HEAVY RAIN LIKELY LATER; FEW TORNADOES POSSIBLE TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY… Potential Tropical Cyclone #3 continues to organize over the central Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. The system is expected to become Tropical Storm Claudette later today or tonight. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are happening in many locales across our region this afternoon. Heavier, more consistent rain will likely spread across the area later this evening. A few tornadoes may become possible this evening into the overnight hours, thus it is imperative that we all have a way to get warnings tonight before you go to sleep. If we have tornado warnings locally, please be sure to join us in live coverage. A few more updates are below.
NEW: WHAT TO EXPECT – NEXT FEW HOURS… Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms are currently happening inland near the U.S. Highway 84 corridor as of 1PM. These showers are associated with the first outer rain bands of Potential Tropical Cyclone #3. Scattered showers are also happening across parts of northwest Florida and Escambia County, AL. More consistent, heavier rain is happening about 40 miles offshore of Orange Beach and Dauphin Island. This heavier shield of rain will likely continue moving north over the next few hours. Heavy rain may spread across our local area this evening into tonight.
NEW: TORNADO RISK INCREASES TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY… A few brief, spin-up tornadoes will become possible as early as this evening across south Alabama and northwest Florida. This risk includes coastal AND inland areas. Tropical-induced tornadoes usually are small, brief, and don’t last long, however IF a tornado affects you or your neighborhood, it’s a big deal. Please have a way to get urgent weather warnings overnight into Saturday. Please have a way to get tornado warnings this weekend and if your particular location goes under a warning, be sure to join me on Facebook Live and in the RedZone Weather app for the latest details. More about our tornado warning policy is outlined below.
NEW: TROPICAL STORM WARNING EXTENDED FARTHER EAST… The National Hurricane Center chose to extend the Tropical Storm Warning eastward to now include all parts of the shoreline in Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. This means a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for all parts of our local coastline from Dauphin Island eastward to Destin. This includes Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, Navarre, Mary Esther, Fort Walton Beach, and Destin. Wind gusts up to 40 mph may be possible later this evening into Saturday as PTC #3 moves onshore.
UPDATED: FLASH FLOOD WATCH… All parts of southwest Alabama and northwest Florida are involved in a Flash Flood Watch due to the high rain amounts that are expected over the next few days. This includes Choctaw, Washington, Clarke, Mobile, Baldwin, Monroe, Wilcox, Butler, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia (AL), Santa Rosa, Escambia (FL), and Okaloosa counties. In addition, all of southeast Alabama and much of the central part of the state northward to Birmingham and Tuscaloosa are involved in this Flash Flood Watch.
See the below paragraphs of information from previous posts. This information remains on point.
POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS – SUMMARY… Heavy rain will be possible at times this weekend with 5 to 8 inches of total rainfall being likely across our region. 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 near the Alabama coast. Tornadoes may become possible this weekend across our entire area as the center of the storm moves onshore to our west. Dangerous rip currents and high waves are expected at the local beaches this weekend.
HEAVY RAIN LIKELY AT TIMES THIS WEEKEND… Multiple rounds of rain and thunderstorms are likely at times later today and into Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact answer on if rain (or even heavy rain) will be happening in a certain location at a given time. What I can tell you regarding this is that multiple rounds of heavy rain will likely happen that could last multiple hours for a given location, specifically in communities closer to the immediate coast. I will be closely monitoring radar trends today and over the next few days. I’ll have regular updates posted in the RedZone Weather app.
FLASH FLOODING RISK MAXIMIZED NEAR ALABAMA COAST… While the entire local area has some risk of flash flooding, the risk will likely be maximized across parts of Baldwin and Mobile counties in south Alabama where 6-8 inches of total rainfall will probably happen. If you encounter a water-covered roadway over the next few days, please “turn around, don’t drown.” Far too many people across the U.S. have bad outcomes due to attempting to drive over water-covered roadways.
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 30-40 mph at the immediate beach zones of Alabama where the tropical storm warning is in effect but wind damage remains highly unlikely locally.
RIP CURRENT WARNING & HIGH SURF WARNING… A High Surf Warning and a Rip Current Warning is in effect for all beaches in Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. 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. Rip currents have killed many people at our beaches over the years! If a red flag is flying in your beach location, please do not get into the water.
MINOR COASTAL FLOODING POSSIBLE THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY… We are fortunate to be in somewhat of a neap tide cycle right now, thus potentially limiting coastal flooding from what it could be if we were in a higher tide cycle across our area. Minor coastal flooding may become possible later tonight, tomorrow, and into Sunday, particularly in low-lying areas of coastal Alabama.
TORNADO WARNING POLICY… Any time there is an active tornado warning in effect for southwest Alabama or northwest Florida, we provide uninterrupted, live video coverage on Facebook Live and in the RedZone Weather app. Our detailed coverage commitment is outlined at redzoneweather.com/coverage. We are proud to cover all parts of Escambia (AL), Covington, Monroe, Conecuh, Baldwin, Mobile, Clarke, Washington, Butler, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. If you live in any locale in those counties, be sure to tune into our coverage whenever there is an active tornado warning!
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 more updates posted over the next few hours in the RedZone Weather app. Have a nice Friday afternoon!