Monitoring the tropics

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SUMMARY

Yesterday’s rainfall was certainly hit and miss. At my home in Rinnie I had nearly an inch of rain from yesterday’s showers and storms. A lot of folks in Fentress County also saw some good rain totals, while some parts of the plateau didn’t see a drop!

Most people will stay dry today, as we only have about a 10% chance of an afternoon shower or storm. I didn’t put any rain chances on today since they’re so low. Tomorrow is about the same, though I think everyone north of I-40 will stay dry. There is a very slight chance (10%) of a shower or storm for southern Cumberland County tomorrow, but it’s nothing to worry about for sure. By Friday, those rain and storm chances start to return, with at least a third of the plateau seeing some rain. By the end of the weekend, we should all have some rain in our rain buckets.

The tropics are looking more and more interesting! The National Hurricane Center is now giving the system in the Caribbean a 60% chance of development as we go through this week. All indications are that the system will move toward the Gulf Coast by this Memorial Day weekend. This does not bode well for folks with travel plans to this region for the holiday weekend. The system is then expected to move into the Southeast, bringing a decent chance for mainly afternoon rain and storms to the whole region.

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DISCUSSION

The tropical system in the Gulf is getting better organized this morning. As it moves northward, folks along the Gulf Coast will need to keep an eye on it. It doesn’t look like it will be an incredibly strong storm, but any tropical storm on the Gulf Coast on a holiday weekend  is concerning. Aside from people’s safety, there will be an economic impact, as well, if people cancel their plans to go.

As for us here in Tennessee, we just have to worry about the scattered showers and storms that will make their way toward us from this system. That will happen regardless of the system developing into a tropical storm.

I’ll keep an eye on this system and keep you updated on its progress.

Looking at some records for today, I found some more snowy ones from places away from our plateau. The first is from eastern Iowa, where four to six inches of snow fell on this day in 1882. Can you imagine half a foot of snow this late in April? For perspective, the highs there this week are near 90 every day.

I took a peak at the extended outlook and this is the rainfall outlook for the next 7 days. This emphasizes the point that regardless of this tropical system gaining a name, it will surely bring lots of rainfall to the Southeast. And it looks like we will get in on some of that action around the plateau! Once our rain chances begin on Friday, those chances will be with us through at least the first half of next week.

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You all have a great day! And if you think it’s incredible that Iowa had snow in May, wait till you see the snow record I found for tomorrow!

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