A New Hurricane Outlook From NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a new report regarding the 2009 Hurricane Season for the Atlantic Basin. They have lowered their projection to 7-11 named storms, 3-6 possibly becoming hurricanes, and 2 possibly major hurricanes. It is important to know that all it takes is one major hurricane to produce lots of damage. In fact, in 1992 the “A” named storm Andrew struck in late August. At this time there is a very strong category 4 hurricane churning in the Pacific. Hurricane Felicia is producing maximum sustained winds of 138 mph, with gusts to 167 mph. This hurricane will weaken quickly as it turns westward towards Hawaii. For the full report click here.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist


Forecast Discussion Update 3:46 PM

School time is almost here! I gave a severe weather safety presentation earlier over at Central High School. I spoke to the drivers for the Tuscaloosa City School Bus System. I had to grab the shades because we had lots of sunshine to start off the day. Over the past few hours some fair weather clouds have started to build in. Temperatures have reached the lower 90s and over the next couple of days temperatures will rise into the middle to upper 90s. An upper air ridge building overhead will keep us hot and humid, with hazy sunshine. We will cool into the lower 70s at night, with gradual clearing.

There will be enough instability by Sunday and Monday for a few isolated thunderstorms. Other than the small chance for rain in the afternoon, there won’t be a major change in how it feels over West and Central Alabama. Highs will be reaching the lower 90s through the weekend and early next week. After analyzing the latest long range data, I wouldn’t expect much change in the forecast through next Thursday. We will have more August heat, with spotty afternoon and early evening thunderstorms.

Today has been a big day with respect to climate news. I had a chance to listen in on a climate briefing-teleconference-regarding the southeast. I have a blog posting below this update.

The Dog Days of Summer: We’re entering the dog days of summer and we’re asking viewers to send in pictures of their dogs beating the heat. Last year we had so much fun with this and we want to do it again. We will begin showing pictures during our weather segments on Monday. Please send your pictures to: wxpics@wvuatv.com

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Southeast Climate Briefing

I had an opportunity to listen in on a climate briefing-teleconference this afternoon. Guests on hand included Dr. Thomas Karl, director of NOAA and president of the AMS, and Dan Satterfield, Chief Meteorologist for WHNT-TV in Huntsville. There where several interesting topics discussed including the current state of our climate and where it is going.

According to U.S. Climate impact reports, the average temperature over the southeast has increased by 2-degrees since 1970 and based on the current trend, temperatures may rise 4.5 to 9-degrees by the end of the century. Areas like southern Louisiana, which normally experiences 60 days with temperatures above 90 degrees, would then experience approximately 150 days with temperatures above 90 degrees.

Concerns of a warming climate include: Increases in air and water temperature, decreases in water availability, sea level rises, and ecological impacts.

Over the past decade there has been lots of debate surrounding this topic. The main argument has been centered on the cause of global warming. Regardless of the cause, the general consensus among many scientists is that temperatures have displayed a rising trend and it never hurts to do our part in helping the environment. Reducing the amount of heat trapping gases is a positive not only for the environment but for our health. Currently parts of Jefferson and Shelby counties are facing air quality alerts.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist