7:00AM May 23, 2018

The accompanying video with this discussion will be posted shortly in the next post (above).

CHANCES OF TROPICAL STORM INCREASE; STORMS THIS AFTERNOON… An early season tropical storm is likely to develop in the southern or central Gulf of Mexico in the days ahead. Regardless of if “formal” tropical development occurs, local impacts look increasingly likely. Memorial Day weekend could feature multiple “all day washout” days with a significant risk of flash flooding. Isolated tornadoes and other issues are also possible. Here is your morning rundown…

SCATTERED STORMS TODAY… Numerous, small showers and thunderstorms will bubble up in the heat later this afternoon. The main chance of showers/storms today will occur between Noon and 7PM when the atmosphere has the most heat content. High temperatures across the region will again be in the upper-80s.

ODDS INCREASING OF TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT… The National Hurricane Center will issue a revised “special tropical weather outlook” (“special” as this is outside official hurricane season) in the next 3 hours. I wouldn’t be shocked if the chances of a tropical storm developing rise even higher. For now, NHC maintains a 50% chance of development into a formal tropical storm. Regardless of if the system becomes a tropical depression, tropical storm, or remains an open area of low pressure, local impacts are becoming increasingly likely.

The local impacts below remain pretty much the same as the discussion from last evening. We should have more specifics as soon as this evening as we get more data in.


FLASH FLOODING – SIGNIFICANT 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. 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. Have a great Wednesday!

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