Wednesday Afternoon Weather Update – 4:00 PM

A good Wednesday to you! Temperatures only reached 90 degrees this afternoon, but the heat index was closer to 100 degrees. Our thunderstorm chances the rest of this afternoon will be rather low, with only a few storms drifting around the state. Once the sun sets, storms will dissipate; although, I can’t rule out a storm or two through the night. Lows approach 72 degrees tonight. Hurricane Alex is making big news in the western Gulf of Mexico, but Alex is staying well away from the oil disaster in the gulf. This will give workers a sigh of relief, but as we get further into the hurricane season, we may run out of luck.

A cold front has entered northern Alabama this afternoon, but it’s becoming stationary. The front will slowly drift southward tomorrow, and bring drier weather to northern Alabama tomorrow. Rain chances will be confined to southern Alabama for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I can’t rule out an isolated storm for the Tuscaloosa area through the weekend, but rain chances are at 20%. Lower humidity will be felt through the weekend for the Tennessee Valley, but muggy weather will stick around for areas near and south of Tuscaloosa. Highs through Independence Weekend will approach 90 degrees, while lows bottom out around 70.

The rest of the forecast remains fairly similar, with highs in the lower 90s and lows in the low 70s. We really get into a typical summer patter, with isolated afternoon storms possible through mid-week. Be sure to join me for weather on WVUA-TV tonight at 5, 6 and 10 PM. Have a great day!

Richard Scott
Weekend Meteorologist

Alex Now a Hurricane

Alex Forecast - Click for Larger View

HURRICANE ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER  18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL     AL012010
1000 PM CDT TUE JUN 29 2010

…ALEX BECOMES THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE 2010 SEASON AND THE FIRST JUNE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SINCE 1995…

SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…23.1N 94.8W
ABOUT 195 MI…315 KM ESE OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 255 MI…415 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…973 MB…28.73 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM BAFFIN BAY TO PORT OCONNOR
* THE COAST OF MEXICO SOUTH OF LA CRUZ TO CABO ROJO

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE UNITED STATES…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 1000 PM CDT…0300 UTC…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE ALEX WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 23.1 NORTH…LONGITUDE 94.8 WEST.  ALEX HAS MOVED MOSTLY WESTWARD NEAR 9 MPH…15 KM/HR…OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS BUT A GENERAL WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS.  ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF ALEX WILL APPROACH THE COAST OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO OR SOUTHERN TEXAS ON WEDNESDAY AND MAKE LANDFALL IN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA LATE WEDNESDAY OR WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH…120 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  ALEX IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE.  ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST PRIOR TO LANDFALL.  ALEX WILL BEGIN TO WEAKEN AFTER ITS CENTER CROSSES THE COASTLINE.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 15 MILES…30 KM…FROM THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES…280 KM.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PLANE WAS 973 MB…28.73 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
RAINFALL…ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES.  THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES… ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.  RAINBANDS ASSOCIATED WITH ALEX ARE SPREADING ONSHORE IN NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS.

WIND…TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE COAST WITHIN THE HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREAS BEGINNING LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY WEDNESDAY…MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

STORM SURGE…A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.  THE SURGE COULD PENETRATE INLAND AS FAR AS SEVERAL MILES FROM THE SHORE WITH DEPTH GENERALLY DECREASING AS THE WATER MOVES INLAND.  NEAR THE COAST… THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

TORNADOES…ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF EXTREME SOUTHERN TEXAS ON WEDNESDAY.

Weather Update

Surface Map

Forecast Map - Click for Larger View

A weak cold front has settled into the area, and it doesn’t look like it will be moving all the way through. This will be the main player in our weather for the next several days. It will be the focal point for scattered thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday around West Alabama. Some of the storms can be rather strong, with heavy douwpours, frequent lightning and gusty winds over the next several days. What’s left of the front will stay in the area into the holiday weekend, and because of that I can’t rule out some isolated storms into early next week. Generally for the next seven days, highs will be around the 90-degree mark, give or take a few degrees, with overnight lows in the low 70s.

Tropical Storm Alex is forecast to become Hurricane Alex late Tuesday or early Wednesday. The storm will likely remain a category one hurricane before it makes landfall, now projected just south of the U.S./Mexican border during the very early morning hours Thursday. Alex will end its life cycle as a tropical low over the mountainous regions of central Mexico. Severe flooding in portions of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico is possible. Some areas could see 20 inches of rain from this system!

Click for Larger View

Alex is having some effects on clean-up and containment of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Tuesday, Coast Guard officials say they brought back in skimming ships and that all clean-up efforts have been stopped off the Louisiana coast. BP officials said Tuesday that all skimmers were idled off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. The outer edges of Alex are causing more numerous thunderstorms in the northern Gulf and stronger winds which are causing rough seas. Waves were reported as high as 12 feet Tuesday in some areas of the Gulf.

You can get the latest information on Alex from the National Hurricane Center by clicking here.

Robert Stevenson
WVUA Weather

“Alex” Update – Tuesday Afternoon

TROPICAL STORM ALEX INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER  16A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL012010
100 PM CDT TUE JUN 29 2010

…ALEX MOVING NORTHWESTWARD WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH…

SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…22.9N 93.6W
ABOUT 270 MI…435 KM ESE OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 320 MI…515 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…21 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…981 MB…28.97 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM BAFFIN BAY TO PORT OCONNOR

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE UNITED STATES…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

Click for Larger View

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 100 PM CDT…1800 UTC…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ALEX WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.9 NORTH…LONGITUDE 93.6 WEST.  ALEX IS NOW MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 13 MPH…21 KM/HR.  A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY.  ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF ALEX WILL APPROACH THE COAST OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS ON WEDNESDAY AND MAKE LANDFALL WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH…110 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 36 HR OR SO BEFORE LANDFALL…AND ALEX IS LIKELY TO BECOME A HURRICANE LATER TODAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES…220 KM FROM THE CENTER.  NOAA BUOY 42055…LOCATED ABOUT 65 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER…RECENTLY REPORTED 1-MINUTE MEAN WINDS OF 38 MPH… 61 KM/HR…AND A WIND GUST OF 45 MPH…72 KM/HR.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS 981 MB…28.97 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
RAINFALL…ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20
INCHES. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN MEXICO TODAY. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES…ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

WIND…TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE COAST WITHIN THE HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREAS ON WEDNESDAY…MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

STORM SURGE…A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.  THE SURGE COULD PENETRATE INLAND AS FAR AS SEVERAL MILES FROM THE SHORE WITH DEPTH GENERALLY DECREASING AS THE WATER MOVES INLAND.  NEAR THE COAST…THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

“Alex” Update – 10:00 P.M., Monday, June 28, 2010

TROPICAL STORM ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER  14
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL     AL012010
1000 PM CDT MON JUN 28 2010

…ALEX GRADUALLY STRENGTHENING…

SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…21.0N 91.6W
ABOUT 440 MI…710 KM ESE OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 505 MI…810 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…65 MPH…100 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 0 DEGREES AT 5 MPH…7 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…985 MB…29.09 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE.

THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE WARNING FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM BAFFIN BAY TO PORT OCONNOR.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM BAFFIN BAY TO PORT OCONNOR

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA.  A WARNING IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 36 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS…CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE UNITED STATES…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 1000 PM CDT…0300 UTC…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ALEX WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 21.0 NORTH…LONGITUDE 91.6 WEST.  ALEX IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 5 MPH…7 KM/HR…AND A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST WITH SOME INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED ON TUESDAY…FOLLOWED BY A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 65 MPH…100 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST…AND ALEX IS LIKELY TO BECOME A HURRICANE ON TUESDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES…110 KM FROM THE CENTER.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS 985 MB…29.09 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
RAINFALL…ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES OVER SOUTHERN MEXICO AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA THROUGH TUESDAY. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

WIND…TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE COAST WITHIN THE HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREAS ON WEDNESDAY…MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

STORM SURGE…A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.  THE SURGE COULD PENETRATE AS FAR INLAND AS SEVERAL MILES FROM THE SHORE WITH DEPTH GENERALLY DECREASING AS THE WATER MOVES INLAND.  NEAR THE COAST…THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

Forecast Update

Forecast Map - Click for Larger View

Get ready for more numerous thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday as a front approaches the area from the north. This cold front will slowly move through the area, that combined with extra Gulf of Mexico moisture being pumped into the area from Tropical Storm Alex, will mean greater coverage into the middle of the week. Some of these storms could be strong during the daytime and evening hours, with heavy downpours, frequent lightning and gusty winds. I can’t rule out some isolated severe thunderstorms, too.

Afternoon temperatures will highly depend on thunderstorm coverage. For Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be at 90, or better. But, if you get some storms to roll through your neighborhood, temperatures will be cooler.

One good thing about this front moving through, it will bring in drier air behind it. That means lower humidity levels, so conditions will be more comfortable Thursday, Friday and even into Saturday. Unfortunately, the humidity returns Sunday, Independence Day, along with the small chance for a couple thunderstorms.

Alex Forecast Track - Click for Larger View

We’re also tracking Tropical Storm Alex. It’s forecast is taking it towards the Mexico/U.S. Border near Brownsville, Texas. The storm will cause more thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico and increased southeast winds with create rough seas. That means it will make containment operations for the oil spill tougher. You can get the latest on Alex by clicking here.

Tune in for the latest West Alabama weather forecast Tuesday afternoon on WVUA News First at 4:00, and Tuesday night on WVUA News at 5:00, 6:oo and 10:00.

Robert Stevenson
WVUA Weather

Alex Becomes a Tropical Storm Again… 10 PM

TROPICAL STORM ALEX DISCUSSION NUMBER  10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL012010
1000 PM CDT SUN JUN 27 2010

AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT AIRCRAFT HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING ALEX THIS EVENING AND MEASURED A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 991 MB AND PEAK FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF 42 KT NORTH OF THE CENTER. THE PLANE ALSO MEASURED PEAK SFMR WINDS OF 41 KT TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER. SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT CENTRAL CONVECTION IS REFORMING… BANDING FEATURES ARE GRADUALLY INCREASING…AND UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW IS WELL-ESTABLISHED IN ALL QUADRANTS EXCEPT THE NORTHWEST.  BASED UPON THE AIRCRAFT MEASUREMENTS AND THE INCREASED ORGANIZATION ON SATELLITE IMAGES…ALEX IS ONCE AGAIN UPGRADED TO A TROPICAL STORM…AND THE ADVISORY INTENSITY IS SET AT 40 KT.

ALTHOUGH THE 12-HR AVERAGE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 300/6… SHORTER-TERM FIXES SUGGEST THAT ALEX MAY BE MOVING EVEN SLOWER. DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD…GLOBAL MODELS FORECAST AN UNUSUALLY DEEP LONGWAVE TROUGH TO DEVELOP OVER THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES WHICH SHOULD RESULT IN A TEMPORARY WEAKENING OF MID-LEVEL RIDGING ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. THE GFS/CANADIAN MODELS CONTINUE TO INDICATE A WEAKER VERSION OF THE MID-LEVEL RIDGE AND HENCE A MORE NORTHWESTERLY OR NORTH-NORTHWESTERLY MOTION…WHILE THE ECMWF/ UKMET/NOGAPS HAVE CONSISTENTLY PREDICTED A STRONGER RIDGE AND MOVE ALEX ON A MORE WEST-NORTHWESTERLY COURSE. THE OFFICIAL NEW FORECAST IS QUITE SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY…AND CLOSELY FOLLOWS A CONSENSUS OF THE DYNAMICAL MODELS THAT EXCLUDES THE GFS…SINCE THE LATTER MODEL APPEARS TO BE SOMEWHAT OF A NORTHERN OUTLIER AT THISTIME.

NOW THAT THE CENTER OF ALEX HAS EMERGED OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO…GLOBAL MODELS PREDICT AN ENVIRONMENT CHARACTERIZED BY LIGHT VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AS ALEX MOVES OVER WARM WATERS. BOTH OF THESE INGREDIENTS SHOULD FAVOR STEADY INTENSIFICATION UNTIL LANDFALL.  PERHAPS THE ONE NEGATIVE FACTOR IS THE LARGE SIZE OF THE CIRCULATION…AS IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME FOR THE CYCLONE TO CONSOLIDATE FURTHER. GIVEN THE FAVORABLE LARGE-SCALE CONDITIONS… IT IS STILL PUZZLING THAT THE GFDL/HWRF DO NOT SHOW ALEX STRENGTHENING TO MORE THAN A TROPICAL STORM DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.  STATISTICAL GUIDANCE…ON THE OTHER HAND…CONTINUES TO FORECAST A STRONGER TROPICAL CYCLONE AND THE NHC INTENSITY FORECAST REMAINS CLOSE TO SHIPS/LGEM MODEL OUTPUT.  IN ANY EVENT…IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE SKILL OF 2 TO 3-DAY INTENSITY FORECASTS IS VERYLOW.

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

(Source: National Hurricane Center)

Sunday Evening Weather Update – 8:30 PM

A good Sunday to you! Our weather turned out hot today, as we’re in a rainfall lull. The stationary front that was over us yesterday has washed out and left us mostly dry today. Another cold front is on the way, and we can expect a good chance of rain and storms along the front by Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lows tonight will approach the lower 70s, with skies becoming mostly clear. Conditions will become rather muggy tonight and early tomorrow morning. We’ll really heat up tomorrow afternoon, as highs approach the middle 90s. Heat index values will exceed 100 degrees. Only a few afternoon storms are possible tomorrow, as many of us stay dry. Once the cold front starts to drift into north Alabama on Tuesday, we’ll see a good coverage of showers and storm. Some tropical moisture from Alex gets pulled into the front and really enhances the rainfall coverage. With the addition of clouds and rain, temperatures will have a hard time breaking 90 degrees. Data is still all over the board with where Alex goes next. Some data makes its next landfall near the Texas/Louisiana boarder, while the majority of the models bring it into south Texas. Either way, we’ll keep an eye on it just incase anything changes.

The forecast gets rather tricky towards the 4th of July weekend, as models vary greatly in the path of Alex. Some data brings Alex close enough for us to see some of the outer rain bands, while other data brings dry continental air into Alabama. Stay with us as we fine-tune your forecast. Be sure to tune in tonight at 10 PM for more on your weather. Have a great day!

Richard Scott
Weekend Meteorologist

Alex Is Moving Into The Gulf… – 4 PM


TROPICAL DEPRESSION ALEX DISCUSSION NUMBER   9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL012010
400 PM CDT SUN JUN 27 2010

SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW THAT ALEX CONTINUES TO HAVE A LARGE AND WELL-DEFINED CIRCULATION WITH PLENTY OF BANDING FEATURES.  NEAR THE CENTER…HOWEVER…CONVECTION HAS DECREASED…PROBABLY DUE TO THE INFLUENCE OF LAND.  THE MEXICAN NAVY SURFACE STATION AT ISLA PEREZ RECENTLY REPORTED 30 KT WINDS…SO THE INITIAL WIND SPEED IS KEPT AT 30 KT.  AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE ALEX THIS EVENING AFTER THE CENTER MOVES
OFFSHORE.

THE INITIAL MOTION OF ALEX IS A LITTLE SLOWER…WITH A 12-HR AVERAGE YIELDING AN ESTIMATE OF 300/8.  THE PIVOTAL QUESTION FOR THE LONG-TERM FORECAST TRACK OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE APPEARS TO HINGE ON THE STRENGTH OF MID-LEVEL RIDGING OVER THE NORTHERN GULF COAST.  THE MODELS THAT SHOW A WEAKER RIDGE…SUCH AS THE CMC/GFS/HWRF… ALLOW THE TROPICAL CYCLONE TO TURN TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AND NORTH AND APPROACH THE NORTHWESTERN GULF COAST IN SEVERAL DAYS.  OTHER MODELS…SUCH AS THE ECMWF/UKMET/NOGAPS…HAVE A STRONGER RIDGE AND KEEP ALEX MOVING TO THE NORTHWEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST INTO MEXICO.  OVERALL THE MODEL GUIDANCE HAS SHIFTED SLIGHTLY TO THE NORTH…AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS ONE. SINCE THERE IS CONSIDERABLE MODEL SPREAD…THIS TRACK FORECAST IS THOUGHT TO BE OF BELOW-AVERAGE CONFIDENCE.

WHILE THERE IS A LARGE DISAGREEMENT ON THE TRACK OF ALEX…THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE IN MUCH BETTER AGREEMENT WITH THE LARGE-SCALE ENVIRONMENT. THESE MODELS SHOW AN UPPER-RIDGE AXIS SITTING VERY NEAR THE TROPICAL CYCLONE FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS…IN A FAVORABLE POSITION FOR INTENSIFICATION. COMBINED WITH THE WARM WATERS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO…STRENGTHENING IS LIKELY…ESPECIALLY AFTER ALEX MOVES FARTHER AWAY FROM THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. GIVEN THE OVERALL ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS…IT IS SURPRISING THAT THE GFDL/HWRF DO NOT SHOW MORE INTENSIFICATION…LEAVING THE SYSTEM AS A TROPICAL STORM FOR MANY DAYS. THE STATISTICAL GUIDANCE SEEMS MORE REASONABLE AND THE NHC FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE SHIPS MODEL…AND IS NOT TOO DISSIMILAR FROM THE PREVIOUS FORECAST.

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

(Source: National Hurricane Center)

Saturday Afternoon Weather Update – 7:40 PM

A good Saturday to you! After a hot start to the day, clouds and storms helped cool many of us off this afternoon. Rain is still falling over parts of northwest Alabama, but nothing like the severe storms some of us dealt with earlier today. Numerous trees were uprooted near Lake Lurleen State Park during a severe storm just after lunch today. That particular storm packed a punch when it moved through Tuscaloosa, with blinding rain, strong winds and frequent lightning. Some places to our south didn’t pick up any rain, and it’s still hot there. Tuscaloosa is reporting 78 degrees at this 7 O’clock hour; how about that for a late June day? A stationary front has settled over north Alabama, which has helped to spark off numerous showers and storms. That front will gradually washout over us, but we’ll continue the good rain chance during the afternoon hours.

Temperatures on Sunday and Monday will top out in the lower to middle 90s. Once we get some morning sunshine and diurnal heating, showers and storms will break out over much of the area. A tropical airmass is in-place and will continue overhead over the next several days. A strong front for this time of the year will move into Alabama on Tuesday and Wednesday. We can expect a good chance of showers and storms with that feature, but the best chance of rain will fall during the afternoon hours on Tuesday and morning hours on Wednesday. There is some hint that tropical moisture will get pulled in from tropical storm Alex and move in our direction. That would only enhance the coverage of showers and storms early next week.

Speaking of tropical storm Alex, that system has strengthened today, with winds now of 65 MPH. Alex looks to cross the Yucatan Peninsula tonight and move into the southwest Gulf of Mexico tomorrow night. Alex will likely move into northern Mexico or southern Texas early next week as it misses the trough to the north. Be sure to join me tonight at 10 PM for more on your forecast. Have a great day!

Richard Scott

WVUA Meteorologist