**NOAA AND AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FIND THAT NATE IS A LITTLE STRONGER OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO**
NEW INFORMATION —————
* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: – None
* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: –
Storm Surge Warning and Hurricane Warning are in effect for Baldwin Central, Baldwin Coastal, Baldwin Inland, Mobile Central, Mobile Coastal, and Mobile Inland
Storm Surge Warning, Tropical Storm Warning, and Hurricane Watch are in effect for Escambia Coastal, Okaloosa Coastal, and Santa Rosa Coastal – A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect for Escambia Inland, Okaloosa Inland, and Santa Rosa Inland – A Hurricane Warning is in effect for George and Stone
Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Greene, Monroe, Perry, Washington, Wayne, and Wilcox
* STORM INFORMATION: – About 340 miles south of Mobile AL or about 330 miles south of Pensacola FL – 25.7N 88.0W – Storm Intensity 85 mph – Movement North-northwest or 340 degrees at 22 mph
SITUATION OVERVIEW —————— Hurricane Nate now has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. Hurricane Nate will continue moving northward towards the north central Gulf coast region today and brings a quick hit to our area tonight into Sunday.
Nate`s impacts will likely be quite significant. Impacts include storm surge inundation, wind, rainfall and tornadoes. Winds will abruptly increase this evening into Sunday morning. At least some power outages, possibly widespread near where Nate`s center passes, are likely across the region by early Sunday morning. The highest winds will occur across southwest Alabama and southeast Mississippi.
Storm surge inundation of 5 to 9 feet, possibly as high as 10 feet, is forecast around the Mobile Bay region and Alabama barrier islands. Storm surge inundation of 2 to 5 feet, possibly as high as 6 feet, are forecast across the western Florida Panhandle. Local water rises could be sudden and recession slow in the two days following Nate`s passage.
Nate will also bring the potential for heavy rainfall to the area with 3 to 6″ of rainfall with totals as high as 8″ (especially along and west of I-65) beginning late this morning and continuing through Sunday. Tornadoes will also be possible beginning this afternoon and continuing into Sunday. Please do not underestimate the tornado potential with this event. Our area is classically located in a favorable region for tornado production with respect to Nate`s center. Tropical related tornadoes often spin up quickly and strike with little or no warning.
POTENTIAL IMPACTS —————–
* SURGE: Protect against life-threatening surge having possible extensive impacts across the Mobile Bay region and Mobile and Baldwin County barrier islands.
Potential impacts in this area include:
– Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period.
– Large sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary roads washed out or severely flooded. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. – Severe beach erosion with significant dune loss.
– Major damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. Many small craft broken away from moorings, especially in unprotected anchorages with some lifted onshore and stranded.
Storm surge inundation impacts are forecast to be 5 to 9 feet and possibly up to 10 feet across southwest Alabama. Storm surge inundation impacts are forecast to be 3 to 5 feet and possibly up to 6 feet across the western Florida Panhandle. The main thing here is to continue to watch the trends as the forecast changes.
* WIND: Protect against dangerous wind having possible significant impacts roughly along and west of I-65 and closer to the coast, especially close to where Nate`s center tracks.
Potential impacts in this area include:
– Considerable roof damage to sturdy buildings, with some having window, door, and garage door failures leading to structural damage. Mobile homes severely damaged, with some destroyed. Damage accentuated by airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks.
– Many large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over.
– Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places.
– Large areas with power and communications outages. Also, protect against hazardous wind having possible limited impacts further east of I-65 and further inland.
* FLOODING RAIN: Protect against locally hazardous rainfall flooding having possible limited impacts across portions of southwest Alabama…northwest Florida…south central Alabama…and inland southeast Mississippi..
Potential impacts include:
– Localized rainfall flooding may prompt a few evacuations.
– Rivers and tributaries may quickly rise with swifter currents. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become swollen and overflow in spots.
– Flood waters can enter a few structures, especially in usually vulnerable spots. A few places where rapid ponding of water occurs at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Several storm drains and retention ponds become near-full and begin to overflow. Some brief road and bridge closures.
* TORNADOES: Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across portions of southwest Alabama…northwest Florida…south central Alabama…and inland southeast Mississippi..
Potential impacts include:
– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events.
– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions.
– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.
* OTHER COASTAL HAZARDS: A high rip current risk will persist leading up to Nate and a few days after passage due to northward moving swell energy that will keep the risk very elevated. Please do not go in the water immediately after Nate`s passage!
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS ———————————-
* EVACUATIONS: If evacuating the area, stick to prescribed evacuation routes. Look for additional traffic information on roadway smart signs and listen to select radio channels for further travel instructions. Drivers should not use cell phones while operating vehicles. If evacuating away from the area or relocating to a nearby shelter, leave early before weather conditions become hazardous.
* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: Outside preparations should be wrapped up as soon as possible before weather conditions completely deteriorate. Any remaining evacuations and relocations should be expedited before the onset of tropical storm force wind. Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life. Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Remember, during the storm 9 1 1 Emergency Services may not be able to immediately respond if conditions are unsafe. This should be a big factor in your decision making. Keep cell phones well charged and handy. Also, cell phone chargers for automobiles can be helpful after the storm. Locate your chargers and keep them with your cell phone.
* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: – For the latest detailed evacuation and shelter information…please refer to your local emergency management agency at the phone number or website listed below. – Coastal Alabama: – Baldwin County: 251-972-6807 or www.baldwincountyal.gov/departments/EMA – Mobile County: 251-460-8000 or www.mcema.net – Northwest Florida: – Escambia County: 850-471-6400 or bereadyescambia.com – Santa Rosa County: 850-983-5360 www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency – Okaloosa County: 850-651-7150 or www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/ps/home – For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov – For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org
NEXT UPDATE ———– The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather Service in Mobile AL around 11 AM CDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.