Some Clouds and Cooler Temperatures Ahead… Latest on Hurricane Joaquin… Wednesday Update – 4:30pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Wednesday afternoon! A cold front is moving through Alabama today, and a few showers have developed ahead of the front. As of 4pm, all showers were located south of HWY 80 and moving southeast. The risk of a shower for the rest of this evening has ended. Mid level moisture behind the front will continue to spread some clouds over the area this evening and tonight. Temperatures will gradually fall into the lower 60s late tonight.

We have an interesting forecast over the next few days to say the least, with a strong hurricane to the east of Alabama and a deep upper air trough digging across the area. Moisture from Hurricane Joaquin will spread into Alabama from the east on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This will allow skies to remain generally mostly cloudy. A few showers are possible each day, with the best chance happening over east Alabama. Don’t be shocked if you get a passing light shower in west Alabama this week and to start of the weekend. A fairly strong pressure gradient will set up over the area and you will notice a northerly breeze on Thursday through Sunday. Winds could gust over 20mph in some areas, especially in east Alabama. Highs will struggle to reach the mid 70s on Thursday; in-fact areas north of I-20 could stay in the 60s all day on Thursday through Saturday. Expect lows well down into the 50s at night. I don’t expect upper 40s at this point due to an increase in the cloud cover. The hurricane will also help to pull down the cooler temperatures into Alabama. Anytime a hurricane goes up the east coast in October, we get the nice and cool airmass on the west side of the storm.

By Sunday afternoon through Tuesday, skies will become mostly sunny as the sharp trough starts to progress east of Alabama along with what’s left of Joaquin. Speaking of Hurricane Joaquin, below is the latest track from the National Hurricane Center. We are very concerned for areas along the east coast, as this could be a strong landfalling hurricane over the weekend. Right now, the NHC have the center moving into North Carolina on Sunday, as a category 2 hurricane. Some models suggest this could be a major hurricane at landfall. Anyone from South Carolina to Maine needs to watch this very carefully, as changes in the path are very much possible. Landfall could occur as early as Saturday night or as late as Sunday night. At this point, the threat to the east coast looks high, but it is still not out of the question the storm turns out to sea. Unfortunately, that’s a very low possibility at this time. Keep checking back with us for updates as we move towards the weekend.

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Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
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Cooler Days Ahead! Tropical Update… Tuesday Forecast Discussion – 4pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Tuesday afternoon! This has been an incredibly tricky forecast over the past 36 hours, as we deal with a tropical low moving out of the gulf and a weak upper level low moving in from the southwest. We had originally expected a large batch of rain to spread over our area on Monday and today, but two changes prevented a big rain event for our area. First, a large cluster of storms formed on the coast Sunday and remained there through Monday night. Storms in that position often rob our area of fuel for showers and storms, and that caused our area to miss out on a much needed rain. While our area still got some rain and is getting a few showers and storms this afternoon, the coverage isn’t as great as expected. The second issue was the track of the Gulf low. All forecast models suggested the Gulf low would move right over Alabama, putting our area in a large batch of rain and storms. The low cut northeast and has tracked across the big bend of Florida, putting Alabama on the west side of the low, which is the dry side. This is why I love the study of meteorology. Events like this keep us on our toes, and we can learn from this for future events.

Now, into the future we go… A weak upper level low is tracking into the area from the west, and uplift from this feature is allowing scattered showers and storms to pop up over the area. Expect the risk of a passing downpour or two this evening and tonight. A few showers and storms will remain possible on Wednesday, especially south of I-20. Since showers and storms are very slowly moving this afternoon, they will dump some heavy rain in a small area. Unfortunately, the rainfall distribution will be very uneven, and some of you will not get rain at all.

A deep eastern US trough will dig and send a sharp cold front into Alabama Wednesday night. Expect highs to reach the middle 70s on Thursday, with a nice northwest breeze. Skies will remain partly sunny on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as moisture wraps around the upper level low to our east. Highs will only reach the lower 70s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with lows in the lower 50s at night! The cooler airmass will stick with us through the weekend.

Below is the track and discussion on Tropical Storm Joaquin from the National Hurricane Center. Keep in mind, this track has many uncertainties, as some models suggest the storm will move into the east coast of the US somewhere between North Carolina and New York. Other models keep the storm out to sea, so it will be a worrisome few days for our friends along the east coast.

At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Joaquin was located near latitude 26.0 North, longitude 71.0 West. Joaquin is moving toward the west-southwest near 5 mph (7 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

Reports from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Joaquin could become a hurricane on Wednesday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Hunter plane reported a minimum central pressure of 990 mb (29.24 inches).

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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
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Rain at Times… Cooler By Late Week/Weekend… Monday Forecast Update – 4:25pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Monday afternoon! It has turned out to be a gloomy start to our work week, with a thick cloud deck and scattered to numerous showers tracking across the area. An upper level low to our west is helping to pull in deep tropical moisture in from the Gulf, along with a weak tropical low in the central Gulf. This will continue to spread rain at times into our area tonight through Wednesday before drying out Wednesday night. Keep in mind, it will not rain non-stop through Wednesday, but rain may be heavy in spots. Expect some foggy issues overnight tonight and early on Tuesday, so drive careful if out on the roads! Expect lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s tonight.

The upper level low will track east some on Tuesday, but we will continue under the influence of moisture and uplift, so expect rain at times. Highs will likely top out below the 80 degree mark due to extensive clouds and occasional rain. The upper level low will lift out on Wednesday, but a surface boundary will track in from the north, sparking a few scattered showers. I don’t expect a major rain event on Wednesday, but some showers are certainly possible. Once we get into Thursday and Friday, cooler and drier air will take over. Look for a return of sunshine both days, with highs in the middle to upper 70s. We’ll drop into the upper 50s Friday morning, then lower 50s Saturday/Sunday morning. I wouldn’t be shocked if areas north of I-20 reach the upper 40s at night this weekend. The airmass moving in by late week/weekend will feel much like a Fall airmass! Enjoy!

In the tropics, we have a weak low in the Gulf that won’t amount to anything but a rain maker for the Gulf coast, but we are very interested in Tropical Depression 11 east of the Bahamas. All models develop this into a tropical storm, then track it into the northeast US or mid Atlantic states this weekend. This could cause some issues for the major metropolitan areas across the mid-Atlantic into the northeast this weekend, so keep an eye on the weather if you have travel plans there. It is unlikely this becomes a major storm, but rain and breezy winds will cause problems…

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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

Umbrella Monday: A Dreary Start to the Week… Sunday Forecast Update — 7:15pm

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A patchwork of clouds and sun across the state today as much of the rain and thick cloud cover was in Mississippi, although a few showers worked their way into south and west Alabama. High temperatures here in Tuscaloosa were significantly cooler thanks to the additional cloud cover, as we only reached the upper 70’s this afternoon.

Overnight, the clouds will continue to thicken, preventing many of us from seeing the lunar eclipse that will begin around 9pm. If any do see the lunar eclipse, it will likely be in northeastern Alabama, the furthest away from the thick cloud deck. Temperatures tonight will only fall into the upper 60’s, with a few scattered showers possible tonight.

Monday and Tuesday will see the biggest threats for rain throughout each day. A cloudy sky over much of the state will keep things cool, in addition to rain showers with a possible rumble of thunder mixed in. Here in Central Alabama, I don’t think we will see a complete washout for both days; however, off and on showers are likely for the area as the heavy rain clings to the Gulf Coast. Despite main rain threat being to our south, we could see 1-2″ of rainfall, which certainly would be beneficial to the rivers, streams, and to some agriculture.

The showers will continue into the day on Wednesday before tapering off Wednesday night. Temperatures will be a bit warmer on Wednesday, back above 80° as the clouds being to thin. Thursday, the sky will clear and we will start to dry out once more. Temperatures will remain in the low 80’s through the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Overall, the weekend looks dry at this point, but we are getting into the autumn transitional period in our weather. The forecast could change between now and next weekend, so stay tuned.

The large area of low pressure near the Yucatan will continue to push moisture and rain into the Deep South through Wednesday, before moving onto the Atlantic Seaboards, allowing the South to dry out. Ida has become a post-tropical system, no longer exhibiting tropical storm-like structure. We are monitoring another area of low pressure between the Bahamas and Bermuda. This could organize into a tropical system this week as it slowly trudges northwest.

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

Mostly Dry Sunday… Rain Sunday Night… Saturday Forecast Update — 6:30pm

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Today we experienced a textbook late Summer, early Fall day with temperatures climbing to the lower 80’s and a light breeze staying consistent throughout the day, which lead to nice conditions if you were outdoors. The daytime heating helped produce some light cloud coverage, which will stick with us into the night hours. As the clouds stick around tonight, temperatures will drop to the mid 60’s. Tomorrow ends the weekend with clouds building during the day as an inflow of moisture from a low pressure system in the Gulf brings storms late Sunday.

The work week starts off cooler and soggy as the area of lower pressure moves north-eastward. Thanks to ample cloud cover and showers blocking sunlight, temperatures will be cooler the first half of the week. Highs will be in the 70’s for most of us. A few showers remain on Wednesday as the low moves east and by Thursday conditions dry out, helping cap off the work week with a pleasant ending weather wise.

Friday through the first half of the weekend looks nice, with temperatures in the low 80’s during the afternoon, and overnight lows near 60. However, late next weekend, clouds start to build as a Colorado Low moves east bringing rain chances back into the mix Sunday and into Monday of next week.

We are watching the low pressure and cluster of thunderstorms located near the Yucatan Peninsula to see if they will organize and strengthen as the low moves north across the Gulf of Mexico throughout the day on Sunday. This low will track along the AL/FL border, then east along the FL/GA line, bringing us decent rain chances late Sunday night through Wednesday. The highest rainfall amounts will be in the south and eastern Alabama.

Additionally, Ida continues to meander through the Atlantic. It isn’t projected to strengthen at any point in the near future, but it’s wandering path will bring it closer to the Caribbean Islands.

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

Isolated Weekend Showers… Soaking Early Next Week… Friday Forecast Update – 4pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Friday afternoon! It’s amazing the difference in weather from once side of the state to the other today, as an upper level low moves over far northern Alabama. Southwest Alabama is hot and sunny this afternoon with no rain, while northeast Alabama is cloudy and cool with periods of rain today. In our area, the most widespread rain has been to the north and east of Birmingham. Tuscaloosa and points south have remained mostly dry today. As the upper level low moves to the northwest, the risk of a stray shower this evening looks low, and that’s good news for the local high school football games. Expect temperatures in the 70s at the 7pm kickoff, dropping into the 60s by the end of the local games.

The weekend forecast is looking fair, with only a small chance of a passing shower or two. Any showers that develop will not last long in one spot. Expect a mix of sun and clouds over the weekend. The lunar eclipse happening Sunday night will begin shortly after sunset and end around midnight. With some clouds around, you may have a tough time viewing the lunar eclipse, but keep trying incase you have some clearing in your area.

Alabama takes on Louisiana Monroe in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, with a 3pm kickoff. Temperatures will start off in the lower 80s, under a partly sunny sky. A passing shower is possible, but this isn’t a major rain day. The chance of a shower moving over the stadium during game-time is rather low.

Auburn takes on Mississippi State University on Saturday in Auburn, with a 6:30pm kickoff. An isolated shower is possible under a partly cloudy sky. Temperatures will start off in the lower 70s at kickoff….

We’re watching the tropics, as models continue to hint at a weak tropical low developing in the Gulf and moving in our direction. There’s a good chance we will get rain on Monday and Tuesday, even if a classic tropical storm doesn’t form. Lots of moisture and uplift will enhance rain chances for our area. Expect highs in the upper 70s on Monday and Tuesday, due to the clouds and some rain. Depending on the track of the surface low, some areas may pick up locally heavy rain, but there are more questions at this time…

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

Rain Chances Increasing… Watching Gulf… Thursday Forecast Update – 4pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Thursday afternoon! It’s a big difference in weather from the east Alabama state line to the west Alabama state line this afternoon. We’ve got lots of sun and hot temperatures, with upper 80s near the Mississippi boarder. East Alabama is dealing with clouds and a few showers, with temperatures in the 70s. Clouds will gradually spread from east to west tonight, with the risk of a few showers. The best chance of a few showers will occur over the eastern half of Alabama tonight, as lows approach the middle 60s.

A disturbance in the upper levels of the atmosphere over the southeast US is moving northwest. This will bring a few showers to the area on Friday, with the highest rain chance happening from areas near or northeast of Birmingham, where rain should be more widespread. Highs will struggle to reach 80 on Friday, due to extra clouds and some showers. A few high school football stadiums may get a passing shower Friday night, but lightning is not expected to be a big deal. Isolated to scattered showers remain possible on Saturday, but the coverage should be lower.

The upper level low will slide to our west, and moisture will really pool across the area on Sunday and Monday. A weak tropical low moving northward from the Gulf should help to enhance our local rain chance, with showers becoming likely at times. If the low moves over Alabama, the some locally heavy rain will become possible. Due to cooler Gulf temperatures and some wind shear, the tropical low will remain weak. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if it becomes a weak tropical storm, but even then, I don’t expect a strong system. We’ll keep an eye on the latest models and track to determine how much rain we will end up with. With the recent dry weather, this rain should be beneficial…

Alabama takes on Louisiana Monroe in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, with a 3pm kickoff. Temperatures will start off in the lower 80s, under a partly to mostly cloudy sky. A passing shower is possible, but this isn’t a major rain day.

Auburn takes on Mississippi State University on Saturday in Auburn, with a 6:30pm kickoff. A few scattered showers are possible under a mostly cloudy sky. Temperatures will start off in the lower 70s at kickoff….

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