Rather Hot Week Ahead… Monday Forecast Update – 4pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Monday afternoon! The upper level low that passed over Alabama this weekend has moved on and left our area dry this afternoon. While a tiny afternoon or evening shower is possible before 7pm, I really expect 95% of our area to remain dry. Temperatures will gradually cool after sunset, with lower 80s by 7pm and middle 70s by 10pm. There could be some patchy fog to start off our Tuesday, but overall, our weather will be really quiet. I don’t expect any organized showers or storms on Tuesday, with a high in the lower 90s.

Moisture will increase some on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but widespread thunderstorms are unlikely. There could be a stray quick hitting afternoon storm, but the risk of that is only 10%. Expect lows to drop into the lower 70s each night. The risk of a few isolated storms will increase over Labor Day weekend, but I don’t expect a weekend wash-out. Highs will top out near 90, with a low in the lower 70s.

Hurricane Fred has formed in the extreme east Atlantic, but that system will not get anywhere near the US. Fred is really hammering the Cape Verde Islands, with hurricane force winds and extremely heavy rain. The rest of the tropics are quiet.

Join us live on WVUA23 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@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Drying Out Monday, Rain Returns by Wednesday… Sunday Forecast Update — 7pm

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Rain showers across the area today limited our high temperatures this afternoon to the lower 80’s for many. A few of us will continue to see some rain showers overnight tonight as the upper level low that is spinning over Alabama now, will move northeast, taking the rain with it.

Tonight, patchy rain showers and patchy fog are expected across the area as temperatures cool into the upper 60’s. Monday and the first half of the work week will be nice in the absence of the upper level low. Plenty of sunshine, temperatures in the upper 80’s and a light northerly breeze for Monday will be very nice. Slightly warmer on Tuesday as the winds begin to shift once more to a southerly flow, pumping moisture and rain chances back into the area on Wednesday. The rain chances midweek will be aided by another upper level expected to track right along the same path through Alabama that this weekend’s rain maker did. There isn’t any tropical weather associated with it, but plan on decent rain chances late in the week, heading into the Labor Day Weekend.

TS Erika’s remnants are tracking up the Florida Peninsula, and will stay east of us here in Alabama. No major tropical issues expected for Florida, aside from some flooding due to heavy rain. Well out in the Atlantic, off the West African Coast, Tropical Storm Fred has steadily strengthened today. The track for Fred is northwest and it is expected to strengthen to a hurricane in the next 6-12 hours. The only lands that Fred currently threatens are the Cape Verde Islands in the East Atlantic Ocean. It will be at least a week before Fred would make it to the U.S. However, historically speaking, it is a rare event for a storm to develop that far east and make it to the North American continent.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to pcrank@wvua23.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 10 P.M. for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Peter Crank
WVUA Staff Meteorologist
pcrank@wvua23.com
Twitter: crankyweather

Tropical Storm Fred Forms in the East Atlantic… #alwx @WVUA23

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TROPICAL STORM FRED DISCUSSION NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062015
500 AM AST SUN AUG 30 2015

The convective cloud pattern of the tropical cyclone has continued
to improve this early morning with the development of a small CDO
feature and a tightly curved band in the western and southern
quadrants. A 0542 UTC SSMI/S microwave satellite image further
indicated that the convective band wraps almost completely around a
primitive mid-level eye feature. The initial intensity is raised to
35 kt based on a Dvorak classification of T2.5/35 kt from TAFB, and
this intensity could be conservative based on the impressive SSMI/S
satellite signature. This makes Fred only the fourth Atlantic
tropical storm to form east of 19W longitude in NHC’s database.

The initial motion remains 305/10 kt. There is no change to the
previous forecast track reasoning. Fred is expected to move
northwestward toward a weakness just northwest of the Cape Verde
Islands within a deep-layer subtropical ridge. The mid-tropospheric
trough that is responsible for the weakness is forecast by the
global and regional models to shift eastward over the next 24-36
hours, which should allow the ridge to build back in, forcing Fred
on a west-northwestward to westward track after 48-72 hours. The
latest NHC model guidance is tightly packed about the previous
forecast track, so the new track forecast is essentially just an
update of the previous advisory, and lies close to the GFEX and TVCA
consensus model solutions.

Fred is expected to remain in favorable environmental and oceanic
conditions for the next 36 hours, characterized by vertical wind
shear less than 10 kt, mid-level humidity values greater than 70
percent, and sea-surface temperatures of 27.5-28 deg C. The main
inhibiting factor is decreasing instability ahead of the cyclone
after 24 hours. However, there should still be enough available
instability to support deep convection that will allow at least
steady strengthening through 36 hours to occur, and Fred could still
reach hurricane status before or while it moves through the Cape
Verde Islands in 36 hours or so. After 48 hours, southwesterly
vertical wind shear is expected to begin affecting the cyclone while
Fred is moving over sub-27C SSTs. These less favorable conditions
should combine to induce a gradual weakening trend. The NHC
intensity forecast is similar to the previous advisory and the IVCN
intensity consensus model.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 30/0900Z 12.4N 18.9W 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 30/1800Z 13.4N 20.3W 45 KT 50 MPH
24H 31/0600Z 14.6N 22.1W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 31/1800Z 16.0N 23.9W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 01/0600Z 17.0N 25.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 02/0600Z 18.5N 29.9W 60 KT 70 MPH
96H 03/0600Z 19.2N 34.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
120H 04/0600Z 19.8N 38.8W 50 KT 60 MPH

Peter Crank
WVUA Staff Meteorologist
pcrank@wvua23.com
Twitter: crankyweather

Scattered Storm Chances for Sunday… Saturday Forecast Update — 8:30pm

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The summer time trend is back, including today. We saw numerous scattered showers and storms throughout Central Alabama. The storms helped keep temperatures slightly lower, but there was no relief from the humidity which lead to things still feeling very warm for today. Storms from today will weaken during the overnight hours, but will still be present through out most of the night, into the Sunday morning hours tomorrow. Temperatures tonight will dip to the lower 70’s, rather than the upper 60’s due to cloud cover helping hold in some of the surface heat. Tomorrow we will see showers and storms scattered about for much of the day, but a greater portion will be present in the morning to mid day hours. Temperatures will be similar to today, along with the dreaded humidity.

A low pressure sitting over Louisiana this evening will slowly track east along the coast through the day on Sunday, eventually clearing Alabama of showers and storms on Monday. This system isn’t a strong one, but drier conditions will be in place for Monday and most of Tuesday before the rain chances creep back into the area midweek. We will keep the warm weather through the week, with temperatures hovering near 90°. Even with the rain chances returning Wednesday through the weekend, expect temperatures to remain in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s this week with scattered storms in the afternoon midweek and into the weekend.

Currently in the tropics the remnants of Erika have become disorganized over Cuba. The National Hurricane Center ended their discussions and advisories for the system this morning due to lack of organisation. Any redevelopment as this time doubtful. However, a new center of low pressure is moving off the coast of Africa and tropical depression development is highly expected within the next forty-eight hours. This one has a very long way to travel before it could influence us here in the U.S. We’ll keep an eye on it nonetheless.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to pcrank@wvua23.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 10 P.M. for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Peter Crank
WVUA Staff Meteorologist
pcrank@wvua23.com
Twitter: crankyweather

Hurricane Katrina Made Landfall 10 Years Ago Today… #alwx @wvua23

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It was this day 10 years ago, when one of the worst US Natural Disasters to occur. On the morning prior to landfall, the National Weather Service issued a statement unlike one I’ve ever seen. This statement is chilling, but according to the data, accurate…

“””URGENT — WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA

1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28, 2005

…DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…

HURRICANE KATRINA…A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED STRENGTH… RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATEADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING…BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE KILLED.

AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR HURRICANE FORCE…OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE…ARE CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET…DO NOT VENTURE OUTSIDE!””””

At 6:10am, on August 29, 2005, the eye of hurricane Katrina had made it’s first northern Gulf Coast landfall along the southeastern tip of Louisiana. It would then make a second landfall along the Mississippi Gulf Coast a few hours later, as it tracked north. There were actually 3 landfalls in the US with Katrina, with the first happening in southeast Florida, as the storm was just starting to get organized. Hurricane Katrina was a monster as it tracked across the gulf. The setup was perfect for this wild storm, due to extremely warm gulf water temperatures, no wind shear, no nearby dry air and general rising motion in the tropics.

The storm tracked around a ridge of high pressure, located from Bermuda to Georgia. There was a weakness in the ridge over the northern Gulf Coast, which caused the storm to turn north and impact our area, as well as the surrounding states.

What made Katrina such a mess for so many was her size. Katrina was an enormous storm… Small hurricanes typically die out quickly at landfall and the core of the strong winds and surge only affect a small area. With Katrina’s enormous size, the storm took a long time to weaken over land and the damaging winds and surge extended well out from the center. There was a storm surge in Gulf Shores similar to the one with Hurricane Ivan. Katrina made landfall over 100 miles away from Gulf Shores! The damaging winds extended hundreds of miles inland, which caused major issues, even across Alabama.

Below is a great article from the National Weather Service in Birmingham, which includes the local impacts from Katrina in west and central Alabama. Check it out!

Hurricane Katrina formed near Long Island in the Bahamas on the afternoon of August 23rd, 2005. Katrina reached hurricane strength just before making landfall north of Miami, Florida on the evening on August 25th, 2005. Katrina produced 10 to 20 inches of rain, flooding, tornadoes, and injuries across far southern Florida.

Katrina moved southwestward across the extreme southern tip of Florida and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Katrina reached category five in the central Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds around 175 mph. This occurred on Sunday August 28th, 2005. Katrina then turned on a northward path.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast early Monday morning August 29th, 2005 as a large category four hurricane. Sustained winds were around 145 mph in Southeast Louisiana. Katrina continued northward, affecting areas from near New Orleans, Louisiana to near Mobile, Alabama. Devastating damage occurred along the Gulf Coast. Katrina will most likely go down as one of the worst natural disasters in United States history.

Katrina weakened to a tropical storm Monday evening August 29th, 2005 northwest of Meridian, Mississippi. Katrina continued to move northward across far eastern Mississippi overnight, then into Tennessee Tuesday morning. Katrina finally lost its tropical characteristics as it merged with a cold front over northern Pennsylvania on August 31st, 2005.

Katrina produced local effects that were widespread across Central Alabama. Numerous trees and power lines were downed, minor to major structural damage occurred, and power outages were widespread. Many locations remained without power for a week or more. Storm damage effects across parts of West Central Alabama were worse than what was sustained during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Four tornadoes occurred across Central Alabama, two F0s and two F1s.  Here is the information on those tornadoes.

Storm total rain amounts of 1 inch or less were measured in the northeast and east central portions of Central Alabama. This was due to dry air wrapping into the circulation Katrina and diminishing the rain area. Rain totals of 1 to 2 inches were common over the southeast sections. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches occurred over much of West Alabama, west of interstate 65. Some locations received 5 to 6 inch amounts in the northwest sections, specifically in Lamar and Marion Counties.

rainfall

 The highest sustained winds from Katrina ranged from 25 mph along the Georgia state line to around 65 mph along the Mississippi state line. Peak wind gusts generally ranged from around 35 mph to near 80 mph, with the highest gusts occurring across West Central Alabama and in the highest elevations.

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Here are some peak wind gusts and storm total rainfall amounts associated with Hurricane Katrina.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter. Like us on facebook by searching facebook.com/wvuaweather or WVUA-TV Weather. You can find us on twitter by searching weather@wvuatv.comor WVUA-TV Weather. 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

Good News! Erika Has Weakened into a Tropical Wave! Saturday Update – 9am #alwx @wvua23

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Good Saturday morning! The surface low of what was Tropical Storm Erika has weakened into an open wave. We expected that to be a possibility due to the strong wind shear and land interaction. There is a small chance this could reorganize into a weak tropical system before moving into Florida tomorrow or on Monday. Here’s an update from the National Hurricane Center:

REMNANTS OF ERIKA SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 19
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052015
930 AM EDT SAT AUG 29 2015

Surface observations from Cuba, satellite imagery, and reports from
an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Erika
has degenerated into a trough of low pressure, with the remnants of
the center located near the north coast of eastern Cuba. Winds of
near 30 kt are occurring to the north and east of the center, and
these conditions will likely continue through at least this
afternoon.

The remnants are expected to move west-northwestward near the
northern coast of central and eastern Cuba for the next 12 to 24
hours and reach the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in about 36 hours.
After that time, a more northward motion is expected over the
eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The dynamical models suggests that the current strong wind shear
could relax by the time the system reachs the Gulf of Mexico, and
there is a possibility that Erika could regenerate. Regardless of
regeneration, locally heavy rains and gusty winds should spread
across portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and southern Florida during
the next couple of days.

This will be the last advisory on this system by the National
Hurricane Center unless regeneration occurs. Additional information
can be found in the Tropical Weather Outlook issued by the National
Hurricane Center, as well as marine forecasts and local forecast
office products issued by the National Weather Service.

Richard Scott

WVUA Chief Meteorologist

Latest Update from Tropical Storm Erika… 10pm Friday #alwx @wvua23

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The foretasted track of Tropical Storm Erika has shifted west again, but this still doesn’t mean our area is going to experience dangerous weather. Here’s a post I wrote earlier this evening on what’s going on with Erika and why this is not expected to be a big risk to the US in terms of dangerous wind.

I’ve had lots of concerned people ask about the westward shift on Tropical Storm Erika, that there’s a fear it will become another Katrina if it gets in the Gulf of Mexico. Please take a moment to read this post to help clear up a little muddy water on this storm.

1st: Tropical Storm Erika is extremely disorganized. This is due to the current wind shear over the system, literally tearing the storms away from the center of circulation. The wind shear alone has nearly caused the storm to lose it’s low level circulation, which would cause Erika to become classified as an open tropical wave.

2nd: Erika is now moving over Haiti, which is very mountainous. A weak circulation could be completely disrupted completely with that type of land interaction and wind shear combination. There is a good chance Erika will be downgraded to an open tropical wave tonight.

3rd: There isn’t enough time for rapid development if the storm can get away from land interaction. Since Erika is fading away fast this evening over land, it would take several days of open water and no wind shear before it could get well established again. There’s simply not that much time before Erika or the remnants of Erica move into the US.

4th: The image above shows where the storm could be on Tuesday, just off the west coast of Florida, moving north. Notice the green, yellow, orange and red. That’s very strong wind shear, much stronger than what it’s going through right now. That would totally remove any convection from around the center. The darker the colors in the direction of red indicate stronger wind shear, and yest, it’s right over Alabama. Think of that as our protector… The Gulf is very warm, and if the storm were to move over the Gulf, well away from land, for several days and in an environment without shear, then I would be concerned.

Here’s the new discussion on Tropical Storm Erika…

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA DISCUSSION NUMBER 17
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052015
1100 PM EDT FRI AUG 28 2015

Dropsondes from the NOAA P3 flying around Hispaniola were very
helpful in locating the mean center of the broad circulation
associated with Erika, which is moving over the high terrain of
Hispaniola. There is plenty of deep convection associated with the
cyclone, and gusts to tropical storm force are being reported
in Barahona, on the south coast of the Dominican Republic. Given
that the circulation is interacting with land, the initial intensity
has been set at 40 kt. Erika is fighting both land and a hostile
wind shear environment, and it will be very difficult for the
cyclone to recover. Consequently, weakening in the short term is
indicated in the NHC forecast, and there is a strong likelihood
that Erika will degenerate to a tropical wave during its interaction
with land. However, if it survives, there is a very small
opportunity for Erika to regain tropical storm strength in the
Florida Straits and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, where the
environment is less hostile. It is interesting to note, and to
remember, the fact that most of the state-of-the art dynamical
models were forecasting Erika to become a strong hurricane up to
yesterday, and today basically dissipate the cyclone.

The initial motion is uncertain, and the best estimate is toward the
west-northwest or 285 degrees at 17 kt. It seems that Erika has
changed very little in forward speed since its formation. However,
the cyclone is reaching the southwestern edge of the subtropical
ridge and the steering currents are weaker. Therefore, Erika is
forecast to slow down and turn to the northwest in about two days.
Once in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, a more northerly track is
anticipated. There is not much track guidance available tonight
since most of the models lose the circulation of Erika, and the NHC
forecast is following the weak perturbation observed in the model
fields.

The greatest short-term threat posed by Erika continues to be very
heavy rainfall over portions of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba. These
rains could produce flash floods and mudslides.

We must emphasize that although this would normally be an
appropriate time for a tropical storm watch for portions of southern
Florida, following typical timelines, we have elected to wait until
we see if Erika survives after it passes Hispaniola. There is a
significant chance that no watches or warnings for Florida will be
required.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 29/0300Z 18.5N 72.9W 40 KT 45 MPH…INLAND
12H 29/1200Z 20.0N 75.0W 35 KT 40 MPH…INLAND
24H 30/0000Z 22.0N 78.0W 30 KT 35 MPH…INLAND
36H 30/1200Z 23.5N 80.5W 30 KT 35 MPH…OVER WATER
48H 31/0000Z 25.0N 82.0W 35 KT 40 MPH
72H 01/0000Z 26.5N 83.0W 35 KT 40 MPH
96H 02/0000Z 28.5N 84.0W 40 KT 45 MPH
120H 03/0000Z 31.0N 84.0W 25 KT 30 MPH…INLAND

$$

Richard Scott

WVUA Chief Meteorologist