forecast area; therefore, the Mobile office covered New Orleans’ area for weeks following Katrina.

A few memorable excerpts from the last statement issued by the National Weather Service in New Orleans before the hurricane hit:

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. ATLEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALLFAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELYDAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

A link to the entire statement issued can be found here:

Isaac Williams
WVUA-Weather

Forecast Discussion Update 3:13 PM

We started off the day on a very warm and damp note across West Alabama. In fact, over the past 48 hours we’ve received some impressive rain amounts. The official rain total for Tuscaloosa was 0.70”. Some heavier totals were reported outside of the city. At Northwood Lake nearly an inch of rain fell according to one of our weather watchers. If you’re heading to a high school football game tonight I would plan on carrying the poncho. The chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms will continue this evening. As for tomorrow, we should wake-up to some patchy fog, low clouds, and humid conditions. The sun will peak out from time to time tomorrow, with highs in the upper 80s. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible late in the day and tomorrow night.

Over the past 48 hours we’ve had lots of moisture wrapping in thanks to an upper air low rotating over the region. This low will migrate eastward as a cold front enters the state. The front will push through on Sunday producing a few more showers before much drier air arrives. We will enjoy a stretch of sunny and pleasant weather for a good portion of next week. Expect a sunny sky on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with highs near 80 degrees. Lows will be in the middle 50s and some of the cooler valleys to our north may dip into the lower 50s. A surface high will become situated to our north. As the center of the high slides east, we will have an east to southeast flow developing by Thursday. There will be a few more clouds on Thursday and Friday, with highs in the upper 80s.

The Tropics: The upper air pattern over the eastern U.S. is guiding Tropical Storm Danny northward. This system is expected to remain a tropical storm according to the latest official forecast and it may impact parts of New England. Another strong disturbance recently emerged in the eastern Atlantic. There is a potential for this system to become better organized over the next 24 hours. The next name of the 2009 list is “Erika.”

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Forecast Discussion Update 4:06 PM

Showers and thunderstorms have returned to the area and this activity will continue into the evening hours tonight. Areas south of I-59 and east of I-65 are under Flash Flood Watches through Midnight because of the threat of additional heavy rain. High School Football begins for some area schools tonight and I would plan on carrying the poncho.

Currently the dew points are much higher than the values from earlier in the week. This is making it feel hotter and rather muggy. This low level moisture is combining with an upper air low to create a good coverage of rain and storms over parts of the state. The chance for a thunderstorm or shower locally will continue tonight and tomorrow. The rain may be quite heavy at times.

Even though showers and thunderstorms will be possible tomorrow, I do expect some breaks. The sun will peak out from time to time, with highs reaching the middle 80s. More scattered thunderstorms will materialize on Saturday as a cold front enters Alabama. This front will push southward through Saturday night and early on Sunday, with a continuing chance for a thundershower. By Sunday afternoon we will enjoy some clearing, with a dry northerly flow developing. Look for cooler and dry weather for the first half of next week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be mostly sunny days, with highs near 80. Lows at night will be in the 50s.

Tropical Storm Danny: The tropical system Danny is expected to grow into a hurricane over the next few days. Danny will track northward, skirting the U.S. East Coast. Areas stretching from Cape Cod northeast to the coast of Maine are located within the 5-day track forecast cone.

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Forecast Discussion Update 3:36 PM

The month is winding down and this has to be one of the nicest August months that we’ve experienced in the past five years. It is feeling rather hot this afternoon, but temperatures are near average for this time of year. Highs today reached the lower 90s and tonight I’m expecting lows in the 60s. A southerly flow has developed and this will continue to transport moisture our way. I’m expecting a partly cloudy sky over the next couple of days, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. The greatest chance for rain will be during the afternoon and early evening hours.

A front will enter the state late Saturday and this will bring a continuing chance for a shower or thunderstorm Saturday night and early on Sunday. This front will push through our area, with cooler air wrapping in late Sunday. You can expect another cool start for next week, with highs in the middle 80s and lows in the upper 50s. The sky will be mostly sunny each day.

Meanwhile in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Danny formed north of the Leeward Islands today. This system is forecasted to strengthen and turn northward over the next 48 hours. There is a chance Danny could impact the Carolinas and New England. The NHC forecast cone continues to highlight the possibility of an impact along the East Coast. The upper air pattern will prevent Danny from impacting our area. We will have more details tonight at five, six, and ten!

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist