4:02PM June 17, 2021

TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR ALABAMA COAST; FLASH FLOODING CONCERNS LOCALLY… The Alabama Gulf Coast is now under a Tropical Storm Warning. The first advisory on the developing tropical disturbance in the Gulf has been issued, showing a likely movement of the center of circulation toward Louisiana. Please keep in mind that the vast majority of the impacts with this developing tropical storm will happen on the eastern side of the storm, thus even though the official “cone of uncertainty” points towards Louisiana, the impacts will happen in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida. The greatest concern with this developing tropical system remains the potential for 5 to 8 inches of total rainfall locally and flash flooding. Tornadoes may become a concern for our local area as well. Right now, high wind impacts seem unlikely in south Alabama or northwest Florida, although gusty (25-35 mph) winds may happen at the immediate beach zones. Coastal hazards, including minor storm surge, minor coastal flooding, high surf, and rip currents will be possible.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR ALABAMA COAST AND POINTS WEST… A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from Intracoastal City, Louisiana eastward to the Alabama/Florida border, including coastal areas of Baldwin and Mobile counties in southwest Alabama. In addition, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, metro New Orleans, and Lake Pontchartrain are involved in this new tropical storm warning.

POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE #3 – EXPLAINER… The tropical disturbance in the Gulf has been given the designation “Potential Tropical Cyclone #3” this evening. This is a confusing way to brand a tropical disturbance, but the reason for the usage is because the PTC designation allows local watches and warnings to be issued ahead of the actual formation of a low-level circulation center associated with the storm. Basically, INVEST 92L is now “Potential Tropical Cyclone #3” and will likely soon be Tropical Depression 3 or Tropical Storm Claudette. What a mess of nomenclature! The big takeaway here is that LOCAL IMPACTS will be the same regardless of the ultimate designation of the system, whether it takes a formal name (Claudette) or not.

POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS… Impacts from PTC #3, expected to become Tropical Storm Claudette soon, may begin in parts of our local area as early as tomorrow (Friday) evening. That is when showers and storms will become possible near the immediate coast. Rain will likely spread inland throughout the day on Saturday, extending into Sunday. There is a real chance Saturday and Sunday could be “all day washout-type” days with heavy rain being possible many times throughout the weekend. This heavy rain could lead to a flash flooding threat, particularly in areas where storms train over the same areas for multiple areas. Minor storm surge and minor coastal flooding may be possible in low-lying areas. Tornadoes may become possible this weekend across our entire area as the center of the storm moves onshore to our west, although it remains too early to be specific about where the tornado risk will be greatest. Dangerous rip currents and high waves are expected at the local beaches this weekend.

The following forecast information from this morning remains completely on point. I am including the below paragraphs for review.

RAIN CHANCES INCREASE TOMORROW… Most locales will be dry today ahead of increasing rain chances on Friday. I expect showers and thunderstorms associated with the advancing tropical system to reach our shoreline as early as tomorrow evening. In addition, we may have a few pop-up showers and thunderstorms tomorrow in the late morning and early afternoon hours driven by the seabreeze.

HEAVY RAIN & FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE THIS WEEKEND… Locally, the main impact from this developing system will likely be intermittent periods of heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding. The latest rainfall guidance continues to show 5 to 8 inches of rainfall in total happening over the next 7 days, with the greater rain amounts happening across parts of Baldwin, Mobile, and Washington counties in southwest Alabama. This means that flash flooding will become possible in those counties, but also perhaps across our entire area, on Saturday into Sunday.

RIP CURRENT WARNING – THIS WEEKEND… We have lost far too many people over the years to rip currents at our Alabama and northwest Florida beaches. If you know someone that has a beach vacation planned this weekend into early next week, please let them know that the Gulf will have high waves and dangerous rip currents happening over the next few days. NWS Mobile has posted a Rip Current Warning starting on Friday and extending into Monday and Tuesday of the upcoming week. Please do not be a bonehead and get in the Gulf this weekend if red flags are flying at your particular beach location!

TORNADO RISK MAY SET UP THIS WEEKEND… In addition to the rainfall and flash flooding hazards, tornadoes may become a concern at some point this weekend. It is a bit too early to nail down the specifics as far as timing, however, it appears Baldwin, Mobile, Washington, and Clarke counties will have a slightly higher tornado risk compared to counties farther east. This is due to the proximity to the center of the storm that is expected to come onshore to our west across parts of Louisiana.

GUSTY WINDS NEAR THE BEACHES… High wind impacts are currently not expected across any part of south Alabama or northwest Florida because of this developing tropical system. Winds could gust as high as 30-35 mph at the immediate beach zones of Alabama and northwest Florida, but at this time, wind damage remains highly unlikely locally.

MORE RAIN LIKELY EARLY NEXT WEEK… After the departure of the tropical system on Sunday into Monday, the upcoming week looks unsettled with multiple chances of showers and thunderstorms. After the massive influx of tropical moisture this weekend, we will return to more of a normal summertime pattern with P.M. storms each day by Tuesday and Wednesday of the upcoming week. High temperatures will be near 90 each day next week with morning lows in the low- to mid-70s.

SET UP APP ALERTS… We send quite a bit of Low-Level Alerts in our RedZone Weather app. The app is totally free for you! redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you see the download links to your respective app store for iOS and for Android devices. Once you have the app downloaded to your smartphone or tablet device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

I will have another detailed update later this evening. My next regularly scheduled forecast video will be posted by 7:15AM tomorrow morning. Have a nice Thursday evening!

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