West Alabama Weather for Wednesday, October 12

 Gusty winds along a line of thunderstorms rumbled through West Alabama this evening.  A few areas reported wind gusts of 40 – 50 mph with the storms around 7pm – 8pm in Tuscaloosa.  There were a few reports of trees down and some power outages in the Taylorville area of Tuscaloosa County, some trees down in Lamar County, and small hail in the Centreville area…to name a few.  I know many of you would like to see more rain…but this is it for at least the next 5 – 6 days.  The rain will move out with gradual clearing overnight tonight.  Tomorrow, more sunshine for West Alabama with highs only in the upper 70’s – lower 80’s.  This week will be great for outdoor plans…comfortable in the afternoon with plenty of sun…and chilly in the mornings.

Meteorologist Jon Mason

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Weather Update – Rain/Storms moving into Tuscaloosa County: 6:55pm

A line of showers and thunderstorms moving into Tuscaloosa County from the west.  We these storms you can expect lightning, gusty winds up to 50mph, and some small hail.  The line of storms will move into the city of Tuscaloosa between 7pm and 8pm tonight.

Hurricane Paula… Strong But Tiny! Tuesday Update 4:15pm

AN AIR FORCE PLANE HAS BEEN MONITORING PAULA AND RECENTLY MEASURED FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS OF 94 KNOTS IN THE NORTHEAST QUADRANT. EARLIER SFMR WINDS RANGED BETWEEN 85 TO 90 KNOTS TO THE NORTHEAST OF AN EYE OF 10 N MI IN DIAMETER. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS BEEN STEADY NEAR 981 MB FOR THE PAST TWO FIXES…PERHAPS INDICATING THAT THE RAPID INTENSIFICATION HAS ENDED. THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION IS OUTSTANDING WITH A SMALL EYE EMBEDDED WITHIN A CENTRAL DENSE OVERCAST BUT LIMITED UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW. IN FACT…T-NUMBERS ARE 5.0…OR 90 KNOTS…ON THE DVORAK SCALE.  BASED ON A BLEND OF THESE DATA…THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS 85 KNOTS. PAULA HAS A SMALL
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO STRENGTHEN A LITTLE DURING THE NEXT 12 HOURS OR SO BEFORE IT MOVES INTO AN AREA OF HIGH SHEAR IN THE YUCATAN CHANNEL AND OVER THE HIGH TERRAIN OF WESTERN CUBA. THE SHEAR AND THE TERRAIN WOULD RESULT IN WEAKENING AS INDICATED IN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST AND SUGGESTED BY MOST OF THE GUIDANCE.

THE HURRICANE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST OR 345 DEGREES AT 8 KNOTS AROUND THE WESTERN SIDE OF A SUBTROPICAL HIGH. IN ABOUT 12 TO 24 HOURS…PAULA WILL ENCOUNTER THE WESTERLY FLOW ASSOCIATED WITH THE BASE OF A LARGE MID-LATITUDE TROUGH AND TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST AND EAST OVER WESTERN CUBA.  NOW THAT PAULA IS  STRONGER…IT SHOULD BE STEERED BY THE DEEP LAYER FLOW…AND THAT IS PERHAPS THE REASON WHY MOST OF THE TRACK GUIDANCE SHOWS A LITTLE MORE AGGRESSIVE EASTWARD TRACK IN THE LATEST RUNS. IN PREVIOUS RUNS..MODELS KEPT A SHALLOW CYCLONE MEANDERING OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA.  NEVERTHELESS…THE TRACK FORECAST ISHIGHLY UNCERTAIN BEYOND 48 HOURS GIVEN THE EXPECTED COMPLEX FLOW PATTERN…THE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE…AND THE EFFECT OF LAND.

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

Numerous Severe Storms In Mississippi… Local thoughts… Tuesday 3:15pm

 Skies are clearing over west Alabama, so tempertures will quickly heat to the lower 80s. This will set the stage for some evening storms as instability increases across west Alabama. The Storm Prediction Center has placed west Alabama under a slight risk for severe weather. As storms move into west Alabama, they will begin to die off as the sun sets. Storms should move into the Tuscaloosa area between 7 and 9 pm. The main threat will be in the form of large hail and strong winds. Be sure to join us for the latest at 4, 5, 6 and 10 on WVUA-TV. I’ll have another update on here a little later this afternoon. Have a great day!

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

Severe Weather In Mississippi… 1pm Update

Just a quick update on the weather in Mississippi. A severe thunderstorm watch now covers much of Mississippi, as a broken line of severe storms move across the Mississippi River now. If the sun comes out for several hours in west Alabama and temperatures heat well into the upper 80s, then a few strong to severe storms can make it to west Alabama. Visible satellite shows that the clouds are breaking in west Alabama, and sunshine should start to heat things up. This is not a major severe weather setup, but a few storms could make it to the severe level as they cross the state line. The main threat will be large hail and damaging winds, and could occur from Tuscaloosa and points west. We need the rain bad, so we’ll take what we can get.

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

Tuesday Morning Forecast Discussion – 10:30 AM Update

Good Tuesday morning to you! Our forecast is looking dry after today, so lets hope we get the rain today! Cloudy skies this morning will give way to sunshine this afternoon; in-fact, the clearing line is near Starkville, MS. We need lots of sun today, so the surface will heat up. This causes the instability to increase and storms erupt this afternoon. Some storms could become strong after 2pm in west Alabama. As an upper level low moves in from the northwest, cold temperatures aloft will set the stage for storms to produce small hail. This is not a big severe weather setup, but one or two storms could grow strong this afternoon. The bad news is that rain will not be beneficial. While some lucky spots may pick up a quick half inch of rain, some of us will not see a drop. The storms will be scattered in nature today.  

Dry air moves in for Wednesday, and we setup a dry pattern for several days. Temperatures cool down a bit on Thursday and Friday, with highs returning into the middle and upper 70s. Lows at night will fall into the lower 40s each morning beginning on Friday and lasting through Monday. There may be hope on the horizon though, as there are increasing signs of a beneficial rain in about 9 to 10 days. Confidence is still very low, but it’s gradually increasing as more data suggests it.

Hurricane Paula is forecasted to hit Cancun over the next few days. Paula is a tiny hurricane and will likely die out in 5 days, as southwesterly shear takes over. Paula is no threat to Alabama. Be sure to join us on WVUA TV tonight at 4, 5, 6 and 10 for the latest on your forecast. Have a great day!

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

Paula Is Now A Hurricane… Tuesday 10am Update

PAULA IS A SMALL HURRICANE. SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE CLOUD PATTERN CONSISTS OF A ROUND AREA OF DEEP CONVECTION WITH A HINT OF AN EYE FEATURE AND LIMITED UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW. LATEST AVAILABLE SSMI IMAGERY SHOWS A DISTINCT RING OF CONVECTION MARKING THE EYEWALL AT THE MIDDLE LEVELS. DVORAK ESTIMATES FROM TAFB AND SAB ARE 4.0 SUPPORTING AN INTENSITY OF 65 KNOTS AT THIS TIME. THE HURRICANE COULD BE A LITTLE STRONGER BY JUDGING THE LATEST VISIBLE IMAGES. HOWEVER…I WOULD RATHER WAIT FOR THE AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PLANE…WHICH WILL BE IN THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON…TO ADJUST THE INTENSITY…IF NECESSARY. ALTHOUGH PAULA IS MOVING OVER AN AREA OF HIGH HEAT CONTENT WHICH IS VERY FAVORABLE FOR INTENSIFICATION… THE SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO BE AROUND 20 KNOTS FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THIS WOULD ONLY ALLOW SMALL STRENGTHENING BEFORE THE SHEAR INCREASES AND RESULTS IN GRADUAL WEAKENING. THE WEAKENING TREND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE LGEM MODEL AND THE INTENSITY CONSENSUS.

PAULA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST OR 330 DEGREES ABOUT 9 KNOTS AROUND THE WESTERN SIDE OF A SUBTROPICAL RIDGE. SOON…THE HURRICANE WILL BECOME EMBEDDED IN VERY LIGHT STEERING CURRENTS…OR WITHIN WEAK MID-LEVEL WESTERLY FLOW ASSOCIATED WITH THE BASE OF A
DEEPENING TROUGH SWINGING EASTWARD ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AND THE GULF OF MEXICO. THIS PATTERN WOULD RESULT IN A SLOW EASTWARD TRACK BEYOND 48 HOURS. HOWEVER…THE HURRICANE COULD ALSO MEANDER OVER THE EXTREME NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA FOR SEVERAL DAYS WHILE GRADUALLY FADING AS SUGGESTED BY THE GFS AND THE ECMWF. GIVEN SUCH LARGE SPREAD IN THE TRACK GUIDANCE…THE CONFIDENCE IN THE LATTER PORTION OF THE TRACK FORECAST IS QUITE LOW.

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott