AFTERNOON UPDATE – 90% CHANCE TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT… The National Hurricane Center has issued a special tropical weather outlook now indicating there is a 90% chance that INVEST 90L, aka the area of low pressure near the Yucatan Peninsula, will develop into a tropical storm over the next few days. Regardless of “formal” development, a potentially high impact heavy rain/flash flooding event is ahead for south Alabama and northwest Florida. Here are a few afternoon notes…
CONFIDENCE GROWING… We note that there is a bit more confidence in the forecast now that several major weather models are on board with northern Gulf Coast impacts. The Global Forecast System (GFS) is now much more in line with the Euro (ECMWF) model. Both major models and many more ensemble members point to a potentially high impact heavy rain/flooding event that could linger into next week.
POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS LIKELY… Yes, there’s a higher chance that this system becomes a tropical storm, but overall, expected impacts have not changed that much, unfortunately. While I’m expecting a “minimal to moderate” tropical storm crossing the Gulf of Mexico this weekend into early next week, there is a chance for MAJOR flooding in the days ahead. This system will take the name Tropical Storm Alberto if formal development happens.
FLOODING & HEAVY RAIN… Very heavy rainfall is likely across south Alabama and northwest Florida. 6-12″ of rain with localized higher totals possible Saturday through Tuesday. Rain chances associated with this system will be highest Saturday through Tuesday, based on the latest guidance. Memorial Day will be a potential total washout across our area.
INCREASING TORNADO THREAT… Still too early for specifics, but there is an increasing risk of isolated spin-up tornadoes Saturday evening through Tuesday as this tropical system (tropical storm or not!) moves by. NOW is the time to ensure you have a way to receive urgent tornado/flood warnings. Ensure your NOAA Weather Radio is set up properly. Our RedZone Weather app (redzoneweather.com/app) is great as well, but I strongly encourage everyone to have MULTIPLE ways to get warnings!
APP… Once you have our free RedZone Weather app downloaded, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right) and tap the big, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you want to receive from us. Lots of medium-level alerts over the next few days!
I’ll have a detailed, comprensive update bringing you the latest this evening around 8:30PM. Let me know if you have specific questions. Have a nice afternoon!