No major threats in sight. Just be careful if caught in a thunderstorm.
Expect numerous showers and storms to develop as we go through the day, picking up in coverage and intensity and we move into the evening and overnight. Many of us saw some showers on Saturday, but that kind of activity should become heavier and more widespread today.
The culprit is a slow-moving cold front that has taken its sweet time getting here. But, alas, it is finally making its way into Tennessee.
Drier air behind the front will begin working into the state on Monday and that will keep folks to our west drier than we will be on the plateau. Look for about a 40% chance of showers/storms throughout the day.
Tuesday through Thursday are looking drier now and that is due, in part, to some of the influences that I think we’ll begin to feel from Hurricane Florence. A storm on the East Coast delivers northerly winds to our area, dropping humidity levels and stabilizing our atmosphere. I may need to drop all rain chances from Thursday. In fact, that storm may give us dry conditions right on through the weekend. The humidity would be low, as well. I’ll fine tune that forecast as we know more about what Florence is going to do.
Speaking of Florence, all eyes are on her this week. Folks, this storm has the potential to impact our nation like no other storm has in recent years. Some of the models this morning paint a very grim picture for the Carolinas and Virginia. Let’s hope these forecasts don’t verify. The last time this region was impacted by a cat 4 hurricane was in 1988 with Hurricane Hugo. At this time, the forecast calls for a cat 3 storm to make landfall near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. However, hurricane forecast that far out are VERY uncertain and both the intensity of this hurricane and the exact location of landfall are all but impossible to pinpoint this far out.
This morning Florence remains a very strong tropical storm, but rapid intensification is expected to ensue today. Florence should be a major hurricane again by Monday. She will be moving into a favorable environment and one that is over the top of very warm ocean waters. Both ingredients favor rapid intensification.
Unfortunately, we still have Isaac and Helene out there, too. Both are tropical storms and both are expected to become hurricanes. However, Helene should curve out to sea. Isaac is the one to watch, as some models suggest he may move into the Caribbean in about a week. We have plenty of time to watch him.
Speaking of Florence again…
As you may already know, the National Hurricane Center recycles the names every six years. The only exception is if one storm is especially bad and then they retire that name. You certainly wouldn’t want another “Katrina”, right? Imagine the unnecessary fear that would cause!
So, it’s interesting that on this day in 1988 Florence became a hurricane in the Gulf and headed for the Gulf Coast. She then made landfall near New Orleans the next day. The storm was already down to a tropical storm by the time it passed over the city, producing wind gusts to 61 mph. So, not too bad of a storm, right? This time around, Florence may do a whole lot more than this!
On this day in 1921 a dying tropical depression dropped nearly 40 inches of rain on the town of Thrall, Texas. Thrall is located in southeastern Texas. This wasn’t even a named storm! That just goes to show you that a storm doesn’t need to be strong to cause major issues. Katrina could have caused the same damage in New Orleans as a tropical storm or depression! Especially since the damage from Katrina in New Orleans was from flooding and not wind. This storm in 1921 inflicted so much pain and destruction on Texas. By the time the rain was over, 224 people had lost their lives. At one time, three feet of rain fell in only 18 hours.
Interestingly, on this day in 1944 the “Great Atlantic Hurricane” ravaged the East Coast. The storm first hit the Chesapeake Bay area, killing 22 people at landfall and causing 63 million in damages (that’s a whole lot of money in 1944, folks!). The Chesapeake Bay lies along the eastern border of Virginia.
The storm was not finished…..
This hurricane then ravaged New England. By the time all was said and done, 390 people had lost their lives and 100 million dollars worth of damage had been done. Let’s hope and pray Florence doesn’t remind us of this storm.