Baldwin’s First Day of Fall Wx blog for Sept. 22

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At a Glance

48-Hour Weather

Threats

Hazardous weather is not expected this week. General thunderstorms could occur the end of this week and into the weekend, but those storms are expected to stay below severe limits.

Baldwin’s Severe Weather Concern

Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

Daily Forecast

Today: Mostly sunny and pleasant. An incredible way to kick off a new season!

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy.

Thursday – Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, with a chance for a shower or three.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with scattered showers and t-storms.

Monday: Partly cloudy, with a chance for a shower.

Today’s Choice of Outdoor Activity

With rain chances increasing a bit by the end of the week, it’s a good day get out there with the ole lawn mower!

Baldwin’s Hay Day Forecast

The best chance of rain continues to look best on Sunday. The good news is that the next couple of days look superb. Then, some moisture from “Beta” will bring a few showers to the area by the end of the week, though that moisture does not look impressive and will be greatest south of I-40.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National High and Low Temperature

High: 111° at Death Valley, California

Low: 15° at Big Piney, Wyoming

Tropics

It now looks a weakening and unraveling “Beta” will move into northern Mississippi by late Thursday night. As the system continues to weaken, it should move into our area by the very end of the week, bringing us a few showers.

The tropics remain very active but Beta is the only concern to the US, with the exception of the dangerous rip tides Hurricane Teddy is producing along the East Coast today. That disturbance over Cuba is unlikely to develop, but we can’t take our eyes off anything this time of year. Paulette has regenerated in the eastern Atlantic and is moving toward the east.

Today’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Tropical Storm Beta is about the only thing going on today across the country, as far as weather is concerned. That system is barely a tropical storm this morning, but it will continue to bring the threat of heavy rainfall to the Texas and Louisiana coastline, as well as into the northern portions of Louisiana and southern Arkansas. Hurricane Teddy is moving north through the western Atlantic, kicking up 30-60 foot waves! Very dangerous rip currents will be found along the East Coast today from that storm. Teddy will move northward into eastern Canada over the next few days.

Tomorrow’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

The remnants of Beta will bring the potential for some heavy downpours across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Those downpours could lead to some flash flooding.

 On This Day

On this day in 1989, Hurricane Hugo quickly lost strength over South Carolina, but was still a tropical storm when it crossed into North Carolina, just west of Charlotte, at about 7:00 am. Winds around the Charlotte area reached 69 mph, with gusts to 99 mph! Eighty percent of the power was knocked out to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Property damage in North Carolina topped 210 million dollars, and damage to crops was estimated at 97 million dollars. The strongest storm surge occurred along the southern coast shortly after midnight, reaching nine feet above sea level at ocean Isle and Sunset Beach. Other areas had a surge as high as 20 feet.

Long Range Outlook 

It’s looking like September will end on a cool note for many of us in the central and eastern US. Thankfully, wetter conditions are expected across the Northeast, where so many ares are quite dry. Unfortunately, hot and dry conditions look to prevail out west, where they could really use some rainfall. I’m afraid we’ll be hearing about big wildfires out west again for next week.

Temperature

Precipitation 

Weather Shot

This is the scene in one area of Houston this morning, as Tropical Storm Beta continues to produce heavy rainfall on that area. I can understand shy this highway might be closed….. #gettheboat

NASA Nerdology

Astronomers have detected a small asteroid, named 2020 SO (possibly space junk), will be a temporary satellite of Earth from October 2020 till May 2021. It will complete two full orbits before departing into a heliocentric orbit again. “2020 SO” is estimated to be about 20-50 feet in diameter. Pictured below is the expected path of 2020 SO. You can see the Moon’s path in yellow. Am I the only one kinda wishing it would crash into the Moon so I could see that awesome sight with my telescope?…… (ha) My apologies to 2020 SO, if you’re reading this.

You all have a great day!

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Remembering Hurricane Hugo. My first big wx memory!

Imagine being this late in September and just now getting to the “H” storm of the season. That used to be common. On this day in 1989, Hurricane Hugo was our “H” storm and it left an impact on the Southeast that has not been forgotten.

The storm was the worst hurricane in South Carolina’s history. It made landfall as a powerful cat 4 hurricane around midnight, with winds of 135 mph. It absolutely devastated coastal South Carolina and brought damaging winds and flooding to much of the Carolinas. The scene below was a common scene through large portions of South Carolina.

Like so many tropical systems this time of year, Hugo originated off the Africa coastline and tracked westward. At one point, Hugo strengthened into the most powerful of all storms; a category 5. Thankfully, that occurred while the storm was out at sea.

Many of us believe Hugo was on the way to restrengthening to that intensity when the coast of South Carolina got in the way. Pictured below is the path of Hugo. The different colors of the path correspond to intensity. Hugo was strengthening when landfall occurred. Notice it was still a tropical storm when it clipped northeastern Tennessee!

Hurricane Hunters investigating the storm expected to fly into a strong hurricane but they had no idea Hugo had exploded into a cat 5. They penetrated the eyewall about 3,500 feet too low for such a powerful hurricane. The next thing they knew, they were dropping toward the ocean within a downdraft they barely escaped. In fact, they came within 800 feet of plunging into the ocean!

Hurricane Hunter planes can handle a lot but the forces on this flight almost took the plane down. One engine was knocked out and a second, on the same wing, was crippled. A life raft within the plane put a dent in a metal rod! The planes are made to withstand 3 Gs of forces and this one withstood 5.5 Gs. We usually measure Gs when we talk about rocket launches and roller coasters. The plane suffered all kinds of damage.

The Hurricane Hunter craft finally ascended to 7,000 feet and found a bit of a weakness to escape the storm through. What a ride that must have been! Debris was everywhere inside the plane and even waste deep in one location. Anything that wasn’t bolted to the plane was thrown. The picture below is from the inside of that plane.

Pictured below is the surface map animation, showing the track of Hugo. The storm even brought tropical storm conditions to northeastern portions of Tennessee.

For such a powerful hurricane, Hugo didn’t produce the rainfall amounts you might expect. Granted, the storm brought in a 20 foot storm surge along the coast, but the rapid movement of the storm kept it from producing incredible rainfall amounts. Even our area saw some rain from the storm!

Hugo was the first significant weather event of my childhood. I remember it well. I had just gotten my very own 13-inch black and white tv the Christmas before. I have two younger brothers and having my own tv in my own room was Heaven (ha).

The night Hugo hit I was glued to the tv. I’m not sure why, but it all absolutely fascinated me. I watched as reporters came to me live from beach so-and-so, then sent it back to another journalist on another beach. It was one hellish weather scene after another. I was glued to the tv. I begged mom and dad to let me stay up and watch the late night landfall and they let me. I’m so glad they did. I knew weather was my thing from that night forward. I finally fell asleep in my darkened room, with nothing but the flicker of the little tv bouncing off my walls.

This was back when major hurricanes were very rare. We didn’t have cable or satellite. Dad said he wasn’t going to have three sons watching tv all the time (ha!). So I had to rely on local networks to continuously broadcast. Thank goodness they did!

I think it’s safe to say that Meteorologist Mark was born that night (ha). Always encourage your kids or the young people around you to pursue their passions. It sure can make for an interesting and fulfilling life!

Sadly, Hurricane Hugo took the lives of 86 people through its lifetime. It’s a million wonders that number isn’t significantly higher. The storm became the most expensive hurricane in American history (up to that point) and nearly downed a Hurricane Hunter plane. The storm damaged or destroyed millions of acres of forestland. And no one can forget the phenomenal 20-foot storm surge that came in at high tide. Hugo had the storm surge of a cat 5 hurricane!

And then there’s the toll the storm took on the loss of homes. It’s all mind boggling.

Hugo was one for the record books and one many of us will never forget. Rest assured, there are many folks in the Carolinas who are reflecting in this event tonight, too.

Baldwin’s Monday Wx Blog for Sept. 21

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At a Glance

48-Hour Weather

Threats

Hazardous weather is not expected this week.

Baldwin’s Severe Weather Concern

Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

Daily Forecast

Monday – Tuesday: Mostly sunny and pleasant. What a way to start the fall season!

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy. Continued pleasant.

Thursday – Friday: A chance for showers. This is heavily dependent upon the track of the remnants of Tropical Storm Beta. I’ll keep you posted.

Friday – Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, with a chance for a shower each day.

Sunday: A chance for showers and storms, as a front moves through.

Today’s Choice of Outdoor Activity

It’s the perfect day to take a stroll outside during your lunch break. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and fresh air.

Baldwin’s Hay Day Forecast

This week is off to a great start for hay weather! I’ve seen so many fields being cut for hay over the past several days and this couldn’t be a better time to do that! We do have some shower chances coming Thursday BUT that is dependent upon what the remnants of Beta do. I’ll keep you posted. That’s not looking like a washout, by any means. The next best chance of rain should hold off until Sunday, when another cold front passes through. I’ll monitor that, as well.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National High and Low Temperature

High: 109° at both Brawley, California and Topock, Arizona

Low:16° at Big Piney, Wyoming

Tropics

The track forecast for Tropical Storm Beta continues to change. Yesterday, it looked like it would move right over the top of us by Thursday. Last night, it looked like it would stay near the coast. Today, it’s a mix of both those solutions (ha). In the end, this system is weak and even if it does move right over us, I don’t think rainfall amounts will be impressive at all. I’ll keep you posted.

We still have a disturbance to watch near Florida, though its chance for development is very small. Still, I’ve seen too many systems suddenly develop in that zone, so we’ll keep an eye on that (especially with the way this season is going!). Hurricane Teddy is moving past Bermuda today and will eventually swing toward Nova Scotia. Waves of up to 20 feet are being reported at Bermuda now! But that’s nothing, the storm is expected to kick up 60 foot waves in the western Atlantic tomorrow! Farther east, the orange-shaded region could regenerate. That is the remnants of Paulette.

Today’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

The only significant weather today is flooding along the Texas and Louisiana coasts from Tropical Storm Beta. Farther east, Hurricane Teddy will be impacting Bermuda.

Tomorrow’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

More flooding is expected along the coasts from Tropical Storm Beta. That storm should make landfall late tonight. Notice Hurricane Teddy moving north through the western Atlantic.

 On This Day

On this day in 1989 – Hurricane Hugo slammed into the South Carolina coast about 11:00 pm, making landfall near Sullivans Island. Hurricane Hugo was directly responsible for thirteen deaths, and indirectly responsible for twenty-two others. A total of 420 persons were injured in the hurricane and damage was estimated at eight billion dollars, including two billion dollars in damages to crops. Sustained winds reached 85 mph at Folly Beach SC, with wind gusts as high was 138 mph. Wind gusts reached 98 mph at Charleston, and 109 mph at Shaw Air Force Base. The biggest storm surge occurred in the McClellanville and Bulls Bay area of Charleston County, where a storm surge of 20.2 feet was reported at Seewee Bay. Shrimp boats were found one half mile inland at McClellanville. 

Long Range Outlook 

Long-range outlooks for the weekend and into early next week indicate warm conditions across much of the nation, with moisture increasing in the Southeast from the remnants of Beta. Cold fronts will bring moisture to New England, where they are very dry these days.

Temperature

Precipitation 

Weather Shot

Hurricane Hugo was my first significant weather event and I’ve never forgotten it. As a kid, I had just gotten my own 13″ black and white tv for my bedroom the Christmas before. Mom and dad let me stay up and watch Hugo make landfall. A major landfalling hurricane was rare in the late 80s and every local news network had switched to national coverage of the event. Reporters were on the coast, being slammed by high winds and sand, and giving continuous coverage of weather updates. I was in awe and I’ve never been able to shake the “weather bug” since.

A very powerful Hurricane Hugo made landfall on the South Carolina coastline 31 years ago tonight. This is the satellite image of the storm at landfall. A storm is considered to be making landfall when the eye of the storm is halfway on the coast.

NASA Nerdology

This is really, really cool! We are all set to collect our first sample from an asteroid! This will be the most incredible sample collected since the Apollo astronauts brought back Moon rocks!

You all have a great day!

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Baldwin’s Sunday Story Wx Blog for Sept. 20

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At a Glance

48-Hour Weather

Threats

Hazardous weather is not expected over the next 7-10 days.

Baldwin’s Severe Weather Concern

Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

Daily Forecast

Today – Wednesday: Sunny and pleasant days.

Thursday – Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy , with a chance for a shower, as “Beta” approaches the area. This is dependent upon Beta’s track.

Today’s Choice of Outdoor Activity

It’s a fine day to be outside. It’s also a find day to chill in the hammock.

Baldwin’s Hay Day Forecast

The weather for today through Wednesday looks perfect. After that, it just depends on the track of Beta. Regardless of where the storm tracks, by the time it gets into our neck of the woods it will likely be so washed and weak, that it is highly unlikely that we would see much rainfall. Areas south of I-40 would likely have better rain chances than areas north of the interstate. I’ll keep an eye on all that.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National High and Low Temperature

High: 110° at Brawley, California

Low: 19° at Grayling, Michigan

Tropics

It now looks like Tropical Storm Beta will make landfall on the Texas coast early this week. The storm should then turn northeastward and may end up in our neck of the woods at the end of the week. That could bring us some showers. That track could easily change, so stay tuned.

We now have an area to watch off the Florida east coast, though its chance for development is only at 10%. Farther east, Hurricane Teddy will move toward Bermuda and eventually Nova Scotia. Wilfred is expected to weaken into a depression but that will still need to be monitored closely. Sometimes those systems reorganize as they trek westward. And then the remnants of Paulette (orange X) may redevelop this week. That system would continue to be named Paulette, since it has never lost its circulation.

Today’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

It’s a rather quiet day across the country, though some unsettled weather can be found in the Southeast, as Tropical Storm Beta spins in the Gulf.

Tomorrow’s Wx Hazards Across the Nation

The threat for heavy rainfall can be found along the Texas coast and western Louisiana coast, as Tropical Storm Beta moves closer to the coastline.

 On This Day

On this day in 1845, a tornado traveled 275 miles across Lake Ontario, New York and Lake Champlain.

Sunday Story

The naming of tropical systems began in 1953. At that time, storms were only given female names. By 1978, the use of alternating male and female names began. 

Naming the storms makes it easier to communicate information about the storm, especially when there are multiple storms threatening at once. Naming also helps when documenting a storm’s effects afterwards. 

While there are 26 letters in the alphabet, only 21 names are derived from those letters. The letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z have no names for them. 

During the historic 2005 outbreak of tropical storms and hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center ran out of names for storms for the first time since naming began. When all 21 names are used, the naming system defaults to the Greek alphabet, beginning with Alpha, then Beta, and so forth. There are 24 Greek letters available. 

The 2020 season will be the second time that we have exhausted our alphabet names and resort to the Greek alphabet. This season is on track to contain the most named storms of any season on record. 

A combination of factors must come together to create a record season. Warm ocean temperatures are needed. Water temperatures of at least 80 degrees are required to sustain a hurricane. That warm water evaporates easily into the air, creating a very humid air mass that fuels storms.

The atmosphere must cooperate, too. Tropical systems need a moist atmosphere, free of any dry air intrusions of any kind. If the winds are too strong in the atmosphere, the storm will tear apart. Winds must be light throughout the atmosphere to sustain the bigger storms. 

Hurricanes are the most powerful storms on earth. Let’s just hope and pray that future storms this season keep that power out at sea.  

You all have a great day!

Be sure to “Follow” the blog and get updates emailed straight to your inbox! Just find that “Follow” button in the lower right corner of  your screen. Thank you!