If you were headed to the beach this week, you will need to re-think your plans. While today does mark the official first day of summer, a major storm system is developing in the gulf and several beaches are already closed in anticipation of heavy rains and possible flooding.
The National Weather Service is calling this disturbance Potential Tropical Cyclone Three and issued a tropical storm warning for part of the Louisiana coast.
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Alabama’s coast might also be affected, prompting Governor to take action before the storm’s arrival.
“To ensure the state of Alabama is prepared, I have issued a State of Emergency effective today. This State of Emergency will guarantee state resources are on standby and are ready to assist impacted communities if necessary,” the governor said in a statement.
Double red flag warnings are up at many of the popular gulf beaches including Panama City Beach, South Walton, Destin, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach due to warnings from the NWS about dangerous rip currents already reported along the panhandle. Double red flags mean the beach is technically open but the water is off limits. It is probably best to not be near the beach at all.
"Tropical systems get ranked based on their wind strength, but what poses far greater danger is the water. Rain, storm surge, and wave action is a greater public risk. The rip currents stirred up by this large system makes it too dangerous for swimmers to venture in the water, " Rob Marciano, Senior Meteorologist for ABC News told Southern Living.
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The NWS is also predicting that the risk of heavy rainfall and flash flooding will reach far and wide across the south.
So if you were planning a beach trip, it is probably best to postpone. If you live in these areas, stay inside if you can. It’s the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and wait out the storm.