Hurricane Ida expected to have some impacts on The Panhandle

Weather Forecasts

Ending out the workweek, we have another pretty pleasant day on our hands. Temperatures reaching to lower 90s, a few showers and storms around this evening, and easterly breezes helping the air feel a little more comfortable. For the rest of the weekend, the Gulf Coast will be on the watch for Tropical Storm Ida.

This OES-16 East GeoColor satellite image taken Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, at 10:20 p.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Ida in the Caribbean Sea. Tropical Storm Ida formed in the Caribbean on Thursday and forecasters said its track was aimed at the U.S. Gulf Coast, prompting Louisiana’s governor to declare a state of emergency and forecasters to announce a hurricane watch for New Orleans. (NOAA via AP)

Impacts & Timing:

SATURDAY – Morning conditions will be pretty typical with the chances for a few unrelated showers and storms. Throughout the early and mid-afternoon, winds out of the south and east will steadily increase, with sustained readings from 10-20 mph, and gusts nearing 30 mph or above. There will also be increased chances for showers and storms through the afternoon and evening hours, with about 80-90% of the Panhandle experiencing some sort of rainfall from 3 PM- 9 PM. Drier overnight. Precipitation totals could be significant within isolated storms, but widespread rain accumulations will not be of worry just yet. A special rip current risk goes into effect in the evening.

SUNDAY – Tropical Storm Ida will be intensifying into a major hurricane throughout the beginning of Sunday, with landfall on the SE coast of Lousiana sometime Sunday afternoon. Indirect impacts will increase across our area, will include increased swell, wind, and rainfall. Wave heights off the coast could be 10-12 ft, with the shoreline likely to be closed. Sustained winds will remain out of the south and east most of the day, from 15-25 mph, gusts up to 30-35 mph, maybe greater towards the coastline. Chances for rainfall will increase, with the potential for outer bands to come ashore in our area. There may be a few short-lived tornadoes within those bands. The western stretches of our coastline could see 1-3″ of widespread rain. Central and eastern portions of the Panhandle should stay under 1″, but localized areas could record a bit more. Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties have the potential to see 1-3′ or inundation or storm surge. Flash flooding will be a risk throughout the region, after a much wetter pattern here in the last 10 days.

MONDAY thru WEDNESDAY – What will be Hurricane Ida, is expected to decrease in intensity as it moves into Louisiana early Monday morning. The Panhandle will continue its watch for showers, storms, and potential tornadic activity for the morning hours as well. Our far western counties could receive an additional couple inches of rainfall throughout Monday, while our eastern end feels lesser impacts of the rain. Through Tuesday and Wednesday, our area will continue to see general chances for showers and storms each day, as the system heads into western Tennessee. Winds gradually calm, but the continued onshore flow will keep the shoreline dangerous through Wednesday, maybe Thursday.

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