By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Thursday, 3:30 pm June 1, 2023
It’s officially the first day of Hurricane Season and a tropical depression has already form. This system is forecast to become a tropical storm tonight or Friday. This proves the point that the Gulf is a favored region for tropical development in June and continuing into the fall.
Storms in the Gulf early in the season can form and intensify quickly, potentially leaving little time before landfall. That’s why NOW is the time to prepare for the hurricane season. This system, fairly close to the Gulf Coast, went from a forecast 20% chance of tropical development to a tropical depression in 14 hours.
Fortunately, the current system will begin moving southward on Friday with no significant impacts to Alabama.
A lot of people don’t take tropical storms and some hurricanes seriously. “It’s just a Tropical Storm” or “It’s only a Category 1”, are common statements. The category and the actual impacts are significantly different.
Tropical Storms and Category 1-5 Hurricanes are defined by wind speeds only. However, there are many other impacts such as storm surge near the coast with both flooding and tornadoes that can occur well inland affecting anyone in Alabama.
So, hopefully you will go to the following website and learn more about developing a plan and being prepared for this coming season at https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness