A hot and humid forecast

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Main Threats

Today: The heat and humidity of the afternoon. Be careful if you are working outside.

Summary

We are now in a pattern that will keep us hot and humid for this whole week. Any disturbance that comes our way, however weak, will be able to set off some afternoon/evening showers/storms. I expect today to be quite similar to yesterday. I heard some thunder rumbling in the afternoon yesterday but never got any rain at the house. I think our rain chances will be a bit better tomorrow, as Tropical Storm Gordon moves across the Deep South. We could see just enough of a disturbed atmosphere from Gordon to kick off a few more storms across the plateau. Whenever we’re this hot and humid it really doesn’t take much to kick off a storm.

As we get into the second half of the week, we’ll see more disturbances trying to swing through and that should increase our afternoon/evening storm chances a bit. There are indications that the remnants of Gordon may move this way over the weekend and bring us about a 50-50 chance of storms.

Discussion

All eyes will be on Gordon this week as he makes his way across the Deep South and Midwest. The storm will make landfall later this evening as a category one hurricane near Biloxi, Mississippi and then make his way toward eastern Oklahoma/western Arkansas. The storm will then move northward into Missouri. At that point, the storm should get picked up by a disturbance that will swing through here over the weekend and that should give us at least a 50% chance of storms. That’s a lot of traveling to do before it gets here, so our impacts from Gordon will be quite low.

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For those of you wondering how long this warm weather will last, I took a look ahead and it looks like September is shaping up to be a very warm month. It also looks to be turning drier. The only thing that could throw a wrench in that outlook is a tropical system moving up here on us. That’s always a wild card we have to look out for in the fall. Below is a map of expected temperatures through September 17. It’s looking toasty around here, folks!

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Tropics

Well, the tropics sure woke up in a hurry! We now have a very strong tropical storm moving through the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Gordon is packing 65 mph winds and is expected to strengthen into a category one hurricane before making landfall near Biloxi later this evening.

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Meanwhile, we have another very strong tropical storm out in the Atlantic. Florence is expected to become a hurricane but there are no indications that she will be any threat to the U.S.

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However, another disturbance on the heels of Florence is something that needs to be watched. The Hurricane Center has highlighted an area in red for this disturbance and they give the disturbance a 70% chance of developing into a storm over the next 5 days. Sometimes the steering current around one storm will guide another storm. Florence may push this new system westward, making it one to watch out for. Still, we have many, many days to keep an eye on this system and a million things can happen to either weaken the storm or steer it out to sea.

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Records

We don’t have anything interesting in our local records for this day, but I sure found some doozies from Arizona!

The state of Arizona had their worst natural disaster on record on this day in 1970. The flooding was mainly the result of moisture from Tropical Storm Norma that had developed in the Pacific and moved into the Southwest U.S.¬† Rivers rose as much as five to ten feet per hour, sweeping some cars 30-40 miles away! The storm killed 23 people, mainly in campers swept away by the flood waters. At Sunflower, Arizona the water crested at 36 feet above normal! Many homes were destroyed in this flooding. Workman’s Creek recorded an unprecedented 11.40 inches of rain in 24 hours, setting a new state record for 24-hour rainfall.

Yet another record for this date also took place in Arizona, but this time it’s a dust devil making the headlines. During the afternoon of September 4, 1986 a dust devil moved across the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. The National Weather Service (NWS) is located there and the dust devil was so strong that it blew open the doors of the NWS office and scattered papers all about. The wind was so strong that it actually caused a ceiling-mounted light fixture to come loose and fall to the floor!

You all have a great day!

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