It is Friday December 22, 2023. Welcome to the first full day of winter 2023-24. It won't feel like it as we go through the day with highs in the upper 60s. Even the nighttime lows will not dip back into the 30s until Tuesday night.

But and there is always a but with weather this time of the year, rain and a few non-severe thunderstorms are expected across the state beginning Christmas Eve Day. The holidays will not be a complete washout because showers will be scattered and not heavy. Rain from quarter inch to an inch is expected across west Alabama.

Sub-freezing temperatures are likely back across west and north Alabama by early next Friday morning.

The Forecast:

Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 65. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 42. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 69. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. East wind 5 to 10 mph.

Christmas Eve Day: A 20 percent chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 67. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph.

Christmas Eve: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after midnight. Low around 58. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Christmas Day: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. High near 67. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Christmas Night: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.

The Work Week: Mostly sunny skies and partly cloudy nights. Highs in the mid to upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s.


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Topping the News:

It is a tragic Christmas for the family of an 8-year-old girl who has now died from injuries suffered from being hit by a vehicle in Cottondale. She was struck inside a mobile home park on private property in Cottondale and passed away Wednesday. The case is under investigation.


 

The name of the man shot and killed by a Tuscaloosa Police Officer near Bower's Park Wednesday has been released. He is 24-year-old Tristan Decedric Clark.

Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Commander Capt. Jack Kennedy told reporters the shooting happened during traffic stop. A TPD officer noticed a passenger in the car had a weapon in his waistband. The suspect was ordered not to touch it, but according to police, the man reached for his pistol. A struggle ensued. One of the officers fired his weapon, striking the suspect several times. Both police officers are now on leave, which is standard protocol.

Kennedy said he had no idea how long the investigation will take, but once a thorough investigation is completed, it will likely be turned over to the Tuscaloosa County district attorney’s office.


 

Police shootings like the one in Tuscaloosa earlier this week often elicit an emotional public response because they want answers and body cam video to be released immediately. When it is not conspiracy theories abound.

However, because the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that body cam footage is not public record, State Senator Merika Coleman (D-Mobile) has prefiled a bill that would make body cam footage more accessible. But President of the Alabama Fraternal Order of Police Everett Johnson calls the bill an attack on law enforcement. Alabama law allows body and dash cam footage to be requested by parties involved in the particular case.


 

Tuscaloosa State Rep. Chris England has prefiled a bill for the February legislative session that would raise the sales tax on products bought online. The rate is currently eight percent, but the Democrat’s bill would hike the tax to 9 and 25/100’s percent. The proceeds would be split 50/50 between the state and the counties. The increase would provide some $100 million dollars more to funds schools.


A bill prefiled by West Alabama Republican State Senator April Weaver of Brierfield would make it a felony for porch pirates to steal a package worth more than $50. Latest crime figures show 17% of Americans have had items stolen from their front porch.


 

Crimson Tide Offensive lineman Elijah Pritchett has been granted Youthful Offender Status in the wake of his arrest for knowingly spreading a sexually transmitted disease.  Alabama law requires a person with a sexually transmitted infection to inform partners before having any sort of sexual relations.

The charge against him is a misdemeanor. Pritchett is 19 years old.


 

For the first time, Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center’s Community Living Center has achieved a 5-star rating according to a release from the massive medical facility on Tuscaloosa's eastside.

"I am immensely proud to lead the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and I hope that all eligible Veterans in West Alabama will trust us for their care, not just at the end of life, but also across their continuum of care," said Center Director John F. Merkle.


 

The U.S. Senate has confirmed every single military promotion previously held up by Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville conceded earlier in the month that nothing came out of his months-long hold.

"We didn't get the win that we wanted," Tuberville said. "We've still got the bad policy."


 

In Sports:

There is a lot of college football going on across the state tomorrow for the holiday weekend.

  • Troy takes on ACC member Duke in the Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium at 11:00am.
  • Also, at 11:00, in Montgomery, Arkansas State battles Northern Illinois in the Camelia Bowl.
  • At 6pm in Mobile, USA faces Eastern Michigan in the Lending Tree Bowl.

 

The Alabama Men's Basketball Team returns home for the first time in three games tomorrow afternoon. After dropping the close games to Top 25 ranked teams, the Tide faces Eastern Kentucky at 3:00pm CST at Coleman Coliseum.

After a break for Christmas Bama hosts Liberty on December 30 before opening the SEC schedule against Vanderbilt in Nashville on January 6.


 

The Alabama Women's Basketball Team returns to action on New Year's Eve to host Mississippi Valley State in the final non-conference bout of the season. The Crimson Tide will face the Devilettes at 2:00 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.


 

May you and yours have a Safe and Merry Christmas and remember "the Reason for the Season". 

 

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