Perfect Fall Weather Ahead… Tropical Trouble… Weekend Forecast… Wednesday Forecast Update – 3:45pm #alwx

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Good Wednesday afternoon! With a deep upper level low just to our north, clouds have spilled over northern Alabama for most of the day, with mostly cloudy skies near and north of I-20. Areas south of I-20 have experienced lots of sun today. Depending on what side of I-20 you live on has determined whether it is cool and cloudy or sunny and perfect. We’ll all break out in full sunshine as an area of high pressure moves in from the west and the upper level low moves northeast of Alabama.

Temperatures will get chilly tonight, with many areas falling into the upper 40s. If you’re dealing with cloud cover now, expect skies to become clear in your area overnight. Thursday and Friday will feature a full dose of sun, with highs in the middle 70s on Thursday and approaching 80 on Friday. A second wave of slightly cooler air will move in over the weekend, with highs falling into the upper 70s on Saturday and lower 70s on Sunday. Expect lows in the upper 40s Saturday night and Sunday night.

The weather will remain very consistent through early next week, as skies remain mostly sunny and temperatures remain near normal.

Football Friday is looking nice across west and central Alabama, with temperatures cooling into the lower 70s by 7pm and lower 60s by 10pm. Expect clear skies for all of the local high school football games, with no risk of rain.

Alabama takes on Texas A&M on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Expect full sunshine during the game, with temperatures in the upper 70s at kickoff and middle 70s at the end of the game. Winds will be light to calm on Saturday, so conditions should feel great for football weather.

It’s Talladega Race Weekend! If you’re going to the races over the weekend, expect nice Fall weather, with a good supply of sun. Temperatures will top out in the 70s during the day, with lows in the between 48 and 51 at night.

Hurricane Gonzalo is now a major hurricane north of Puerto Rico, with winds of 130mph. The category 4 storm is making a path towards Bermuda and may make significant impacts on the island on Friday. Since this is a fairly small hurricane, any shift east or west could mean the difference between a direct hit by a major hurricane or a brush by the hurricane. Gonzalo will not impact the lower 48. Here’s an update from the National Hurricane Center:

AT 200 PM AST…1800 UTC…THE EYE OF HURRICANE GONZALO WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 23.8 NORTH…LONGITUDE 68.3 WEST. GONZALO IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH…19 KM/H. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AND THEN NORTH IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO…FOLLOWED BY A NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD ACCELERATION BY LATE THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 130 MPH…215 KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. GONZALO IS A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE COMMON IN MAJOR HURRICANES…AND ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR WITH GONZALO OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES…55 KM…FROM THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115 MILES…185 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 949 MB…28.03 INCHES.

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Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: Richard_wvua
Facebook: WVUARichardScott

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Dangerous Hurricane Moving Toward Bermuda… Wed Tropical Update 1:30pm #alwx

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Good Wednesday afternoon! At 1:40pm, we’re watching the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Basin since the 2011 hurricane season, as category 4 hurricane Gonzalo tracks in the direction of Bermuda. The hurricane will likely impact the island as a major hurricane during the day on Friday. Gonzalo will not impact the lower 48… The National Hurricane Center has placed a hurricane watch for the island. Here’s the discussion from the NHC.

HURRICANE GONZALO DISCUSSION NUMBER 13
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082014
1100 AM AST WED OCT 15 2014

Data from an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft indicate that Gonzalo has strengthened a little. The maximum 700 mb flight-level wind reported was 123 kt and the highest SFMR wind observation was 116 kt. Based on these data, the initial wind speed is increased to 115 kt, making Gonzalo a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This is the first category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Ophelia in 2011. The aircraft data and
microwave images clearly show concentric eyewalls, with the inner radius of maximum wind now only about 4-5 n mi from the
center.

Smoothing through the trochoidal oscillation of the eye yields an initial motion estimate of 320/10 kt. A high amplitude trough over the eastern United States is expected to slowly move eastward during the next couple of days, and will erode the subtropical ridge that is currently steering Gonzalo. This change in the large-scale pattern should cause the hurricane to turn northward by early Thursday and north-northeastward Thursday night and Friday, likely bringing Gonzalo near Bermuda in about 2 days. Beyond 48 hours, the hurricane is forecast to accelerate generally northeastward. The
track model guidance remains tightly clustered, and the official forecast is near the GFS and ECMWF solutions and only slightly to the left of the previous one.

Given the evidence of concentric eyewalls, and with the inner eyewall already about as small as it can get, the current period of intensification could be about over. The hurricane will likely fluctuate in strength while the environmental conditions remain
favorable during the next day or two. After that time, weakening is forecast when the hurricane moves into an atmosphere of
increasing southwesterly shear and drier air, and over much colder water. Post-tropical transition will likely occur in 3 to 4 days when the cyclone is forecast to cross the north wall of the Gulf Stream current. Little change was made to the previous intensity forecast, and this one lies near the middle of the guidance envelope.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 15/1500Z 23.5N 68.0W 115 KT 130 MPH
12H 16/0000Z 24.6N 68.7W 115 KT 130 MPH
24H 16/1200Z 26.3N 68.9W 115 KT 130 MPH
36H 17/0000Z 28.6N 68.0W 110 KT 125 MPH
48H 17/1200Z 31.6N 66.2W 105 KT 120 MPH
72H 18/1200Z 40.6N 60.8W 90 KT 105 MPH
96H 19/1200Z 50.5N 46.0W 65 KT 75 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 20/1200Z 54.0N 24.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

Richard Scott

WVUA Chief Meteorologist