The front arrives today

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Main Threats

Today: Torrential downpours of rain that could lead to localized flooding. Be especially careful out driving.

Summary

Before the rain is all said and done, we will likely pick up another one to two inches of rain. I picked up two inches at home last night, but some folks picked up close to half a foot over in Putnam County! I’ve now collected nearly 7.5 inches of rain since Friday (Rinnie).

Be aware of any strong storms that may develop, as they can produce gusty winds that could topple shallow-rooted trees that are in saturated soils. We are not expected much storm activity today, but any that do will have gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

By this evening, the front will be pushing through and that will bring in some drier air. That won’t stop an upper-level disturbance from trying to kick off some showers here Thursday.

Below is a map showing the counties in a flash flood watch for today. Chattanooga has already broken records this week for 24-hour September rainfall.

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Skies will become partly cloudy for Friday-Saturday, with only isolated afternoon/evening showers. Again, most of us will stay dry. The latest model trends have us completely dry on Saturday. Hopefully, they will stay consistent with that. The only glitch is how close that front will be to us when it stalls out. Right now, it looks like it will stall across northern Alabama.

At this time, Sunday looks dry but more showers may threaten again by Monday. I think this is going to be one of those autumns when we find out if having a lot of rain makes the fall colors prettier!

Tropics

The system of most interest is the one named Kirk. As expected, the system reorganized into a tropical storm yesterday evening and is now at 45 mph. The storm is expected to weaken back down to a depression by Saturday, but the remnants of that system will continue moving westward into the Caribbean. Anytime a system moves into the Caribbean this time of year, it needs to be watched. The good news is that most models have it weak and steered westward into Mexico. I’ll keep an eye on it, though.

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We still have a weak system off the Carolina coast that is partly the remnants of Florence. It’s unique to see a system make this big of a loop back around, but it’s not unprecedented. Upper level winds are now unfavorable for development and the system will be absorbed by our front that is coming through today and swept out to sea.

The only other area of interest is the remnants of Leslie (red-shaded area). This system is expected to become a tropical storm again, but it will only be of concern to the fish of the open waters of the Atlantic. The system poses absolutely no threat to land.

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Records

For those of us looking for snow this one makes us smile. On this day in 1936, the city of Denver was buried under 21 inches of snow! Nearly all of that fell within a 24-hour time frame. Unfortunately, it was a heavy wet snow that snapped trees and powerlines. Still, nearly two feet of snow in September?! I’ll take it!

Seriously, we’ve had practically no snow here for two winters in a row…. how much more of this snow drought must we endure!? How much, I ask!!??

I would love to talk about snow some more but we’re in hurricane season and there’s just too many hurricane records to not mention one. On this day in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne made landfall just a few miles from where Hurricane Frances had made landfall in central Florida. Jeanne was a cat 3 major hurricane at landfall. If you’ll recall, it was the 2004 season that brought Florida four land-falling hurricanes. The 2005 season would bring even more catastrophe, along with Katrina.

Hurricane Jeanne was a little odd. She made a big loop in the Bahamas, as if undecided on whether or not she was ready to leave.

Below is the path of Jeanne.

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Below is the map of the 2004 hurricane season, which left the state of Florida picking up the pieces from four land-falling hurricanes. Notice how similar Jeanne’s path is to Frances’.

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If you think Jeanne’s path was crazy check out Ivan’s (below). He’s the storm you see in the image above that hit near Mobile, Alabama. Ivan also hit during the 2004 season. That was his first of many landfalls, including his loop back that took him through extreme southern Florida. He hit the Miami area AFTER hitting near Mobile. What a crazy season that was…

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News

In case you’re getting impatient and are just dying to see some frost on the pumpkin, I have the perfect destination for you! Head north and west and you’ll find frost advisories and freeze warnings galore! Our cold front that is passing through this evening is ushering in the coldest temps so far this season for portions of the northern Plains (see blue-shaded counties).

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In other news…

I checked the drought monitor map, as I do every Wednesday, to see where the drought conditions are the worst in the country. It’s always a good idea to take a glance at it on Wednesdays because it updates on Thursdays. You can then compare the changes. I noticed that last week’s update showed portions of northern Alabama and northern Mississippi in light drought conditions. I have a feeling this week’s update will erase all of that for them.

Pictured below is last week’s drought update (left) and the current radar (right). The light yellows indicate abnormally dry conditions.

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You all have a great day and try to stay dry again! Just think about that fall a couple years ago when we were so brutally dry. Remember the fires near Gatlinburg? Yeah, I’ll take the rain any day over that mess!

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