By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Sunday, 8:00 am August 27, 2023
Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are forecast statewide today through Tuesday, and depending on the track of Tropical Depression 10, potentially Wednesday into Thursday.
Due to how unstable the atmosphere is across Alabama, a few storms anywhere in the state could produce damaging wind gusts and hail to quarter size during the afternoon and early evening hours today and Monday. However, widespread severe weather is not expected. On Tuesday, atmospheric instability is forecast to decrease which will decrease the severe weather threat.
Tropical Depression 10 is forecast to become Tropical Storm Idalia later today and a hurricane on Tuesday. Current landfall projections are that the system will be close to Category 2 strength somewhere between Destin and Tampa. If landfall is on the east side of the cone, it would occur late Tuesday night or early Wednesday. If on the west side, it would be Wednesday morning or early afternoon. The track forecast remains fairly low in confidence right now.
According to the NHC, “there’s a notable risk of rapid intensification while the system moves across the record warm eastern and northeastern Gulf of Mexico…”
For areas generally south of I-85 and east of I-65:
The official NWS forecasts are for wind gusts from 15-30 mph beginning early Wednesday and lasting through the afternoon hours. As shown in the graphic below, there is a 5-30% chance of sustained tropical storm-force winds for sections of the state with the earliest arrival time Tuesday evening. Total forecast rainfall from today through Wednesday is 1-3 inches, with locally higher amounts possible. These forecasts will likely change as we get closer to landfall.
As a reminder, the forecast cone of uncertainty represents where the center of circulation is currently forecast. Actual impacts most often occur well outside these areas.
It’s important you keep up to date with the latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center (nhc.noaa.gov).
If you haven’t done so already, NOW is the time to prepare, even if in inland areas. A one-stop shopping for being prepared before, during and after a storm can be found at: National Hurricane Preparedness | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov)