TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR SOUTH CENTRAL ALABAMA… The projected path of Subtropical Storm Alberto shifted substantially to the east overnight and this morning, meaning impacts across southwest Alabama and northwest Florida have the potential to be less than initially expected. This is fantastic news for us, but unfortunately, that’s not good news for our friends to our east. IMPORTANT: More projected path changes are possible over the next 12-24 hours before Alberto makes landfall along the Florida Panhandle, and we may have to adjust potential impact expectancies for our area higher or lower depending on where the center of the storm moves onshore. Don’t let your guard down just yet!
FLASH FLOODING RISK ON EAST SIDE OF REGION… As we have been advertising for days, there will be a significant flash flooding/heavy rain risk due to Alberto. The good news is much of our area has been taken out of the HIGH risk zone and placed in a lower risk category, although there still is at least some risk of flash flooding for the entire area. Clearly, based on the latest track guidance, the eastern flank of our local area will have the greatest rain amounts and flash flooding potential. This means if you’re in Destin, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach, Freeport, Geneva, Dothan, Enterprise, Troy, Greenville, Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Elba, or Abbeville, you now have the greatest risk of flash flooding over the next few days. The threat levels have been lowered for Brewton, Flomaton, Atmore, Pensacola, Milton, Monroeville, Mobile, Thomasville, Jackson, Chatom, Butler, the Eastern Shore, Foley, Orange Beach, and surrounding areas.
TORNADO POTENTIAL MUCH LOWER… For southwest Alabama and northwest Florida, the tornado risk will be much lower than previously suggested. There still will be a low-end tornado risk for Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Escambia (AL), Monroe, Conecuh, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, and southeast Alabama counties (in addition to southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle), but overall, our tornado risk is much lower since the core of Alberto will pass to our east, putting us on the “better” west side of the circulation.
TROPICAL STORM WARNING EXPANDED… In addition to southern Mobile & Baldwin counties, and ALL of northwest Florida, the local weather service office has added Escambia (AL), Covington, Crenshaw, and all of the Wiregrass counties into a Tropical Storm Warning. This is being done primarily since winds could gust to around 40 miles per hour as the core of Alberto moves by. Winds will clearly be greatest near the beaches and coastal areas and overall much less in inland areas.
RAIN CHANCES LESSENED… Again, for west Alabama, the news is very good. Rain chances will be much less over Clarke, Washington, Choctaw, and Mobile counties. Rain chances will still be quite high across the eastern fringe of our area, but the flash flooding risk is much lower than it once was.
GOOD NEWS, BUT DON’T GET COMPLACENT… As I cautioned in this morning’s post, further track adjustments are possible over the next 24 hours before Alberto makes landfall. There is a small chance that the “cone of uncertainty” may need to be adjusted farther west, putting much of our area in the crosshairs yet again to the previously mentioned risks. STAY VIGILANT and please have a way to get urgent weather warnings if required for our area.
APP… Be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) here in the RZWeather app, then tap the yellow “Alert Settings button” to customize the Alerts you want to get from me.
I’ll have plenty more updates this afternoon in the RedZone Weather app. Further updates on Facebook will be posted later today, as needed. Have a great afternoon!