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ROUGH MORNING ON THE GULF COAST: It has been a long, long night for those that live in Southeast Louisiana, and coastal communities in Mississippi and Alabama. Isaac is drifting very, very slowly to the west/northwest along the LA coast, and fierce bands of rain and wind have been battering the coast from New Orleans to Pensacola. Winds have been gusting to over 50 mph at Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island on a consistent basis overnight. Officials in New Orleans continue to nervously monitor the levees. Multiple tornado warnings have been issued for counties in South Mississippi.
UP THIS WAY: It has been quiet overnight as most of the rain as drawn closer to the center of Isaac. We have a nice east breeze, and the sky is generally cloudy to start the day, although there are breaks in the clouds.
FUTURE OF ISAAC: NHC has adjusted the inland track of Isaac a bit to the west, with the system’s center expected to move to near Shreveport, Fort Smith, and Springfield, MO through Friday. This should keep the most serious issues to the west of us in coming days, although occasional tropical showers are likely.
COASTAL IMPACT: It is likely that a new tornado watch will be issued this morning for much of SE Louisiana and South Mississippi, not sure if Alabama’s coast will be included with Isaac drifting west. And, of course, in addition to the tornado threat, flooding is a serious issue from New Orleans to Mobile with additional rain of 10 inches possible today. Due to Isaac’s slow motion, conditions will be very slow to improve along the coast, but the wind and rain will die down tomorrow on the MS/AL coast as Isaac will be inland and weakening.
INLAND IMPACT: With the westward adjustment of the track, we should in good shape here in North/Central Alabama. The risk of tornadoes is now extremely small tomorrow and Friday, and we can lower the expected rain here to about 1-2 inches between now and Friday. But, we will be in a very humid, tropical airmass with occasional showers today, tomorrow, and Friday. Some thunder is possible as well, especially in areas where the sun breaks through for a while and the air becomes unstable. The most widespread should be tomorrow with Isaac due west of here. Highs will stay in the 80s.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: This is opening week… and there are games both Thursday and Friday night. For North/Central Alabama, showers are possible both nights, but it won’t be a widespread rain, so I think most schools will be able to get the games in. Also, there should not be much thunder and lightning, although it is not out of the question. But clearly bring the rain gear.
TRAVEL WEATHER: We do not expect any delays at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport this week (at least, weather related), and driving by car through Alabama should be safe, although it will be wet at times. The exception, of course, is over Mobile and Baldwin Counties today, where flooding is a big issue.
For those driving to Dallas for Saturday’s Alabama/Michigan game, if you are leaving today or tomorrow be aware you will drive through heavy rain and squalls associated with Isaac… just have a good radio source dialed in so you can hear flash flood and tornado warnings if they are needed, but if you stay along I-20 you should be fine. The drive to Atlanta for Saturday’s Auburn game won’t be a problem.
LABOR DAY WEEKEND: We are forecasting a mix of sun and clouds Saturday through Monday with the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms each day. No wash-out, but just keep in mind it will rain at times over the holiday weekend. Highs should be in the 87-90 degree range.
Down on the Gulf Coast, expect about 5 to 7 hours of sunshine each day this weekend with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, much like our weather here. Highs on the coast over the weekend should be in the upper 80s.
KIRK IS ON THE BOARD: A new tropical storm formed in the Atlantic yesterday, but this is a recurving storm and is no threat to land. Another wave is over the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa that has come chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in coming days. See the Weather Xtreme video for the details and graphics.
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 3:30 or so this afternoon…. enjoy the day, and stay tuned to the blog for Isaac updates…
Category: Alabama's Weather