Great Weather for Alabama; Major Hurricane Ian Tampa Bound
FANTASTIC FALL WEATHER: No threat of rain for Alabama most of this week as each day will feature pleasant afternoons with highs in the mid to upper 70s, and splendid nights with lows mostly in the 50s. We will mention breezy conditions at times through the week, and especially by the end of the week due to the pressure gradient wind field around approaching Hurricane Ian. Now much of Alabama is under a Fire Weather Watch as the combination of breezy conditions and very low humidity will increase our fire dangers the next few days. Please no outdoor burning!!!
ALL EYES ON HURRICANE IAN: Ian continues to rapidly intensify this morning and is now a major hurricane. At 500 AM EDT, the center of Hurricane Ian was located
near latitude 22.3 North, longitude 83.7 West. Ian is moving toward the north near 12 mph, and this motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north-northeast with a reduction in forward speed is forecast tonight and Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move over western Cuba during the next few hours. Ian will then emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico later this morning, pass west of the Florida Keys later today, and approach the west coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday and Wednesday night. This system will likely have devastating impacts on the Tampa Bay area.
Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph with higher gusts. Ian is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in strength is expected while Ian moves over Cuba. Strengthening is expected later this morning after Ian emerges over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida has a major hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 952 mb (28.12 inches).
The core of this system will stay well east of Alabama. We will mention the eastern half of Alabama could see some rain from the remnants of the system by late Friday and Saturday, but there is a real chance the rain will remain east of Alabama. It all depends on Ian’s track. Alabama and the Central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach) will remain on the dry, offshore flow side of the circulation (the west side with a north wind). There could be some rain for extreme Southeast Alabama and possibly areas as far west as Panama City Beach, but the big impact in terms of surge, heavy rain, and a tornado threat will be along and east of the circulation center, well to the east of Panama City Beach. The core concern is the Florida Peninsula, not the Panhandle.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: At this point it looks like the rain shield associated with Ian will stay east of Alabama over Georgia and the Carolinas. Some rain is possible for communities near the Georgia border Friday and Saturday, but most of the state will be dry with a high in the upper 70s with breezy conditions. Sunday looks like a beautiful day with ample sunshine along with a high in the low 80s. Things look good for race weekend at Talladega. The dry weather will likely continue next week; we see no major rain event for the state for the next 7-10 days.
Have an exceptional Tuesday!!!