An even greater injustice has occurred in the hurricane zone of the Gulf Coast. I am reading Douglas Brinkley’s tome about Hurricane Katrina: The Great Deluge. I am appalled at the actions of people in all levels of government. From the highest levels of the government down to cowardly New Orleans Policemen. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of heroes at all levels also, although more at the lower levels.
The more I read, the more I develop a Hurricane Katrina Hall of Shame...from reporters who prematurely told the nation that the Big Easy had dodged a bullet...to New Orleans policemen who took their police cars or “borrowed“ new Cadillac automobiles as they fled to Houston...to the Corps of Engineers who did not properly engineer the flood walls...to the shipping industry who insisted on the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet which turned into a speedway for the thirty foot storm surge to swamp New Orleans East...to researchers who did not accurately identify and act on the myriad of threats to the flood defenses...to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who attended Spamalot as the Big Easy drowned...o Michael Chertoff, who flew to Atlanta for a flu seminar on Tuesday after the storm...to Kathleen Blanco and President Bush, who were less than stellar in their leadership display.
But the kings of the confederacy of dunces...Michael Brown and Mayor Ray Nagin. A Wednesday email (two days after the hurricane made landfall) from one of Brown's aides told FEMA team members that the FEMA Chief was not getting enough time for dinner, since traffic in baton Rouge was horrible and the restaurants were packed. All the while, less than 500 national guardsmen were maintaining an uneasy and dangerous peace at the Superdome. Finally, Ray Nagin. It took until Saturday night for “that hurricane dude” Max Mayfield to get through to Nagin. (The Mayor spent Saturday night out eating with his family. He was conspicuously absent from the Superdome and City Hall in the days following the storm.
And the people of New Orleans just re-elected him. Go figure!
As Brinkley so aptly put it...Katrina was not a natural disaster, but rather a man made one...
But a few storms are strong.
Earlier there was a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Lawrence County.
The NWS, Huntsville posted a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Jackson County in Extreme NE Alabama until 7 pm. The storm, possibly producing penny-size hail and gusts to 60 mph, was centered 6 miles west of Scottsboro and practically stationary.
A thunderstorm was also in progress over West Jefferson County west of Birmingham.
First, mya apology to everyone who views our video map discussions. I'm not sure what adjustment I made this morning, but the video was completely un-viewable. Whatever I did, the one this afternoon came out the same way, so I'm redoing it in hopes of getting something you can actually watch.
No substantial change to the forecast as it stands. It is just plain H.O.T in Central Alabama. I had a high of 95 while many locations were in the lower to mid 90s. That will change tomorrow and Friday with more clouds plus a cold front - or is that really a cool front - moving through the state. I think most people will see some rain but don't expect a lot. I'd have to say we'll probably see around a half inch in most spots but some locations could see a little more in the heavier showers. Just the nature of convection.\
The front should mean somewhat drier air with dewpoints expected to fall back at least into the lower 60s - maybe some upper 50s. So Saturday and Sunday are looking very nice.
Next week we see the trough remaining in place over the eastern half of the country. With a closed low still be forecast on the GFS, we can expect some wet weather for Georgia, North Florida, and the Carolinas, but Alabama will be on the dry side. But with northerly flow, we shouldn't see temperatures back into the mid 90s for much of the week.
Interesting the little disturbance showing up on the Texas coast. That disturbance is likely to bring 3 to 4 inches of rain to the southern Texas coast. And we start hurricane season tomorrow.
Again, my apology for the rotten video this morning. I have an early morning appointment downtown, so there probably won't be a video but I will try to make a post here.
Dew points are mostly in the 60s meaning the ole humidity is quite noticeable.
Here is a sample of 3 o'clock official temperatures:
90 in Cullman, Albertville, Anniston, Muscle Shoals
91 in Huntsville, Gadsden, Alexander City, Auburn and at Shelby County Airport (NWS)
92 in Fort Payne
93 in Montgomery and Mobile
94 in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa
95 in Decatur
96 in Evergreem
97 at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery
I believe that 94 at Birmingham Airport is our hottest so far this year.
At 3:30 only two or three isolated showers over the extreme north. A few others may form later this afternoon and into the evening.
I'll be filling in for James Spann for the rest of this week, but I don't rise as early as he does, so look for the morning map discussion videos to be a tad later - I will try to have them posted no later than 8 am, except tomorrow morning. I will have a discussion but no video due to an early morning appointment.
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm already tired of the heat and humidity. And it still looks like some relief may be on the way. But for now, we've got at least one more day of the three-Hs weather, hazy, hot, and humid! I really hate the milky sky we see on many summer days - I favor the brilliant blues you see after cold fronts, with strong winter highs and all that subsidence, and after passing tropical systems.
Thursday a cold front draws nearer to Alabama so we should see more clouds which should help to knock a few degrees off the afternoon high.
The GFS continues to bring the front through Alabama on Friday as a trough develops over the eastern half of the US. So I do expect nearly everyone to see some rain between Thursday afternoon and Friday evening. Since the whole system will be moving relatively slowly, we could see rainfall amounts on the order of one-half to one inch with spots of heavier amounts.
Saturday and Sunday look like we should see some great weather with temperatures falling back to seasonal values along with lowered humidity - woohoo!!
The first of next week becomes interesting with the GFS developing a closed low over Georgia. If the GFS position is correct, we'll stay dry. Should the low be just a tad further west, we could see a cloudy, wet period, so this one will be an interesting forecast challenge.
Speaking of forecast challenges, tomorrow is the official start to the 2006 hurricane season. The two big guys in hurricane outlooks, Dr. William Gray and the National Weather Service, have both rendered their predictions and we seem to be headed for another above normal season. Not like 2005, however, we could see up to 17 named storms. At ABC 33/40, we've already tuned up our weather data to bring you the latest from the tropics.
Hope you have a great day. I'll try to have another discussion posted between 4 and 5 pm today.
In this week's podcast:
- Remembering the Brent/Centreville Tornado of May 27th, 1973: We talk with Ed Landry, a retired National Weather Service employee who survived the deadly twister's fury as it plowed through Central Alabama, destroying lives and property, including the NWS radar tracking the storm;
- WeatherBrains members James Spann, Bill Murray, and J. B. Elliott
recount their memories of the tornado;
- Are Alabama residents becoming complacent about severe weather?
Weather Brains is a weekly 30 minute podcast for people who love weather. You can listen to the podcast anywhere on an iPod or any other MP3 player, or on your computer.
To subscribe, go to the iTunes Music Store, and choose "Podcasts". In the search box, enter "Weather Brains". On the next page, on the "Weather Brains" line click on subscribe.
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To the northeast, a strong storm remains near where Blount, St. Clair and Etowah counties join. This is east of Oneonta. It was moving west. This is the same storm that triggered the Severe Thunderstorm for North St. Clair County that expired at 10:30 pm.
A cluster of strong storms remained over West Dekalb County in far NE Alabama and another all the way across the state along the Greene-Sumter County in West Central Alabama.
All of these thunderstorms should fade away later tonight...probably by midnight.
Our last major spring tornado was eight years ago: the April 8, 1998 F5 that killed 32 people in Jefferson County (two more were killed by another tornado from the same parent storm in St. Clair County for a total death toll of 34). The major tornadoes in the last eight years have come during the fall; the “secondary” tornado season during November and December. We all remember the December 16, 2000 F4 that killed 11 people in Tuscaloosa, and other major Alabama tornado outbreaks on November 24, 2001 and November 20, 2002.
So, whats the deal? The bottom line is that strong/violent tornadoes are relatively rare events, and we can go for long periods without significant tornadoes. During my first 10 years in this business, from 1979 through 1989, there were hardly any major tornadoes, including both the spring and fall seasons. The Huntsville F4 tornado on November 15, 1989 ended the quiet period.
Active spring tornado seasons will return. Not a matter of if, but a matter of when. The greatest concern during these long periods of quiet weather is complacency. We hope it doesn’t take another F5 with dozens of deaths for Alabamians to think about a severe weather plan for their family or business.
Affecting mainly places like Forestdale, Adamsville Graysville.
The storm was moving west at 10 and may produce large hail.
Another Severe Thunderstorm Warning was in effect for Northeast St. Clair County until 10:30. It was located near Steele in the Extreme North part of St. Clair County and moving west at 10. Places that this storm may affect:
Interstate 59 near exit 174
Chandler Mountain Lake
It was located near Brookside in NW Jefferson County and moving west at 10 mph.
Forestdale, Adamsville and Graysville may be affected.
This storm may have penny size hail.
The NWS posted the Severe Thunderstorm Warning for central Jefferson County until 10:15.
On the present track, it should not affect the immediate Birmingham area...instead mostly the west part of the county.