Shark attacks along Gulf Coast uncommon, not unheard of

June 9th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by under FOX10 News, Newsgathered

As reports of sharks swimming in the Alabama Gulf Coast started flowing in to FOX10 News, we dug deeper to see the history of shark attacks in the area. In Alabama, in the past 12 years, five people have been attacked by sharks; none of the attacks have been fatal.

Alabama shark attacks

This graphic shows the number of shark attacks in Alabama since 2001, along with the fatalities resulting from those attacks.

Florida Shark Attacks

This graphic shows the number of shark attacks in Florida since 2001, along with the fatalities resulting from those attacks.

In Florida waters, the story is different, of nearly 300 shark attacks there since 2001, three have been fatal. As for the other Gulf States, Texas has seen 18 attacks with no deaths. Louisiana  and Mississippi don’t appear in data released by the International Shark Attack File, a project housed on the Florida Museum of Natural History website.

Shark attacks by coastal area of states

Shark attacks by coastal area of states

Since 2001, of 477 people attacked by sharks in the most active areas in the US, 12 have died.

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, the largest amount of the lower 48 states. Similarly, states with a greater amount of coastline are the source of the greatest number of shark attacks. Since 1837, records of unprovoked shark attacks show that Florida has seen the greatest number of attacks, at 687 followed by Hawaii (129) and California (110).

Shark attacks nationally

Shark attacks across the entire country between 2001-13.

The data show attacks are more common on Florida’s Atlantic coast than in Northwest Florida counties, i.e. those along the Gulf of Mexico. Of attacks there since 1882, Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Walton and Monroe counties account for 18 of them, and two fatalities.


Most recently, in 2010, a surfer was killed off the Atlantic Coast of Martin County, Fla.

The latest fatality in Florida’s Gulf waters occurred in Walton County in 2005 when a 14-year-old  girl was killed while using a boogie board around 200 yards offshore near the Sandestin resort, according to CNN.

Alabama’s most recent shark attack was on an Orange Beach man who was riding a wave runner.

In 2011, FOX10 News reported on that attack. Officials there initially blamed it on a barracuda, but later said that a shark attacked the rider who had fallen off into the water. Watch the videos below for more info.

Newsgathered: Florian brothers’ tragic drowning, repeat offender arrested again and more

June 6th, 2014 at 4:01 pm by under FOX10 News, Newsgathered


J.E. Turner parents, teachers organize against principal

Parents at J.E. Turner Elementary School picketed the school’s principal this week after 20 teachers were transferred from the school, including the school system’s 2014 teacher of the year. 

The teachers filed a grievance against the principal of the school, Missy Nolen, and one parent went as far as to say that they’ll pull their students out of the principal is still in office next school year.

Mom drags baby down aisle on wedding dress train

In viral news, a mother and bride-to-be in Tennessee came under fire after she walked down the aisle with her infant daughter attached to the train of her dress.

 You Decide 2014: Alabama Primary Election

FOX10 was once again the source for many in the Mobile and Baldwin County Areas for election results in the 2014 Alabama Primary. There were a number of races that garnered special interest including an amendment to incorporate the Prichard Water Board into MAWSS as well as the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Republican Primary Race.

Check out the results and more on our election page. 

Brothers drown in Blackwater River

The tragic drowning death of Greg and David Florian brought up happy memories of the brothers’ sense of humor and gentle natures when family and friends spoke of them to FOX10′s Will Robinson-Smith.

From Will’s interviews:


The Florians said Greg was also very involved with the Catholic Association at the University of South Alabama. But he’ll also be remembered for being a bit of a character.

“One of his more well known ones was Napoleon Dynamite, which he did at a lot of the sporting events at University of South Alabama. So he was very well known for that,” Tim Florian, one of Greg and David’s brothers, said.

“Revolving door” at Mobile Metro on display again






We’ve been following stories of repeat offenders and their releases from the Mobile Metro Jail and this week, a 30 time arrestee (according to jail records) was arrested again after he allegedly robbed a local gas station while out on bond. Lazerrick Craig’s past charges include more for Robbery 1st, carrying a pistol without a permit, menacing, criminal mischief and more.

Craig was profiled on FOX10 News Anchor Bob Grip’s segment Fugitive Files this week as well.

On Friday, police said a suspect was arrested for distribution of a controlled substance after thy found 100 grams of “hydroponic pot” inside his home on Dauphin island. Officials said a young child had access to the drugs, and Chase Cain sold them near Dauphin Island Elementary School.


View the Full Newsgathered gallery for June 2-6 here.


Flood Watch in Effect

May 29th, 2014 at 1:53 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

A Flash Flood Watch will remain in effect until Friday afternoon. A deep moist southerly flow will continue across our area, while a mid to upper low pressure system spins near northern Louisina. Rainfall rates of up to 2” per hour are possible in the heaviest bands. We expect 2”-4” of rain between now and Friday, mainly over the western sections of the area. 3”-5” storm totals are possible area wide through Saturday, especially along I-10 and the coast. Rain chances look much lower for Sunday, and into next week.

Sunny & Warm !

May 5th, 2014 at 4:37 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Really Nice Pattern

Sunshine was out in full force today, with very warm conditions. Most places were in the mid to upper 80’s this afternoon. Temperatures were about 5 degrees above normal for our daytime highs. This dry and warm trend looks to continue through mid-week. We will see more nice weather as things dry out in the wake of last week’s historic flooding.

Showers Return

Southerly winds and moisture begin to roll back in on Thursday, Scattered showers return by Friday as we see moisture increasing. The chances of scattered rains will continue into the weekend. We do not expect flooding rains this weekend. The moisture levels are fairly high, but we do not have any significant frontal features to force significant rains.

Historic Flooding

April 30th, 2014 at 2:19 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

fishriverHistoric Flooding

We continue to experience a very unusual and dangerous flooding situation throughout our area. Significant flooding has been reported all along the I-10 corridor. We have reported about 12 inches of rain in both Mobile and Pensacola, with locally higher amounts. Doppler estimates show possible 22-26 inch totals near Perdido Bay. South Baldwin County has seen some of the worst flooding. Fish River crested this morning above 23 feet, and is now falling. This was a record crest, higher than we saw during Hurricanes Ivan and Danny. Here is an excellent report on this event from the Mobile NWS:

Light rain bands were still impacting the Panhandle as of 2pm. However, drier air is working in rapidly and rainfall rates are now much lower. Sunshine is reported over Mobile and Baldwin County. River flooding will continue to be a major problem through this evening along our local streams. Many roads have issues due to sink holes and erosion.

Forecast Improves

Drier air is working in! A series of upper level disturbances will generate a chance for light showers tonight, and again on Thursday night. Only light rain is anticipated and we don’t expect any increase in the flooding situation. The weekend looks sunny and fantastic.

Facebook: Meteorologist Jason Smith
Twitter: @JasonSmithFox10

Severe Storms Expected

April 28th, 2014 at 2:57 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Severe Round One

A significant severe weather threat is in place for our area starting later this evening. A strong line of storms will track in from the west and northwest. The threat of severe weather will be mainly after 8pm for areas in Greene, George, and Washington Counties. The overall severe risk is slight. This complex of storms will be moving well ahead of the main surface cold front. Some isolated tornadoes are possible up HW 43 and HW 45 tonight in our area, along with severe t-storms and hail. The main line of storms gets closer to the Mobile area around midnight. The storms will slowly move across the Panhandle by sunrise on Tuesday.

Severe Round Two

The next round of storms is expected midday Tuesday, with the greatest threat of severe weather occurring Tuesday evening. The Storm Prediction Center has us in the moderate risk of severe weather zone. We are especially concerned about tornadoes, specifically long track EF2 and EF3 tornadoes with this second round

Warm Weekend

April 24th, 2014 at 4:10 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Areas of dense fog will continue to hang around in some areas through 9am on Friday morning. A very weak trailing cold front will drift into the area on Friday. Very isolated rain showers are also possible early. Skies should clear as we head into the afternoon. Temperatures will reach the low 80’s. Tonight will be mild with more patchy fog and a low near 60 degrees.

The weekend looks fantastic with highs near 83 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. Skies will remain mostly sunny, with exception of that early morning fog. Beach conditions are looking great, especially for Saturday with light to moderate surf and water temperatures climbing to near 70 degrees. Storms are possible next week, especially Monday night and Tuesday.

Foggy Nights, Warm Days

April 23rd, 2014 at 4:11 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

More Fog

Patchy Fog thickened up enough to issue a Dense Fog Advisory last night. The fog lifted by 8 am in most areas, and we saw an especially warm day. Temperatures were above 80 degrees in most locations. More fog will develop tonight with lows in the low 60’s.

Warm Week, Weekend

Temperatures will trend above average for the rest of the week. Daytime highs will remain in the low 80’s each day through the weekend. A very isolated shower is possible on Friday, but chances are low. We are not expecting any significant rain until early next week. Monday and Tuesday could be stormy in the long range forecast.

Easter Forecast

April 18th, 2014 at 3:12 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Rain Ending

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties until 6pm. However, most of the significant rain is shifting east of the forecast area. The low pressure in the Gulf produced an inch of rain for Mobile, with 2”-4” amounts across the panhandle. Other than isolated showers, the rain is just about over with for the night. Afternoon temperatures were a bit cool with the north wind. We will be rather cool tonight with a low in the lower 50’s.

Nice Easter Weekend

Our temperatures begin to rise as we head into the weekend. Saturday looks partly cloudy with highs near 76. Easter Sunday looks even warmer with highs near 78 degrees and plenty of sunshine. Rain is not expected. Chances also look low for next week. Temperatures will trend above 80 degrees Monday-Friday.

Facebook: Meteorologist Jason Smith
Twitter: @JasonSmithFox10

Not as Cold

April 18th, 2014 at 3:11 pm by under FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

Record Cold

As expected, we did see record cold last night. Temperatures stayed above freezing in most locations. However, we tied the record for Mobile at 37. Pensacola also tied a record at 42. While Destin set a new record low at 44 degrees. Temperatures rebounded nicely by afternoon with sunny skies. Tonight’s lows will be well above freezing.

Warmer Trend

Things get even warmer on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures climb above 70 degrees both afternoons. Rain chances increase Thursday night. A decent chance of showers are possible on Good Friday with a chance at 50 %. Saturday and Easter Sunday look mainly dry and warm. We will be close to 80 on Sunday.