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Rain on horizon for rest of week

Covington County EMA director Susan Carpenter said it is the time of year for “popcorn showers” in Covington County, especially after the National Weather Service in Mobile released a forecast predicting at least some rain every day until next Wednesday.

“It’s not going to be anything very major,” she said. “Just those ‘popcorn showers’ that creep up in the afternoon and are gone quickly a few minutes later. The only real problem we could see is some heavy lightning, but other than that there’s not much to worry about.”

The NWS’s local forecast for the remainder of the week predicts at least a 20 percent chance of rain each day, and no high temperatures above 90 degrees.

Carpenter said that even though no severe weather is expected, people still need to use common sense if they are planning to travel on the roads either during rain showers or after heavy rains.

“Just always be prepared,” she said. “Whether it’s a dirt road or a paved road, if you suspect there’s danger and you can’t pass, then turn around and find a different route. Be sure to call it in to the county so they can send somebody out to work on the road or bridge and make it safe again.”

The hurricane season began June 1, and so far there have been no “named storms” on the Atlantic or Gulf coasts. Carpenter said the NWS is currently watching two tropical waves in the Atlantic Ocean, which could later form into larger storms.

It is not unusual for a hurricane season to be quiet early. In 1992, the first named storm did not begin to form until Aug. 16. Hurricane Andrew reached shore on Aug. 24 and became the costliest storm in U.S. history.

“A lot of times we might get complacent and not stay prepared because it’s been so quiet,” Carpenter said. “But it’s very important to always have your hurricane kits ready, and have some way of getting information in the event of an emergency.”

According to the NWS, the first major storm for 2009 will be named Ana.