We are on the brink of having our first hurricane of the Atlantic season! Tropical Storm Franklin is churning in the southern Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, which is only four miles per hour short of hurricane strength. We are expecting him to reach hurricane status by noon today. Incidentally, maximum sustained winds are calculated by taking the average one-minute wind speeds. Gusts are those winds experienced in 3-5 second intervals. Franklin is headed west and should make landfall in Mexico later tonight. Another area of concern is out in the Atlantic. That storm will be Gert. The models continue to indicate a threat to the Carolina coast for next week. When storms hit over there the clouds try to come over the mountains and can give us spectacular looking clouds! Another side-effect of Carolina storms is that we’ll be on the backside of the storm, where the north winds blow, which would lead to more below normal temps for the end of next week.
As for now, we’ll have to contend with more showers and storms. I don’t think coverage will be all that great today, but it may pick up tonight as an old frontal boundary drifts back toward us from the south. Tomorrow looks wet, so be sure and plan on that. Showers and storms continue right on through the weekend and into early next week. At least the clouds and showers keep us from getting too hot. Our highs will only be around 80 for the next week.
I’ll keep an eye on the tropics and an eye on our eclipse forecast. I will tell you this about the day of the eclipse….so far the models are not painting a good picture. It’s still too early to know anything for sure, but the models are suggesting that we will still be in this pattern of cloudiness/showers on the day of the eclipse. That can certainly change. I’ll keep you posted.