Another day, another winter outlook. Accuweather released its 2021-2022 U.S. Winter Forecast this week. The outlook is calling for a busy winter from coast to coast with some similarities to last winter.
The reason for the similarities is due to La Niña. La Niña can be a big driving factor during the winter months across the U.S. and that is forecast to be the same this season based on this winter outlook. This forecast from Accuweather is predicting a weather polar vortex that may allow for big Arctic air masses to push into the lower-48.
Two other publications have recently released winter outlooks.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.