2:16PM August 25, 2019

TROPICAL STORM DORIAN GETTING BETTER ORGANIZED; LOCAL STORMS POPPING UP… The showers and thunderstorms popping up across the region this afternoon have nothing to do with tropical issues, despite our focus shifting to monitor Tropical Storm Dorian very carefully in the days ahead. We will continue to have “splash and dash” thunderstorms this afternoon into the evening hours before we start to lose daytime heating. Another round of storms is expected on Monday. Let’s talk details…

SCATTERED STORMS HAPPENING NOW… Heavy rain and storms are are happening near Crestview, Baker, Auburn (FL), Campton, Magnolia Springs, Gulf Highlands, Coden, Theodore, and Satsuma as of 2PM. I expect more storms to pop up over the next several hours. Storms today will be strong, but likely well under severe limits in most cases. Heavy rain, gusty winds, and lightning will all be concerns.

HEAVY RAIN & STORMS LIKELY MONDAY… Monday will not be a “typical summer day with pop-up thunderstorms.” We will have quite a bit of rain around due to a decaying tropical area of low pressure currently centered over Louisiana. This area of low pressure will move to the east on Monday, bringing heavy rain and thunderstorms to our area throughout the day. Confidence is high that most places will have rain throughout the day on Monday. You’ll need to keep the rain gear handy. High temperatures will be suppressed into the mid-80s due to all of the clouds and rain around. Severe weather (tornadoes and damaging winds) are not expected.

FLASH FLOODING RISK ON MONDAY… There is a low-end risk of flash flooding for the entirety of south Alabama and northwest Florida on Monday due to all of the rain we’re expected to receive. 2 to 3 inches of rain will be possible Monday with higher localized amounts.

MONITORING MULTIPLE TROPICAL SYSTEMS… The tropics have become active, right on cue as the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches. We’re monitoring Tropical Storm Dorian, located east of the Lesser Antilles. We’re also keeping tabs on a developing area of low pressure just north of The Bahamas and east of the Florida Peninsula, branded as INVEST 98L. This will probably be closer to the norm as we go into September, with multiple tropical systems being possible in the next few weeks. The peak of hurricane season happens September 11.

DORIAN: 1PM SUNDAY ADVISORY… Tropical Storm Dorian is gaining strengthen this afternoon. Max winds are at 40mph, but I expect wind speeds to increase as the presentation on the visible satellite imagery has improved. Don’t be surprised if Dorian is packing 50-60mph winds later today or tonight. As of 1PM Sunday, the center of Dorian is at 11.3 North and 53.4 West. Minimum central pressure is at 1008 millibars.

TROPICAL STORM WATCHES & WARNINGS… Some of the small islands that comprise the Lesser Antilles are now under a Tropical Storm Watch. St. Lucia & St. Vincent and the Grenadines are under a Tropical Storm Watch. Barbados is now under a Tropical Storm Warning.

DORIAN: PROJECTED PATH… The official “cone of uncertainty” issued by the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Dorian gradually strengthening as the system moves northwest. The center of Dorian will likely approach Barbados and the Lesser Antilles by Monday afternoon. The system will cross into the eastern Caribbean Sea before approaching Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti by the latter half of the upcoming week.

DORIAN: LONG RANGE IDEAS… There is a chance that Tropical Storm Dorian makes a run at the Gulf of Mexico in about a week. There is also a chance that Dorian either gets ripped apart by atmospheric shear in the eastern Caribbean Sea or ripped apart or weakens substantially due to the high terrain of Hispaniola. It’s impossible to know when and where this system will end up. I’ll have updates posted over the next few days.

DORIAN: DON’T TRUST SPAGHETTI PLOTS WITHOUT CONTEXT… It’s incredibly unhelpful to have so many (terrible) model/spaghetti plot images floating around social media these days without any context. I saw an image last evening showing a line/model bringing Dorian right up the pike to our local area. Could that happen? Yes. Are the odds of that happening medium or high at this point? NO. We simply don’t have the scientific basis to be able to predict where tropical storms and hurricanes will go beyond 5 days out. There is simply too much uncertainty.

DORIAN: INTENSITY UNCERTAINTY DUE TO SIZE OF STORM… Tropical Storm Dorian is a very small tropical storm, with tropical storm force wind gusts extending outward only 25-30 miles from the center of the storm. Due to the size of the storm and the lack of strength, there is quite a bit more uncertainty as far as just how strong Dorian will become. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center ramps the system up to a hurricane by midweek, although NHC notes in their forecast discussion that there is a chance the storm may be much weaker than this. There IS a chance that if Dorian takes a more southerly track across the Caribbean Sea that the system will break apart and fizzle out completely due to higher amounts of atmospheric shear. On the other hand, if Dorian takes a more northerly route, perhaps with the center near or north of Puerto Rico, the system may be stronger due to less shear and less land interaction with Hispaniola. We’ll get more clarity in the days ahead… Plenty of uncertainty!

INVEST 98L ON THE WAY OUT… The chance of INVEST 98L developing into a tropical storm are near 80%, although the system is centered well east of the Georgia and South Carolina coast in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This system is moving northeast, away from any land areas. Regardless of if formal development happens, major U.S. impacts are not expected.

APP… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

See all the details in your Sunday evening #rzw forecast video… Have a great evening!

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