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Watching dangerous Dorian and an interesting TN sunset explained


Weather Headlines

–Beautiful weather continues for the Cumberland Plateau

–Dangerous Dorian continues to eye Florida

Main threats

No significant threats in sight for our area.


Our beautiful weather continues and there’s just not a lot to say. I don’t think we could have ordered a better Labor Day weekend.

Look for excellent skies for star gazing too. If I hear or see anything really cool I’ll send out a blog post.

As we get into next week, we’ll have to wait and see what impact Dorian has on our forecast. Right now, it just looks like she’ll bring some drier air down from the north and give us continued dry weather. Often times, we will be able to see the western-most edge of the storm’s clouds when they take a path up through the Carolinas. That can give us some very beautiful skies!



Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast



On this day in 2005 the remnants of Hurricane Katrina arrived in Tennessee. We picked up nearly an inch of rain, with wind gusts to 40 mph.

A very unusual hurricane moved up the eastern seaboard on this day in 1839. The storm drew in enough cold air on the backside to turn rain to snow for the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Considerable snowfall was reported. How would you like to end out August with a big snow? ha


Hurricane Dorian is now packing winds of 110 mph, making her a dangerous category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The storm is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane later today. Models have slowed the storm down even more, which is not good for Florida. It’s looking more and more likely that Dorian will make landfall as a category 4 storm on the east coast of Florida, then cut north and then northeast. This would bring hurricane conditions, at various times, to nearly the entire peninsula. Let’s hope and pray that doesn’t happen.


Enhanced water vapor imagery shows the outflow aloft quite well. See how the clouds look like they’re fanning out, especially on the south side? That is outflow. Warm, humid air rises up within the hurricane and creates the robust t-storms. Then, that air is evacuated from the top of the hurricane and spreads out in all directions. The more air that is evacuated outward and away from the storm aloft, the stronger the hurricane can get. It’s like a vacuum. The more efficiently the air can be pulled up, the faster it will rise. The faster that air rises, the more robust the storms can become, making a stronger hurricane.


On top of this, we now have another system to watch, just coming off the Africa coast.


WeatherTAP WeatherFACT

Relative to the hurricane’s motion, the right front quadrant is the most dangerous part of the hurricane. This is where the strongest winds can be found, the heaviest rainfall, the worst storm surge, and the greatest threat for tornadoes.

In the right front quadrant, winds quickly blow onshore, with nothing to slow them down before they do so. Contrast this with the back side of the storm, where winds have been slowed by the friction of the land and are blowing water away from the shore.

Always try to avoid the right front quadrant.


Today’s WeatherTAP WeatherWORD

Wind Shear

The difference in wind speed and/or direction with height.

Tornadoes favor an environment in which winds change speed and direction with height. This occurs in the right front quadrant of hurricanes, increasing the tornado potential.

NASA Knowledge

As Dorian appears to be trying to aim at the Space Coast, the folks at the Kennedy Space Center have few worries. After all, the facilities there are build to withstand a category 5 hurricane, the strongest hurricane level on the scale.

Kennedy Space Center will be closing at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, with a team of 100-120 people staying behind to monitor things.

Crawlers carry the rockets to the launch pad (I shared the story of the young lady who drives one yesterday). They move at about one mile per hour, so it takes them eight hours to get from the launch pad to their safe storage at the Vehicle Assembly Building. They have been moved inside already.

The Space Center moved to HURCON level 4 yesterday, meaning that damaging winds could arrive within 72 hours. The HURCON scale goes from 5 (damaging winds within 96 hours) to 1 (damaging winds within 12 hours).


One of the coolest things I’ve seen in some time happened yesterday during our sunset and I almost missed it, in more ways than one!

First of all, I nearly missed the sunset. However, I did catch a bit of a view of it just long enough to wonder what that blue streak was in the sky. Those are often caused by the setting sun casting the shadow of storm in front of it. The odd thing about that is that there were no storms in Tennessee.

I almost forgot about seeing that blue streak until I saw pictures of that sunset on Twitter, causing a bit of a stir. “What was that?!” “Did anyone see that weird blue streak?!”

It turns out that the sun was indeed casting a shadow from a storm as the sun was setting. The crazy thing is that the storms were in Kansas! Yes, Kansas! Very severe storms erupted across portions of that state last evening and the setting sun cast shadows from those storms all the way to Tennessee! That is so cool!


You all have a great day! I’ll keep you posted on Dorian!



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