Tropical Storm Karen is in the southern Gulf of Mexico, packing sustained winds of 60 mph….
There isn’t much change from the long discussion I posted early this morning. Some notes…
*Most of the day Saturday should be dry for the northern two-thirds of Alabama, with only widely scattered showers.
*Conditions will begin to deteriorate along the Alabama Gulf Coast early Saturday, with increasing wind and rain by Saturday afternoon and Saturday night from Dauphin Island to Gulf Shores and over to Pensacola.
*We do NOT expect Karen to be a hurricane at the time of landfall as the system will encounter cooler ocean water and increasing shear. Sustained winds at the time of landfall should be in the 40-60 mph range. While this could knock down a few trees, it won’t cause any really serious structural damage.
*For North/Central Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Gadsden), the bulk of the rain will come Saturday night into Sunday.
*The heaviest rain in Alabama should be south and east of a line from Mobile to Montgomery to Roanoke; amounts of 1-2 inches are likely, with heavier totals in spots. On the immediate coast, amounts of 4-6 inches are possible. Rain amounts will be much lighter over the northwest part of the state.
*Remember, however, that tropical systems like this are often not very symmetric, and it can be hard to define the axis of really heavy rain in advance.
*The greatest risk of isolated tornadoes in rain bands rotating around the tropical storm will be near the coast, and over the southern quarter of Alabama Saturday night and Sunday. The risk of a tornado over the northern half of Alabama Sunday for now looks pretty small.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the Alabama/Georgia State game at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday (11:21a CT kickoff), clouds will increase, but for now we will mention only an outside risk of a brief shower during the game (best chance of widespread rain comes after the final whistle). Around 80 at kickoff, with low 80s possible by the second half.
Auburn will host Ole Miss at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday evening (6:00p CT kickoff); this is a very tough call now due to the uncertainty with the tropical system. I can see a situation where there could be no rain at all, or a situation where a steady, soaking rain could become a problem. It all depends on the track of “Karen”; for now I will mention just a chance of rain during the game. Plan on taking the rain gear, and keep your fingers crossed the big rains come in late Saturday night after the game is over.
UAB has a home game against Florida Atlantic (2:00p CT kickoff) at Legion Field; the sky will be cloudy, and for now the risk of really significant rain looks rather small, although a brief shower is certainly possible. Temperatures will be in the low 80s at kickoff.
More later this afternoon….