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Continued summer-like weather

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Main Threats

Today: Just be safe in the heat this afternoon.

Summary

With the remnants of Gordon off to our southwest, we could see just enough influence from that system to spark some afternoon and evening t-storms. Any storm that develops could produce heavy tropical downpours. Our dewpoints are very tropical this morning, and that is a direct result of Gordon spinning to our southwest over Arkansas.

By tomorrow, Gordon slips far enough to our west to allow us to have only isolated chances of heat-of-the-day t-storms.

By the weekend, a weak frontal system that has been slowly moving across the Plains this week will finally crawl into our neck of the woods. This front will combine with left-over moisture from Gordon to bring us decent chances for rain and storms this weekend, mainly in the afternoons/evenings. Any storm that develops will be capable of producing heavy rainfall and frequent lightning. At this time, severe weather does not look to be a widespread threat.

Those heightened rain chances will stick us through at least Monday.

Discussion

The remnants of Gordon have now made their way into Arkansas. Widespread shower activity is rather meager with the system this morning, especially compared to days past. Activity will pick up as the heat of the day destabilizes the atmosphere more.

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Looking at the bigger picture, you’ll notice that stretch of showers across the middle of the country. That’s the next weak front that will affect us this weekend.

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Tropics

As I mentioned above, the remnants of Gordon will combine with that front to bring widespread rain and storms to many of us in the Midsouth this weekend. This is the only tropical system affecting the U.S. within the next five days.

But, beyond that time frame….

We are still watching Hurricane Florence very closely. She surprised forecasters yesterday when she exploded into a category 4 storm, with winds of 130 mph. Florence was never expected to ever be any stronger than a category 2 storm. Once a storm reaches category 3 status (winds greater than 111 mph), it is considered “major”. This morning, Florence has weakened to a category 3 storm, with winds of 115 mph. This still means that Florence is a major hurricane. She is tracking westward and concerns are increasing for the U.S. East Coast. It is WAY to early to say for certain, but there are some disturbing indicators showing a possible impact. In the meanwhile, Bermuda may find themselves in the cross-hairs of this storm and anyone with any interest in that area is being advised to monitor this situation very closely.

If Florence should make it to the East Coast she wouldn’t arrive for at least another week. Honestly, the chances of that happening are really slim, as frontal systems this time of year usually kick these systems out to sea before they reach our U.S. mainland from the east. Florence is expected to weaken a bit more today but conditions may become favorable for rapid intensification a couple days from now. She’s one to watch.

Southeast of Florence is another disturbance that we’ll have to keep an eye on. This system will likely become Helene (heh-LEEN) today or tomorrow.

Can you tell we’re at the peak of hurricane season?

In the image below, Florence is at the center of your screen. That batch of clouds to the lower left of Florence will likely become Helene.

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Records

If you don’t like the heat you better thank your stars you weren’t around here in 1925. That was quite possibly the hottest summer on record for Tennessee. In fact, that was the hottest summer on record for much of the nation. I noticed yesterday that Birmingham, AL was reporting that on Sept. 5, 1925 they were 101 degrees and that was part of the longest streak of 100+ temperatures in that city’s history! They’re not alone. You can find records like that for many folks all across the eastern half of the U.S. for that year.

So, today is the day that Crossville set the all-time record for the Experiment Station. That was when those folks recorded an afternoon high of 103 degrees. The Experiment Station wouldn’t record another triple digit high until June 29, 1012, when they recorded 102 for a high. I guess we’re doing pretty good to go nearly 90 years between triple digit highs!

Unfortunately, the heat and drought of the 1920s would only make things worse for our country as we neared the Great Depression of the 1930s. Farmers were eventually forced from their farms across the Plains, as they faced certain starvation if they didn’t. And we think things are tough today………..

Switching gears…

Iowa recorded their earliest snowflakes on record on this day in 1929. A few snow flakes were observed near Alton, IA at around 9:00 a.m.  Did that cool you off any? (ha)

News

Remember the frost advisories I told you about for North Dakota yesterday morning? Well, that cold air slid eastward last night and prompted the National Weather Service to issue more frost advisories for Minnesota. In fact, some counties in northern Minnesota were even issued freeze warnings! Is anyone ready for some of that to slip down here?

I was out this morning and looked up and saw this. Is that not a beautiful September sky, folks? Always remember to look up! You just never know what you might see.

You all have a great day!

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