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.
There is now a high tornado risk for parts of North Carolina and South Carolina this afternoon and evening per the Storm Prediction Center. The threat is due to Tropical Depression Fred continuing to move inland across the Southeast. Areas to the east of Fred’s center all have a risk for tornadoes over the next few hours.
There is a Tornado Watch in effect for most areas within the tornado risk area until 7 p.m. This is generally for Counties along and west of I-77.
Tropical Depression Fred is moving north into northern Georgia Tuesday. While the system has weakened over inland, its impacts are far from over, and the impacts will continue to impact eastern parts of the country throughout the week.
To the east of the center of Fred, there’s a tornado risk throughout the day Tuesday from northeastern Georgia, central and western South Carolina, central and western North Carolina, southwestern Virginia, and southern West Virginia. A few quick spin-up tropical tornadoes are likely in this region Tuesday afternoon and evening. These tornadoes can cause damage and often develop with little warning so please be very weather aware Tuesday.
Fred will continue to track north throughout Tuesday and through the end of the week–moving from the Southeast Tuesday into New England by the end of the week.
The main concern with Fred as it moves north is the heavy rain near and east of the center. The heaviest rain will fall Tuesday and Wednesday from northern Georgia, eastern Tennessee, upstate South Carolina, eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and western Virginia.
This is where the highest flash flood risk exists Tuesday. There is a moderate and high flash flood risk Tuesday afternoon and evening for the aforementioned areas.
Tropical Storm Fred has continued to organize over the past 24 hours. The organization process has led to an increase in the winds. Fred now has winds of 60 mph and further strengthening is possible. Fred may try to make a run at hurricane status over the next few hours.
Fred is expected to make landfall this afternoon in the Florida Panhandle. A landfall near Panama City is most likely a strong tropical storm with winds of 65 to 70 mph. A weak hurricane cannot be ruled out. Fred will race north across eastern Alabama and western Georgia through Tuesday before making it north into eastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky Wednesday.
Where Fred makes landfall, a 3 to 5 feet storm surge is expected for parts of coastal Florida Monday afternoon. A lower storm surge of 1 to 3 feet can be expected as far west as the Alabama coast.
Landfalling tropical systems tend to increase the tornado threat to the north and east of the center and that will be the case with Fred. Isolated tornadoes are possible Monday afternoon and evening across the Florida Panhandle, northern Florida, eastern Alabama, southern Georgia, western Georgia, and central Georgia.
The main concern with Fred is heavy rain that will move inland Monday, and continue Tuesday and Wednesday across the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and Carolinas. Widespread 2 to 5 inches can be expected with isolated amounts up to 8 inches. This will lead to areas of flash flooding Monday through Wednesday from the Florida Panhandle, eastern Alabama, western Georgia, central Georgia, northern Alabama, eastern Tennessee, upstate South Carolina, central North Carolina, and western North Carolina.
The heavy rain will move into the Mid-Atlantic beyond mid-week as the remnants for Fred continue to move northeast. This will increase the flood threat for this area from mid to late week.
A wet weather pattern will develop across parts of the Southeast, South, Carolinas, Tennessee Valley, and Mid-Atlantic. Expect scattered to numerous thunderstorms each day beginning this weekend, continuing into the upcoming week.
A persistent southerly flow has allowed deep tropical moisture to ooze into the region. The tropical moisture will allow for thunderstorms to produce heavy rainfall. There are also weak storm steering currents allowing for slow-moving storms. The trigger for the storms this weekend is a cold front that has stalled over the region, and Fred next week. Fred will enhance the rainfall late Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
This weather setup will allow for several inches of rain to fall across much of the region. Rainfall this heavy will raise a flash flood concern each day from this weekend through mid-week. Florida can expect to see 2 to 5 inches of rain from Fred with the heaviest rain favoring the west coast and panhandle. Isolated 8 inches are possible this weekend. Parts of the South, Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Carolinas, and Mid-Atlantic can expect to see 2 to 6 inches of rain due to the cold front and Fred. Isolated higher amounts, up to 8 inches, are possible, especially where the front stalls and due to terrain enhanced precipitation. The favored areas for the heavier rainfall totals are expected for northeastern Georgia, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, western Virginia, and eastern West Virginia.
The timing for flooding in Florida is over the weekend with the timing for flooding in the Southeast, South, Carolinas, Tennessee Valley, and Mid-Atlantic occurring this weekend but ramping up early to mid-week.
Tropical Storm Fred remains a low-end tropical storm Wednesday evening. The weakened state of Fred is expected over the next 24 to 48 hours as the system interacts with the high terrain of the Greater Antilles. Once Fred moves into the Florida Straits by the weekend, a gradual intensification is expected. The intensification will continue through the weekend as Fred moves across the eastern Gulf of Mexico (per the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center).
Current thoughts are that impacts will spread into southern Florida Friday and continue to spread north across the state throughout the weekend as the center of Tropical Storm Fred moves north just off the west coast of Florida. Keep in mind, there is uncertainty with the track so this may need to be shifted farther west or farther east with time.
By late weekend into early next week, another landfall is expected in the Florida Panhandle. Again, there is uncertainty so this may change with time. Regardless of the exact track and landfall, the biggest impacts will be on the eastern side of the storm, so that should place all of Florida within a zone to see impacts from Tropical Storm Fred.
Those impacts will spread north into the Southeast late weekend into early next week as Fred moves north, eventually turning northeast, spreading the impacts into southern and eastern Alabama, Georgia, eastern Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and possibly into parts of West Virginia, and Virginia. It should be noted, these impacts are based on the current forecast track of Fred. Changes are likely to the track over the coming days, which will require updates to the areas that will see impacts.
Right now, the main concern is heavy rainfall across Florida and the aforementioned areas. The heavy rain will begin impacting southern Florida late weekend, spreading north across Florida throughout the weekend, and by early next week for the Southeast, with impacts possibly continuing across the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic into mid-week. Areas of heavy rain are possible that may lead to areas of flash flooding. It is too early to dive into the specifics because there are too many questions, but we do have enough certainty to begin highlighting possible impacts for certain areas.
Additional impacts are possible for parts of the Southeast. Join the Supporter Group for those details. There is also another tropical system Firsthand Weather is monitoring. Keep checking back for updates.
The Atlantic is beginning to heat up as we move through August. Tropical Storm Fred formed in the Caribbean Tuesday night, and now there is another tropical wave that has a medium chance to develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm.
This tropical wave has a 40% chance to develop and will take a similar track as Fred. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group for more details on this tropical wave.
Tropical Storm Fred formed in the northern Caribbean late Tuesday just south of Puerto Rico. Fred has winds of 40 mph and is expected to continue moving west, followed by a gradual northwest turn, across the Caribbean, slowly gaining strength before making landfall early Wednesday in the Dominican Republic.
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Fred needs to be closely monitored by the end of the week into the upcoming weekend. Impacts are possible to Florida by late week as Fred continues to move in a general northwest direction. When Fred impacts Florida, Fred is expected to have tropical storm strength with winds up to 50 mph.
Beyond the weekend, the rest of the Gulf Coast needs to closely monitor the storm as the current forecast moves Fred into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The eventual track may move in the general direction of the Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast region by late weekend and early next week as a strong tropical storm or hurricane. Florida and all areas in the South and Southeast need to begin preparing for possible impacts from Fred this weekend and next week.
Firsthand Weather is closely monitoring two areas of low pressure in the tropical Atlantic. These two low pressures need to be closely monitored this week as the chance for development continues to increase.
Tropical disturbance 1
The first disturbance is several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles. This area of low pressure has observed a noticeable uptick in shower and thunderstorm activity over the weekend as the low pressure continues to organize. This low pressure is expected to move into the eastern Caribbean by mid-week, possibly developing as it moves into a more favorable environment for intensification. This low pressure has a 60% chance to develop into a Tropical Depression or Storm over the next 5 days.
Tropical disturbance 2
The second disturbance is between the Lesser Antilles and the Cabo Verde Islands. This low pressure has showers and storms associated with it, but they remain relatively unorganized. Regardless, this low has a 40% chance to develop into a Tropical Depression or Storm over the next 5 days as it continues to move west.
Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group for a detailed discussion on the possible track and intensities of these two systems. Click on the link below to join:
While we are in the Dog Days of Summer, you know fall is right around the corner when the Farmers’ Almanac releases its Winter Outlook. The 2021-22 Winter Outlook was released and shows a good chunk of the country experiencing a taste, or two, of Old Man Winter this season.
The Farmers’ Almanac is indicating most areas east of the Rockies will experience cold temperatures with a good shot for above-average wintry precipitation. If you’re a snow lover, this is good news. This outlook indicates the South and Southeast will also have a good chance for wintry precipitation. Areas west of the Rockies will experience a normal winter.
This is the Farmers’ Almanac’s winter forecast, not Firsthand Weather’s. Firsthand Weather’s official 2021-22 Winter Outlook will be released in the coming weeks.