Sunday Evening Forecast Discussion – 10 p.m.

A surface trough situated across West Alabama will continue to move across the southern parts of our area. As the strong ridge currently situated over the Central US begins to encompass West Alabama on Tuesday, rain chances will diminish and the heat will build in. Therefore. the main theme for this week will be the temperatures. High temperatures will approach the triple digits everyday this week. Dew points will be in the mid to upper 70s, heat index values will remain around 105 and some locations will rise above that. Models and dew points vary greatly so heat index values may go up and down.

The next chance for rain appears to be Friday. Models continue to indicate that a short wave trough will make its way down into our area along the eastern edge of the ridge onn Friday. This along with ample moisture for the Gulf will likely bring rain and a little relief to the heat Friday and into Saturday.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA Weather

Invest 91L Still Churning – Sunday 9 p.m. Update

Invest 91L is still churning out there in the Atlantic but has become elongated and does not have a defined center of rotation. The area of low pressure extednds from the Lesser Antilles east several hundred miles into the Atlantic. It is producing a large but disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms. Conditions are expected to remain favorable for a tropical depression or tropical storm to form. The National Hurricane Center is giving this system a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical cylcone within the next 48 hours. The system continues to move west-northwest at around 15 mph. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system Monday morning. Regardless of tropical cyclone formation this system will bring locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds to portions of the Lesser Antilles tonight and Monday.

Now as to the future of this system. The latest model runs have just come in and they continue the trend that I talked about in this afternoon’s blog post…the system is going to make it further west than earlier models forecast.


In fact, looking at the 00z run of the NAM model which forecasts our rain, low & high pressure areas, and wind shows something interesting. Below you will see that it shows the low pressure system to the south of Haiti in 72 hours or about this time on Wednesday. This movement could bring the system into the Gulf of Mexico or take it into south Florida.


We will keep our eyes on this system very closely as it continues to develop. Turning now to the intesity forecast for the system. As I said earlier there is a lot that will impact the strength of this system, depending on where it goes and what land masses it interacts with. For example, the island of Hispaniola is very mountainous and will break up the system quite a bit. With that said the latest model run has the system a little weaker at it’s peak strength. Most models agree that we will have a tropical storm within the next 24 hours and that the system will top out somewhere around a strong Category 1 to weak Category 2 hurricane.

We will watch the system very closely and keep you up-to-date as much as possible. The latest coming up in just a few minutes on WVUA News at 10.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA News

Special Update from Hurricane Center – Sunday 4 p.m.


SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
455 PM EDT SUN JUL 31 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SPECIAL OUTLOOK ISSUED TO UPDATE DISCUSSION OF THE ELONGATED AREA OF
LOW PRESSURE APPROACHING THE LESSER ANTILLES. 

1. UPDATED...COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEMS HAVE LIMITED THE AMOUNT OF DATA
RECEIVED FROM THE AIR FORCE RESERVE AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATING THE
ELONGATED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 500 MILES EAST OF THE
NORTHERN WINDWARD ISLANDS.  HOWEVER...REPORTS FROM THE AIRCRAFT
...ALONG WITH SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS...INDICATE
THAT THE SYSTEM DOES NOT YET HAVE A WELL-DEFINED SURFACE
CIRCULATION.  A SECOND AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAS FORMED
TO THE WEST OF THE MAIN DISTURBANCE...AND WILL BRING LOCALLY HEAVY
RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS TO PORTIONS OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
TONIGHT.  CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR A
TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR TROPICAL STORM TO FORM...AND THIS SYSTEM HAS
A HIGH CHANCE...NEAR 100 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15
MPH.  IF THE SYSTEM BECOMES A TROPICAL CYCLONE TONIGHT OR MONDAY
...TROPICAL STORM WATCHES OR WARNINGS WOULD BE ISSUED FOR PORTIONS
OF THE NORTHERN WINDWARD ISLANDS AND THE LEEWARD ISLANDS ON VERY
SHORT NOTICE...AND INTERESTS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR
THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.  ANOTHER HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS
SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THIS SYSTEM MONDAY MORNING.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA Weather

 

 

Future TS Emily Taking Shape – Sunday 2:45 pm Update


Tropical Storm Emily continues to take her time actually becoming a tropical cyclone. The National Hurricane Center now has it at near 100% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is currently investigating the system. The large and elongated low pressure system is located about 575 miles east of the northern Windward Islands. Although the system has changed little in organization today environmental conditions are expected to remain conducive for a tropical depression to form later today or on Monday. The system is currently moving west-northwestward at near 15 mph. If the low becomes a tropical cyclone later today, Tropical Storm Watches or Warnings would likely be required for portions of the northern Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. Interests in these areas should closely monitor the progress of this developing system.

Forecast models continue to predict that the system will eventually make a turn to the north, but the system continues to move more westward pushing the turn further west. We will have to continue to monitor the progress of the system to see what part of the U.S. coastline may be impacted.


As for the strength of this system, models still show it becoming a tropical storm within the next 12 hours. Some of the models are even forecasting this system becoming a Category 4 hurricane. These predictions are still very up-in-the-air depending on where the storm goes and how it interacts with any land that it may pass over. It will be interesting to watch.

Tune in tonight to WVUA News at 10 for the latest on the tropics.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA Weather

Thoughts on Emily? US Landfall???? Sunday Update 2:53 PM

What is soon to become tropical storm Emily is a little more concerning this afternoon. After looking at data, it looks more and more like Emily will miss the deep eastern US trough and continue west northwestward. Data now shows a strong hurricane over the Bahamas in 6 days. As a ridge develops north of this feature, there’s a chance it could turn more westward and move into Florida or the southeast coast as a major Hurricane. While this is 6 to 8 days out, we should start to keep a very close eye on forecasting trends. If the models continue to show Emily missing the trough and turning towards the US coastline, anyone from North Carolina to Texas should keep an eye on it.

At this point, there’s no way to say where it will make landfall, how strong it will be then, or if it will even reach the coast period. There’s still a chance that it catches the trough and heads out to sea. Just know if it misses the trough and turns west, someone is going to have some big issues. I think there’s a real chance that Emily could become the first hurricane and first major hurricane of the 2011 season. There are lots of things working in favor of this… The lack of wind shear, plenty of tropical moisture, warm water temperatures and open water ahead.

Stay tuned…

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com

Saturday Evening Forecast Discussion – 9 p.m.

A fairly weak surface trough will remain across southern parts of Central Alabama through Monday. Some models are hinting that a weak low will develop along the boundary and move westward into early next week. This seems to be a rather subtle feature with the overall moisture content aloft and a better focus for some showers.

A strong  mid to upper level ridge remains across the central U.S. through the week, but as much of the summer has dictated, this ridge moves east and west. A few short wave troughs rotate around the ridge and over West Alabama nor through Monday. Northerly flow then develops near the surface and aloft by Tuesday allowing drier air to sneak into our area.

Therefore the best rain chances appear to be now through Monday with a general decrease noted through Thursday. Moisture increases as another short wave approaches from the northwest by Friday and Saturday. High and low temperatures will remain at or above normal through the period. We will have to monitor the dew points next week because heat index values will be on the rise. Heat indicies may rise above 105 degrees in a few spots each afternoon.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA Weather

Taste of Summer – Saturday – Heirloom Tomato Salad

Here’s today’s taste of summer. This is an Heirloom Tomato Salad, sent in by Marcus Williams from Tuscaloosa. Here’s the recipe:

Salad:

6 large beefsteak tomatoes
2 large golden delight tomatoes
2 large rainbow tomatoes
1/2 pint sweet 100 tomatoes (tiny current tomatoes can be substituted)
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows), divided
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 smoked ham hock
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 fresh thyme sprig
6 ounces (1 cup)fresh field peas such as black-eye, pink-eye, crowder, or
butter beans
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 ears of yellow corn, husked
6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crisp
3/4 cup Chive Dressing (recipe follows)
6 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil

Okra:

4 cups vegetable oil
30 pieces whole baby okra
1/4 cup whole-milk buttermilk
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

To Prepare the Salad:

Core and slice the beefsteak, golden delight, and rainbow tomatoes into 1/4 -inch thick slices. Toss the tomatoes with 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Season the tomatoes with the salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature to marinate until ready to serve. Combine the ham hock, onion, thyme, and field peas in a medium stock pot with enough cold water to cover the beans. Bring the peas to a simmer and cook until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, drain, and cool. Remove and discard the ham hock, onion quarters, and thyme sprig. Place the cooled peas in a mixing bowl and set aside. Shave the kernels off the corn cobs, discarding the silk hairs. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season the corn with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from the heat and cool slightly. Toss the corn kernels with the cooked field peas and the remaining 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Set the pea mixture aside to marinate at room temperature until ready to serve.

 To Prepare the Okra:

Pour the vegetable oil into a deep-sided skillet to a depth of 3-inches. (Alternately, a deep fryer can be filled with vegetable oil.) Preheat the oil to 350˚F. Trim the okra stems and place okra pods in a small bowl with the buttermilk. Toss until well coated. Combine the corn flour, cornmeal, all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper in medium size bowl. Drain the okra from the buttermilk and toss in the cornmeal mixture. Shake off any excess cornmeal mixture. Place the okra in the preheated vegetable oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Remove okra from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season the okra with the remaining salt and pepper, if needed. Keep warm until ready to serve.

 To Serve:

Arrange each of the different types of sliced tomatoes on 6 plates. Place the whole sweet 100 tomatoes around the sliced tomatoes. Divide the pea and corn mixture evenly among plates on top of the tomatoes. Arrange 5 pieces of Fried Okra around each plate and place 1 slice of crispy bacon on the top of each salad. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chive dressing over the tops of each salad and garnish each with 1 tablespoon of basil chiffonade. Serve immediately.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA Weather