Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian
Tropical Storm Erika has completely fallen apart this morning, the victim of wind shear and the mountainous terrain of the island of Hispaniola.
Reconnaissance into the storm was unable to find evidence of a closed circulation.
The system will continue northwest into the Gulf of Mexico and bring heavy rain to the Florida Peninsula and the Gulf Coast. Regeneration does not look likely.
Strong storms over northern Shelby County near Pelham are moving northwest into the southern part of Jefferson County.
The peach colored polygon is a Significant Weather Alert.
They are not severe, but they are causing lots of lightning. The thunder is very loud. Rain is torrential as well, potentially causing some minor flash flooding.
It is affecting the Hoover HS game at the Met right now. Same for the Pelham-Thompson game.
It will take at least half an hour for the storm to move out of the area.
Here are some of our favorite stories from our partners at Alabama NewsCenter from this past week, August 21 – 27, 2015.
Can’t Miss Alabama: This week’s summertime favorites include jazz, expos and a film festival – Here’s a look at the hottest happenings across the state this weekend.
Sidewalk Film Festival’s 17th year more diverse, local at same time – Films from more than two dozen countries join large Alabama-produced slate.
Homewood restaurant owners turn Katrina tragedy into triumph – A decade after hurricane, couple finds recipe for recovery in Alabama.
Katrina took her home in Mississippi, now she sells them in Birmingham – “I realize how hard it is to lose everything and not have a home of your own.” – Pye Parson
Blown from New Orleans by Katrina, family puts down roots in Alabama’s Wiregrass – Harolyn Benjamin went from helping others to being helped and is now helping others again.
Jasper couple left New Orleans, but the city has never left them – Kilgores now share a taste of Louisiana through Black Rock Bistro.
Regions Field attendance tops 400,000 for second straight season – Barons reach milestone in consecutive seasons for first time in more than 60 years.
Alabama Bright Lights: Curtis Saucier pays the love forward – “God gives special kids to special people.” – Curtis Saucier.
Russellville rocket team sets sights on NASA Student Launch program – Victory fuels the desire to compete in another major competition.
Brighter Minds: “Raising the bar by raising your hand” – “Education is the key to opening every door.” Margaret Morton, Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement
Motley: Changing the trajectory of education in Alabama requires engagement – Aspen Institute leader knows the importance of support.
How Alabama is matching workforce needs with state education – “Alabama business and industry have spoken and they’ve spoken loudly.” – Dr. Philip Cleveland
Playing it SAFE for Alabama families and education – Margaret Morton believes workforce development lies in family development.
100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die: Irondale Café – Check out this tasty Southern side dish featured this week.
Alabama Power Foundation accepting Students to Stewards grant applications – Program supports conservation education across Alabama.
Alabama Road Trips: On the trail of the pig – Alabama’s historic barbecue restaurants – Alabama “Q” has been around since the 1890s, but it’s never been bigger.
Southern Company/AGL Resources deal would create leading U.S. joint electricity-natural gas utility – Purchase is Alabama Power parent’s largest energy diversification acquisition.
Mercedes won’t exit Saints stadium pact with new Falcons deal – Automaker set to sponsor rivals’ venues in New Orleans and Atlanta.
Montgomery area children take in trick golf shots, First Tee values – Alabama Power Junior Clinic teaches while entertaining.
Women urged at Mobile forum to ‘step off that cliff’ – Shattering the Glass Ceiling encourages and challenges Alabama women.
Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic tees off with ‘extremely strong’ field – Top women in golf playing today through Sunday in Alabama.
Murphy vs. Baker among Alabama NewsCenter’s top high school football match-ups this week – A look at some Alabama high school football games you may want to take in this week.
The NHC has named the system in the Central Atlantic about 950 miles east of the Leeward Islands tonight. It is Tropical Storm Erika.
Here are the Fast Facts on Erika:
SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 955 MI…1535 KM E OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 275 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1003 MB…29.62 INCHES
Erika is in a favorable environment for intensification with an envelope of moisture, low shear and warm water. That should continue for at least 48 hours before it encounters some shear. It is expected to become a strong tropical storm, but could become a hurricane, as depicted by the HWRF model.
There is some uncertainty in track, but there is a good chance this could affect the United States. If it is weaker, it could be shunted south toward the Gulf of Mexico. A stronger storm would be pulled further north and could be near the Bahamas by the end of the wekeend, with a threat to the East Coast.
Erika will be interesting to watch.
Danny dissipated this morning as expected over the northern Leeward Islands.
But I am afraid it probably can’t…
Danny made a bit of a comeback this morning according to satellite pictures, with an expanded circulation and a flare of convection around the center. But he rally was short lived, the short term effect of approaching shear that will eventually tear the storm apart, and the death rattle will begin soon.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla with tropical storm watches for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the rest of the northern Leeward Islands.
Danny will move across the islands of Guadeloupe and Antigua late tonight into Monday then across southern parts of Hispaniola by Tuesday night.
This should effectively knock the stuffing out of the little hurricane that could. It is yet to be seen whether the plucky little storm will be able to regenerate later this week as it moves a long the North Coast of Cuba. The smart money is on no for now.
BUT: Having said that, watch the system behind Danny. It will likely become Tropical Storm Erika this week, on a similar trajectory to Danny. The European does ramp this back up into a powerful storm as it moves through the Bahamas around September 1, but recurve it between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda early that week.
The upper level trough that was responsible for the showers and storms of late yesterday through early this morning is now over Alabama and some drier air is filtering in with it. Slight cooler air aloft is allowing stratocumulus clouds to form in the base of the trough, sort of like you would see in spring.
The upper level disturbance that brought the shake, rattle and roll to areas north of I-20 during the pre-dawn hours is over western South Carolina and southeastern Georgia at this hour. There have been a couple of severe thunderstorm warnings there, but no watches are anticipated.
Temperatures are in the middle 80s, with a few upper 80s where sunshine has been able to take more of a hold.
Temperatures will be the big story in coming days as a cool front brings us a real fall preview this week. That front will slice through the area tomorrow. A few showers and storms could develop along the front Monday afternoon. If they do manage to form, they could be strong. But they will be limited in number and coverage. Highs tomorrow will look a lot like today, mostly upper 80s to lower 90s.
Could I interest you in middle 80s for highs and lows near 60F, with several spots in the upper 50s for the middle of the work week? Well, you won’t have to twist my arm, since that is what is on the way weather wise across Central Alabama. Rain will be non-existent through the coming weekend. Great weather for high school football’s first big weekend and the fabulous Sidewalk Film Festival in downtown Birmingham next weekend. Don’t miss this world class event!