West Alabama Friday Briefing
It is Friday February 9, 2024, the last day of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama.
We have talked about the threats (tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding and flash flooding and lightning) and how to prepare and respond to them. Today serves as a reminder that all of that does no good unless you have a way to receive weather alerts.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham emphasizes in order for us to be truly prepared we must have multiple ways to receive watches, warnings and advisories. That includes radio, television, smartphones, weather apps and NOAA Weather Radio. But remember, outdoor warning sirens are intended for those who are outdoors and may not dependably be heard inside.
Also, know where you are on the map when a tornado warning polygon is issued. Warnings are no longer made for entire counties, only areas in the potential path of the tornado. That requires you to know where you are in relationship to the polygon.
Primary severe weather season begins March 1 and runs through the end of May. The secondary severe weather season in November and December. But the caveat is that severe weather can occur any month, any day and any time of the year, so be prepared!
You need to be prepared for a wet weekend. (Exclusive County-by-County Weekend Rain Chance Guide).
There will be scattered showers today, but the most widespread rain will be tomorrow over the northern third of Alabama, especially along and north of I-20.
Sunday, there is a Slight (2 in 5) Risk for strong to severe thunderstorms across West Alabama with an Elevated (3 in 5) Risk for southern Sumter and far western Marengo Counties. Rainfall over the weekend should be between one to two inches, most likely eradicating what is left of the lengthy Alabama drought in extreme east Tuscaloosa and northwest Lamar counties.
Rain chances should end during the day Monday.
Today: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. South wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Saturday: Showers likely, mainly after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 71. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Saturday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 57. South wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Super Bowl Sunday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 67. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Super Bowl Sunday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 57. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 65.
Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38.
Remainder of the Work Week: Sunny days and mostly clear nights. Highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Lows in the mid to upper 30s.
Topping the News:
Dollar amounts for Northport's proposed water theme park were released today. In a public notice from the Northport City Council, the developer of Northport's planned water park, University Beach, LLC of McKinney TX, is predicting an investment of some $350 million in developing the park which is expected to be a major attraction across West Alabama.
The project will be the topic of the council meeting at 5:30pm, Monday February 19 at city hall and the public is welcome to submit comments.
UA System Chancellor Finis St. John is stepping down to become the first executive director of the Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership at The Capstone. Current Sr. Vice Chancellor Sid Trant will become the interim chancellor April 1st.St. John has served since 2018.
The so-called "anti-ballot harvesting" bill has taken another step forward after moving out of senate committee in Montgomery. Under this bill, activities such as ordering, requesting, collecting, prefilling, obtaining, or delivering absentee ballots for others, as well as receiving or offering payment for these services, would be prohibited.
GOP Sen. Garlan Grudger claims that assistance for those who need it will still be available. Democrats oppose the bill for fear it will keep volunteers and church groups from assisting homebound and elderly voters.
A legislative proposal to establish legal gaming and a statewide lottery has the backing of Gov. Ivey and a legislative study committee. The bill would place an independent state gaming commission in charge. It would also establish seven casinos, including one in Greene County where Eutaw Mayor Latasha Johnson tells news partner ABC 3340 it would be the economic boost for the financially strapped community needs.
Greene County has been the home of parimutuel wagering and bingo halls for years, but the state has fought to close down gambling there.
Education is a key component of Gov. Ivey’s legislative agenda. One bill that would require curriculum transparency would have necessitated teachers personally explaining to parents what their child is studying. But Greensboro Democrat Bobby Singleton added an amendment to allow that information to be transmitted electronically.
Singleton told reporters, teachers already put-in hours of work inside and outside of the classroom and more time does not need to be added.
Northport Fire and Rescue Service has dedicated a new fire apparatus. According to the city's Facebook site, the new fire truck is a black over red E-One Typhoon with 720-gallon water and 30-gallon foam capacities. It includes enhanced firefighter safety.
With help from West Alabama Democrat Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Capstone College of Nursing will use $3.5 million in federal funding from the Labor Department to support growing and diversifying Alabama's understaffed nursing workforce.
The Alabama Board of Education has unanimously approved a resolution to give local school districts full authority over the issue of cellphone use by students in school. State education leaders say this has been a problem for a while in schools across Alabama, but doing this allows schools to address the issues they deal with each day.
Alabama Softball opened the new season Thursday in Atlanta with fifth-year pitcher Kayla Beaver pitching a 3-0 no-hit against Villanova. It is only the second opening day shutout in Tide Softball history.
Bama plays two games today. Longwood at 10am and Georgia Tech at 3pm.
UA Women’s Basketball got a big win over arch-rival Tennessee at Coleman last night 72-56.
From UA Athletics: The No. 7 Alabama gymnastics team will travel to Auburn, Ala., to take on the No. 14 Auburn Tigers (4-5, 0-3 SEC) in Neville Arena on Friday. The Crimson Tide's sixth contest against a top-15 opponent will begin at 8 p.m. CT and will be aired live on SEC Network.
Friday night's meet will be the sixth contest for Alabama (5-1-1, 2-1-1 SEC) this season as the Crimson Tide is coming off a hard-fought loss to the then-No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats.
Have a wonderful weekend and ROLL TIDE!!