By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Monday, 800 am August 28, 2023
Scattered to numerous showers are forecast statewide today, and a few storms could produce wind gusts from 40-60 mph, hail up to quarter size, and very heavy rainfall between 2 pm and 10 pm. However, widespread severe weather will not occur.
Tropical Storm Idalia will become a hurricane by this afternoon, moving northward then northeastward, making landfall somewhere from just east of Apalachicola to Sarasota Wednesday morning. Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect for this region.
Currently, other than increased chance of rip currents along the Alabama coast, no impacts are expected. There is less than a 10% chance of sustained winds of at least 39 mph for the coast and far southeastern sections of the state. Still, we are two days away from landfall, so this will continue to be monitored closely for any shift in the track forecasts.
Idalia will be moving over extremely warm waters with little wind shear during the next couple of days which will aid in significant strengthening up until landfall. The current forecast at landfall is for a Category 3 (major) hurricane with sustained winds of at least 115 mph.
Even though Alabama appears to be outside of direct impacts from Idalia, this is a reminder we have a long way to go before hurricane season ends. If you haven’t done so already, NOW is the time to prepare, even in inland areas. A one-stop shop for being prepared before, during, and after a storm can be found at: National Hurricane Preparedness | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov)