The potential for local severe weather and heavy rain next week is highly dependent on the eventual track of Hurricane Harvey as it thunders ashore in Texas, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Mobile.
In a hazardous weather outlook for northwest Florida issued Friday morning, NWS stated: “At this time, confidence is too low in arriving at any specific details as to timing (of possible severe weather).”
The rip current risk for coastal Alabama and northwest Florida beaches will increase over the weekend, depending on the strength of long period swell impacting the coast, NWS stated.
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, and account for over 80 percent of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards, according to the United States Lifesaving Association.
As of 10 a.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that Harvey’s outer rain band has begun swiping Texas coasts. According to NWS, the hurricane’s maximum sustained winds are currently 110 miles per hour with higher gusts.
The National Hurricane Center expects Harvey to bring “catastrophic flooding” across the southern and southeastern portions of the Lone Star State as it makes landfall on the middle Texas coast Friday night or early Saturday.