The much-anticipated bad weather, including severe storms with wind gusts and possible flooding, made its way to the Wiregrass on Wednesday afternoon and will continue to drench the area through Thursday, forecasters say.
The storm system forced Thursday closings of many area schools, day cares and other programs.
The Dothan/Houston County Emergency Management Agency, along with other Wiregrass EMAs, will monitor the lingering storms that resulted in a flash flood watch to be issued across the Southeast through 8 p.m. Thursday.
With multiple rounds of rain expected across the Florida Panhandle into Southeast Alabama and Southwest Georgia, localized flash flooding is possible, with 3 to 5 inches of rain expected during the two-day period.
After Wednesday’s storms, which were highlighted by strong thunderstorms into the night that created some minor street flooding around Dothan, forecasters predict Thursday’s rain chance at 100% with some severe storms producing wind gusts between 20 and 30 mph.
In addition to possible flash flooding and isolated damaging wind gusts, there is a chance of brief tornadoes.
A severe squall line is expected to develop early Thursday morning across the Florida Panhandle into Southeast Alabama, with the Wiregrass area noticing the impact around daybreak.
The line of storms will rapidly move eastward throughout the day.
Thursday’s high near 70 will give way to cooler temperatures entering the area as the storms move out. The low temperature will dip to the low 40s or high 30s Thursday night.
On Friday, partly cloudy skies will return, with highs in the mid-50s and lows around 35. Saturday and Sunday should be clear with temperatures returning to 70 on Sunday.
If the weather turns severe as this rain system moves through, Chris Judah, Dothan/Houston County EMA director, said that weather sirens will be activated to alert people outside of their homes of severe weather.
“Most weather sirens can’t be heard from inside a home,” he said. “Never depend on a weather siren as your only severe weather alert. However, if you do hear a siren, seek shelter; there is something going on.
“Stay up to date with your local media. Once we receive any updates, we will pass those updates along to our media partners.”
Additional information is available on the EMA website, www.dothanhouston countyema.org.