8:28PM May 25, 2018

ALBERTO TO BRING 6-12” OF RAIN TO SW ALABAMA & NW FLORIDA… Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to develop near Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula this evening. The storm will move north over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the days ahead, likely strengthening, and very likely moving toward south Alabama and northwest Florida.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE RAIN/FLOODING POTENTIAL… That’s a key message from our local National Weather Service office. Long timers around here remember Hurricane Danny back in the 1990s that caused multiple FEET of rain near Mobile Bay. While the steering currents with Alberto will be a bit more helpful in getting the system out of here a bit quicker, this will still be a slow moving system that has the capability of dropping 6-15” of rain across our region, setting the stage for a major flash flood potential and/or river/creek flooding potential that extends well into next week.

TIMING: HEAVY RAIN… Numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected again on Saturday across the region. These storms will be very similar to the storms we’ve had over the last few days, popping up in the heat of the day. The heavier, more consistent rain will approach the Alabama and northwest Florida coastline likely late Saturday into early Sunday. Heavy rain will spread northward into inland areas during the daytime hours of Sunday. This will “lay the foundation” for what will likely be a MAJOR flash flooding event. Big chance Monday and much of the day on Tuesday will be “all day washout” type days across much of south Alabama and northwest Florida. Monday, especially, looks wet. We’re calling it a 100% chance of rain for Memorial Day. Rain will finally start to clear out late on Wednesday. Again, a LONG FORM, HIGH IMPACT heavy rain event!

TIMING: FLASH FLOODING… The timing for flash flooding and flooding will be largely dependent on heavy rain and when it arrives across the area. For now, the best estimate shows that flash flooding will become a problem Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening. Keep in mind… Rain likely won’t stop once it starts, especially in coastal areas. Flash flooding will be likely Monday through Wednesday across the area. The greatest risk of flash flooding will happen across Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia (AL), Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Escambia (FL) counties.

TIMING: RIVER & CREEK FLOODING… Again, this is largely dependent on the heavy rain and flash flooding, which translates into rapid water rises along local creeks and rivers. For now, we’re calling for rapidly rising water levels on rivers and creeks Monday into Tuesday. If your home or your business is located in a flood zone, even in INLAND areas, please closely monitor my posts over the next few days and be ready to protect people and property from rapidly rising water.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH… Due to the potential for 6-12+” of rain across much of the area, a flash flood watch has been issued valid Saturday evening through Tuesday evening for Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia (AL), Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Escambia (FL) counties. Another Flash Flood Watch will likely be issued on Saturday for Choctaw, Clarke, Washington, Wilcox, Monroe, Butler, Conecuh, and Covington counties in south Alabama.

TROPICAL STORM WATCH… Coastal sections of Mobile and Baldwin counties in south Alabama and Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties in northwest Florida are under a Tropical Storm Watch. This means that sustained winds in excess of 40mph will be possible in these areas over the next 72 hours. Dauphin Island, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach, Fort Walton Beach, and Destin are all included. This will likely be changed to a Tropical Storm Warning on Saturday.

TIMING: HIGH WIND THREAT… The core of Alberto (whether it’s a minimal hurricane or moderate to strong tropical storm really doesn’t matter that much) will reach south Alabama and northwest Florida likely during the daytime hours of Monday. Since forward speed of the storm will be slowing, there will be a prolonged period of gusty winds (50-60mph winds possible) at local beaches that could last until Tuesday afternoon. So again, from early Monday to Tuesday afternoon will be the core wind threat for coastal areas. Inland areas will have breezy conditions, but likely not much in the way of wind impacts.

STORM SURGE WATCH… The National Hurricane Center has issued a storm surge watch for all of our local beach communities. Dauphin Island, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach, Fort Walton Beach, and Destin are all included. A Storm Surge Watch means potentially life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, is possible within 72 hours.

DEADLY RIP CURRENTS… Rip currents kill more people around our local area compared to any other weather-related hazard. Most of these deaths happen to out of town folks who don’t even know the dangers of getting in the Gulf of Mexico on a high risk rip current day. From now through Wednesday, ALL local beaches in Alabama and northwest Florida have a maxed out HIGH RISK of rip currents. Please do not get in the water at local beaches!

APP… Be sure to go to the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) here in the RZWeather app and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to choose which alerts you’d like to receive from us.

My next update on Facebook will be posted by 7:30AM on Saturday bringing you the very latest. I’ll have more updates in the RedZone Weather app this evening. Have a great evening! Let me know if you have any questions.

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