1:08PM July 12, 2019

BARRY CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN THIS AFTERNOON; SCATTERED STORMS LOCALLY… Tropical Storm Barry continues to slowly move toward the southern bayous of Louisiana on this Friday afternoon. Maximum winds near and to the south of the center of Barry have increased to 65 mph, per the latest information from the U.S. Air Force “Hurricane Hunter” team. Perhaps more importantly, minimum central pressure is down to 993 millibars as of 1PM. This means that strengthening continues. Scattered showers and thunderstorms continue to move inland across south Alabama and northwest Florida. So far, we haven’t had widespread, continuous heavy rain in our local area. This will probably change as we go into the weekend. Let’s talk about what’s new as of midday…

NEW: SHOWERS & STORMS MOVING NORTHWARD… Small showers and thunderstorms continue to stream in from the Gulf of Mexico across the local area. As of 1PM, the heaviest rain is happening near Fairhope, Foley, Orange Beach, Pensacola Beach, Evergreen, Grove Hill, and Fruitdale. Scattered showers will continue to stream inland over the next few hours. Heavy rain will be possible at times. There is a very low-end risk of a tornado or two this afternoon and this evening near the beaches from Dauphin Island eastward to Navarre. If we happen to have a tornado warning locally, per our usual policy we will provide uninterrupted live video coverage on Facebook Live and in the RedZone Weather app.

NEW: 1PM BARRY ADVISORY… The National Hurricane Center has just issued Advisory #9A valid at 1PM CDT for Tropical Storm Barry. The center of circulation is located 100 miles southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana. That’s about 105 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. 28.4N and 90.6W is the center point as of 1PM. Maximum sustained winds are at 65mph. Movement of the system continues to be very slow to the west at 5mph. Forward speed will slowly pick up over the next 12-24 hours along with a turn to the northwest.

NEW: FLASH FLOOD WATCH EXPANDED… Escambia (AL), Clarke, Santa Rosa, and Choctaw counties are now under a Flash Flood Watch until 1PM on Sunday. These four counties join the other four counties that were already included in the Flash Flood Watch: Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, and Escambia (FL) counties. 5 to 7 inches of rain will be possible in these areas. This includes Brewton, Atmore, Poarch, Flomaton, Thomasville, Grove Hill, Jackson, Coffeeville, Butler, Needham, Toxey, Silas, Gilbertown, Mobile, Citronelle, Wilmer, Mt. Vernon, Saraland, Satsuma, Prichard, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Coden, Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Silverhill, Robertsdale, Bay Minette, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Pensacola, Molino, Century, Walnut Hill, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Ensley, Milton, Pace, Jay, Whiting Field, Navarre, Berrydale, Munson, Chumuckla, Allentown, and surrounding areas. These are the communities in our region likely to pick up the most rainfall over the next 2-3 days.

The following information is review from previous posts that remains valid as of 1PM Friday.

ISOLATED TORNADOES POSSIBLE AT THE COAST TODAY AND TONIGHT… Let me emphasize that for ALL areas in south Alabama and northwest Florida, the overall tornado risk remains very low. We’re concerned about areas near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches due to a low-end tornado risk. Isolated supercell thunderstorms may rotate around the center of Tropical Storm Barry over the next day or two. These cells could produce tornadoes over water (aka tornadic waterspouts) that approach the shoreline. It’s in these immediate beach zones that could see a brief, spin-up tornado. This includes areas like Dauphin Island, Bayou La Batre, Coden, Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Fort Pickens, Oriole Beach, and Navarre. Have a way to get tornado warnings, especially if you’re near the coast!

ISOLATED TORNADOES POSSIBLE AREAWIDE SATURDAY… The Storm Prediction Center has included vast majority of our local area in their Level 1 (out of 5) marginal severe weather risk valid for Saturday. This includes inland areas as well, particularly over west Alabama. The concern is after Barry makes landfall in Louisiana, the system will move north and potentially spin up a few, brief tornadoes across Mississippi and southwest Alabama. The Level 1 risk is in place from Eutaw and Marion southward to Selma and to the beaches. This means that Mobile, Pensacola, Fairhope, Orange Beach, Brewton, Atmore, Monroeville, Thomasville, Chatom, Butler, Demopolis, and surrounding areas are included in this risk zone. If any tornadoes happen, they probably won’t be big or last very long – but as I often caution, that doesn’t matter. If a tornado affects you, it’s a big deal!

WIND ISSUES NOT EXPECTED LOCALLY… We’ll have breezy (10-25mph) wind gusts at the immediate coast, but I’m not expecting any major wind issues for inland areas locally due Barry. There will be higher wind gusts in Mississippi and certainly in Louisiana, but wind issues in south Alabama and northwest Florida should be little to none.

DEADLY RIP CURRENTS CONTINUE… This was a problem Thursday with multiple reports of people defying red flag orders and getting in the Gulf. Most people don’t realize that the number ONE natural hazard killer in our region is dangerous rip currents! We’ve lost more people to rip currents since 1996 compared to all other natural hazard deaths combined. Most of the victims are people who are from out of our local area that probably didn’t realize the danger. It should be common sense, but just in case it’s not: Don’t get in the water when there is a tropical storm or hurricane around. It’s just not a good idea.

COASTAL FLOODING POSSIBLE… Low-lying areas at the immediate beach zones that are accustomed to flooding during passing tropical systems may have some coastal flooding issues as we go into the weekend. Widespread coastal flooding issues are not expected, however.

TO CANCEL OR NOT TO CANCEL YOUR PLANS?… Unfortunately, this is another question I simply cannot answer. Baseball tournaments, ballet performances, football/soccer games are all scheduled for this weekend. We all have different thresholds and tolerances for what we’re willing to put up with in terms of heavy rain or bad weather. I’m the type of person that will drive through just about anything. Heavy rain just does not bother me. I have people in my family, however, that will not drive through heavy rain. The fact is we have a high chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as the core of PTC2/Barry passes to our south and west. If I had an event in Louisiana, I would most likely cancel (depending on the event type). If I had an event locally or to the east, I probably wouldn’t cancel (depending on the event type, again). You might, I’m not sure. It’s just all about what you’re willing to deal with. Lots of rain upcoming!

DOWNLOAD THE FREE REDZONE WEATHER APP TODAY… If you’re following RedZone Weather on Facebook, thank you! If you’re following me on Facebook ALONE, however, you’re missing out. Be sure to download the RedZone Weather app (redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download). There is plenty more content in the app compared to what I post on Facebook each day. See below about how to set up app alerts.

SET UP APP ALERTS… We provide a variety of different options to fit your weather information needs. You should control how many alerts you want. We help with that by providing High-Level Alerts, Medium-Level Alerts, and Low-Level Alerts. Everyone gets the High-Level Alerts. We send one or two of those PER YEAR, so not very often at all. We reserve those alerts for high impact weather events. Medium-Level Alerts are recommended for most people. They’re the important alerts, but not necessarily super urgent. Low-Level Alerts are designed for people who want many, many alerts throughout the day. You’ll also want to turn ON alerts for the counties you care about. To do all of this, download the RedZone Weather app and visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner), then tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to turn on the specific alerts you want.

My next long-form post will be uploaded by 8PM this evening. Until then, be sure to check with me throughout the afternoon in the RedZone Weather app for the very latest. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice evening!

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