By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – 11 am September 2, 2018
As you can see from the graphic above, there is an 80% chance of tropical development in the northern Gulf of Mexico sometime between Labor Day and Wednesday. You may see graphics which calls for landfall in Louisiana on Tuesday night or Wednesday, but it is still too early to tell exactly where landfall will occur or the final intensity.
The average 72 hour National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track error is around 100 miles. Why? Because landfall is ultimately dependent on steering conditions from weather systems over land, which are constantly changing. The bottom line is that as of today, this system could make landfall anywhere between Louisiana and northwest Florida, and NOW is the time to become prepared.
What we do know is that life threatening rip currents are likely today throughout much of the week and the surf will be dangerous for all levels of swimmers. Heed the advice of local beach patrol and flag warning systems.
Also, flooding concerns are increasing along the Alabama coast and into the southwest sections of the state due to the heavy rain that has already fallen Friday and Saturday. The forecast, shown in the graphic below, is for widespread 2-4 inches with some areas receiving up to six inches Monday through Wednesday. Depending on how close the system comes to AL, there could be some tornadic activity as well.
Stay up to date with this developing storm and make sure you are prepared for any tropical scenario by Tuesday morning.
For more information on preparation, go to https://www.ready.gov/hurricane-toolkit