1:10PM May 21, 2018

TROPICAL STORM POSSIBLE IN GULF LATER THIS WEEK… The National Hurricane Center has issued a special tropical weather outlook indicating the low-end potential for a tropical storm to develop in the southeastern Gulf later this week. While there are substantial model disagreements regarding the potential track of this system, one thing that has become clear is that this system will likely peak at tropical storm status. Here’s what we know…

LOCAL IMPACTS… Based on all presented scenarios with current model data, I am cautiously optimistic that local impacts in Alabama and northwest Florida will be minimal due to this system. That is HIGHLY contingent upon this system staying to our west or to our east as models have, so far, been suggesting. Even if the system ramps up and becomes a “weak” tropical storm, heavy rain will be the main concern. Generally, these early season tropical systems are more of a rainmaker for affected areas than anything else – this system being no exception.

TORNADO/SEVERE IMPACT… Well too early to say if tornadoes or other severe weather risks will be involved for anyone in the Southeastern U.S. just yet. This will be something to monitor the potential for as the event gets closer.

TROPICAL LOW TO FORM IN GULF… The Global Forecast System (GFS) model has suggested for many days that a tropical area of low pressure would form in the southeastern Gulf. There continue to be substantial track differences, even in the GFS ensemble members, as to where this system will ultimately end up. We note that the usually reliable ECMWF (Euro) model has the area of low pressure developing farther to the west and ultimately moving ashore in Louisiana as a weak low pressure area or weak tropical storm.

APP… Be sure to join me here in the RedZone Weather app over the next few days as we track this developing system. If you haven’t already, tap the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tap the big, yellow “Alert Settings” button to set up the alerts you want to receive from us. Tropical alerts are generally sent under the “Medium-Level Alerts” category.

Have a good afternoon!

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