October can be a pretty bland weather month: little rain, few wild temperature swings. It’s usually quiet unless something unusual happens! A Tropical cyclone in the Gulf during the month of October would be unusual, but it’s not unheard. The last time Alabama felt a major impact from an October tropical cyclone: Hurricane Opal made landfall in Florida on October 4, 1995.
Our next chance of rain will come from a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico. The forecast from Saturday through next Tuesday depends heavily on what that wave does.
The National Hurricane Center is giving this disturbance a 60% chance of development over the next 5 days. It likely spins up into a tropical depression or tropical storm sometime this weekend as it moves into the Central Gulf.
This storm appears to be heading for the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday then north-northeast across Alabama and Georgia into East Tennessee and the Carolinas early next week.
The exact track will control how much rainy, windy weather we get here in the Tennessee Valley region. If the track is more to the south and east, we’ll get some scattered showers and a north breeze.
If it is a bit west of us, that could be a game-changer: heavy rain, gusty winds, and a threat of severe storms. A few miles will make a big difference, so expect some adjustments to the forecast this weekend through Monday.