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4 Years Later – Hurricane Rita…

Tuscaloosa County Tornado - 9/25/2005

Tuscaloosa County Tornado - 9/25/2005

Four years ago today, yet another hurricane, Rita, made landfall near Port Arthur, Texas, as a strong category three hurricane. Its impacts were felt across a large part of the southern and southeastern United States, from coastal storm surge flooding to tornadoes. Hurricane Rita was especially unique in that it spawned tornadoes across Mississippi and Alabama but made landfall in far southeast Texas.

Temperatures rose into the 80s on that Sunday afternoon as the outer feeder bands of Rita rotated into the area. Rita’s shear envelope was particularly large, and sufficient low-level shear coincided with unstable conditions to create a situation favorable for tornadoes in the feeder bands rotating through the region. Low-topped supercells formed during the peak heating of the day, and 11 separate tornadoes occurred in Tuscaloosa County alone. WVUA-TV’s Wes Wyatt and Robert Stevenson were on the air for more than 8 hours covering the severe weather affecting the area. Several other tornadoes occurred over western and northwestern Alabama, as well as central and eastern Mississippi. In total, the National Weather Service in Birmingham confirmed 21 tornadoes on that Sunday afternoon over west and northwest Alabama. On September 24, several tornadoes also occurred over eastern Louisiana and western Mississippi.

Isaac Williams
WVUA-Weather

Tropical Weather Update

Courtesy National Hurricane Center

Courtesy National Hurricane Center

A new tropical depression has developed this afternoon over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, and the depression is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph. This depression could become a tropical storm later this evening, but a gradual weakening trend should ensue tomorrow or tomorrow afternoon. A northwestward motion should continue over the next couple of days, with the depression becoming a remnant low within the next 5 days. Should this depression become a tropical storm, the name will be Grace.

Isaac Williams
WVUA-Weather

Forecast Discussion Update 9/25 3:51 PM

Happy Friday to you! Let me begin by reminding you about tonight’s Football Friday, which will air at 10:30 p.m. on WVUA-TV. Each week our sports team does a great job traveling through our community and covering area high school football games. I know the guys back in the sports department are probably tired of me forecasting rain. Tonight we will continue to have the threat for a thunderstorm or shower in the area. As the night goes on however, the chance for rain will be lower. Look for more humid conditions, with temperatures falling into the 70s.

A front has settled into the area and this will be a focal point for more rain and thunderstorm development tomorrow. The greatest chance for rain tomorrow will be during the afternoon hours. Thunderstorms will be a possibility tomorrow and I can’t totally rule out a strong or severe thunderstorm. I would plan on carrying the rain gear to the Alabama and Arkansas game tomorrow. Remember that umbrellas are not allowed in Bryant Denny Stadium.

On Sunday and Monday some drier air will begin settling into the state. There will be some lingering clouds mixing with sunshine. I am also forecasting a chance for a stray shower on Monday for areas along and south of the highway-80 corridor. The good thing is that a sun filled sky will dominate the entire area on Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs near 80 and lows in the 50s. Thursday will also be a dry day but moisture will be on the return. We will have a chance of rain by next Friday, with more clouds next weekend.

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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist

Nice Viewer Picture

SKP_7599I want to thank Mr. Skip Baumhower for sending us this nice picture of the moonlit sky last night.