10:28AM September 24, 2022

FORECAST TRACK FOR T.S. IAN SHIFTS SLIGHTLY WEST… The projected path for Tropical Storm Ian has shifted slightly west as of 10AM Saturday. Track shifts like this are expected over the next few days, particularly in the 4-5 day forecast as the overall forecast confidence remains fairly low in that range. The “cone of uncertainty” for the potential landfall point now extends from Santa Rosa Beach on the west side all the way south to the Florida Keys with a most likely landfall zone along the west coast of Florida from the Big Bend region southward to Tampa and Ft. Myers. Ian is becoming better organized today as the storm continues moving west in the Caribbean Sea.

LOCAL IMPACTS ASSESSMENT – IAN… As of 10AM Saturday, significant local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida remain unlikely to happen. While our local area is not completely “out of the woods,” it is encouraging for our area that trends continue to favor impacts well to our east. Folks in the Big Bend region south into the Florida Peninsula could have significant, potentially major impacts from Ian. The National Hurricane Center calls for Ian to be a major hurricane on approach to the western Gulf coast of Florida by midweek. More forecast changes will be possible in the days ahead. Please check back in for updates.

RAPID INTENSIFICATION POSSIBLE… The National Hurricane Center notes that rapid intensification will be possible over the next few days as the core of Ian moves over very warm water in the western Caribbean Sea. There is a real chance Ian becomes a major hurricane before making landfall or moving very close to western Cuba. Interests in the Cayman Islands and western Cuba should pay close attention to this developing storm as Ian could easily rapidly intensify in the Caribbean Sea before moving into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

THE PROCESS OF MAKING A TRUE FORECAST… While the overall forecast track has shifted a bit to the left/west with this advisory package, shifts to the left and to the right (west and east) will be common over the next few days. Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance flights, along with special balloon releases at local weather offices across the country are providing more data to be “fed into” weather models. The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (truly the best tropical/hurricane forecasters on the planet) rely on a suite of many different models to then generate the “cone of uncertainty” four times per day. Unlike the wildly changing model images that go viral on social media, the cone of uncertainty is a much more consistent, reliable source of information. People who post single run model images are essentially posting “one ingredient” in the recipe of a forecast and passing that ingredient off as a complete forecast. It would be like if you took a photo of an egg and posted it with the caption “pound cake.” Eggs are just one ingredient in a pound cake. Yet that’s what is happening when model images are shared. Rely on the official cone of uncertainty and not wildly varying weather models.

APP… Many updates will be posted throughout the next few days in the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you’d like to receive from me. If you like a lot of info, be sure to toggle ON Low-Level Alerts.

I will have more updates posted later this evening. Have a nice Saturday!

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9:56PM September 23, 2022

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7:18PM September 23, 2022

TD9 IN THE CARIBBEAN FORECAST TO MOVE INTO EASTERN GULF… Tropical Depression Nine formed this morning in the central Caribbean Sea. TD9 is forecast to become a tropical storm in the next 24 hours as the system moves westward. The system is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to become a hurricane by Monday morning. We note the official forecast from NHC now calls for TD9 to become a major hurricane by Wednesday morning. While forecast confidence in the 4-5 day range is still not as high as usual, confidence has increased somewhat today that this system will be an issue for Florida. The “cone of uncertainty” from NHC extends from Indian Pass and Apalachicola all the way over to Jacksonville, meaning nearly all of the Florida Peninsula (not the Panhandle where we are, but rather the Peninsula) is included in the cone. Landfall will probably happen along the western coast of Florida somewhere between the Big Bend region southward to the Keys. This means that folks in the Tampa Bay area, Ft. Myers, and the Keys should be implementing the first steps of their hurricane action plan.

LOCAL IMPACTS IN SOUTH ALABAMA & N.W. FLORIDA SEEM LESS LIKELY… While the forecast is not a “lock” at this point, forecast confidence has increased to the point that I am comfortable stating that direct local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida seem less likely to happen. While coastal impacts (specifically rip currents and high waves) will be a concern, the potential for major impacts seems to be much lower. While this is no “all clear” just yet, we will monitor trends over the weekend and hopefully be able to say those two magic words for our local area in south Alabama and northwest Florida early next week. Long time viewers and readers know I do not say “all clear” until there is basically a 100% chance of no major impacts.

HURRICANE WATCH FOR CAYMAN ISLANDS… A Hurricane Watch has been issued this evening that includes the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The entirety of Jamaica is involved in a Tropical Storm Watch. I expect a Hurricane Watch will be posted for parts of western Cuba at some point tomorrow.

THIS SYSTEM WILL LIKELY BECOME TROPICAL STORM IAN… Quick, important note about the naming situation as this has changed from what has been widely publicized: Tropical Depression 10, located in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean near the African coast became a tropical storm earlier this afternoon and took the name, “Hermine.” That means that if or when Tropical Depression 9 in the Caribbean Sea becomes a tropical storm, it will likely take the name “Ian” (pronounced Ee-an, or E-un if you’re southern).

FLORIDA PENINSULA FOLKS SHOULD BE PREPARING FOR A POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT… While folks in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida watch this system over the next few days, I strongly suggest folks who live in the Big Bend region of Florida and the Florida Peninsula (Miami, the Keys, Ft. Myers, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Gainesville, St. Petersburg, and all surrounding areas in the PENINSULA) keep a close, intent watch on this developing tropical system. Major hurricane impacts will be possible in the eastern Gulf region in the days ahead, and model data today has concentrated on the west coast of Florida. Again, that doesn’t mean the landfall point will certainly happen there, but the trends are pointing in that direction for now. Know where you would go and what you will do if your specific location goes under an evacuation order. Heed those orders if you get one. NOW is the time to prepare and make a PLAN. Research shows time and time again that those folks who make a plan and implement it ahead of these dangerous storms have better outcomes, in general, than folks who don’t.

APP… If you haven’t already downloaded the RedZone Weather app, now is a great time to do that. redzoneweather.com/app is the link to the free download. Once you have the RZW app installed on your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to turn on the specific notifications you’d like to receive. All notifications are handcrafted by me. No automation and we promise not to bug you!

I will have more updates posted throughout the weekend in the RedZone Weather app. Have a great Friday evening!

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12:16PM September 23, 2022

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11:43AM September 23, 2022

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6:52AM September 23, 2022

SLIGHTLY COOLER TODAY; WATCHING INVEST 98L CAREFULLY… Sunny skies are expected on this Friday and again on Saturday across the local area as we continue to closely monitor the developing tropical system in the central Caribbean Sea. That tropical wave, branded as INVEST 98L, is located north of Venezuela and southeast of Jamaica this morning. I realize many folks are reading this discussion this morning in hopes of finding out exactly where 98L will move. Unfortunately, we simply do not have a clear answer for that just yet and we probably won’t know more details until Sunday or Monday at the earliest. See more details about this in the “ample uncertainty” paragraph below. Dry conditions are expected locally today with high temperatures likely to be in the upper-80s. Temperatures won’t be AS hot as previous days as a frontal boundary moved across our region overnight. We have another cold front slated to move by early next week that will usher in slightly cooler, drier air. A few more Friday morning forecast notes are below.

TROPICS: INVEST 98L IN CARIBBEAN SEA… This morning, all eyes are on INVEST 98L in the Caribbean Sea. This system is currently an area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave. The National Hurricane Center continues to indicate there is a 90% chance of this system becoming a named tropical storm as a westward movement trend continues. 98L will likely turn more to the northwest at some point over the weekend, probably when the system is close to Jamaica. It is at this point that a low-level center of circulation should be defined. Beyond this point, the system will likely move into the northwest Caribbean Sea and become a hurricane. While many models do show movement into the Gulf of Mexico, we note that some model guidance points to more of an easterly track toward the Florida Peninsula. It is simply too early to say with confidence where 98L ends up.

TROPICS: AMPLE UNCERTAINTY TO PERSIST CONCERNING 98L… The latest model guidance for INVEST 98L continues to show varying solutions regarding where the developing system will ultimately end up. I expect this wide model spread to continue until a low-level center of circulation forms in association with 98L. This will probably happen some time tonight, on Saturday, or on Sunday as 98L approaches Jamaica. Once a low-level center of circulation forms, model guidance should begin to converge on the exact future track of the system.

TROPICS: HURRICANE FIONA TO MOVE INTO MARITIME CANADA… Hurricane Fiona remains a large, major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean fairly close to Bermuda on this Friday morning. Fiona has prompted a Hurricane Warning for parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in Canada, where high winds and large waves are expected. Fiona will likely be transitioning to extratropical status ahead of landfall, but that probably won’t make much of a difference in terms of impacts. This could be a damaging storm for parts of eastern Canada as hurricane force winds are likely.

TROPICS: TROPICAL STORM GASTON POSES NO THREAT TO USA… Tropical Storm Gaston is located in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. The storm has prompted a Tropical Storm Warning for The Azores as the center of Gaston is expected to turn south before looping back to the west and out to sea. No direct impacts are expected from Gaston in North America.

TROPICS: TWO TROPICAL WAVES IN THE ATLANTIC… In addition to 98L, Fiona, and Gaston, two other tropical waves are noted this morning in the Atlantic Ocean. One tropical wave is located about halfway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. This tropical wave has a 30% chance of briefly becoming a tropical storm over the next few days. Another, separate tropical wave is located near the African coast and the Cabo Verde Islands.

COLD FRONT TO MOVE BY ON MONDAY; SHOWERS & STORMS POSSIBLE… Our next rain chance across south Alabama and northwest Florida will happen on Sunday into Monday as a cold front moves across our region. This frontal boundary will usher in slightly cooler, drier air into the region on Monday. Overnight lows on Tuesday morning will be in the upper-50s in many spots locally. High temperatures next week will be in the mid-80s.

APP… If you haven’t already downloaded the RedZone Weather app, now is a great time to do that. redzoneweather.com/app is the link to the free download. Once you have the RZW app installed on your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to turn on the specific notifications you’d like to receive. All notifications are handcrafted by me. No automation and we promise not to bug you!

See all the details in your Friday morning #rzw forecast video. Have a great day!

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