It is Friday December 1, 2023. The cold starts to each day this week have been replaced by a needed wet start this morning. National Weather Service meteorologists are forecasting as much as 2" of rain for most of West Alabama over the next couple of days.

That threat for severe weather talked about yesterday has been pushed further south than originally expected. There is the possibility of a few thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight generally near and south of the U.S. Highway 80 corridor. These storms will be capable of producing isolated damaging wind gusts and the potential for a brief tornado.

The number of wildfires in the state increased over the last 24 hours with 16, up six from yesterday. Forestry firefighters are hoping the rain will douse the remaining fires.

For those of you headed to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game tomorrow, be prepared, rain is in the forecast there too, but the game is indoors, so it won't be that big of a problem.

The Forecast:

Today: Showers before 9am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9am and noon. High near 70. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

High School Football Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after midnight. Low around 61. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Saturday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 68. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

SEC Championship Game in Atlanta: Showers likely, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 7am. High near 66. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Saturday Night: Showers likely, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 56. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming southwest in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.

The New Work Week: Mostly sunny days with highs from the mid 50 to mid 60s. Nighttime skies with be mostly clear with lows in the upper 30s to mid 40s the first part of the week and back down to near freezing by Wednesday night.


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A Change.org petition has been started by some residents of Northport calling for City Council President Jeff Hogg to resign. The petition claims unethical, deceptive and aggressive tactics by Hogg. The petition, with 23 signatures to this point and claims Hogg’s action have damaged the city and destroyed the public trust.

The website identifies David Allgood as the person who started the petition. Hogg has been at the center of criticism by some for his part in the sale of the Northport Community Center and the youth sports complex alleged impact on Kentuck Park.


 

Kentuck Executive Director Amy Echols confirmed to news partner ABC 3340 that the organization that sponsors the annual arts festival in Northport had been in discussions with Northport to extend the contract for the event by five years. But Echols was concerned the wording in the contract did not include Kentuck Park as the site.

Kentuck officials are concerned that Kentuck Park will be impacted by the new youth sports complex. City Council President Jeff Hogg claims construction of the complex will only be a minor inconvenience.

Hogg is urging Kentuck officials to continue communications on the issue.


 

The State of Alabama is mailing out tax rebates to eligible recipients today. The checks will be $150 for single filers or $300 for married couples filing jointly. Gov. Ivey told legislators during her State of the State Address that it is the people’s money, and they deserve the rebate.

To qualify taxpayers must have filed a 2021 individual income tax return on or before Oct. 17, 2022.


 

Some employees at the Mercedes Benz assembly plant in Vance are again planning a push to unionize the giant auto plant. The United Auto Workers strike in Detroit, and ultimate new contract has emboldened workers in Tuscaloosa County and 12 other non-union auto plants in Alabama and other southern states to attempt to secure a vote on unionization.


 

The Federal Highway Administration study shows that Alabama has 16,176 bridges with 9,443 of them in fair condition and 559 in poor condition.

The county-by-county list for Alabama shows in West Alabama that there are 2,479 bridges with 1,309 in fair condition and 86 in poor condition. Pickens County has the most bridges listed in poor condition at 19.

The figures listed are for state and county maintained only and do not include federal bridges.


 

 

 

Alabama resident are the 7th most financially distressed in the nation according to a new study by Wallet Hub. Residents of Mississippi are 2nd most distressed while Tennessee is 4th and Georgia is 9th. The study took into consideration credit ratings, past due accounts, bankruptcy filings and total amount of debt.


 

Next week will be busy in Tuscaloosa/Northport. The annual West Alabama Christmas Parade is scheduled to step off in Downtown Tuscaloosa Monday night after the Christmas Tree lighting at the county courthouse, Tuesday night is the popular Victorian era themed Dicken’s Downtown in Northport, Wednesday will bring three simultaneous events: the GOP Presidential debate, High School Football Championships and Bama Women’s Basketball, all at UA.


 

Bama Football Center Seth McLaughlin has donated his NIL money to the West Alabama Food Bank to help provide food during the holiday season.


 

Getting around East Campus at UA will be more difficult beginning early next week as final preparations for Wednesday's Republican Presidential Debate take shape.  There will be parking lot and street closures beginning Monday around the Moody Music Building and running until the day after the debate.

Much of 2nd Avenue will be closed Monday until Thursday due to security around the Moody Music Building and media equipment.

Parking will be at a premium due to an Alabama Women's Basketball Game at Coleman Coliseum and AHSAA Football Champion football at Bryant-Denny Stadium.



 

In Sports:

The consensus odds for Alabama's Southeastern Conference Championship game tomorrow against Georgia has changed again. After reaching a high of six points Thursday it is back down to 5.5 points this morning. The contest initially opened at 4.5 points Sunday.


 

The Alabama women's basketball team dropped a hard-fought 79-73 contest as part of the ACC/SEC Challenge at Syracuse last night. Bama is now 7 and 2 for the early season.


 

Pickens County is at Coosa Christian tonight with the winner playing for the 1A state title next week at Bryant-Denny. The Tornadoes are the lone West Alabama prep team still in the hunt for a championship.

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