Perfect weather here, a nightmare in the Caribbean

According to our weather station on the roof of TAP, we dipped down to 44 degrees last night! That is unseasonably cool for September 7. In fact, we’re running about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule for this type of fall-like airmass. This kind of weather makes me crave pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, and cinnamon rolls. You all know where my desk is…. (haha).

Our nearly-perfect weather will continue right on through Monday. Highs today will be in the mid 60s, upper 60s tomorrow, and perhaps finally hitting 70 on Saturday, Sunday.  A few more clouds will drop us back to the upper 60s on Monday. Lows each night will be in the upper 40s.

It’s hard to believe that on this date in 1925 Middle TN recorded its hottest temperature ever when Clarksville hit 112 degrees! We were nearly 70 degrees cooler than that here this morning! What a difference 92 years makes (ha).  Incidentally, the hottest temperature ever recorded for the whole state was 113 at Perryville on Aug 9, 1930. Perryville is located in West Tn, about halfway between Nashville and Memphis.

Hurricane Irma continues to plow through the Caribbean. Irma has now sustained category 5 status longer than any other observed storm on earth. Folks, that is absolutely incredible. Irma is still packing winds of 180 mph, with gusts that easily exceed 200 mph. The entire chain of the Bahamas are now under a hurricane warning. Watches will be issued for Florida next. Our big headache this morning is that most of the models take the center of the storm just east of Florida, sparing them the worst of the storm. The worst part of the storm is to the right of the eye if it’s moving north. HOWEVER,  one of the most reliable models we have takes the storm just west of Florida. It’s enough to drive us crazy. If the storm hits Miami with its storm surge, it will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Anything. That is what is most concerning this morning. When a storm is this strong, for this long, the storm surge builds to heights of tens of feet. We could be looking at a 30 foot wall of water surging in. Miami is about 6-10  feet above sea level, on average. Remember, Katrina was a cat 3 at landfall, but she had been a cat 4 and 5 out in the Gulf in the days before landfall. When she made landfall the storm surge was that of a cat 5. The momentum that builds up with all that water can’t be suddenly stopped, even if the winds die down. We also can’t forget Georgia and South Carolina. We are still very concerned about a landfall there, as well.

As a side note, earthquakes are detected by seismographs. This storm is throwing around so much ocean water that seismographs think there’s a small earthquake where the storm is. Speaking of seismographs, our seismographs in TN detected the vibrations of the hydrogen bomb tested in North Korea last week. It took the vibrations 15 minutes to get here. Those waves travel long distances and that’s why seismographs across the North America are detecting this hurricane. How crazy is that?

I’ll be keeping an eye on Irma all day today. As you can imagine, social media is going wild with this. It’s still too early to tell if Irma will impact us. If it does, the impacts will come on Tuesday. In the past, storms that have passed on the other side of the mountains have thrown beautiful clouds our way, so we may at least have that to look forward to next week.

I found this map this morning and thought you’d find it interesting. In September of 2010 we had an eerily similar tropical pattern taking place. In that year, Igor curved out to sea. Unfortunately, it’s all but certain that Irma will not follow the same course. We still have Hurricane Katia in the southwest Gulf and it is headed for Mexico. We also have Hurricane Jose that  is behind Irma and it looks to be headed out to sea.

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