6:50AM July 1, 2021

TD5/ELSA TO APPROACH GULF NEXT WEEK; SCATTERED STORMS THIS EVENING… We may have a tropical storm or perhaps even a hurricane in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by the middle part of the upcoming week as Tropical Depression 5, or what will be Tropical Storm Elsa, continues to develop. Right now, TD5/Elsa is located about 1,100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the central Atlantic Ocean, meaning the system is FAR away from our local area at the moment. Elsa will continue to move west over the next few days. More details about the tropics are below. Today in our local area on this first day of July, we are expecting a continuation of the same weather pattern we had in place for much of the month of June with pop-up thunderstorms likely to fire up this afternoon into this evening. High temperatures today will be in the mid- to upper-80s. I’ve got all of your Thursday morning forecast details below.

P.M. STORMS LIKELY AT TIMES TODAY… Showers and thunderstorms will rapidly increase in coverage today most likely around or just after 11AM, very similar to what we observed yesterday across our area. Storms will be capable of producing torrential downpours of rain, cloud-to-ground lightning, and gusty winds. No formal tornado risk today.

FOURTH OF JULY FORECAST UPDATE… Thunderstorms are likely to pop up both on Saturday, on the 4th of July on Sunday, and on Monday. Storms won’t really have any rhyme or reason as to where development happens. These pulse-type, pop-up thunderstorms develop very quickly and fade away just as quickly. Rain will be heavy at times where storms fire up, but there will be a good bit of sunshine in the mix each day as well. High temperatures will be in the mid- to upper-80s this weekend into early next week with morning lows near 70.

TD5/ELSA MOVING WEST RAPIDLY; STORM TO APPROACH GULF NEXT WEEK… There is high confidence in the short term that TD5/Elsa will continue moving west-northwest over the next 24-48 hours. The storm will approach the southern Lesser Antilles and Barbados on Friday. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for St. Lucia, Barbados, and Martinique. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and for Guadeloupe. This means that tropical storm conditions are likely in these islands tomorrow into Saturday as Elsa moves by. After entering the eastern Caribbean Sea most likely on Friday evening, Elsa is likely to move northwest toward Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Cuba. By Sunday, forecast confidence in the track and intensity guidance is much lower. The center of the storm may be as far north as The Bahamas or as far south as Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

FORECAST UNCERTAINTY FOR ELSA GOING INTO NEXT WEEK… Forecast confidence is low concerning exactly where Tropical Storm Elsa will move early next week. There is chance the storm moves farther east, potentially being more of an issue for The Bahamas and Florida. There is a chance the system may be a problem for those of us along the Gulf Coast region. There is a chance the storm remains weaker and moves farther west toward Mexico. We simply do not know where Elsa will ultimately go or just how strong the storm will be early next week. Most of the model guidance points to a tropical storm moving through the Caribbean Sea. Some of the guidance ramps the storm up to a hurricane early next week. The bottom line at this point is we all need to keep a close eye on this developing system. I suspect we will begin to get a better grasp of exactly where the storm will move next week on Saturday. Please stay tuned and check back with me for further updates over the next few days!

TROPICAL WAVE OVER LESSER ANTILLES REMAINS WEAK… The tropical wave we have been tracking over the last few days that is located just to the east of the Lesser Antilles, now in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea, remains quite weak and disorganized. The National Hurricane Center revised development chances down to near 0% yesterday as the system does not appear remotely close to being able to develop into a tropical storm over the next few days. Note this tropical wave is totally distinct and totally separate from the previously discussed (above) Elsa.

SEASONAL WEATHER TO CONTINUE INTO NEXT WEEK… Seasonal July weather is ahead for the upcoming week with a chance of showers and thunderstorms Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Most of these storms, just like the last several weeks, will pop up in the afternoon and evening hours. High temperatures will be in the mid- to upper-80s with morning lows near 70.

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 Thursday #rzw forecast video. Have a great day!

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