By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON –8 am October 8, 2018
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the counties in red, shown in the graphic above. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the counties in purple. Right now, the main impacts for Alabama are expected south of I85 and east of I65, but this could change.
Nearly all forecast models shifted Michael westward Sunday night. It is still possible a westward shift could continue and if so, the rain/wind/storm surge impacts would also shift westward across the state, with even higher impacts in the southern sections.
Michael is forecast to make landfall Wednesday afternoon or evening in the Florida Panhandle close to major hurricane strength (winds at or above 111 mph). Tropical storm force winds (39 – 73 mph) extend 175 miles from the center.
The main sustained wind impacts to Alabama will be from around noon Wednesday until 4 am Thursday morning. However, tropical storm force wind gusts in rain feeder bands could begin as early as Tuesday evening. All preparedness activities need to be completed by sunset Tuesday.
For more information on an action plan, go to: https://www.ready.gov/hurricane-toolkit
2-5 inches total rainfall is expected in southeast AL with some spots potentially receiving double this amount. The bulk of the rain will occur from Tuesday evening into early Thursday morning.
For those at the beach, life threatening Rip Currents are likely through at least Thursday night. Make sure to heed the advice of local beach patrols and flag warning systems.