It is Monday January 1, 2024. Happy New Year and welcome to 2024. The New Years Baby brings us so much promise, so much hope. Let us pray that it is a year that will grow up to be peaceful, end divisiveness, help those in need, provide real leadership and understand that hate never solves problems or resolves any issues. May the New Years Baby learn from the mistakes of the old year and work to overcome the daunting, dangerous and deadly problems that threaten us all.

2024 is starting out bright and sunny but as the day progresses the wind is expected to pick up and bring us a breezy and cool start o the new year. Today will be about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday as will be most of the daytime hours this week. Overnights will be at or below freezing.

By the way, for those of us who are not winter fans, the March equinox happens on March 19 at 10:06 P.M. CDT bringing us spring. 

The Forecast: 

New Year's DaySunny, with a high near 52. North wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 26. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 53. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Wednesday: Rain likely, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 51.

Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 26.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54.

Friday Night: Showers, mainly after midnight. Low around 41. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

The Weekend: Showers Saturday and sunny Sunday. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the mid 30s.

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Topping the News:

2023 ended with a shooting in Tuscaloosa. An adult male was seriously wounded in a shooting outside a sporting goods store on Skyland Blvd. last night TPD has confirmed.

The 42-year-old man was shot outside Academy Sports around 7:00pm according to TPD spokesperson Stephanie Taylor.

Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Commander, Captain Marty Sellers, told Tuscaloosa Thread they do not believe the victim's injuries are life-threatening. Sellers is expected to release more information today as the investigation continues.

2024 begins with Alabama still in drought. The dry conditions are lessening but still quite prevalent in West Alabama. Except for Hale and Perry counties all of West Alabama continues under Severe Drought designation by the Nation Drought Monitoring Center. The current drought map shows Hale and Perry counties in Moderate Drought.

Rain in the forecast this week should help but according to National Weather Service meteorologists, will not end the drought that has plagued the state for most of the last six months.

Areas of Northwest and East Alabama continue in Exceptional Drought.

The 135th edition of the Rose parade begins its 5.5 miles trek through the streets of Pasadena CA. at 10:00 CST this morning. Always a popular start to New Year's Day for bleary eyed who stayed up late to welcome in the new year. This year's parade will carry much more local significance.

The 38th unit in today's parade is the University of Alabama's "Spirit Float". Just behind will be the Million Dollar Band making what is thought to be its first appearance in the iconic parade.

The famous 400-member ensemble will complete a week of concerts, parades, pep rallies and practices with pregame and halftime performances at "The Grandaddy of them All", the Rose Bowl game at 4:00pm CST.

More than 800,000 will watch the parade from the sides of Colorado and Orange Boulevards, with as many as 50 million watching nationwide and internationally.

You can catch the Rose Parade New Year's Day at 10 a.m. CST on ABC 33/40.

More than the UA contingent, today's Rose Parade will have a Tuscaloosan's touch. Tuscaloosa native Scott Wedgeworth has been the lead designer of the spectacular floats that dazzle millions in the Rose Parade for more than a decade.

Wedgeworth told news partner ABC 3340 that he was disappointed in 2021 when the Rose Bowl was moved to Texas because of strict California COVID19 laws about large crowd gatherings but this year he gets to have his hometown university march in the parade.

"For a Tuscaloosa boy, growing up in Tuscaloosa, around the university, being homegrown in Tuscaloosa, this is perfect for me, it's a dream come true."

The Alabama Spirit float is designed by Wedgeworth. It will have thousands of red and white roses, a football covered in pecan shells, and coconut for the stripes, and a big goal post.

Wedgeworth helped designed 11 floats in the parade, including one for Honda, San Diego Zoo, and Direct TV.

The Alabama Legislature begins its 2024 Regular Session on February 6. Already 36 bills have been prefilled in the house with 22 in the senate. The session will adjourn May 20.

In Sports:

It is New Year's Day and that means a whole day of college football bowl games, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals.

Today's Bowl Schedule (All times Central):

  • 11:00am ReliaQuest Bowl, Tampa: #13 LSU vs Wisconsin
  • Noon Citrus Bowl, Orlando: #21 Tennessee vs #17 Iowa
  • Noon Fiesta Bowl, Tempe: #23 Liberty vs #8 Oregon
  • 4:00pm Rose Bowl, Pasadena: #4 Alabama vs #1 Michigan
  • 6:45pm Sugar Bowl, New Orleans: #3 Texas vs #2 Washington

The fourth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will have something to prove this afternoon when they face the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the 2024 Rose Bowl. Alabama (12-1) got in despite an early-season loss to fellow semifinalist Texas, leaving unbeaten Florida State out. Now, they will try to silence any doubters who remain despite their 27-24 victory in the SEC Championship Game.

Michigan has had a tumultuous season with numerous cheat allegations against head coach Jim Harbaugh and his suspension twice.

Michigan has dominated on defense, allowing 9.5 points per game, the fewest in FBS since 2011, and UM has outscored opponents by an average of more than 27 points.

Alabama has won six straight CFP semifinal games, while Michigan has lost both appearances and has lost six straight bowl games.

Michigan has been a consistent 1.5 to 2-point favorite to be the Tide since the betting line open last month. The over/under in the contest is 45 points.

The Birmingham Stallions will play the Arlington Renegades in the inaugural game of the United Football League.

The UFL was created by the merger of the USFL and the XFL for the 2024 spring football season. The Stallions have won the USFL championship the past two seasons, and the Renegades won the XFL crown last season.

Happy New Year! May this be a healthy, happy and blessed year for you and your loved ones.


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