Chances of Tropical Development in Gulf of Mexico Increasing

By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency

CLANTON – 8 am September 1, 2018

For those enjoying the Alabama Gulf coast this Labor Day weekend, unfortunately, there will be a lot of cloud cover and periods of showers and thunderstorms. Also, life threatening rip currents are likely and the surf will be dangerous for all levels of swimmers. Heed the advice of local beach patrol and flag warning systems.

Tropical Storm Florence well off the African coast will move northwest during the next five days, and forecast models keep the system well away from the US coast through the next 10 days.

Of bigger concern is the “X” in the graphic above showing the center of a tropical wave that will move northwest into the Gulf of Mexico Monday or Tuesday. There is a 10% chance of tropical formation during the next 48 hours and 40% chance between Monday and Wednesday.

Regardless of formation, very heavy rain will occur, but where is unclear at this point. The current forecast continues to predict total rainfall between 3-5 inches with possible higher amounts by the end of next week along the immediate AL coast.

As the current National Hurricane Center forecast indicates, conditions do appear favorable for the development of a low pressure system, with the possibility of landfall sometime between late Tuesday and Thursday in the central Gulf coast region. Confidence of the system’s ultimate strength or where landfall will occur is still very uncertain right now.

Make sure you review your action plan this weekend and be prepared for any tropical scenario by the middle part of next week.

For more information on preparation, go to


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