Good Wednesday morning to you, and it’s time to start thinking about a diet…
Weather: Clearing and colder. The storm system moves out of Alabama this morning, and temperatures drop with highs topping out in the middle 40s. Lows tonight fall to the upper 20s. It will be sunny and slightly warmer on Thursday.
Central Alabama dodges a bullet. The major severe weather outbreak on Christmas Day confined its fury to the southern portion of the state, as the cold front moved through the mid-state more quickly than forecasters first thought, which didn’t give the atmosphere time to heat and destabilize. That wasn’t the case in Mobile, where a large tornado moved through the downtown area and the suburb of Prichard. That storm played out on live television through tower-mounted cameras. However, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported through midnight in the Mobile area. Other tornadoes were reported elsewhere in south Alabama; damage assessment is still taking place this morning. At least three fatalities have been reported with the Christmas storms, all outside Alabama.
Veteran character actor dies. Charles Durning, who played everything from crooked cops to Pope John XXIII and seemingly everything in between, died of natural causes at age 89 in New York City. Durning was one of Hollywood’s most versatile film and television actors, winner of a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a TV drama and twice nominated for Oscars. Durning was also a World War II hero, taken prisoner in the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.
Sports: Kobe comeback. Seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago that the Los Angeles Lakers were in complete disarray, floundering after a coaching change. But that was then, and on Christmas Day the Lakers extended their winning streak to five games thanks to a comeback led by Kobe Bryant, as they defeated the New York Knicks 100-94. Elsewhere in the NBA, Boston defeated Brooklyn 93-76, the Heat burned the Thunder 103-97, and Houston clobbered Chicago 120-97.