West Alabama Forecast for Friday, October 22

 We will start our Friday morning in West Alabama with temperatures in the middle 40’s and clear skies.  The day will continue with full sunshine for the morning and afternoon…with highs reaching the 80 degree mark.  The average high for Tuscaloosa for Friday is 76 degrees…so we will be just above normal.  Heading into the weekend we will see a warming trend with afternoon temps back in the low to mid 80’s and overnight lows much warmer…back in the 50’s – 60’s by early next week.  This warm up is in advance of a storm system that will approach from the west Sunday night into Monday.  Right now it looks like the best chance of showers and storms will be Sunday evening and early Monday morning.  The moisture holds in place over West Alabama early next week…so lows will stay near 60 and we’ll keep a chance of t-showers in the mix. 

Meteorologist Jon Mason

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West Alabama Weather for Thursday Afternoon

Quick forecast update for West Alabama: More beautiful weather as we head into the evening hours. Temperatures are running close to normal during the afternoon and evening.  Lows tonight will reach the mid 40’s by early Friday under clear skies. Friday will be sunny with afternoon temps in the 80 degree range.  Still watching pretty good rain chances develop for Sunday night into Monday…and we’ll keep you posted as we head into the weekend.

Meteorologist Jon Mason

Thursday Midday Update. Rain coming… Plus, Tropical Trouble… 12pm Update

A good Thursday morning to you! Our forecast includes another big warmup this afternoon. Highs today will top out it the lower 80s with a good supply of sunshine. We’ll continue the nice weather through the weekend, but big changes are underway for the beginning of next week.

Expect a high near 81 this afternoon, with sunny skies. Temperatures will cool off a bit tonight, with lows near 45. Clouds gradually increase by Saturday and Sunday, with a mixture of clouds and sunshine. Moisture will increase and storms arrive Sunday night and early on Monday. Some storms could become severe, but if they move in during the overnight hours, the risk of severe weather will be much lower, due to the loss of afternoon heating. Either way, we look to get some beneficial rain out of this system. Rain fall totals could approach 1 inch.

We dry out on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, with fairly mild temperatures. A big-time rain maker is possible late next week.

We’ll be closely watching tropical storm Richard. It could end up in the Gulf of Mexico early next week and become a big player in the forecast for Florida. As of now, it doesn’t look like Richard will bother our weather, but we will keep an eye on it. There is a possibility that moisture from the storm will interact with the system moving in late next week. There are still big questions in the future track and intensity of Richard, but the gulf is still very warm.

Be sure to join us on WVUA-TV for the latest on your forecast at 5, 6, and 10. Have a great day!

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott

Tropical Storm Richard Is Born…May Become Threat To Gulf Coast… Thursday 10 am

AIRCRAFT DATA FROM THE AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTERS SHOWED PEAK FLIGHT WINDS OF 40 KT…RELIABLE SFMR VALUES OF 37 KT…AND A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF ABOUT 1006 MB.  BASED ON THE ABOVE DATA…THIS SYSTEM IS UPGRADED TO A TROPICAL STORM WITH AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF 35 KT.  THE CENTER IS LOCATED JUST TO THE WEST OF INCREASING MASS OF THUNDERSTORMS…WITH A WEAK LOW-LEVEL SWIRL SEEN FARTHER TO THE SOUTHWEST IN THE HIGH RESOLUTION VISIBLE IMAGES.  OVERALL…THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME MORE CONCENTRATED NEAR THE CENTER…WITH MANY CURVED BANDS IN THE EASTERN SEMICIRCLE.  

GRADUAL INTENSIFICATION SEEMS TO BE THE BEST BET IN THE SHORT-TERM. WHILE SHEAR HAS DECREASED FROM YESTERDAY…THERE IS STILL A FAIR AMOUNT OF MID- TO UPPER-LEVEL DRY AIR PRESENT TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE CYCLONE. THIS DRY AIR WILL HAVE A DECENT CHANCE OF SLOWING THE STRENGTHENING RATE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS IT CONTINUES TO BE ADVECTED TOWARD THE TROPICAL CYCLONE BY A TROUGH OVER THE EXTREME NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ACROSS FLORIDA. HOWEVER…IN A COUPLE OF DAYS…UPPER-LEVEL RIDGING IS FORECAST TO BUILD OVER THE CYCLONE… CREATING A RATHER LOW SHEAR ENVIRONMENT…WHICH SHOULD CUT DOWN ON ANY DRY AIR ENTRAINMENT. THE NHC INTENSITY FORECAST IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ONE THROUGH 48 HOURS…THEN IS HIGHER THEREAFTER. THE NEW FORECAST IS BETWEEN THE STATISTICAL MODELS AND THE INTENSITY MODEL CONSENSUS. IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT THE GFDL AND HWRF STRENGTHEN THIS SYSTEM INTO A MAJOR HURRICANE IN A FEW DAYS…WHICH IS NOT OUT OF QUESTION IF RICHARD DEVELOPS THE RIGHT INNER CORE STRUCTURE.

THE STORM HAS BEEN ERRATICALLY MOVING DURING MOST OF ITS LIFE…AND A LONG-TERM MOTION IS ABOUT 135/5.  CURRENTLY RICHARD IS UNDERGOING AN ANTICYCLONIC LOOP AS IT IS CAUGHT IN AN AREA OF RELATIVELY LIGHT STEERING BETWEEN A TROUGH TO THE NORTH AND A DISTANT RIDGE OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC.  BY LATE TOMORROW…RIDGING SHOULD REBUILD OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO…WHICH SHOULD CAUSE THE SYSTEM TO MOVE MORE TO THE WEST…AND EVENTUALLY WEST-NORTHWEST TO NORTHWEST IN A FEW DAYS.  THE STRENGTH OF THE RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO APPEARS TO BE THE KEY FEATURE IN THE LONG-RANGE FORECAST.  GENERALLY THE GLOBAL MODELS WITH A STRONG RIDGE…SUCH AS THE GFS/NOGAPS…KEEP RICHARD ON A MORE NORTHWESTERLY HEADING WHEN THE CYCLONE APPROACHES THE GULF OF MEXICO.  HOWEVER…THE MODELS WITH A WEAKER RIDGE…SUCH AS THE UKMET/ECMWF…AND TO AN EXTREME DEGREE THE HWRF/GFDL…SHOW THE RIDGE BEING ERODED RATHER QUICKLY AS A NEW UPSTREAM TROUGH DIVES INTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS.  THE BULK OF THE GUIDANCE IS NOW SUGGESTING THE WEAKER RIDGE IS MORE LIKELY…AND THE NHC FORECAST IS SHIFTED TO THE NORTHEAST AT DAYS 4 AND 5.  CONSIDERING THAT THE NEW FORECAST IS STILL ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE… FURTHER NORTHEASTWARD ADJUSTMENTS MAY BE REQUIRED IF CURRENT MODEL TRENDS CONTINUE. 

WVUA Meteorologist Richard Scott