TROPICAL STORM POSSIBLE IN GULF OVER NEXT FEW DAYS; COOL NIGHTS AHEAD… Rain and a few thunderstorms will be possible through midday before a cold front swoops in from the northwest, ushering in cool, dry, stable air into south Alabama and northwest Florida. Cool, quiet, nice weather is expected locally Thursday and Friday as our focus turns to a system currently over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico that may become a tropical storm in the southern Gulf of Mexico in the next few days. Our weekend looks increasingly soggy, partially due to the potential impacts from what could be the tropical storm moving our way. There is quite a bit we don’t know yet concerning tropical details, but let’s discuss what we do know this morning. Here are the details…
40% CHANCE OF TROPICAL STORM FORMATION IN GULF… The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says there is a 40% chance of a tropical storm forming in the western Gulf of Mexico, perhaps in the Bay of Campeche near Mexico, in the next 3-4 days. From the NHC discussion: “A trough of low pressure located over southern Mexico is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, and the Bay of Campeche. This disturbance and another tropical system over the eastern Pacific Ocean are expected to produce heavy rains across portions of southern Mexico and Central America during the next couple of days, which could cause flooding and mudslides, especially in mountainous areas. By late Wednesday, the disturbance is forecast to move over the Bay of Campeche and gradually turn northward. Some gradual development is possible after the disturbance moves over water and a tropical or subtropical cyclone could form later this week over the western Gulf of Mexico.”
POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS DISCUSSION – TROPICAL DISTURBANCE… Let me be clear in saying it is too early to know specifics on this developing tropical system and what potential impacts (if any) it has concerning south Alabama and northwest Florida. Depending on the exact track of the system, heavy rain, gusty winds at the immediate beaches, and isolated tornadoes may be concerns. We’ll be able to give a much more accurate and precise explanation of potential local impacts later today and on Thursday once we have more model data to analyze.
RAIN TO MOVE OUT BY THIS AFTERNOON… Scattered lingering showers and thunderstorms will move out to the southeast in the next few hours as a cold front approaches our area from the north. Much of the afternoon and evening hours across our area will be dry with high temperatures today in the 77-80° range for most locales.
CHILLY FOR TROY VS. SOUTH ALABAMA GAME TONIGHT… The South Alabama Jaguars travel to Troy to take on the Troy Trojans in football on this Wednesday evening. The game kicks off at 7PM CDT and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Most of the rain and storms will have long moved out of our region to the south into the Gulf of Mexico by that point. I expect the game to be dry with chilly temperatures in place! Kickoff temperatures will be in the 61-64° range, although the wind out of the northwest will probably make the air temperature feel a bit colder than it actually is. Temperatures will decline into the 50s by the end of the game.
SIGNIFICANTLY COOLER TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY… The cold front moving by our region today will pave the way for winds out of the northwest at 5-10mph this evening. This will be a cool, dry wind that will rapidly lower humidity levels and temperatures. Some spots north of U.S. Highway 84 on Thursday morning may be in the upper-40s! I expect most of our area to be in the 50s for overnight lows both on Thursday and Friday mornings. High temperatures Thursday and Friday will be in the 70s.
FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FORECAST… This forecast will greatly depend on the future track of the tropical system discussed above. If we get more rain and are on the eastern side of the developing area of low pressure (whether it is a tropical storm or not), there is a chance we may have to increase rain chances for the Friday night football games. If, however, we’re on the western side of the system, that would point to a potentially drier solution. For now, we’ll call it a 20-30% chance of showers and storms Friday evening with temperatures in the 65-70° range.
RAIN CHANCES RISE THIS WEEKEND… Regardless of if a tropical storm, tropical depression, or just a plain tropical area of low pressure moves northward toward our area this weekend, we still will have rain chances on the rise as we go into Saturday, Sunday, and likely Monday. High temperatures are expected to be in the 80s with morning lows in the 60s.
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I’ll have updates throughout the day as needed in the RedZone Weather app. Have a great Wednesday!