Cooler Nights Ahead… Latest on Catestrophic Hurricane Irma… Tuesday Forecast Update – 4:25pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Tuesday afternoon! A cold front is moving southward across the area today, allowing showers and storms to develop. At 4:25pm, a line of showers and storms is approaching I-59, but scattered storms are developing ahead of the line deeper into central Alabama. Keep the umbrella handy as storms sink southward across the state. Showers will remain possible tonight before coming to an end early Wednesday morning.

Most areas will remain in the 70s for highs on Wednesday, with a cool north breeze. Skies will gradually become sunny by mid afternoon. Temperatures will drop into the lower to middle 50s by Wednesday night and Thursday night! Highs will rebound into the lower 80s on Thursday and Friday, with plenty of sunshine. Dry weather will remain with us through the weekend.

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We now have 3 active tropical systems in the Atlantic basin. Tropical Depression 13 south of Brownsville Texas, Hurricane Irma approaching the Leeward Islands and Tropical storm Jose in the central Atlantic. TD 13 will move into Mexico over the coming days and will not be a US impacting storm.

Obviously, the big talk is on incredibly powerful Hurricane Irma. Winds are sustained at 185mph, making this tied with the 2nd strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. The strongest was Hurricane Allen, with winds at 190mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma is about to begin an eyewall replacement cycle, so some changes in strength is likely over the next 24 hours. Unfortunately, Irma should remain a category 5 hurricane as it moves over the northern Leeward Islands tonight!

See the track below… The latest track has the center of the Hurricane over Key West, FL as a strong category 4 hurricane on Sunday. Please understand, major changes in path are possible once you get to day 5 and beyond, so we’ll be watching this one very carefully. Most data suggest, Irma will turn north over Florida on Sunday and Monday, remaining to the east of Alabama. This would be due to a weakness in the upper air ridge to the north of the storm. Let me warn you… if the weakness is not there or the ridge is stronger than expected, path changes are possible. Again, confidence is fairly high this won’t be an Alabama storm, but lets just all watch this together over the next few days.

If Irma tracks a little further south, the mountains over Cuba could greatly reduce the intensity of the storm. This would be bad news for Cuba and good news for the US coastline. Most data does not support that idea, so anyone in Florida need to be prepared for a significant storm.

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For more updates, go to the weather blog at, scroll to the weather tab and click weather blog. Updates are also on our Facebook and Twitter page. My twitter is @RichardWVUA23 and facebook is WVUA23RichardScott

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Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott