West Alabama Thursday Briefing
It is Thursday, October 5, 2023, and the dry conditions across all of Alabama are worsening. The new U-S Drought Monitor update from the National Drought Mitigation Center this morning shows all of West Alabama has moved from abnormally dry to Moderate Drought conditions.
A Moderate Drought is defined by the National Weather Service as conditions that lead to damage to crops, pastures; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent; voluntary water-use restrictions requested.
A forecast of less of a tenth of an inch of rain tonight and tomorrow will do little to improve the cry soil. The extended forecast reveals no rain through at least the middle of next week.
October is typically the driest month of the year so forecasters believe it may be several weeks before enough rain falls to significantly bring moisture to the soils.
Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 85. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. East wind around 5 mph becoming northwest in the evening. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 80. North wind 5 to 10 mph.
Friday Night High School Football: Mostly clear, with a low around 53. North wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 70. North wind 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday Afternoon Crimson Tide Football at College Station, TX: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Remainder of the Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Holiday Weekend: Sunny days with highs in the mid to upper 70s with mostly clear nights and lows in the mid to upper 40s.
Topping the News:
The Fire Alert issued for all of Alabama continues. 14 wildfires are burning across Alabama this morning. They range in size from five acres to 114 acres. One 95-acre fire is located in the NW corner of Walker County. All are listed by Alabama Forestry as under control.
Tuscaloosa Fire/Rescue Spokesperson Holly Whigham tells news partner ABC3340 the concern is not just rural. She says TFRS has responded to 17 grassfires in the last couple of months.
The dry conditions are creating problems for farmers. Alabama Agriculture and Industries commissioner Rick Pate tells WAKA News, it could damage the state’s economy. Pate calls the corn crop ok because it was harvested a little earlier, but says cotton, soybeans and other commodities are hurting. The U-S Department of Agriculture has issued a Drought Disaster Declaration for southwestern Alabama Counties.
The Tuscaloosa County Commission has joined the cities of Tuscaloosa and Northport in officially declaring Juneteenth a holiday. Gov. Ivey has declared a state observance of Juneteenth each year, but it is not an official state holiday.
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, enslaved people were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.
West Alabama Democrat Congresswoman Terri Sewell has told members of the Congressional Black Caucus that the Supreme Court order for two majority-minority congressional districts in Alabama is just the beginning of a second civil rights movement in Alabama and across the country.
Suits to create additional minority-majority congressional districts have been filed in Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Texas. The outcome of those cases could change control of the U-S House.
Alabama has one of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in the nation. Now a grant from the Alabama Life Research Institute at the University of Alabama is aiming at helping educate people in nine West Alabama counties about their risk and what they can do to counter it. UA leaders say the grant is worth around $6 million and will be spread over 5 years beginning later this year.
The Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama is warning contractors about scammers misusing the website of a former Tuscaloosa business after several complaints of undelivered commercial equipment. Scammers have reportedly started a phony website with the Alabama Truck and Equipment name. The FBI is investigating.
The World of Works Expo 2023 is underway at Shelton State Community College today and tomorrow. The 7th Annual career expo will draw more than 4,000 high school youth and parents to Tuscaloosa to explore career opportunities.
The Thursday night West Alabama prep football schedule finds Greene County visiting Sulligent as the only game on tap. Tomorrow night there is a full slate of action, featuring Central at Hillcrest and Tuscaloosa County at Spain Park.
Alabama is a 2.5-point favorite against Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at College Station, according to the lines at SI Sportsbook, which set the total at 46.5 points for the game. That is down from four points earlier in the week. The game kicks at 2:30 on Tide 100.9 and 95.3 The Bear from the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
Have a tremendous Thursday!!