Wet and Windy Weather

by Pat David

Talk about a wild week of weather! As the storm system moved through the Mobile Bay area we experienced some (relatively) high winds. Our ARCOS network stations recorded winds topping out at over 78 miles per hour (MPH) at Battleship Park.

(And according to the National Weather Service - Mobile we are due for another front. Be safe!)

Here were the top speeds across the network:

ARCOS top winds map

Station Speed (knots) Speed (MPH)
Battleship Park Station 68.1 78.4
Meaher Park 36.7 42.2
Cedar Point 37.9 43.6
Middle Bay Lighthouse 39.8 45.8
Katrina Cut 38.6 44.4
Dauphin Island 34.9 40.1
Bon Secour 37.2 42.8
Perdido Pass 25.2 29.0

Wonderfully, due to upgrades to the network to increase resiliency, none of the stations went offline. (In the event any of the stations did get damaged, the network hardening included backup components and staff ready to spring into action.)

The network continued to report real-time data throughout the storm allowing us to monitor conditions as they progressed.

For example, here are the graphs for the new Battleship Park station.

Battleship Park Station

The air temperature showed a clear buildup as the barometric pressure steadily dropped through the evening of the 8th and into the next morning. There was a clear drop in temperature as the front passed over us (around 4:00 a.m.) that roughly coincides with the barometric pressure levelling off and the wind speed dying down.

The wind during the day of the 8th was already up around 20 knots until around 8 p.m. when it roughly doubled over a six minute interval (see the graph above at 20:00).

Rain continued through the evening and early morning hours at a steady pace until around 4:00 a.m. as the temperature dropped and the wind died down we saw about 0.7 inches of rain fall over an hour.


I was curious about how common these high-wind events might be during the month of January. Initially, I was thinking it might be uncommon but a quick query of the historical ARCOS data back to 2010 showed that perhaps it isn’t.

The average of the reporting station maximums in the month of January for each year show that, while higher than previous years, it’s not uncommon to see some high wind events this time of the year.


The Dauphin Island Sea Lab operates multiple environmental data monitoring stations across Mobile Bay and the Alabama Coast. Collectively, they are known as the Alabama’s Real-Time Coastal Observing System (ARCOS).

We provide this data to the public and stakeholders live on our website and include many different interactive graphs and views of the current environmental conditions throughout our region. Thanks to the support of the Alabama Center of Excellence, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), and our partners we are able to provide and maintain this service.

Head to our website and see your live Mobile Bay conditions!