By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – As of 6 am CDT Thursday, October 5th, computer models are coming into much better agreement, and unfortunately, have shifted the system westward, likely putting Alabama on the east side of the storm with greater impacts.
The current forecast calls for landfall on Sunday between southeast LA and the Florida peninsula as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph and gusts to 90 mph. The forecast cone is where the expected center of the storm will be, NOT where the actual weather impacts will occur. Actual impacts (wind, heavy rain and potential tornadoes) occur well outside the forecast cone.
The second graphic indicates the earliest arrival time of tropical storm winds (greater than 39 mph), which would be after 5 pm Saturday to the AL coast. However, impacts to the southern third of the state could occur anytime on Saturday as precipitation chances increase well north of the center of circulation, with periods of heavy rain and isolated tornadoes. Increasing swells along area beaches along with minor coastal flooding and high rip currents are also likely.
The system remains a tropical storm while moving through north Alabama, which will likely produce some downed trees and power outages across the state, as well as a risk for isolated tornadoes.
2-4 inches of rain with isolated higher amounts is forecast across much of the state, but widespread flash flooding is not anticipated.
This is a quick moving storm and all weather impacts will likely end by Monday morning.
Please continue to monitor this developing situation, and be aware that very quick preparation may be necessary, especially near the coast.
This article was posted October 5, 2017 at 8:07 AM CST.