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.

Tropical Storm Mindy forms in the Gulf of Mexico

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.

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Tropical Troubles in the Gulf

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

Read the detailed forecast on these two systems in the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group.

The second area may try to develop in the western Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, increasing rain chances for parts of Texas late this weekend into early next week.

The chances for development are currently low, but if you live along the Gulf or Southeast coasts, keep a close eye on the forecasts over the coming days.

Read the detailed forecast on these two systems in the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group.

Flash Flood Watch for areas impacted by Ida, including New Orleans

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.

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Up to 3 inches of rain are possible!

Never cross a road covered by water!

A look back: 25 years since major Hurricane Fran

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.

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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.

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Ida’s death toll climbs, damages could top 100 billion dollars

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.