Severe Weather for Southeast, fires continue

Severe Weather will come with rain as drought conditions are still going strong despite the recent rains.  It cannot be emphasized enough that the fires that saw 3 lives end in Tennessee can still continue over the coming days.    Arson investigations have been opened in some of these fires as investigators begin to determine how the fires started but fire conditions will not take long to return to areas once the rains pass so please remain vigilant in your daily activities when fire is involved.  To all of our readers and their neighbors in these regions,  stay safe and plan ahead.   As seen in Gaitlinburg, these fires can come very quickly.  Prepare in advance and be ready to leave at a moments notice with multiple escape routes as options.

drought-monitor

Rain will continue in the southeast tonight into Wednesday from Extreme Eastern Texas over the South Florida along the gulf up north through Arkansas into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes regions.  Additional precipitation is possible in New England with freezing rain advisories issued for the higher and more northern elevations.  Severe Weather, including Flash Floods and Tornadoes are possible tonight and will be addressed in this post.

A slowly weakening low pressure system across the northern plains and Upper Midwest will continue to bring potentially heavy snow to the Dakotas into this evening, before snow begins to gradually taper off overnight. Scattered snow and some rain showers will still be possible across the northern plains and Upper Midwest into Wednesday.

Farther east, widespread rain and even some thunderstorms are expected tonight and Wednesday from the lower Mississippi valley to the Northeast. Some areas of heavy rain are possible across portions of the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys through tonight as some significant rains have already fallen in the area.

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The showers and thunderstorms will reach the East Coast on Wednesday, with thunderstorms possible from the Southeast to the southern Mid-Atlantic region. By late in the day, snow is expected to develop across northern Maine as the precipitation spreads into colder air already in place. Snow may be heavy
at times Wednesday night into Thursday.

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Strong low pressure seen here moving into Canada has dragged a cold front south draped down into the Carolinas.  This weakening front brought the region last nights rain.  A second cold front associated with this low is now moving through Illinois down into Texas.  This front, along with a developing warm front moving north from the gulf are what will set the stage for tonight’s Severe Weather risk

Severe Weather Returns

severe weather

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
MODERATE 13,427 585,227 Tupelo, MS…Starkville, MS…Greenwood, MS…Grenada, MS…Oxford, MS…
ENHANCED 42,707 2,601,397 Baton Rouge, LA…Jackson, MS…Monroe, LA…Greenville, MS…Florence, AL…
SLIGHT 113,393 11,559,771 Nashville, TN…New Orleans, LA…Birmingham, AL…Mobile, AL…Huntsville, AL…
MARGINAL 49,543 6,567,755 Memphis, TN…Lexington-Fayette, KY…Montgomery, AL…Knoxville, TN…Beaumont, TX…

The storm prediction center has upgraded a small region in Northern Mississippi to a moderate risk while large portions of the south east remain in an enhanced or slight risk area.  The  risk for Tornadoes is large tonight and Tornado watches have already been issued for several counties.

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Day 1 Tornado Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SIG SEVERE 56,076 3,179,960 Baton Rouge, LA…Jackson, MS…Monroe, LA…Greenville, MS…Tupelo, MS…
15 % 13,456 588,577 Tupelo, MS…Starkville, MS…Greenwood, MS…Grenada, MS…Oxford, MS…
10 % 42,678 2,598,047 Baton Rouge, LA…Jackson, MS…Monroe, LA…Greenville, MS…Florence, AL…
5 % 70,735 7,846,202 Nashville, TN…New Orleans, LA…Birmingham, AL…Huntsville, AL…Metairie, LA…
2 % 43,513 4,379,865 Chattanooga, TN…Clarksville, TN…Beaumont, TX…Gulfport, MS…Lake Charles, LA…

The risk for significant tornadoes exists from Baton Rouge and Monroe Louisiana north towards Florence Alabama and just south of Nashville Tennessee, however, tornadoes can be expected from Beaumont Texas right up into Central Kentucky.

Current Tornado Watches

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These watches extend from near Alexandria Louisiana to almost Jackson Tennessee and include Monroe Louisiana and Jackson and Tupelo Mississippi.  Memphis Tennessee remains just north east of the watch area but Tornadoes can occur outside the watch boxes so vigilance must be maintained.

The latest radar imagery show several strong and locally severe storms ongoing across the Lower Mississippi Valley area.  Advection will continue to occur across the Central Gulf Coast States and move into the Tennessee Valley as an upper level system approaches.  The Severe Weather and Tornado risk will spread northward with time.

firsthand Weather expects that Tornado Watches will continue to be expanded northeastward into further into Tennessee as scattered supercells in Mississippi move in that direction this evening.  Northeast Alabama and Tennessee should begin to see the impacts of these storms this evening into the overnight.  The environment is becoming more favorable for rotating storms as the evening goes on, especially in Northeast Mississippi.  Large hail and damaging winds will also be a risk tonight.

 

 

Robert Millette

Firsthand Weather

 

 

Major Hurricane Matthew

Major Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 4 storm.  Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 5 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the
north tonight.  On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph with higher gusts.  Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 947 millibars or 27.96 inches.

major hurricane matthew

Major Hurricane Matthew

The overall organization of the hurricane has changed little overnight, with the small eye remaining distinct in infrared satellite pictures, though a dry slot has been noted between the eye wall and the outer bands in the South portion of the storm.

Hurricane Matthew

Model Analysis

Matthew has been moving slowly west-northwestward during the past few hours.  Matthew should move slowly northwestward today, and then turn northward tonight as a mid- to upper-level trough develops over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  This motion will take Matthew towards Jamaica, western Haiti, and eastern Cuba over the next couple of days.  After that time, the global models bend Matthew back toward the north-northwest between the aforementioned trough and a developing ridge off the northeast United States coast.

The dynamical models are in good agreement on this scenario through 72 hours, with increasing spread thereafter.  The GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET are along the western side of the guidance at days 4 and 5, while the HWRF is along the eastern side.  The latest NHC track is close to the model consensus through day 3, but is west of the consensus at 96 and 120 h, to be closer to the typically better performing global models.

Matthew is likely to interact with the land masses of Jamaica, Cuba, and Hispaniola, leading to some weakening and disruption of the storm structure.  After this time, The upper-level wind environment is expected to remain favorable over the Bahamas, and warm waters in that area should allow Matthew to maintain much of its intensity and strengthen while it moves over that area later in the forecast period.

Watches and Warnings

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica,  Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey, the Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay, and the Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti

Hurricane Hunters

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Major Hurricane Matthew this morning, with the data found below.   Although some weakening is predicted during the next couple of days, Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane when it approaches the islands of the Greater Antilles in a couple of days.

 

Robert Millette