TROPICAL STORM TO MOVE JUST TO OUR SOUTH MIDWEEK… The Alabama coastline remains under a Tropical Storm Watch this morning ahead of the arrival in the northern Gulf of what will be Tropical Storm Gordon. The main threat from this tropical storm will almost certainly be heavy rain that could lead to isolated instances of flash flooding. The threat of isolated tornadoes and damaging winds is much lower for most inland areas across south Alabama & NW Florida. Tropical Storm Florence also continues to move northwest in the open waters of the Atlantic. We also have details on the pop-up showers and thunderstorms that will happen across the area on this Monday. Let’s look at details…
Potential impacts and confidence levels have changed slightly this morning. Here is the very latest as of 7AM Monday…
TIMING OF IMPACTS… (Confidence: Medium-High) The outer rain bands of the tropical storm will likely begin as early as Tuesday afternoon. The core of the storm will likely pass just south of our local area Tuesday evening. This means that our area will be on the slightly more volatile eastern flank of the system for Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening. Have a way to receive urgent weather warnings Tuesday through late Wednesday!
FLASH FLOODING & HEAVY RAIN POTENTIAL… (Confidence: High) The most likely inconvenience for many folks across our region will be the heavy downpours of rain that could lead to isolated instances of flash flooding. The latest Quantitative Precipitation Forecast continues to show areas near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches receiving upwards of 3-5 inches of rain over the next five days. There will be a substantial drop off in rain amounts across our area as you head northward. This means that places like Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Dauphin Island may pick up 4 to 5 inches of rain, while places inland like Thomasville, Beatrice, Greenville, Evergreen, Andalusia, and Opp may only get 1-2” of rain (or less). Our coastal counties will have the greatest risk of flash flooding, with the greatest chance of flash flooding happening in southern Mobile and Baldwin counties.
TORNADO POTENTIAL… (Confidence: Medium) Coastal counties will have the highest risk of seeing an isolated tornado as the tropical storm moves by from southeast to northwest. This includes Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties locally. Again, Tuesday P.M. into Wednesday A.M. looks to be the “core window” for a low-end tornado potential. Although the tornado risk will likely be substantially lower across inland counties, as is the case anytime a tropical system is nearby, I cannot rule anyone out. Have a way to receive the tornado warnings! Something that will wake you up like a NOAA Weather Radio or a smartphone app is vital in situations like these. We will live stream tornado warning coverage if needed. Our tornado warning policy is here: redzoneweather.com/coverage
WIND IMPACTS POTENTIAL… (Confidence: High) Mobile and Baldwin County, particularly near the beaches, could have 30-50mph wind gusts as this tropical system moves by. Northwest Florida beaches and locales near there could have 30-40mph wind gusts. Generally, the closer you are to the immediate coastline, the greater your chances are of having higher wind gusts. Significant wind impacts are not expected for inland areas.
RIP CURRENT WARNING… (Confidence: Certain) More people have died in south Alabama and northwest Florida due to rip currents at local beaches compared to all other weather-related hazards combined in the last 22 years. A *Rip Current Warning* is in effect for all Alabama and northwest Florida beaches through Thursday, meaning if you can’t swim well, you need to stay out of the water. It’s that simple. Rip currents are deadly and I would imagine double red flags will fly at most beaches over the next 48 hours or so, if they’re not already.
POP-UP STORMS LIKELY TODAY… Another round of shoawers and thunderstorms will pop up across our region today. Storms will move from southeast to northwest today. Heavy rain, lightning, and gusty winds will be possible. The tornado risk due to the storms today (Monday) remains very, very low. High temperatures will peak in the upper-80s.
TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE… The National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories on Tropical Storm Florence, located in between the Lesser Antilles and Africa in the central Atlantic Ocean. Florence will remain far away from land over the next 5-7 days. We note that some forecast models have shifted the potential track of Florence in the medium-range. Based on this, we’ll have to watch the system more intently over the next week as it *could* (not a certainty by any stretch) make a run at the Eastern Seaboard of the United States in about 10 days. Interests from South Carolina northward to Maine should keep an eye on this system, particularly in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
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We’ll keep you posted throughout the day here in the RedZone Weather app. Let me know if you have any weather-related questions!