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 cold front has moved through the South & Southeast, slightly dropping temperatures but significantly dropping dewpoints. This is key because this will lead to cool, if not chilly, nights Thursday night and Friday night. You may want the light jacket before you head to work or school Friday morning.
Temperatures will quickly cool this evening across the region with mank folks seeing temperatures in the 50s & 60s by Friday morning. Much of Tennessee, North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, northern Georgia, northern and central Alabama, northern and central Mississippi, and northeastern Louisiana will see temperatures fall into the 50s with low 60s extending well south of the I-20 corridor.
A similar forecast is expected tomorrow night with cooler temperatures filtering into coastal parts of the Carolinas. This will be perfect football and walking weather. Get outside and enjoy it!
The disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico has continued to organize over the past 24 hours. The disturbance has observed an uptick in thunderstorm coverage and a well-defined low pressure has formed about 100 miles southwest of Apalachicola, FL. The National Hurricane Center has now classified this as Tropical Storm Mindy.
Tropical Storm Mindy is forecast to move northeast, making landfall tonight in the Florida Panhandle, before tracking northeast across southern Georgia and skirting the South Carolina coast over the next 24 hours.
As the days grow shorter and cooler, the winter outlooks start to roll out. A few weeks back, the Farmer’s Almanac released its winter outlook for the United States, and just recently, the Old Farmer’s Almanac just released its 2021-2022 Winter Weather Forecast.
If you’re a winter weather lover, you’re going to love this outlook. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold winter for much of the country with above-average precipitation, leading to increased wintery weather threats (i.e. snow, sleet, and ice). Even parts of the South and Southeast are forecast to see quite a bit of wintry weather. Farther west, the Southwest, West Coast, and Hawaii are forecast to see a warmer winter.
There are two areas in the Gulf of Mexico that may develop into tropical systems this week. The first disturbance may develop late this week (around Thursday morning) in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, increasing tropical moisture for parts of the Southeast from Wednesday through Friday
Police officers from the Slidell Police Department rescued an injured dolphin from a pond this week. It’s believed that Hurricane Ida washed the dolphin into freshwater, about 30 miles northeast of New Orleans.
The Slidell Police Department made a post on Facebook on September 5 showing the effort they and multiple groups and organizations made to rescue the dolphin. See the post and the rescue video.
Some great news, the dolphin was mended and returned to the Gulf of Mexico.
Areas of heavy rain are expected in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi this afternoon and evening. These are areas that received heavy rain from Hurricane Ida. Because of the saturated grounds, paired with today’s rainfall, there is a Flash Flood Watch in effect through tonight for southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi, including New Orleans.
The Carolinas coastline is no stranger to devastating impacts from tropical storms and hurricanes. Today marks 25 years since Hurricane Fran made landfall in North Carolina as a major Category 3 hurricane. Hurricanes that reach Category 3 intensity and higher, are classified as major hurricanes, which cause devastating to catastrophic wind damage and significant loss of life simply due to the strength of their winds. Hurricanes of this intensity also produce deadly storm surge, rain-induced floods, and tornadoes.
That is exactly what Fran did upon making landfall overnight on September 5, 1996 (technically September 6) near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, North Carolina. Frain had sustained winds of 115 mph when it made landfall. Just prior to landfall, Fran had peak sustained winds of 120 mph. Upon landfall, the storm surge was 12 feet at Topsail Island.
Peak wind gusts of 137 mph were recorded in Wilmington, North Carolina where an estimated 75 percent of the homes sustained damage. There were also hurricane-force wind gusts of 80 mph in Fayetteville and Raleigh. The winds caused close to 2 million people to lose power in the state.
Hurricane Fran is one of the costliest hurricanes in the history of North Carolina, causing over 1.28 billion dollars in damages across the state and claiming the lives of more than 20 people. Other notable hurricanes include Hazel (1954), Matthew (2016), Floyd (1999), and Florence (2018).
Fran was the last major hurricane to make a direct landfall in North Carolina.
Ida is no longer but its impacts are beginning to be realized across the U.S. At least 42 people were killed in the Northeast as Ida tracked across the region on Wednesday, September 1, prompting tornado warnings and flash flood emergencies.
Parts of the Northeast saw close to a foot of rain in less than 24 hours. This caused significant flash flooding. Videos on social media showed homes and apartments rapidly filling with water as the occupants were left shocked.
The heavy rainfall and runoff also flooded roadways. Roads looked like rivers, carrying cars and trucks in the strong currents.
While the Northeast saw significant impacts, Louisiana and Mississippi cannot be forgotten. Coastal parts of those states are still struggling to recover after landfall on Sunday, August 29. Ida made landfall as a strong Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph. This is one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall in Louisiana. 9 deaths have been confirmed in Louisiana.
Accuweather predicts Ida could be close to a 100 billion dollar hurricane.
Get the pumpkin spice coffee creamer from the store and dust off the light jackets. The first taste of fall arrives for many North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, Tennessee, northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, and northern Georgia Thursday night and Friday morning.
Once Ida departs, a drier and cooler air mass will filter into the region. This will allow for a few days of pleasant conditions. The coolest temperatures arrive Thursday night and Friday morning when conditions will be perfect for optimized cooling. Lows will fall into the 50s and low-60s for many with parts of Tennessee and western North Carolina falling into the 40s–some mid-40s cannot be ruled out. Upper-50s will sneak as far south as far northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
As Ida tracks northeast, it will pull tropical moisture into the eastern parts of the country. The tropical moisture and associated lift with the remnants of Ida, paired with a cold front and terrain induced precipitation will lead to a significant flood threat from northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, southern Ohio, western North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the Hudson Valley and NYC, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
This is where a widespread 2 to 6 inches of rain will fall with areas receiving up to 10 inches of rain.
There is a tornado risk today and Wednesday as the remnants of Ida track northeast. Today’s tornado risk exists from northern Florida into the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Wednesday’s tornado risk is across the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic.