By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – 12 pm August 30, 2018 As if on cue, the Atlantic tropical activity has begun to increase. This is not a surprise, as the climatological peak of the hurricane season is from now until mid October. As you can see from the graphic above, a tropical disturbance off the African coast will likely become a tropical storm on Friday and a hurricane late Saturday night or early Sunday.
It is too soon to tell exactly where this storm will end up, but even in a week it will still be well off the US coast. However, there may be a disturbance forming next week somewhere near Florida/Cuba. This is shown in the graphic below which is a forecast model valid at 1 pm Tuesday. The area of concern is the gray shaded region.
It is unclear today if this system will form into a tropical storm or hurricane, or where the highest impacts will be, as it moves west or west-northwest Tuesday-Thursday of next week. At a minimum, very heavy rain will occur regardless of development, and if over land, could cause flash flooding.
Another concern is that if it forms rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico, there would likely be only 1-3 days before it made landfall. In other words, there could be little time between development and landfall. That’s why everyone needs to begin now to look at your action plan and be prepared by the middle part of next week.
For more information on preparation, go to https://www.ready.gov/hurricane-toolkit.