FIRST ALERT UPDATE: The tropical system over the Gulf of Mexico is becoming better organized this morning and there is a good chance this will be a named Tropical Storm very soon. The water in the Gulf of Mexico is plenty warm and this will continue to fuel the developing tropical system, which may become a high end tropical storm or hurricane by landfall. We’re still anticipating a north and northeast turn tomorrow and the system will be on track to make a landfall along the Gulf Coast of Florida late Thursday. Over the next two days the system will churn up the Gulf with a risk of rip currents that will include the Alabama Gulf Coast.
So the question remains, where will landfall occur? There is a model spread that includes areas as far west as Panama City, and areas east to Tampa. I’m thinking the more likely landfall point will be in the Big Bend area of Florida, east of Apalachicola. The system should cross Florida quickly with improving weather just in time for Labor Day weekend.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT: The tropical system, in a more indirect way, will help provide some humidity relief in the longer range forecast. However, we will have no major impacts based on the current forecast track. In fact, most areas will remain dry through the rest of the week. We could see a stray afternoon shower or storm today, tomorrow, and possibly on Thursday. Otherwise, look for periods of sunshine with highs in the 90s. The easterly breeze is helping out, especially in the shaded areas! The breezy weather will likely continue through the end of the week as the tropical system passes to our south.
THE WEEKEND: An east to northeast flow will remain in place this weekend as the tropical system races out into the Atlantic. This should bring us a refreshing break in the mugginess across the area. Highs will be in the 80s, with lows in the mid 60s by Sunday morning. The weekend will also be dry, with sunny weather lingering into next week.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Tide fans traveling to Texas can expect dry weather for Saturday, with highs nearing 90° for the outdoor tailgate. Auburn fans may have a stray shower or storm in the area Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, the forecast looks mostly dry for the evening game.
OTHER TROPICAL DEVELOPMENTS: Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Outer Banks of North Carolina. TD#8 could soon become a tropical storm and this system will impact the region today and tonight. Hurricane Gaston remains over the central Atlantic and continues to move away from the United States. I am watching another tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic near Africa. This system could become better organized as it enters the western Atlantic in about 5 days. We’ll keep you posted!