A stormy and rainy pattern emerging

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Main Threats

Tonight: Isolated strong storms possible

Friday: Strong storms possible throughout the day

Summary

Most of us should stay for the greater part of today. That hot high pressure is still holding on but it’s holding on for dear life now. By this evening, the high will have lost its battle to stay in control and the next storm system will come rumbling in. Expect numerous showers and storms overnight. Some of the storms could be strong, with gusty winds and very heavy rainfall. That will carry on through Friday.

The current radar shows very heavy rainfall across the Mississippi River this morning. That activity is slowing moving east and is expected to expand in coverage and intensity before arriving here tonight.

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I don’t foresee the storms getting too out of hand, but a few could make some noise. Just be aware that the Storm Prediction Center has placed all of our region in the marginal risk for severe storms for both tonight and tomorrow. The marginal risk is the lowest of the risk categories, being threat level one out of five levels.

Showers and storms continue on Saturday. Keep this in mind if you have outdoor plans.

Rain chances may taper off a bit for Sunday, but there are strong indications that things will turn very wet again Monday and Tuesday. The good news is that the wet conditions the beginning of next week are from a strong cold front that, if the models stick with their story, will usher in the coolest, most fall-like air of the season in here for the end of next week. Fingers crossed, right?

Tropics

Things are a bit more interesting in the tropics this morning. We still have Ernesto spinning harmlessly out to sea, but now we have something else to watch farther south in the Atlantic (yellow-outlined area). Models forecast this disturbance to struggle in a hostile environment in a few days, but it’s still something worth watching. This is the area we look to when we look for tropical trouble this time of year.

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Earlier this month I shared with you all some new info from the National Hurricane Center that lowered the chances of an active season. We have seen a lot of strong winds across the tropics this summer and those winds have kept the waters mixed up, which keeps them cooler than normal. Hurricanes must have water temperatures of at least 80 degrees. That warm water evaporates moisture into the air and that moisture/humidity is what fuels hurricanes. The more of that water vapor that is in the air, the stronger the storm may become. But, the trade winds have been stronger this year and that has kept activity down. Plus, hurricanes like to develop in calmer winds and not be disrupted by strong winds shearing the storms apart.

The concern for this season is all the warm water near our coastline in the Gulf of Mexico. We may see a season where the bulk of our activity fires off just offshore. This is a bit of a dangerous scenario. If a weak system suddenly explodes in the warmer waters just offshore, this could leave coastal residents little time to prepare for a system they thought would be harmless. Even if forecasters warn of a stronger system developing, people tend to not heed the warning as much unless they can see it on satellite and/or radar. By then, it could be a dire situation. Hopefully, that won’t happen this season, but it’s certainly something many of us have in the back of our minds.

Below is our weatherTAP model of sea surface temps. Notice Ernesto is in cooler waters and moving toward even more cool water. But, the new system we’re watching is down near South America, where waters are warm enough for tropical systems to develop.

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Records

Many of you may remember this record. It was during this week in 2007 that we were in the midst of a terrible drought and heat wave. In fact, this was one of the worst droughts in Tennessee’s history. For only the fifth time in their history, Nashville hit 106 degrees for a daytime high. This was also the fifth day in a row and the ninth of the past ten days that the city hit 100 degrees or better. Nashville ended up going 12 days in a row with temps of 99 degrees or better! Many other locations around Middle Tennessee were in the 105-110 degree range on this day. Whew…. I sure am glad that’s not going on now!

I remember this summer well because mom and dad were remodeling the outside of the house. They couldn’t have picked a better summer for things to not get rained on!

Today is also another record that affects U.S. history. On this day in 1777, the Battle of Bennington was fought. Rain caused British reinforcements to be delayed, allowing the Vermont Militia to have to fight a smaller force. They were able to defeat these troops and by the time the reinforcements arrived, they were able to beat them too! Better to tackle the enemy is two smaller doses, rather than one great big one, right?

This was a rather unexpected victory that was all thanks to some unseasonably heavy rainfall. My big question is how on earth were the British not prepared for rain? It rains all the time over there! ha

You all have a great day!

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