No Rain in Sight! Thursday Forecast Update – 4pm #alwx

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Good Thursday afternoon! It has turned out to be a nice Spring day across Alabama, with mostly sunny skies and mild temperatures. Expect a cool down tonight, with lows in the upper 40s to near 50. Skies will remain clear overnight tonight.

As an area of high pressure moves into the area on Friday, expect skies to remain sunny. Winds will go calm Friday evening and remain light to calm through early next week. With high pressure over us, expect clear skies and light winds to continue for much of the forecast period; in-fact, there is no risk of rain in the forecast over the next 7 days. Expect highs to gradually modify into the lower 80s over the weekend and early next week, with lows gradually warming into the upper 50s to near 60 early next week.

This is Race Weekend at Talladega! Take the sunscreen, as skies will be sunny and daytime temperatures will be mild. Overnight lows will remin in the lower 50s over the weekend, so it will be rather cool during the overnight hours. Look for highs in the lower 80s on Saturday and Sunday.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also,look us up on facebook and twitter. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

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Dry Days Ahead! Wednesday Forecast Update – 3:45pm #alwx

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Good Wednesday afternoon! Depending on what part of the state you live in, you either have had a cloudy and gloomy day, or a decrease in clouds and a return to sunshine. Clouds remain rather thick across the eastern and southern half of Alabama, generally near and south of I-59, while sunshine is back over the northwestern side of the state. The upper level low is passing to our east, and rain has ended for the area. I don’t expect any major rain chances in the forecast over the next 7 days, as we go into a dry period; however, a passing light shower or two can’t be ruled out Thursday afternoon.

If you have plans outdoors this evening, expect temperatures to cool a bit, with lower 60s at 10pm and upper 40s to near 50 for lows tonight. Skies will gradually become mostly clear overnight tonight. Thursday will feature an increasing northwest breeze, with a high in the lower 70s. Skies will remain partly cloudy on Thursday, with a small chance of a passing afternoon shower. As an area of high pressure takes over on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we can expect beautiful Spring conditions, with sunny skies. Highs will reach the middle 70s on Friday, then near 80 on Saturday and Sunday. Expect lows in the upper 40s to near 50 Thursday night, then lower 50s Friday night and Saturday night.

This is Race Weekend at Talladega! Take the sunscreen, as skies will be sunny and daytime temperatures will be mild. Overnight lows will remin in the lower 50s over the weekend, so it will be rather cool during the overnight hours. Look for highs in the lower 80s on Saturday and Sunday.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also,look us up on facebook and twitter. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Showers Now… Dry Days Ahead… Tuesday Forecast Update – 4:40pm #alwx

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Good Tuesday afternoon! As of 4:40pm, numerous showers are tracking across Alabama, and this trend will continue through tonight. Expect on and off showers through Wednesday morning, before the rain moves out. Keep in mind, rain will not fall non-stop all night, as we will get breaks between showers. I don’t expect much if any thunder involved overnight. A surface low will track along the Gulf Coast tonight, then move out of the area quickly on Wednesday. The risk of showers will really drop off by mid to late morning. Expect highs in the upper 60s on Wednesday.

An area of high pressure will move into the area and stay put for a few days Thursday through the weekend. Look for a decrease in clouds on Thursday, with a high in the lower 70s. Expect chilly overnight temperatures Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night, with upper 40s to lower 50s area-wide. Highs will recover into the middle to upper 70s on Friday, then lower 70s over the weekend.

This is Race Weekend at Talladega! Take the sunscreen, as skies will be sunny and daytime temperatures will be mild. Overnight lows will remin in the lower 50s over the weekend, so it will be rather cool during the overnight hours. Look for highs in the lower 80s on Saturday and Sunday.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also,look us up on facebook and twitter. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Looking Back at the April 28, 2014 Alabama Tornado Outbreak… Tuesday Update – noon #alwx

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It was 1 year ago today, that Alabama dealt with the worst tornado outbreak since the April 15th and 27th outbreak of 2011. I, along with Spinks Megginson was on TV for over 12 hours non-stop covering the tornadoes as they tracked across west, central and east Alabama. This was also the first day for WVUA in the new location of Bryant-Denny Stadium, as we had moved from Reese Phifer Hall into the Digital Media Center at the stadium. We were scheduled to have our first newscast from Bryant-Denny Stadium at 5pm, instead, we went on air at 2pm for tornado coverage.

The Storm Prediction Center issued northwest Alabama under a rare high risk of severe weather for that evening and night, as dangerous supercell thunderstorms were expected to develop. The map above shows the tornado paths across central Alabama. Keep in mind, this does not include the numerous tornadoes that tracked across north Alabama, in the Huntsville Market. This event was responsible for some fatalities acorss north Alabama… There was one fatality in Tuscaloosa, but it was not due to the tornado. The fatality in Tuscaloosa was related to a structural issue and very heavy rain.

Below is a look at one tornado that impacted the south side of the city of Tuscaloosa. It was rated an EF-1, but what is unique is the path width. This tornado was 4,500 feet wide, which is nearly 1 mile wide! I can’t recall ever having a tornado nearly 1 mile wide rated an EF-1. Looking back at radar images, it looked like a storm that would produce an EF-2 or EF-3 tornado. We are very fortunate it was not that strong, otherwise, we would have had fatalities in direct relation to the tornado. The Tuscaloosa tornado of that night was very close to the December 16, 2000 tornado path. Look at the side-by-side comparison from both tornadoes!

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Here’s a great overview from the National Weather Service in Birmingham on this event:

A large scale severe weather event began Saturday April 26 and ended Tuesday April 29th. This system produced several waves of severe weather. Strong and violent tornadoes, very large hail, flash flooding, and damaging straight line winds accompanied this dynamic storm system. This severe weather started in the Central and Southern Plains and moved eastward into the Midwest and Lower Mississippi Valley on April 27th. The most tornadoes occurred across the Deep South as the system moved into Mississippi and Alabama on April 28th. The event finally subsided on April 29th, but not before producing significant flooding and tornadoes along the Gulf Coast, tornadoes in the Carolinas, and severe weather into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. The was the largest tornado outbreak in Central Alabama since the infamous weather back in April 2011.

Thunderstorms development needs the proper combination of moisture, instability and lift. If these values are combined with high enough values, severe thunderstorms can develop. Then we add wind shear, which is the directional turning of the winds with height, and tornadoes are possible. Conditions over central Alabama on Monday April 28th had the perfect mixture of these ingredients to produce tornadoes, some of which were strong.

Supercell thunderstorms developed during the late Monday afternoon over eastern Mississippi and northwest Alabama. This activity developed well ahead of a cold front in the warm sector. The activity slowly proceded east and southeast and the threat ended early Tuesday morning.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also,look us up on facebook and twitter. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Rain At Times Tuesday PM & Wednesday… Monday Eve Update – 9:50pm #alwx

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Good Friday evening! After a dry day across Alabama, rain chances will return to the state on Tuesday and Wednesday. It sure looks like the best chance of rain will hold off until Tuesday afternoon, evening and night, as a surface low forms in the northern Gulf and upper level energy slides in from the west. Expect a good coverage of rain, but rain will not fall all day or night both days. Keep the umbrella handy. With little to no surface based instability, I don’t expect much lightning with the rain over the next 2 days. Rain amounts will average around 1″ for most areas, with locally heavier totals where the heavier downpours track. Expect highs in the upper 60s to near 70 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The upper air trough will shift eastward on Thursday, and we can expect a decrease in clouds. With a surface high moving in, expect a good dose of sunshine, with highs in the lower 80s Friday through Sunday. Overnight lows will remain rather cool, with lower 50s expected each night. I don’t expect any rain this weekend.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also,look us up on facebook and twitter. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Looking Back at the Tornado Disaster of April 27, 2011… Monday Update – 9am #alwx

Above is a clip of our coverage before we lost power due to the massive Tuscaloosa tornado. We were in a building called Reese Phifer Hall on the University of Alabama campus. UA campus has a very protected power supply, so until that point, we never invested in a back-up generator. There was never a need for one because the power source was very secure. We lost power on April 27th, as the tornado was tracking into the Forest Lake area of Tuscaloosa. The tornado destroyed 4 power substations in Tuscaloosa, so to say the least, that took our power supply. We were brushed by the tornado as it tracked through town. The core of the tornado missed us by 0.90 miles, but inflow winds were estimated at 80 mph at our TV Station. Fortunately, in the new Digital Media Center, we have a backup generator. In the event of power failure, we will have the ability to remain on air now…

It was 4 years ago today, when a horrible tornado outbreak changed my life. It’s a day that affected so many people on so many ways. Not only did a powerful tornado hit the city of Tuscaloosa, Alberta City and Holt, but 62 tornadoes tracked across the state. Many people lost their home, including myself. I lived in a neighborhood behind Big Lots and Hobby Lobby. I was so fortunate because I survived the storm, and so did all of my close friends and family. Numerous friends of mine did lose their home or apartment, but they made it out with their life, and that’s what’s most important in the end.

The days leading up to the big outbreak were more than concerning, they were downright frightening. We had a dangerous squall line move through that morning, which left many without power. When the sun came out early that morning, many folks though the severe weather was over, but the worst was yet to come. The sun added to the instability. The instability was a disastrous ingredient thrown into strong wind shear. Shear and instability are the ingredients that aren’t good to have together.

Every storm was producing large tornadoes, and the chance of tornadoes in one area was higher than I’ve ever seen before. Since the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham tornado affected me personally, I’ll focus on that tornado. Understand, there were 62 tornadoes that day that led to the largest single day tornado outbreak in Alabama’s history and nearly the most deadly. So many people were affected outside the large cities, in small towns scattered across the state.

The first tornado of the afternoon round hit downtown Cullman just after 3pm. After seeing video and hearing reports of what just happened in that area, Daniel Sparkman and I knew this really was going to be as bad as expected. A small supercell storm had just produced a large tornado in a large town; it was a disaster already.

At about 4pm, we started eyeballing a storm that was located in east Mississippi. This storm had a path directly towards Tuscaloosa. It was producing a tornado as it crossed the state line. Once it moved into Tuscaloosa County, we got the report of a wedge tornado with this storm. That was frightening! We knew this would become a disaster for the city of Tuscaloosa, Holt and Alberta City. We got the first glimpse of the tornado from our Tuscaloosa towercam when it was 20 miles away. It was at 5:13pm, when the tornado moved into the southwest side of Tuscaloosa. The warning system was as good as it gets for the storm, yet the tornado was so large, it was simply un-survivable in spots. Be sure to watch the video above from our severe weather coverage. It’s amazing that we stayed on air as long as we could. The main thought going through my mind at the time was warn as many as we can before we get hit. I thought the tornado was going to make a direct hit on our TV station. We were very close! Fortunately, the tornado just missed us to the south by 0.90 miles. Aka. Less that one mile…

After the tornado hit and we and lost power, I knew we had no way to broadcast on television. My main concern was getting to my house, where my roommate and WVUA Director, Jonathan Newman, was at the time. I had no idea what to expect, but I feared the worst. I parked my truck on the side of McFarland BLVD less than 10 minutes after the tornado hit. Rescue personal wasn’t even on the scene just yet. The sound of store and car alarms and police sirens filled the air. The smell of mud, tree sap and natural gas was so strong, it would nearly choke you. The sight of people climbing out of a pile of wood and brick was a sight I’ll never forget. When I got to my house, Jonathan was standing in the front yard. I was so relieved when I saw he was ok and so were my neighbors. Some of my neighbors had injuries, but they were not life-threatening. Unfortunately, that was a different story only 200 yards away, where several people didn’t survive the storm. More than 50 people died in Tuscaloosa alone and over 250 people died in the state of Alabama, making it one of the most deadly tornado outbreaks in US and state history. Below is a picture of my house the day after the tornado hit.

This event changed my life, and I’ll never look at storms the same way. Severe weather will continue to happen at times, and that’s a part of life we will have to live with. I don’t think we will ever see an event nearly the magnitude of this one. It only takes one tornado, so please take every warning serious.

Above is a map across our area that shows the tornado tracks and ratings on April 27th. This map tells a big story!

Map Source: NWS Birmingham

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also,look us up on facebook and twitter. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Cool Monday, Rain Returns Tuesday… Sunday Forecast Update — 7pm

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Temperatures warmed up nicely this afternoon, topping out in the mid 80’s under a mainly sunny sky. The clear conditions will continue tonight as a cold front moves through late tonight. No rain is associated with this front, but cooler air will sweep in behind it, making Monday afternoon noticeably cooler than today.

Temperatures Monday afternoon will be in the mid 70’s with a light northerly breeze. High cirrus clouds will move throughout the day on Monday providing a fair amount of sunshine before the next system brings rain showers to Central Alabama early Tuesday morning. We’ll see several chances for rain throughout the day on Tuesday, and temperatures will be cool, only reaching the upper 60’s thanks to the cloud cover and rain in the area.

Currently, the thunderstorm activity will remain to our south, along the coast, but our southern counties may hear a rumble of thunder or two throughout the day on Tuesday as the system moves across the state. The low that forcing the rain showers will move into Eastern Alabama late on Tuesday and will be into Georgia on Wednesday. A few lingering showers could continue during the day on Wednesday, especially for areas east of I-65. Temperatures will still be cool, around 70° as clouds cling to the region.

High pressure builds into the area Thursday and keeps the sunshine on Alabama Thursday through the weekend. We’ll see plenty of sunshine and a nice warming trend through the weekend, returning the low 80’s by Sunday afternoon. Next weekend will be dry and very nice, a much needed break from the rain and storms is expected this weekend.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to pcrank@wvuatv.com. Also, look us up on Facebook and Twitter. Like my weather page on Facebook by searching WVUA 23 Peter Crank. You can find me on Twitter by searching Peter Crank or @crankyweather. Another great way to get weather updates!

Join us live on WVUA 23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Peter Crank
WVUA Staff Meteorologist
Twitter: crankyweather