Christopher Nunley

Christopher is the co-founder of Firsthand Weather. He studied Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma followed by earning his Master of Science in Applied Meteorology and Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Mississippi State University. Christopher is currently the Chief Meteorologist at KAGS TV and is a Lecturer at Mississippi State University. Christopher's research focuses on the communication of weather information and the response of individuals during high-impact weather. He has published research in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society and the Southeastern Geographer.

A sign of the times and changing seasons: SNOW

Man Digging Out Of Snowstorm

It is a sign of the times and of the changing seasons. The storm track starts to dip farther south and becomes more active. This is when the first flakes start to fall in the higher elevations across the western states, and this is exactly what we will see over the next several days. Some of the higher peaks across the Pacific & Inland Northwest and Interior West will see light accumulations among the highest peaks. This is great news given the latest drought conditions and a promising sight for ski resorts.

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Fig. 1: Northwest snow forecast over the next several days (WeatherModels.com)
Fig. 2: Southwest snow forecast over the next several days (WeatherModels.com)

Some of the heaviest snow from mid-week through the upcoming weekend will actually fall across New Mexico and Colorado. Several inches of snow are forecast above 10,000 feet. It is possible the rain/snow line may fall down to around 9,000 feet but significant accumulations are not expected that low.

Fig. 3: Colorado & New Mexico snow forecast over the next several days (WeatherModels.com)

It’s just a matter of time before the first chance for snow arrives in most forecasts as the days grow shorter and colder!

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Cold air damming event possible

Eyeing the potential for a cold air damming event later this upcoming week into next weekend. There are signals that a favorable pattern for such an event will deliver another taste of fall to parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Carolinas, and Southeast. These events are known for delivering below-average temperatures to areas east of the spine of the Appalachians. See all the details on this event and how cold those temperatures may get.

Temperatures (just above the surface) departure from average. (Courtesy WeatherModels.com)

The timeframe is from Friday through Sunday. There are still uncertainties with this forecast and this potential setup will continue to be monitored over the coming days.

A strong cold front will deliver a chill to the air

A potent cold front will work its way through the eastern half of the country over the next 24 to 48 hours. This cold front will deliver the coldest air of the season to many areas, dropping temperatures below average from Thursday through Saturday. The most noticeably cool air will be felt during the overnight and morning hours with some areas experiencing a frost. See how low the temperatures will go!

Below-average temperatures to end the week (Graphic: Local Memphis)

Along with cooler temperatures, there will be a noticeable reduction in humidity, allowing for comfortable afternoons. This will set the stage for great high school and college football weather to end the week and this weekend.

Get the firewood and pumpkin spice creamer ready!

Strong cold front to deliver chilly mornings as far south as the Gulf Coast

A fall cold front will move across eastern parts of the country Wednesday and Thursday, delivering a chill to the air. Temperatures will fall well below average with a significant drop in humidity. The cooler air mass will be most noticeable overnight into the early morning hours from Thursday through Saturday.

Low temperatures across the South and Southeast will fall into the 40s & 50s Thursday through Saturday. Some 30s are also expected in parts of Tennesee, western North Carolina, and northeastern Georgia. These areas that fall into the upper 30s will have a chance to see a light frost Thursday night/Friday morning and Friday night/Saturday morning under clear skies and light winds. Protect your plants if you live in far northeast Georgia, western North Carolina, and central Tennessee.

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Thursday morning low temperatures South & Southeast
Friday morning low temperatures South & Southeast
Saturday morning low temperatures South & Southeast

The colder air won’t be confined to the Southeast. Temperatures farther north will also be chilly during the overnight and early morning hours. Widespread 30s & 40s are forecast across the Great Lakes, extending into the Ohio Valley, and Northeast.

Thursday morning low temperatures South & Southeast
Friday morning low temperatures South & Southeast
Saturday morning low temperatures South & Southeast

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High temperatures will run will below average, falling into the 60s & 70s for the South, Southeast, and Tennesee Valley with 50s & 60s farther north across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

Strong cold front next week

A potent fall cold front will deliver a taste of fall to eastern parts of the lower-48 by mid to late next week. The cold front will usher in drier air and drop temperatures below average. Temperatures will be coolest late next week with a gradual modification to the cooler air mass over the weekend (although temperatures will still remain below average over the weekend). The coolest temperatures will reside across the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and down the Appalachians, but even the South and Southeast will get a taste of the cooler temperatures.

See how low those temperatures will go!

Temperature anomaly map over the next several days (Weather Models.com)

Tropical development likely off the Southeast Coast

A broad area of low pressure to the north-northeast of the Bahamas has a chance to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next couple of days. This low pressure has observed an uptick in thunderstorm coverage over the past 24 hours but it still remains unorganized.

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Tropical disturbance IR (Tropical Tidbits)

A gradual increase in thunderstorm coverage along with a slow organization of this system is expected as environmental conditions become more favorable for development. Because of this, the National Hurricane Center gives this system a 70% chance to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm later this week just off the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast.

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Area being monitored for tropical development (National Hurricane Center)

If you live along the East Coast, keep an eye on the forecast over the coming days.

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Nicholas will spread heavy rain into parts of the South & Southeast this week

Nicholas is forecast to make landfall Monday evening in Texas before slowly moving east-northeast into the Mid-South through mid to late week. As the system moves toward the lower Mississippi River by Thursday, it will also increase tropical moisture across parts of the South & Southeast from mid to late week.

The tropical moisture will lead to areas of heavy rain from southeastern/eastern Texas, Louisiana, southern Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, south-central Tennessee, the Florida Panhandle, central and northern Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, and western North Carolina.

These areas can expect to see a few to several inches of rain. The heaviest rain will fall west of the Mississippi River from central and southern Mississippi, west through Louisiana, and southeastern/eastern Texas. These locations can expect to see 5-10 inches. Farther east 1-3 inches is forecast.

Rainfall forecast next 7-days
Rainfall forecast next 7-days

Rain this heavy will lead to areas of flash flooding. The flood threat will shift from southwest to northeast from Tuesday through Thursday as Nicholas moves inland.

Tropical Storm Nicholas forms in the Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Nicholas forms in the Gulf of Mexico. Nicholas has winds of 40 mph and is expected to slowly gain strength into early this upcoming week. The storm should become a strong Tropical Storm, possibly borderline Hurricane, by Tuesday. Nicholas will slowly skirt the Texas coast, producing heavy rain and flooding.

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Hurricane Larry to dump feet of snow

Hurricane Larry is forecast to transition into a major winter storm, delivering feet of snow in Greenland. Larry will continue to rapidly move northeast into the weekend. As Larry continues on this journey, moving farther north, it will quickly transition into an extratropical cyclone by Saturday.

As the extratropical system approaches Greenland, it will pull in copious amounts of moisture. Temperatures will be cold enough for this moisture to fall in the form of snow.

Animated forecast radar

The copious amounts of moisture will equal feet of snow for parts of Greenland. The heaviest snow will fall across eastern parts of the island, closest to the track of Larry, where up to 5 feet may fall in some areas over the weekend.

Animated snowfall accumulations as Larry moves northeast

The snow will also be windblown. As Larry becomes extratropical, the already large wind field will expand. Winds of 60 to 80 mph are possible creating dangerous blizzard conditions.

Tropical system to develop in the Gulf of Mexico bringing significant flood threat to parts of the U.S.

Firsthand Weather is closely monitoring a tropical disturbance moving out of the western Caribbean over Central America. This disturbance is producing quite a bit of shower and thunderstorm activity but it remains disorganized. Once this disturbance moves across Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula, it will emerge in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

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The waters in this region or warm with minimal wind shear. This is an environment that will support tropical development. A Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm will likely develop late this weekend (Sunday) or early next week (Monday) in the western Gulf of Mexico.

There are still some questions about the evolution of this system. Some of the questions are where will the system track and how strong will it get. Right now, it appears this system may become a Tropical Storm, possibly riding the Texas coast next week but this will be clearer over the coming days. Regardless of intensity, it will increase tropical moisture across southern Texas, coastal Texas, and southeastern Texas late this weekend into next week. The heavy rain threat then shifts farther north and east into parts of Louisiana and possibly farther east into Mississippi and Alabama later in the week but it’s too far out to know for certain.

The heaviest rain will fall across coastal Texas and coastal Louisiana where 4-10 inches of rain is expected with isolated higher amounts. This will lead to a significant flash flood threat next week as the system slowly meanders over the area.

There is high uncertainty with this forecast so keep checking back frequently for updates.