Florence makes landfall

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Main Threats

Today-Saturday: Isolated tropical downpours that could reduce visibility significantly while driving

Summary

Today and tomorrow should be quite similar to yesterday. We’ll see hot and humid conditions, with isolated showers/storms around. This tropical-like airmass will support very heavy downpours. If you’re caught out in one of these while driving, prepare for a significant reduction in visibility.

The remnants of Florence will begin affecting us on Sunday. If you have any outdoor plans I would try to get those done early in the day. I have more on this in the Tropics section below.

Tropics/Discussion

Florence finally made landfall at 6:15 this morning near Wrightsville Beach, NC. The storm made landfall with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph, with higher gusts. The storm surge and flooding has already been remarkable. Now, the storm continues to crawl to the southwest at around 5 mph. Many of us can walk faster than that!

The storm will continue dropping significant rainfall on eastern NC today. That rain will spread westward and southward through the day. There have already been hundreds of high water rescues. They are currently trying to evacuate 150 people from a facility near New Bern, NC. It’s just an absolute mess.

The storm will continue to crawl across the Carolinas before finally making it’s way toward our direction on Sunday. This will cause breezy conditions to develop on Saturday. Those breezes will pick up on Sunday to the 15-20 mph range, with gusts as high as 30 mph. The rain bands will begin arriving as early as Saturday night, though that rain will be light if it makes it this far west. During the day Sunday, our rain chances will pick up, increasing as we go through the day. We could even see some isolated storms. The remnants of Florence will finally make their way out of here by Monday night. After all is said and done, we may end up getting about an inch or rain.

Pictured below is Florence at 8:55 a.m. Notice the outermost edge of her clouds are now crossing the mountains, headed west. I’ll try to let you know when those arrive here. One of my favorite things about East Coast hurricanes is watching those first clouds arrive. I hope our skies cooperate enough for us to see them well. Usually, that’s all we get from East Coast hurricane; some neat looking clouds. But, Florence is different.

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Pictured below is the enhanced water vapor imagery of Florence, along with her latest forecast track. Notice the storm makes its closest approach to the plateau Sunday night (unless something changes with the path/timing again).

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Records

One-day rainfall records continue to fall as the remnants of Hurricane Fredrick continue to pound the midstate with rain. September of 1979 would go down as the wettest September on record for most counties in Middle TN. Rainfall totals on the 14th ranged from 5-9 inches across the area.

On this date in 1987, Barrow, Alaska, picked up 5.1 inches of snow. This is a record snowfall for that city for the month of September.

Which reminds me….

I have a friend, Kristen, who grew up in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). She sent me some pics from her mother’s house yesterday. Kristen is currently living in Fayettville, NC and is going to be dealing with Florence today. After her mother sent her this pic, she says she no longer dreads Florence (haha). For some reason, Kristen got tired of snow after growing up in Alberta. Wonder why?….. ha

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News

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for fall. This weather has been so summer-like lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer! But, there comes a time when you just get ready for cool, crisp days and those beautiful fall colors.

This all leads us to wonder about when we’ll have our first frost. I recently had an article I wrote on this subject published in both the Fentress Courier and Livingston Enterprise. I hope you enjoy it. You all have a great day!

FROST

The season’s first frost advisories were issued across the northern Plains during the first week of September. The average first frost for the Cumberland Plateau does not occur until the middle of October, though we have seen frost earlier and later than that.

The earliest frost on record for the plateau was recorded on September 21, 1956. That is when the Crossville airport recorded a morning low of 33 degrees. That record low would be tied on September 22, 1983. The earliest freeze ever recorded at that airport occurred on October 2, 1974, when the temperature dipped to 31 degrees.

Folks often ask me how frost can form when temperatures are 33 degrees or warmer? That’s a good question! How can ice crystals form when the temperature is not quite to the freezing mark of 32 degrees? The answer lies in how you have your thermometer placed.

The standard height of a National Weather Service thermometer is four feet off the ground. Frost occurs on clear, calm nights. The ground cools off quicker than the air above it in these conditions. This can cause your thermometer, sitting four feet off the ground, to be recording temperatures of 33-36 degrees, while the colder air at the ground is at or below 32 degrees.

Car windshields cool more quickly than the air around them, too, leading to the frosty windshields we love to scrape.

We certainly have not had any cooler weather around here this month. After a wetter and cooler summer, temperatures on the plateau in September remind us more of summer than of fall. Extended outlooks show above-average temperatures holding on for the rest of this month. But, don’t despair. It won’t be long before we will be scraping frost off those windshields, and summer will be but another memory.

ONE LAST THING!

Please don’t forget my fundraiser tomorrow! If you cant’ come tell someone you think might. We’d love to see a great turnout and raise some serious cash for the Mayland Senior Center.

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