TROPICAL UPDATE: TROPICAL WAVE MOVING TOWARD GULF… The National Hurricane Center now says there is a 10-20% chance of tropical storm development in the eastern Gulf of Mexico next week. Keep in mind, that is a low-end chance very much in line with what we first told you about last evening. The details we know and the details we do NOT know have not changed in the last 24 hours in that the headline remains: There is a low-end chance of a tropical storm forming in the Gulf next week that has a chance of affecting Alabama and northwest Florida. There’s also a chance the system may remain a “weak” tropical wave and have virtually no local impacts. That’s the summary. Here are your details on this Thursday evening…
MODEL INCONSISTENCIES CONTINUE… Unfortunately, the medium-range weather model guidance has not come into better agreement just yet. The American-based GFS model continues to suggest a more quiet pattern with very little in the way of local impacts, while the ECMWF (Euro) model has hinted in some runs at a slightly stronger system (perhaps in the form of a tropical storm). Often, it’s difficult for models to get a good grip on tropical systems until they actually develop. In this case, because “formal development” may not ever happen, there’s a good chance this will be a difficult system to forecast. That’s not to say that clarity won’t come as time passes, as it definitely will, BUT we may not be able to get specific with potential impacts (if any) until next week.
DON’T CHANGE ANY PLANS YET… It’s way too early to consider trip/vacation cancellations/postponements. We’re in a “wait and see” mode at this point. There is a high chance at this point that impacts from this system may be negligible. It’s all about chances. There’s also a chance (on the other end of the spectrum) that we could be dealing with a tropical storm next week. The “truth” of what actually happens probably is in the middle of those two ‘extremes.’ The good news is no major model has pointed to this system ramping up anywhere close to being a hurricane. That’s a trend we want to continue!
HURRICANE FLORENCE IN THE MAKING… The National Hurricane Center has initiated advisories on “Potential Tropical Cyclone #6” today. That system is located just off the coast of Africa near the Cabo Verde Islands. PTC #6 will highly likely become a tropical storm anytime in the next 24 hours… It will take the name “Florence.” What will be Tropical Storm Florence will likely become a hurricane this weekend or early next week. Good news is that all major model guidance points to this system remaining out at sea in the Atlantic Ocean with NO impacts to any land after it passes the Cabo Verde Islands tomorrow.
STORMS ON FRIDAY AND THIS WEEKEND… Pop-up showers and thunderstorms are expected to happen again on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday across south Alabama and northwest Florida. These storms are NOT associated with a tropical system, they’re rooted in the seabreeze that moves inland everyday in the summer season. Severe weather is not expected this weekend and the tornado risk remains at basically zero. I’ll have a full look at your Friday forecast and Friday Night Lights outlook in the Friday morning #rzw forecast video that will be posted by 7:15AM on Facebook and here in the RedZone Weather app.
Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great evening!