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As Hurricane Michael churns through the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Rick Scott visited the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center on Monday, for a briefing on the storm. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports Pensacola is under a hurricane warning by the National Hurricane Center.

The Governor was in Pensacola late Monday afternoon, after briefings in Southport and New Port Richey on the 13th named storm of the 2018 season. His repeated message: do whatever it takes to stay safe.

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Michael is expected to strengthen into a Category-2 or 3 storm by the time it hits the Florida Gulf Coast by midweek. A hurricane watch is in effect for the entire Panhandle region.

As of midday Monday, Michael was a Category-1 storm, packing sustained winds of 75 mph about 20 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba. Movement was to the North at seven mph.  Michael is expected to strengthen further -- with winds topping 111 mph by Tuesday night -- before hitting Florida's Panhandle or Big Bend.

While Tropical Storm Gordon has come and gone, it’s leaving behind a soggy legacy in northwest Florida and south Alabama for the next few days. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports.

Gordon and his 70 mile an hour winds — just shy of hurricane strength — made landfall near Pascagoula, Mississippi late Tuesday.

“Most areas over there in the western Florida Panhandle from Pensacola eastward have received 5-8 inches just since the start [Tuesday] evening, and it’s still raining,” says Jack Cullen, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

Subtropical storm Alberto has formed and is churning over the northwestern Caribbean Sea just east of the Yucatan Peninsula. His path is taking him into the Gulf of Mexico.

As of mid-morning, Alberto had top sustained winds of 40 mph and was located 55 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico. Movement is to the north-northeast at six miles an hour.

“It’s not very well organized, hence that’s why call it a ‘sub-tropical storm,’” said Jack Cullen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

National Hurricane Center

The 2018 hurricane season could be getting a two-week head start. Forecasters are watching a system in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Among those keeping tabs is Don Shephard, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile. He describes it as a non-tropical, weak area over the Gulf.

As it begins its trek through Louisiana, Tropical Storm Harvey is being felt across the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama.

Rain and plenty of it, compliments of Harvey, is forecast to inundate the area at least through Thursday across southeast Mississippi, southwest Alabama and northwest Florida.

“We’ve already received in the Pensacola Metro four to six inches; we’ve seen a couple of isolated gauge reports of seven inches,” says meteorologist Jason Beaman at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

While Florida is not in the path of Hurricane Harvey, the storm’s effects could be felt as early as next week, both outdoors and at the gas pump.

Harvey is forecast to strengthen to a Category-3 storm before reaching south or central Texas late Friday night or early Saturday morning,the first hurricane to hit Texas since 2008, when Ike crashed ashore near Galveston killing 21 people in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, and causing widespread destruction.

National Hurricane Center

Torrential rain from Tropical Storm Cindy continues to soak the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama. 

Some areas could see as much as ten inches of rain or more, but there could be some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Thursday is going to more partly sunny, very humid, very breezy with some squalls moving through,” said Meteorologist Jeff Huffman with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. But he adds that Cindy’s calling card is still out there for now.

National Hurricane Center

Closings, detours and advisories are the results of torrential rain that’s pelting northwest Florida – part of the system that is Tropical Storm Cindy.

A flash flood warning is in effect until 6:00 this evening; a tornado watch goes until 7:00 p.m.

“The band of heavy rain continues to come ashore; some of the heaviest rain is now shifting back. After moving to the east, is now moving back a little to the west,” said Jeff Huffman at the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN).

National Weather Service Mobile

Monday’s storms in northwest Florida and south Alabama gave way to fair skies on Tuesday, which are now giving way to another round of storms for Wednesday.

The best rainfall, will be over the Panhandle, probably 2-3 inches, and 2-4 inches in some areas, says Eric Esbensen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile.


It doesn’t happen very often, but the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama could get a taste of Old Man Winter this weekend, as parts further north get hit even harder.

Meteorologists are watching a cold front, part of Winter Storm Helena, that’s forecast to ride the Jet Stream to the South and East later this week, bringing with it a massive amount of cold air.

“[It] will be accompanied by a pretty good chance of precipitation along with it, that we’ll be continuing to monitor over the next couple of days,” says Cody Lindsey at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

Florida Forest Service

Residents in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties are advised to refrain from any type of outdoor burning for the next several days.

It’s getting dry out there.

That’s the word from the Florida Forest Service’s Blackwater Center, thanks to a cold front that’s bringing a change in the weather.

“It will feel like fall; breezy and quite cool,” said Eric Esbensen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile. Daytime temperatures will be in the mid-70s this weekend, with lows in the low- to mid-40s.


   Northwest Florida and south Alabama will continue to swelter this weekend, with the calls going out for residents to protect themselves.

You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know it’s hot and humid outside. But to confirm, here’s Steve Miller at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

“We are looking at heat indices topping out in the 100-105 degree range over most of the area, with a few spots seeing around 110,” said Miller, who added that the cause of the heat and humidity are relatively close by.

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.”

Levi Cowan /

Just over a week after a tornado and high winds inflicted damage on the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama, a repeat performance is on tap.

Damage assessment and cleanup continue in and around Century from last week’s twister, but those efforts may have to be put on hold beginning Tuesday afternoon. Jack Cullen at the National Weather Service in Mobile points to another strong, upper-level storm system.

Courtesy of

The numbers are coming in from Monday’s tornado that hit Century and McDavid. Relief efforts are also being ramped up.

Yes, it was a tornado.

“We’ve given it a preliminary rating of EF3, because of some damage in and around the Century area,” said Doug Butts at the National Weather Service in Mobile. “The way the damage rating system works is that if you have one or two spots of EF3-worthy damage, then the whole track is EF3.

Photo courtesy of

With a little help from their friends, Century residents hit by Monday’s severe storm are beginning to pick up the pieces. An investigation is also underway.

Up to 50 homes and businesses were either damaged or outright destroyed by the winds, which is believed to have been a tornado that touched down in a wooded neighborhood near U.S. 29.

Dosh says commercial and not-for-profit organizations are out working to complete damage assessments, as are the county, Town of Century and various agencies.

The return of winter weather the next few days is opening the doors to cold weather shelters across the Florida Panhandle.

Lows Friday evening are expected to drop to near freezing, and not much of a rise on Saturday night according to Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

“We’re getting a really big chance in the Jet Stream pattern over the central and eastern United States,” says Eversole. “Which is allowing for surges of progressively colder air to move down into the region.”

First City Art Center

Southeastern Escambia County, along with Santa Rosa and Okaloosa, are back under a flash flood warning until 7:30 Thursday evening with more rain is falling on already-saturated grounds.

The warning also covers much of south Alabama, including that state’s Escambia County and southeastern Baldwin County. Brian Daly at the National Weather Service in Mobile says the culprit is a front approaching from Louisiana and Mississippi. It’s part of a larger system in the Midwest – and is expected to move through our area this evening.

Residents in the Florida Panhandle are bracing for another round of thunderstorms packing heavy rainfall due in by late Friday.

Originating in the Plains and the Midwest, the storms are due in northwest Florida and south Alabama on Friday, and will stick around for the weekend. Don Shepherd at the National Weather Service in Mobile says there’s a 30% chance of rain Friday, 50/50 that evening, and 60% on Saturday. The chance of showers Sunday is expected to be 40%.