Good morning West Alabama. It is Wednesday July 3, 2024.

A lot of people from the area are at or headed to the beaches of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle over the long holiday weekend. Many have been keeping a wary eye on the killer Hurricane Beryle as it churns across Carribean and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. There is good news and bad news about the Category 4 tropical system.

The good news is Beryle will not directly impact the Central Gulf Coast states. The bad news is there will be an indirect effect on safety in the water. The threat of dangerous rip currents will be high all weekend and into early next week.

Eight people have already died because they did not heed the red flag and rip current warnings in along the Gulf Coast. A rip current is a powerful, narrow channel of water that flows away from the shore at surf beaches according to the United States Lifesaving Association says. They typically form at breaks in sandbars and near structures like piers and jetties. They do not have to be fatal if you know what to do (click on the link above for safety guidance).

Locally heat will be the main weather story: Expect Concerning Heat Index Values up to 108 in West Alabama.

Read More: West Alabama July Fourth Weather, Rain, Temp & Heat Index Guide 

The Forecast:

Today
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. Heat index values as high as 106. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight
A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 7pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light south in the evening.
Independence Day
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 95. Heat index values as high as 106. Light south wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
Thursday Night Celebration on the River
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 78. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Friday
Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. High near 93. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Friday Night
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74.

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Topping the News:

Two Lamar County wildfires are among nine currently burning across north Alabama as the area continues to be abnormally dry. A downed power line sparked a 44-acre fire just north of Vernon. There is also a 5-acre woods fire near Kennedy in southern Lamar County. Volunteer and forestry commission firefighters continue to battle the blazes.


 

A memorial service is set for 11 this morning at Nelson funeral home chapel in Fayette for 21-year-old Lacy Whitson. Her body was found Saturday behind the residence of Michael Wade Tucker, who has been charged with her murder.

Whitson was last seen alive with Tucker. Her identity was confirmed by the state forensics.


 

ALEA Trooper Reginal King is warning motorists and boaters that one of the top killers over every long Independence Day Holiday is alcohol whether on the road or water along with speed and inattention.

King says troopers will be out in force on roads, lakes and rivers through Sunday night to keep everyone safe.


 

The City of Tuscaloosa will host a Fourth of July Celebration on the River on tomorrow night from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater.

Schedule of activities:

6 – 7:45 p.m. Kid Zone (with games and activities for all ages)
6 – 7:50 p.m. DJ Tank Performance
7:55 – 8:55 p.m. Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra Performance
9 p.m. Fireworks begin after brief remarks from Mayor Walt Maddox

For event updates and weather alerts, text “TUSC4TH” to 888-777. To learn more, visit Tuscaloosa.com/COTR.


 

If you are hitting the road for the long holiday weekend, you are in luck; the national average for a gallon of gas has gone up only 2¢ over last week. In Alabama, the news is not quite as good with pump prices up 6¢ from last week. In West Alabama the lowest average is $3.12, up 8¢ from a week ago with the lowest price at the pump in the area is $2.95.


 

Summer always brings about blood supply shortages and DCH Health System is attempting to mitigate the problem.

Today, DCH will host a LifeSouth blood drive in Willard Auditorium at DCH Regional Medical Center between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to help meet demand. Community members are encouraged to participate by entering the hospital through the south lobby entrance and follow the signs to the auditorium.

Everyone who donates or attempts to donate will receive a coupon redeemable for a pint of ice cream at the Patio Grille and Café.



Topping Sports News:

Alabama Football single game tickets will go on sale at 9:00am next Tuesday. But don't get too excited, the only SEC game with tickets still available is when the Tide hosts Missouri on October 26.

  • Western Kentucky (August 31)
  • USF (Sept. 7) and
  • Mercer (Nov. 16)

Western Kentucky and Mercer tickets will be set at $25 in the upper deck, while Soth Florida is set at $45. Alabama's game against Missouri will be $90 in the upper deck. It will also serve as Alabama's homecoming.

Tickets can be found at RollTide.com.

Read More: Alabama Single Game Tickets on Sale Soon


 

The new UA Athletics Intercollegiate Golf Facility is scheduled to open later this month.

The $47,750,000, 176-acre golf training facility is located along Kicker Road, south of Jack Warner Parkway and west of 25th Avenue NE. It consists of five buildings including a car barn, golf house and nine-hole course.

The facility will be home to both UA Men's and Women's Golf Teams., each of which have won NCAA Golf National Championships and placed golfers on the profession circuit.


Have a happy and safe 4th. We will have an Independence Day briefing tomorrow.