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Severe Weather Expected For Week's End

Courtesy of National Weather Service Mobile

Forecasters say strong storms are on tap across the South through Friday. Dangerous rip currents are also in the mix.

Instead of going out like a lamb, March will ride out on potentially severe weather with tornadoes and heavy rain possible in the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama.

“We have a very large upper trough approaching from the west,” said Eric Esbensen, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Mobile. “For the remainder of the week, rain chances will increase significantly, starting on Thursday.”

The Weather Service plans to issue a flash flood watch for northwest Florida and south Alabama, taking effect at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, and running through Friday night. A flood watch means conditions are favorable for possible flash flooding throughout the forecast area.

Those rounds of thunderstorms will also produce the threat of severe weather.

“It’s always a good opportunity to dig out the old disaster plan, and make sure it has what it needs, and make sure you’re prepared for any type of inclement weather that might come our way,” said John Dosh, Escambia County’s Emergency Management Director.

He says it’s essential to monitor potentially violent weather, last month’s tornadoes hitting Century and Pensacola were testaments to that, and that we’re living in a time when it’s never been easier, beginning with a weather radio.

“All the electronics that’s out there and available, with texting, instant messaging, and Facebook – literally hundreds of different pathways to get weather warnings and making sure people are aware,” Dosh said.

Forecaster Eric Esbensen says things should clear up just in time for the weekend and into next week.

“We should have a significant cold front move through, to push all this [precipitation] to the east,” said Esbensen. “We’ll probably have slightly cooler temperatures during the day, with a little bit below seasonal [temperatures] at night.”

There’s also a high risk of rip currents and dangerous surf along the beaches in northwest Florida and south Alabama through Friday morning.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.