7:34PM May 22, 2018

HEAVY RAIN & FLASH FLOODING AS TROPICAL SYSTEM APPROACHES THIS WEEKEND… While the latest guidance from the National Hurricane Center indicates that there is a 50% chance of tropical storm formation in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, there is growing confidence of a potentially significant heavy rain and flash flooding event this weekend. Regardless of if “official” tropical development happens, a big rain is on the way for our area. Several things you need to know late on this Tuesday… Let’s talk.

TROPICAL UPDATE… The National Hurricane Center continues to indicate a growing potential that a tropical storm could form in the southern or central Gulf of Mexico this weekend. As of the latest “special tropical weather outlook” issued moments ago, there is now a 50% chance of development over the next 5 days. It’s important to not get so caught up in the classification of the system, as local impacts will pretty much be the same regardless of classification. If the system becomes a tropical storm, it would take the name “Alberto.”


FLASH FLOODING – GROWING RISK… I am growing concerned about a heightened flash flooding and heavy rain event this weekend. We often see a big “rainmaker” event with early season tropical systems around here when they do happen, and this system will likely prove to be no exception. Rain amounts could easily be in the 4-7” range across the region with isolated higher amounts. Local river and creek flooding could become a concern early next week, depending on rain amounts in specific spots. If you live in a flood prone area, please know what you’re going to do and where you’re going to go. Have a plan in place!

COASTAL IMPACTS… Coastal flooding could become an issue at local beach/bay communities depending on the specific track of the tropical system. There also will be a heightened rip current risk at our local beaches in Alabama and northwest Florida. This means that some local beaches may change to “double red flag” conditions, shutting down your ability to get into the Gulf.

TORNADO POTENTIAL… Based on the latest model guidance, it’s still too early to say if tornadoes will be possible across our region. When there is an approaching tropical system, there usually is a risk of tornadoes on the right, front quadrant of the system (usually east side). Again, too much uncertainty to say anything for sure yet on this front, but this is something I’ll be closely monitoring in the days ahead. Based on the latest model guidance, I would not be shocked if we have to “up” this risk in the days ahead.

WIND IMPACTS… The latest guidance supports a “weak” tropical storm or open area of surface low pressure. At this point, it seems probable that inland areas shouldn’t have widespread wind issues. Wind impacts for coastal areas largely depends on the future track and potential strength of this developing system. Again, just like the tornado risk (mentioned above), lots of uncertainty with this. We’ll know more in the days ahead.

APP… There will be many updates posted in the days ahead here in the all-new, updated version of the RedZone Weather app (redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download). If you haven’t already, be sure to visit the Alerts tab in the lower right corner of the app. Then tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to go in and configure the alerts you would like to receive from me. All the alerts I send are handcrafted, straight from me. Nothing automated, as of now. I’ll be sending a lot of tropical alerts this week to our “Medium-Level Alerts.” The “Low-Level Alerts” club are for the folks who want A LOT of information, so if you don’t like a lot of alerts, leave those off. If you do, be sure to turn that toggle on as well.

Let me know if you have specific questions. We’re still battling a good bit of uncertainty, but I’ll give you the best info we have as of now. Have a great evening!

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