Matthew Now a Category 5 Hurricane…Tropics Update 10:40 p.m.

Matthew has now been upgraded to a category five hurricane by the National Hurricane Center. Any more intensification with Matthew will be very difficult in the coming hours because of how large the tropical system has become. The larger a system becomes, the more energy is required to hold it together. Matthew will eventually start moving northward, out of the Caribbean and into the Atlantic. Many are monitoring to see how soon are late the turn happens because that will likely help determine how close the the east coast it will come. Current models are still generally agreeing on no major U.S impact. 

Stay with us for current updates! 

Reggie Roakes

WVUA 23 News

Fall Weather Continues…Matthew Now A Cat. 4 Hurricane…Friday Evening Update 5:45 p.m.

Sevenday_640.JPGGood Friday evening! It was another day full of Fall-Like weather with temperatures ranging in the low to upper 70’s with mostly sunny skies. Tonight temperatures will once again drop down between the mid to low 50’s, with some areas seeing the upper 40’s.

Tomorrow will keep the fall like weather going for Alabama’s Homecoming in Tuscaloosa. Highs in the afternoon will be in the lower 80’s, so it will be warmer, but still very comfortable. Sunday will be similar to Saturday but even warmer with highs warming into the mid 80’s.

Next work week looks to remain dry as temperatures start a warming trend over the coming days. By the middle of next work week highs will be approaching the 90° mark, but skies will continue to remain clear. Late next work week, ridging over Alabama will gradually break down and a few extra clouds make their way into the forecast for Thursday and Friday.

205640W5_NL_sm.gifHurricane Matthew since this morning has continued to strengthen and is now a category 4 hurricane. Now, even more intensification is expected over the next 12 hours so all eyes in the “weather-world” will be watching to see if the system reaches that strength.

Models are still showing a northward shift in the coming hours. During the shift, the system will experience more shear and may weaken. After the shift, models are showing Matthew moving north, to the east of Florida. Models are bringing it very close to east Florida, and the rest of the east coast, so this system is something to stay on top of over the coming days. Even if it does not make a direct U.S impact, Matthew will likely bring numerous showers, storms, and choppy waters for the east coast.

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.

Reggie Roakes

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Hurricane Matthew Now a Category Three This Morning…Tropics Update 10:15 a.m

Matthew has continued to intensify this morning. An Air ForceReserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft recently measured a peak SFMR wind of 99 kt and a 700-mb wind of 103 kt. Based on these data, the initial intensity is set to 100 kt for this advisory. The aircraft reported that the central pressure had fallen to 968 mb, and also observed a 16 mile wide eye that is open to the southwest. Water vapor imagery shows a well-established poleward outflow channel, with outflow also expanding in the southwest quadrant.This intensification has occurred despite analyzed southwesterly shear of around 20 knots. The SHIPS model output shows this shear continuing for the next 36 hours or so, and as a result, the SHIPS and LGEM models show Matthew weakening during this time. This weakening trend is also shown by the HWRF and COAMPS-TC hurricane models. However, a decrease in intensity given that the environment around the cyclone does not appear to change much. Some short-term fluctuations in intensity are certainly possible, but the official forecast remains above much of the guidance in the short range and keeps the intensity at 100 kt through 72 hours. Some weakening is shown by days 4 and 5 due to potential land interaction. Late in the period the NHC forecast is closest to the HWRF model.

      -National Hurricane Center

Models are still agreeing with a sharp northward turn in the coming hours; however, there is still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to exactly how close Matthew will come to a U.S impact. Right now, best model guidance show Matthew making it close enough to the U.S that even without a direct impact, effects from this hurricane will still be observed for those on the east coast.

Reggie Roakes

WVUA 23 News

Nice Weekend Ahead… Mild Next Week… Thursday Forecast Update – 4:25pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Thursday afternoon! Our local weather feels much more like fall this afternoon, with temperatures only reaching the 70s, despite lots of sunshine. A deep upper air trough and upper level low over the eastern US is sending the cooler air all the way to the Gulf Coast. Expect a rapid drop in temperatures this evening, with all of central Alabama in the lower 50s after midnight.

Friday will feature another bright sunny day, with a light north breeze. Highs will reach the upper 70s to near 80 on Friday. High School Friday night will include temperatures falling into the 60s during game-time, with a clear sky and calm wind.

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Saturday is homecoming for the University of Alabama. Expect highs to reach the lower 80s Saturday afternoon, with a kickoff temperature in the low 70s at 6pm. Game time temps will fall into the lower 60s by the end of the game.

Monday through Wednesday features mild days, with highs reaching the middle to upper 80s. Skies remain mostly sunny, with no risk of rain.

In the tropics, we have Hurricane Matthew. Winds at sustained at 75mph for the 5pm advisory, with a movement towards the west at 17mph. This could become a major hurricane before impacting Jamaica and east Cuba on Monday and Tuesday of next week. At this time, it is unlikely this system makes it into the Gulf. The east coast may have a direct impact from Matthew next week, but it’s possible the storm turns into the open Atlantic as well. Either way, we’ll watch it and update you as needed.

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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
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Matthew Is Nearing Hurricane Status… Thursday AM Update – 8:40am #alwx @wvua23


Good Thursday morning! Hurricane hunters are investigating Tropical Storm Matthew and find winds at 70mph. Matthew is moving west at 16mph. Models have trended east with the track of Matthew after 72 hours, which could potentially allow the storm to pass just east of the US mainland. This would be fantastic! Still, there are lots of questions and major track changes are possible. Here’s the discussion from the National Hurricane Center:

At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Matthew was
located near latitude 14.1 North, longitude 65.5 West. Matthew is
moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h), and a general westward
motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the
next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew
is forecast to pass to the north of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao
through Friday.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h)
with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the
next 48 hours, and Matthew is forecast to become a hurricane later
today or tonight.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km)
primarily to the north and east of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from
reconnaissance aircraft is 995 mb (29.38 inches).

Cooler Temps Ahead! Complicated Tropical Forecast… Wednesday Update – 4:15pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Wednesday afternoon! The air over Alabama is very dry this afternoon, allowing for conditions to feel much more comfortable. While it is still rather hot this afternoon, there is no noticeable humidity and a light breeze helps. With dry air in place this evening and a clear sky, expect a rapid drop in temperatures. We’ll reach the upper 60s at 9pm, then middle to upper 50s after 1am.

A deep upper level low to our north will build southward, allowing the air to cool even more. A gusty northwest wind will help to advect cooler temperatures deeper into Alabama, with most of the area only reaching the upper 70s on Thursday and Friday for highs. Lows will dip into the lower 50s Thursday night and Friday night. Expect dry weather to stick around through the weekend, with afternoon temperatures modifying back into the lower 80s.

In the east Caribbean, we now have Tropical Storm Matthew, with winds at 60mph. Matthew should gain hurricane status on Friday, with a chance of this becoming a major hurricane at some point in the Caribbean. The storm is moving west and this trend will continue for the next 2 to 3 days. After that, the forecast becomes incredibly complicated, as several upper air influences could turn the storm north or continue the storm west. While I think the chance of this being a gulf coast issue is low, we need to carefully watch it over the next 5 to 7 days. Some models suggest the storm may impact the east coast of the US or even remain out to sea. There’s simply lots of uncertainty with this one. We will continue to update the forecast on Matthew through the weekend and into next week.

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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
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

Tropical Storm Matthew Forms Near Lesser Antilles… Wednesday Update 11am #alwx @wvua23


Good Wednesday morning! The National Hurricane Center has named Tropical Storm Matthew out of the tropical wave near the southern Lesser Antilles. Winds are at 60mph, with a movement towards the west at 21mph. Here’s the discussion from the NHC:

1100 AM AST WED SEP 28 2016

Surface observations and data from an Air Force Reserve
reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the tropical wave passing
through the Windward Islands has acquired a closed circulation. The
aircraft found peak flight-level winds of 64 kt, and SFMR surface
winds of around 50 kt over the northern portion of the circulation.
As a result, advisories are being initiated on a 50-kt tropical
storm. The current lack of inner core structure suggests that
further strengthening should be limited today, but environmental
conditions consisting of warm water and low shear ahead of Matthew
favor intensification throughout the remainder of the forecast
period. The NHC intensity forecast is more conservative than the
statistical guidance, but follows the trends of the global models
in deepening the system.

Since the center has very recently formed, the initial motion
estimate is a highly uncertain 275/18 kt. A strong deep-layer ridge
over the western Atlantic should steer Matthew westward across the
eastern Caribbean during the next few days, and the track guidance
is tightly clustered through 72 hours. After that time, the
tropical cyclone will be approaching the western portion of the
ridge and a northwestward turn is expected, although there are
significant differences among the track models as to when the turn
takes place and how sharp it will be. The GFS takes the cyclone
northwestward much faster than the ECMWF with more troughing
developing over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. For now, the NHC track
lies near a consensus of the faster GFS and slower ECMWF.

Richard Scott