PTC16/NESTOR TO REMAIN TO OUR SOUTH & EAST; RAIN LIKELY TODAY; STORMS MONDAY… Heavy rain will be possible this evening and on Saturday morning as the core of Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, aka Subtropical Storm Nestor, moves by just to our south. This will be a quick-hitting storm that makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle Saturday morning and rapidly advances northeast and out of our area. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from the Alabama/Mississippi border eastward to the Yankeetown River north of Tampa in Florida. This means that the entirety of our local coastline in Alabama and northwest Florida is involved in the Tropical Storm Warning. PTC16/Nestor will clear out on Saturday, giving way to clearing skies late in the day. We’ve got a nice, mild Sunday on tap before a potential for severe weather on Monday. Busy day in the weather world locally! Let’s talk details…
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FORECAST FOR TONIGHT… By far, the number one question I’m getting over the last 12-24 hours is about specific high school football games tonight and if rain will be happening. The short answer is: Likely, yes, rain will be happening this evening because of this tropical system to our south. Rain is most likely to be happening in coastal counties, but by the time we get to 8 and 9PM, we could have heavy rain areawide, including in most inland locations. We note that Baldwin County, AL Schools have postponed all of their high school football games until Saturday. Escambia County, FL Schools have cancelled most of their high school football games. Santa Rosa County Schools have cancelled their football games as well. The best chance for a dry football game tonight will happen in west Alabama in Washington, Choctaw, and Clarke counties, although even in those counties we could have some showers.
FRIDAY MORNING DISCUSSION ABOUT LOCAL IMPACTS… Heavy rain will become increasingly likely this afternoon and evening, particularly across coastal counties. Rain will progressively spread inland throughout the evening. The tornado risk across southwest Alabama and northwest Florida east of Walton County remains at or near zero. Gusty (30-50 mph) winds will be possible at the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches this evening into Saturday. Wind impacts are not expected across inland areas at this time, but there will be a breeze from the east today into Saturday. Confidence is high that rain amounts will be highest south and east of Interstate 65 on Friday into Saturday where 2-4” of rain in total could happen. This will be beneficial, drought-alleviating rain.
POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE & SUBTROPICAL STORM NOMENCLATURE… If I could wave a magic wand and eliminate one “weather term,” it would be ‘potential tropical cyclone.’ The term was introduced 2 years ago. The term serves basically one main purpose and that is so the National Hurricane Center can go ahead and issue proper tropical storm and/or hurricane warnings in advance of a tropical storm actually developing. The rationale and logic makes sense. The actual term they choose to slap on this type of situation, however, is another story. It has truly been a nightmare (and even confusing for meteorologists) as to explaining what a “PTC” actually is. The nomenclature is not helpful. What makes this particular situation with “Nestor” a bit worse is the system may be called a subtropical storm or tropical storm, but it truly is not fully either of those things. Nestor is more of a “hybrid storm” with elements of a tropical storm. The big takeaway here, though, is that IMPACTS (aka what we care about!) are just like a tropical storm!
SATURDAY EVENING INTO SUNDAY: BRIEF BREAK FROM ACTIVE WEATHER… As Nestor moves to the northeast and away from our local area on Saturday, clouds will probably hang tough for much of the day due to the wind out of the north. Sunday will likely be mostly sunny. Another period of active weather will likely happen on Monday.
SEVERE WEATHER EVENT POSSIBLE MONDAY… This is totally separate from the tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico! The Storm Prediction Center has outlined much of Alabama, Mississippi, eastern Louisiana, and northwest Florida in their Level 2 (out of 5) risk zone valid for Monday, October 21. This means that isolated severe storms, including a few tornadoes, will become possible Monday ahead of an advancing strong cold front. The entirety of south Alabama and northwest Florida is included in this risk zone, meaning now is the time to make sure that you’re ready for this severe weather potential AND the peak of our secondary severe weather season (which typically begins around November 1 and lasts through December). We need to get through the tropical storm on Friday into Saturday before we really start focusing on this event, but I want you to have an early “heads up” and be thinking about where you’ll be on Monday in case tornadoes become more likely.
MODEL AGREEMENT IS NOTABLY HIGH… This is a severe weather risk that the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has outlooked four days out, meaning model agreement is high and confidence is growing that we will have at least isolated severe storms. We note that early indications point to the potential for all severe weather hazards (isolated tornadoes, damaging winds, and perhaps large hail in the more discrete, isolated storms). SPC even notes the potential for supercell thunderstorm development in their discussion today. All of this should be a reminder that we need to keep close tabs on this event as it approaches. I’ll be working this weekend to bring you the very latest in the RedZone Weather app.
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 Friday #rzw forecast video. Have a great day! I’ll have updates in the RedZone Weather app throughout the day.