By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Even with three ongoing systems in the Atlantic as of September 21st, the good news is that none of these will affect Alabama.
However, hurricane season doesn’t end until November 30th, and if you look at climatology, the “peak” of hurricane activity runs from mid-August through late October. So, let’s rejoice that our state is in the clear right now, but remain alert as we still have a ways to go before the season ends.
In looking back at Irma, the storm weakened rapidly once it moved across Georgia and Alabama on September 11-12. Even though Tropical Storm force winds (sustained winds of at least 39 mph) did not occur across east AL, wind gusts of 40-50 mph did occur, which resulted in numerous trees blown over. In addition, as you can see from the graph below, widespread 1-4 inches of rain occurred. Fortunately, no major flash flooding was reported.
Even with how “weak” Irma was once it entered AL, it still produced damage and torrential rain. This is why we always need to keep in mind, “It doesn’t take a major storm to produce major impacts.”