8:03PM June 6, 2019

TORNADIC WATERSPOUTS VS. NON-TORNADIC WATERSPOUTS… We had a tornado warning for much of central Baldwin County earlier today due to a tornado that threatened to move in from Mobile Bay. Thanks to Wendy Armstrong for this view (original video here). While technically still a “waterspout,” this is actually a tornado over water. There is quite a bit of confusion about the term, “waterspout.” I’d like to share some insight about this…

WATERSPOUTS ARE WEAKER… Non-tornadic waterspouts can happen on both good weather days and bad weather days. They form within the updraft of a maturing cumulus cloud and have winds of 30-60mph. They’re very common around our coastline, especially in the summer months. Usually, these “fair weather waterspouts” are weak and dissipate before ever reaching the shore.

TORNADOES HAPPEN OVER WATER TOO… The tornado warning this morning was triggered because of a large tornadic waterspout that happened to form over Mobile Bay. The key difference in waterspouts versus a tornado over water is the presence of a detectable, parent mesocyclone in the atmosphere. This morning when we showed you the rotation in the velocity product on radar, we actually were seeing the large mesocyclone above what was a tornado that formed over the waters of Mobile Bay. Thankfully, the tornado dissipated before making moving onshore. Unlike fair weather waterspouts, tornadoes (even over water) can have winds of 60-200+ mph. Tornadoes form in much more complex environments.

MESSAGING IS KEY… In order to keep things simple during times of a potential disaster, you’ll hear me say, “tornado over water” whenever we have a tornadic waterspout moving onshore. Using the word “waterspout” seems to convey this sense of a weak, brief spin-up vortex that is not likely to do much damage. Tornadoes (whether on land or over water) are dangerous, period.

MORE RAIN & STORMS OVERNIGHT AND FRIDAY… Rain and thunderstorms will continue to intermittently happen over the next 24 hours across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Widespread severe weather is not expected. If we happen to have any storms that ramp up to strong levels, they’re most likely to happen near the immediate coastline. I’ll have updates for you in the RedZone Weather app.

APP ALERTS… If you have not already, be sure to download the RedZone Weather app and set up your customized app alerts. 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 on the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you’d like to receive straight from me.

Special thanks to our local National Weather Service office in Mobile, AL​ for highlighting this issue at the recent Integrated Tropical Workshop meeting. Thanks also to NWS Mobile for some of the specific language used in this post from the specific presentation about this issue.

Have a nice evening!

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5:33PM June 6, 2019

STRONG STORM OVER CRESTVIEW… NWS Mobile has issued a significant weather advisory for areas near Crestview, Milligan, and Auburn (FL) as a strong storm moves by. Very heavy rain is happening along the I-10 and US90 corridors in north-central Okaloosa County. This storm is moving northeast at 35-40mph. Gusty winds will be possible shortly near Crestview.

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1:15PM June 6, 2019

TORNADO WATCH TILL 5PM… If you’re in Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, or Okaloosa counties, you are now involved in a Tornado Watch until 5PM CDT. The atmosphere is somewhat unstable across coastal areas and to our west across Mississippi and Louisiana. While I am not expecting widespread severe weather issues today, a brief, tornado or two will be possible in the stronger storms. The big headline today will continue to be the major rain event that is set to continue into the weekend. 3-7″ of rain will be likely across the region with isolated higher amounts.

RADAR UPDATE… Strong thunderstorms are rolling through parts of our local coastal counties as of 1:15PM. There is no active tornado threat at the moment as all storms remain under severe limits. We have observed some cloud-to-ground lightning near Pensacola, Foley, Elberta, and Orange Beach over the last 15 minutes, however. Rain is generally lighter across inland areas. More showers and storms will continue to filter in from Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico over the next few hours. I’ll have radar updates throughout the afternoon into this evening.

TORNADO WARNING COVERAGE JUST CONCLUDED… We just finished a round of tornado warning coverage for a storm that produced a large waterspout/tornado over water southwest of Weeks Bay in Mobile Bay. Much of south-central Baldwin County was included in the active tornado warning from 11:55AM to 12:30PM. Be sure to scroll down and see the 11:55AM post if you want to see the tornado warning coverage. That warning has now expired since the storm weakened, although it’s a good representative of what could happen over the next few hours. MOST of us will NOT have severe weather issues, although an isolated, brief tornado or two can’t be ruled out.

TORNADO WARNING POLICY… Anytime we have an active tornado warning for any part of south Alabama and northwest Florida, we provide uninterrupted live video coverage on Facebook Live and in the Live tab of the RedZone Weather app. If you see a tweet or other notification from me about a tornado warning for our local area, always be sure to check Facebook Live or the Live tab to watch our live streaming coverage.

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6:56AM June 6, 2019

HEAVY RAIN & STORMS AT TIMES TODAY; WET WEEKEND AHEAD… Numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected on this Thursday across south Alabama and northwest Florida as deep, tropical moisture surges in from the south. You’ll need the rain gear handy all day and into the weekend as we have a steady barrage of rain and thunderstorms set to move in. The latest Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) numbers support upwards of 7 to 10 (!) inches of rain for parts of coastal Alabama through Monday. The atmospheric setup through the weekend is remarkably opposite from the weather pattern we’ve been in over the last few weeks. Every location locally will almost certainly have multiple rounds of rain this weekend. We note that the Storm Prediction Center has included parts of west Alabama in their Levels 1 and 2 risk zones for today as a few, brief tornadoes can’t be ruled out in the stronger storms. Scattered storms will likely be a staple of our forecast into next week as well. Let’s look at a few details…

RAIN AND STORMS LIKELY TODAY… Scattered showers are noted on radar this morning across the region. I expect areas of rain and storms to increase in number across our area throughout the day. If you have outdoor plans scheduled for this evening and rain is a concern, you definitely should consider rescheduling. I suspect that youth baseball games/practices today will be cancelled in many locales due to all the rain around throughout the day and into the evening. Lightning will be a concern in some of the stronger storms today. As I said yesterday and in previous days, you know the drill: “When thunder roars, go indoors.” We lost a massive amount of studio equipment due to a massive lightning strike a few weeks ago and the recovery has been challenging. Take lightning seriously! High temperatures today will be confined into the 80s as cloud cover keeps us much cooler compared to the last few weeks.

LEVEL 2 SEVERE WEATHER RISK FOR WEST ALABAMA… Just after this video was produced, the Storm Prediction Center upped parts of west Alabama into their Level 2 (out of 5) risk zone due to a slightly higher risk of a brief tornado or two in any of the stronger storms that happen today. Locally, the extreme western part of Clarke County and much of Washington and Choctaw counties are included in the Level 2 risk zone. This includes locales like Millry, Coffeeville, Butler, Toxey, Silas, Gilbertown, Fruitdale, Vinegar Bend, and Chatom.

LEVEL 1 LOW-END SEVERE RISK FOR WESTERN HALF OF AREA… We note that several communities are included in the low-end, Level 1 (out of 5) marginal severe weather risk zone valid for today. These areas probably won’t have severe weather issues, but the risk is NOT zero. This risk zone includes Thomasville, Grove Hill, Jackson, Monroeville, Uriah, Chrysler, Atmore, Poarch, Huxford, Bay Minette, Stockton, Stapleton, Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope, Point Clear, Silverhill, Robertsdale, Gulf Shores, Mobile, Dauphin Island, Bayou La Batre, Citronelle, Mount Vernon, Prichard, Saraland, Satsuma, and Wilmer.

QPF NUMBERS ARE VERY HIGH… Be sure to see the video for more details about this. The latest Quantitative Precipitation Forecast numbers from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center indicate 3 to 10 inches of rain could happen across parts of south Alabama and northwest Florida. Again, please see the graphic in the video. Here is a select few projected rainfall totals over the next 5 days…

Mobile: 5 to 8”

Eastern Shore: 6 to 9”

Alabama Beaches: 7 to 10”

Dauphin Island: 10 to 12”

Pensacola: 6 to 9”

Washington County: 4 to 6”

Clarke County: 3 to 5”

Monroe County: 3 to 5”

Conecuh County: 3 to 5”

Escambia County, AL: 3 to 5”

Butler County: 3 to 5”

Covington County: 3 to 5”

Wiregrass/SE AL: 2 to 4”

Walton County: 4 to 6”

Okaloosa County: 4 to 6”

Santa Rosa County: 4 to 7”

North Escambia County, FL: 4 to 7”

North Baldwin County, AL:  5 to 7”

SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS STORMS FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY… The fire hose of moisture is set to bring numerous showers and thunderstorms to our area this weekend. If you have an outdoor event sensitive to rain scheduled for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you have an indoor backup plan. That statement will be most true for areas near the immediate Alabama beaches where 7 to 10 inches of rain may happen. Elsewhere across the region, we’ll have rain amounts of 2 to 7 inches (in total over the next 5 days). This will likely be the wettest weekend we’ve had in quite some time. High temperatures will be much lower compared to the last few weeks. Most spots will struggle to hit 85° this weekend in the afternoon hours.

WIDESPREAD CONVECTIVE ISSUES NOT EXPECTED… While there will be at least some risk of flash flooding issues if storms train over the same areas, I am not expecting widespread tornado, damaging wind, or large hail issues this weekend. Have a way to keep tabs on the radar, especially if you’re concerned about heavy rain. Systems like the area of low pressure moving by to our west can sometimes bring some surprises, and while I am not expecting widespread severe/convective weather issues, I would not be surprised if we have a strong storm or two before the end of the weekend.

SCATTERED STORMS PERSIST INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK… After the moisture axis and heavy rain ends on Monday into Tuesday of the upcoming week, we will need to maintain a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms into the middle part of the upcoming week as pop up storms will be around in the afternoon and evening hours of each day. High temperatures will settle back into the 90s with morning lows around 70 degrees.

See all the details in your Thursday #rzw forecast video… Have a great day!

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1:39AM June 6, 2019

ISOLATED SHOWERS & STORMS THROUGH SUNRISE… Intermittent rain and thunderstorms will continue overnight, especially near the Alabama coast and points to the west.

STORM NEAR POINT CLEAR… The storm in southern Mobile Bay continues to output quite a bit of lightning. I wouldn’t be shocked if folks in Point Clear and the southern part of Fairhope are hearing some distant thunder due to this storm.

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1:25AM June 6, 2019

STRONG STORMS IN SOUTHERN MOBILE BAY… The thunderstorms currently moving north in the southern part of Mobile Bay have started producing quite a bit of lightning over the last few minutes. We also note some very broad, weak rotation in the storm north of Dauphin Island. These storms will continue pushing north over the next hour or so. If you’re awakened by thunder overnight, you can always check the radar in the RedZone Weather app in the Radar tab. Widespread severe weather is NOT expected over the next few hours or into Thursday morning, although a brief stronger storm can’t be ruled out.

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9:01PM June 5, 2019

LIGHT RAIN AROUND… Warm, moist air continues to filter in from the south, allowing light to moderate rain to fall across parts of the local area. Moderate rain is happening near Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Miramar Beach. Much of the lighter precipitation depicted across inland areas of south Alabama is not reaching the ground at this point.

SHOWERS & STORMS POSSIBLE OVERNIGHT… Rain and storms will be possible overnight, with a pretty significant rain event setting up for Thursday. Widespread rain and storms will become likely after sunrise.

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7:04PM June 5, 2019

LIGHT RAIN SHOWERS THIS EVENING… Scattered instances of light to moderate rain are happening this evening across south Alabama and northwest Florida. As of 7:04PM, the heavier rain and storms are now offshore. There could be a few thunderstorms overnight across the region, although widespread storms probably won’t start until after sunrise on Thursday. I will continue to monitor radar trends over the next few hours. Severe weather is not anticipated tonight.

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3:24PM June 5, 2019

RAIN NEAR THE COAST… Thanks to Nick Black for the view of rain happening near the Alabama and northwest Florida coast this afternoon. Been a long time since widespread rain has happened locally.

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6:55AM June 5, 2019

RAIN CHANCES RISE TODAY; SOGGY, WARM WEEKEND AHEAD… There will be more thunderstorms around this afternoon as an increasingly unstable air mass takes hold of our weather pattern. Pop-up storms will rule the afternoon and evening hours with rain chances being greatest today across coastal counties. While I am not expecting widespread severe weather today, the storms that do pop up could produce quite a bit of lightning, thunder, gusty winds, and downpours of heavy rain. Have a way to check the radar this afternoon into this evening.

NUMEROUS STORMS LIKELY FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY… Deep tropical moisture will surge into our area from the south on Friday, meaning numerous showers and thunderstorms will become likely. 1-2” of rain will be possible Friday, with isolated higher amounts. If you have outdoor events scheduled for Friday or Saturday, I would definitely have an indoor backup ready!
RAIN & STORMS LIKELY INTO SUNDAY… The axis of moisture that parks over our area really won’t be moving much Saturday or Sunday. I expect rain to progressively end on Monday, but not before some areas pick up 5, 6, or maybe even 7 inches of rain near the immediate beaches. We note that NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has parts of the Alabama coastline in their 7” contour zone, meaning it is plausible to have 6-8” of rain near Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Dauphin Island before this rain event ends early next week.
TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT NOW UNLIKELY… The National Hurricane Center says that INVEST 91L, the tropical disturbance in the Bay of Campeche (southern Gulf of Mexico) now only has a 20% chance of developing into a named tropical storm. This is actually the system that will ultimately be responsible for flinging in some of the Gulf moisture from the South this weekend. Again, it won’t be a tropical storm or hurricane when the moisture arrives here.
APP ALERTS… Be sure to download the RedZone Weather app if you haven’t already to keep up with the rain/storm event this weekend. 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) then tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive.

See all the details in your Wednesday #rzw forecast video… Have a great day!

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7:42PM June 4, 2019

MAJOR RAIN EVENT AHEAD: 5-7” OF RAIN POSSIBLE… Talk about a weather pattern flip! We’ve got a major rain event setting up for the weekend into early next week as Gulf moisture streams in from the south, paving the way for scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms Friday through Monday. While this rain is MUCH needed, I am growing a bit concerned about the possibility of flash flooding IF storms train over the same areas this weekend. The good news is this will be a soaking rain, but likely WITHOUT a big risk of convective issues like tornadoes, hail, and damaging wind. Let’s look at details…

WIDELY SCATTERED STORMS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW… There actually are a few showers and thunderstorms happening right now (as of 7:30PM on Tuesday) near Castleberry, Evergreen, Nymph, Jay Villa, L Pond, and Johnsonville in southern Conecuh County. Another lone storm is noted near Gosport and Claiborne near the Alabama River near the Clarke/Monroe County line near the Alabama River Pulp mill. These storms are slowly drifting northward.

SCATTERED STORMS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY… The big rain happens this weekend, but not before a few scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening hours of Wednesday and Thursday. These will be diurnal, pop-up storms capable of producing very heavy downpours of rain in localized areas. Cloud-to-ground lightning will be a concern. You know the drill by now: “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

NUMEROUS STORMS LIKELY FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY… Deep tropical moisture will surge into our area from the south on Friday, meaning numerous showers and thunderstorms will become likely. 1-2” of rain will be possible Friday, with isolated higher amounts. If you have outdoor events scheduled for Friday or Saturday, I would definitely have an indoor backup ready!

RAIN & STORMS LIKELY INTO SUNDAY… The axis of moisture that parks over our area really won’t be moving much Saturday or Sunday. I expect rain to progressively end on Monday, but not before some areas pick up 5, 6, or maybe even 7 inches of rain near the immediate beaches. We note that NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has parts of the Alabama coastline in their 7” contour zone, meaning it is plausible to have 6-8” of rain near Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Dauphin Island before this rain event ends early next week.

TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT NOW UNLIKELY… Some good news to pass along this evening! The National Hurricane Center says that INVEST 91L, the tropical disturbance in the Bay of Campeche (southern Gulf of Mexico) now only has a 20% chance of developing into a named tropical storm. This is actually the system that will ultimately be responsible for flinging in some of the Gulf moisture from the South this weekend. Again, it won’t be a tropical storm or hurricane when the moisture arrives here.

APP ALERTS… Be sure to download the RedZone Weather app if you haven’t already to keep up with the rain/storm event this weekend. 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) then tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive.

Let me know if you have any questions. My next forecast video will be posted by 7:15AM on Wednesday morning. Have a nice Tuesday evening!

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7:01PM June 4, 2019

SCATTERED STORMS PUSHING NORTH SLOWLY… Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms continue to drift north-northeast across inland areas of south Alabama. At the moment, heavy rain is happening near Castleberry, Johnsonville, Nymph, Jay Villa, and Old Sparta just south of Evergreen. A heavier shower is also happening near Gosport in Clarke County.

RAIN & STORMS FADE TONIGHT… These storms are diurnal in nature, meaning they will fade as we begin to lose daytime heating over the next hour or so. Another round of scattered storms is likely on Wednesday. Rain chances increase drastically as we go into the weekend.

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6:53AM June 4, 2019

FEW STORMS THIS AFTERNOON; RAIN CHANCES HIGH FOR WEEKEND… Summer seems to be here in full force as hot temperatures and scattered storms dominate our weather pattern. Most areas will remain dry today, but rain chances will progressively rise over the next few days. Friday and Saturday will likely be the wettest days out of the next seven days as tropical moisture streams in from the southwest. The good news is we won’t be dealing with a tropical storm or hurricane this weekend! INVEST 91L remains weak and disorganized in the southern Gulf (Bay of Campeche). Let’s talk details…

TROPICAL UPDATE: DISTURBANCE REMAINS WEAK… The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to monitor INVEST 91L. The system is a disorganized tropical disturbance moving very slowly to the northwest across the Bay of Campeche and the far southern part of the Gulf of Mexico. NHC says there is still a 50-60% chance that this system becomes a weak tropical storm over the next 24-48 hours before it interacts with the land areas of northeast Mexico, south of Texas. This system will pose no major threat to Alabama or northwest Florida, although we note that some remaining moisture will be drawn north this weekend FROM the system. The remainder of the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and the rest of the Gulf of Mexico remain quiet with no other tropical systems of concern.

MOST TO STAY DRY TODAY; H-O-T AFTERNOON AHEAD… I expect most spots across the interior of south Alabama to reach the upper-90s today. We get some relief in the temperature department over the next few days as rain chances rise, however. Storms will be widely scattered today, producing heavy rain in a few spots. Lightning will also be a concern in the stronger storms. You know the drill: “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Widespread severe weather is NOT expected today.

MORE STORMS ON WEDNESDAY… The coverage of rain and storms will increase slightly for Wednesday, particularly in the afternoon and evening hours. I expect the storms to be more numerous near the coast. That trend begins to change on Thursday as rain and storms become more widespread across the region.

STORMS INCREASE IN NUMBER THURSDAY AND FRIDAY… We’ll call it scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms being increasingly likely Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as tropical moisture streams in from the Gulf of Mexico. We note that this will likely just be moisture being drawn north by a weak area of low pressure that will move by to our west and NOT an organized tropical threat. Basically, increased rain chances are what we can expect as we head into the weekend. High temperatures will be just a bit “cooler” as we peak in the upper-80s and near 90° this weekend as opposed to the mid-90s.

See all the details in your Tuesday #rzw forecast video… I look forward to speaking to the senior adults at the Opp Adult Activity Center in Opp, Alabama later today. Expecting a big crowd. Have a great day!

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9:40PM June 3, 2019

DRY EVENING; QUIET OVERNIGHT EXPECTED… The radar display remains quiet this evening across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Temperatures will continue to decline to around the 70 degree mark by 6AM Tuesday. Isolated showers and storms may happen during the peak heating hours of Tuesday. We’ll have radar updates as needed here in the RedZone Weather app.

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