DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Happy Friday morning everyone! We are waking up to warmer temperatures across the region compared to yesterday, as well as higher humidity values and dewpoints. This is thanks to a shift in our winds to a more southerly flow, which has brought our dewpoints back to a more seasonable 70 degrees give or take across most spots this morning. We have also remained dry across the Wiregrass so far as well. This will change this afternoon, as scattered showers and storms are expected to develop and move across the region, with highs only getting to the upper 80s as opposed to the 90s we saw for most of the week.
Our big weather story, however, is what will happen this weekend thanks to a developing tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center has started issuing tropical storm warnings along the Gulf coast extending from south central LA to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in the FL panhandle due to potential Tropical Cyclone Three, currently located in the central Gulf. It is expected that this system will organize enough to become Tropical Storm Claudette sometime early this afternoon, and will continue tracking northward, where it is expected to make landfall as a weak tropical storm with winds at 45 mph somewhere in south central or southeastern LA early Saturday morning. Following its landfall, this potential tropical cyclone is expected to gradually weaken as it moves inland across southern MS Saturday afternoon and accelerate to the northeast as a remnant low/tropical depression through central AL and into north GA on Sunday.
What does this mean for our area? Well, since we are on the eastern side of this tropical cyclone as it makes landfall and moves inland, we can expect heavy rain across much of the Wiregrass beginning late tonight and continuing throughout much of the day on Saturday and possibly into Sunday as well. The general consensus is showing between 3-7″ of rain for our area, with isolated amounts higher than that possible as well. Therefore, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of our viewing area through Sunday evening. If you are out on the roads this weekend and you encounter a flooded roadway, remember to turn around and don’t drown! In addition to the threat for heavy rain and flash flooding, there is also the concern for some gusty winds to tropical storm force strength and possibly isolated tornadoes. Make sure to stay weather aware this weekend, especially if you have Father’s Day plans!
After this system moves away from the southeastern US, we will stay locked into a southerly flow, meaning our chances for rain will remain pretty high, especially as a cold front moves towards our area during the early to middle part of the work week, keeping our high temperatures well below average for this time of year in the low to mid 80s.