2:16PM May 17, 2020

SCATTERED SHOWERS NOW; MORE RAIN & STORMS MONDAY; TRACKING ARTHUR… Scattered showers and thunderstorms are happening across south Alabama and northwest Florida on this Sunday evening. At the time this video is being produced at 2PM, several showers and thunderstorms are happening near Walnut Hill, Robertsdale, Harold, Holt Millry, Andalusia, Straughn, and Evergreen. These showers are moving northward. Don’t be surprised if isolated downpours continue to pop up over the next few hours. We get another dose of rain and storms on Monday, with the rain chance being around 70% across all of our area. We’re also tracking Tropical Storm Arthur east of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. While Arthur won’t directly impact our local area, hurricane season is off to an early start. See all the details below.

TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR A BIT STRONGER… The National Hurricane Center indicates in their latest 2PM advisory that Tropical Storm Arthur is a bit stronger compared to 12 hours ago. Maximum sustained winds have increased to around 45 mph in some of the outer bands on the eastern flank of the system. Arthur is moving NNE at approximately 9 mph. We note that a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for a big swath of the North Carolina coastline from Surf City to Duck, NC, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. This Tropical Storm Warning includes all of the Outer Banks region. (For those of you that have watched the new hit Netflix show “Outer Banks,” the parallels to “Hurricane Agatha” are quite real, although Arthur won’t be nearly as strong as what the faux Agatha was to the community in the Netflix series!)

SHOWERS CLEAR OUT TONIGHT BEFORE MORNING SHOWERS… Showers and thunderstorms will fade away after sunset, although I would not be surprised if scattered to numerous showers and storms pop up early (4-6AM) Monday morning. Severe weather is not expected.

MORE RAIN & STORMS POSSIBLE MONDAY… There is a high chance that Monday will be the wettest day out of the next 7 days as an area of low pressure tracks near or just to the north of our local area. Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are likely, primarily in the morning hours. There could be a few showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening hours as well. We are not expecting severe weather issues, but cloud-to-ground lightning will be a concern in the stronger storms that happen on Monday. Rain amounts will generally be in the 0.25-0.75” range, with isolated higher rain totals possible.

MOSTLY SUNNY TUESDAY… We get a break from the rain on Tuesday as mostly sunny skies are likely with temperatures peaking in the mid-80s by 2PM.

MORE RAIN & STORMS WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY… Last week, the longer range guidance suggested that this week would generally be dry after Monday. That idea was simply wrong, as scattered showers and thunderstorms are now expected on Wednesday and on Thursday. The greatest coverage of rain will likely be in the afternoon and evening hours.

SUMMER-LIKE PATTERN STARTS FRIDAY… We trend toward drier conditions overall with warmer temperatures setting up for Friday and the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. High temperatures will rise into the low- to mid-90s this weekend. There could be a rogue thunderstorm or two each day as we go into the weekend, but these storms will be the “pop-up variety” of storms that are all too common around here in the summer months.

APP ALERTS… 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 graphics and details in your Sunday evening #rzw forecast video. Have a great evening!

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1:53PM May 10, 2020

GORGEOUS MOTHER’S DAY WEATHER; MORE SUNSHINE THROUGH WEDNESDAY… Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and ladies! Hope you all have a great day. We have plenty of sunshine in store for this afternoon into this evening across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Temperatures remain just a bit below our climatological norms for mid-May. High temperatures will be in the upper-70s across the region today. Monday and Tuesday will be mostly sunny with increasing temperatures. Highs will reach the mid-80s by Tuesday. Looking ahead into the longer range forecast, showers and thunderstorms will probably be happening in a scattered nature across the region by Saturday into Sunday, one week from today.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day Sunday and enjoy the day!

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12:10PM May 7, 2020

MIDDAY THURSDAY 5 MILE SWAMP WILDFIRE UPDATE… The large wildfire south of Milton and Pace continues to burn out of control as of Noon on Thursday, May 7. The estimation for total acres burned so far remains at 2,000+ acres, although we note that number hasn’t changed since last evening. Santa Rosa EMA reports as of Noon the fire is now 40% contained. Interstate 10 remains totally shut down from Exit 22 (the Avalon Boulevard exit) to Exit 31 (the FL87 exit) as of Noon. Several local roads (like Garcon Point Road) also remain closed. A few Noon updates from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management are below.

PRELIMINARY NUMBER OF STRUCTURES AFFECTED… As of Noon, early reports from inside the core fire area indicate that 18 structures have been affected or destroyed.

UPDATE ON STRUCTURES IN POTENTIAL DANGER… There are 1110 residential structures, including mobile and modular homes, single family residential homes, and guest houses, in the affected areas south of Interstate 10 near Blackwater Bay in Santa Rosa County. 649 residences (out of the 1110) are in the original evacuation area. The original evacuation area is east of Avalon Boulveard and south of Interstate 10 to the bay coastline. 366 residences (out of the 649) are in the area of greatest concern. The area of greatest concern is east of Avalon Boulevard, south of Interstate 10 and north of Mary Kitchens Road. The Ski Watch subdivision on the north side of Interstate 10 (approximately 30 hours in Ski Watch) is also an area of concern.

EVACUATION ORDERS – UPDATE… Instead of trying to piece together specifics for folks wondering about the evacuation orders, I am going to quote (verbatim) what I am getting from Santa Rosa EMA. The latest note from them I got as of Noon reads: “Everything south of Mary Kitchens Road on Avalon and Garcon Point Road, and on the west side of Avalon is at a level 1 evacuation, meaning they can return to their homes but need to stay aware. Level 1 also extends up to Da Lisa Road. Indian Bayou to Mary Kitchens Road and the houses along Mary Kitchens Road are a level 2 evacuation and may return to home but must be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.”

PLAN OF ACTION THIS AFTERNOON… Quoting from Santa Rosa EMA: “Florida Forest Service crews from throughout the state have been called in to assist with the firefighting efforts. They will focus on improving established containment lines around the fire’s perimeter today in areas both north and south of Interstate 10. They will also conduct structure protection assessments to establish containment lines around homes and neighborhoods that could potentially be threatened by the fire.”

The Santa Rosa County Citizen Information Center is open. Those who have evacuated or who have questions may call 850-983-INFO (4636).

The American Red Cross is managing a shelter at the community center in Milton (5629 Byrom Street), for temporary sheltering. SRC EMA and the local tourism development office is coordinating with local lodging for sheltering that complies with social distancing recommendations.

Evacuated residents who need a place to house livestock may utilize the June Ates Arena/Agri-plex, 8604 Bobby Brown Rd. in Milton. Call Kyle Holley at (850) 390-9808 for instructions.

FIRE FORECAST… The good news for firefighters and all of the folks battling this massive wildfire is that relative humidity levels continue to increase across the local area. In addition, the strong winds out of the north that happened yesterday into last night have subsided considerably. Wind direction will shift from out of the south overnight into Friday ahead of showers and thunderstorms becoming possible in the evening hours.

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.

The video attached is from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences.

I’ll have more updates in the coming hours in the RedZone Weather app. Have a nice Thursday afternoon!

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