6:50AM July 7, 2018

SCATTERED STORMS TODAY; WATCHING BERYL & TD3/CHRIS-TO-BE… While we will be dealing with numerous storms around the region today, we likely won’t have to worry about the two tropical systems we’re tracking in the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Beryl continues moving west toward the Lesser Antilles and Tropical Depression #3 (aka what will likely be Tropical Storm Chris soon) is meandering over the western Atlantic off the North Carolina coast. At this time, neither system is expected to threaten Alabama or northwest Florida. Our weather pattern won’t be changing that much in the days ahead. Numerous daily thunderstorms are likely. That’s the summary, here are specifics…

STORMS AROUND TODAY… Rain chances today are near 70% across south Alabama and northwest Florida as many showers and thunderstorms will be happening across our region. We note a few showers and storms are already in progress across the region. These thunderstorms are typical summer storms and are not associated with a tropical system. There is an upper-level low pressure area moving by that is keeping rain chances a bit above our climatological norm for this time of year. Widespread severe weather is not expected, but a few of the storms may briefly ramp up to strong/severe status with the main concern being damaging wind gusts and heavy rain/flash flooding. The tornado risk today remains basically zero.

TINY HURRICANE BERYL MOVING WEST… Beryl is one of the smallest hurricanes, in terms of its overall size, that we’ve tracked in recent memory. The center of Beryl is currently about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, way out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical storm force wind field extend about 40 miles outward from the center of circulation. For reference, that’s about the size of ONE of our northwest Florida counties. Hurricane force winds extend outward 10-15 miles, meaning about the size of the city of Pensacola — a big city, but very small in the grand scheme of things. Tropical storms and hurricanes that are very small like this are also highly fragile. Per the latest NHC forecast, there is a very high chance that fragile Hurricane Beryl may not be able to survive the dry air and hostile wind shear ahead of it in the Caribbean Sea. To top that off, the high terrain of Hispaniola (Haiti & Dominican Republic) may be the last straw for Beryl. The system will have MANY things working against it starting Sunday – bad news for Beryl, but great news for us and for our friends in the Caribbean!

TD3/CHRIS TO STAY AWAY FROM US, TOO… Tropical Depression 3 will likely strengthen into Tropical Storm Chris in the hours ahead. The system is is located 195 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in the western Atlantic. TD3/Chris will meander off the Carolina coast in the days ahead, not moving very much at all until Monday. I expect a rapid turn to the northeast by Tuesday as TD3/Chris moves out into the open waters of the Atlantic likely as a category 1 hurricane. The system will stay far enough offshore that tropical storm watches and warnings should not be required for any part of the U.S. coastline.

NEXT FEW DAYS LOCALLY… More showers and thunderstorms, primarily concentrated in the afternoon and evening hours are ahead for the next few days. High temperatures will consistently be in the low-90s with morning lows around 72°.

A NOTE ABOUT HYPE… Long-time readers/viewers know that I am extremely averse to hype and unnecessary hyperbole/coverage. Why? Because if we, as your meteorological communicators, “sound the alarm” too much for systems that are not expected to ever affect us, it makes some folks complacent the next time we do have a serious storm. Social science and research consistently proves this, time and time again. You will inevitably see examples of hype and fluff in the days ahead. Take it with a proverbial grain of salt. Unless significant forecast changes happen with Beryl, there is absolutely NO need for panic, fear, or anxiety. If you do like a lot of information, be sure to download the RedZone Weather app for near constant updates.

APP ALERTS… I’ll be sending out several Low-Level Alerts in the days ahead about these ongoing tropical systems. Be sure to check out the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) of the RedZone Weather app to customize the alerts you want to receive from me. It’s easy to do… Just tap on the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button.

Please let me know if you have any weather-related questions that I can help with. Have a great Saturday!

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