Sunday Briefing: Florence finally begins to move toward Western Carolinas, flood theat still exists...

Submitted by: Daniel Crawley (@SoApps1979)

 

Good Sunday morning to everyone across the region, we continue to monitor what is left of Florence as it is finally showing signs of forward movement toward our region. This forecast over the past several days has been very fluid to say the least. Florence has thrown forecasters a few curve balls along the way…

 

 

Recent meso-analysis indicates that Florence was located near Orangeburg South Carolina as of 2 am this morning and moving off to the west-northwest at 6 mph, which is the fastest it has moved since late Friday night.

 


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Sateliite and water vapor shows that Florence continues to hold a decent structure considering it has been inland for close to 48 hours at this point. One reason it has held intact is because of high pressure overhead giving the storm good ventilation in the upper levels to the north and east sides of the storm. If this feature was still out over water, we would likely be talking an intensifying storm. Also, Florence continues to have a strong inflow from the Atlantic, today the storm will lose some of that direct moisture inflow but moisture should continue be very plentiful to produce widespread precipitation all day long, heavy at times.

 


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The rainfall which has filled in quite a bit since last Saturday evening will continue to do so on Sunday morning. Rainfall rates (1/2 in per hour) while not very intense right now will get stronger as we go through the day

 

 

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The peak of intensity in precip may begin around noon and could last for a 3 of 4 hour window where rates could run at 1-2 inches per hour. The exact placement of this feeder band will largely determine the locations to receive the heaviest rainfall. The surface low will be roughly to the west of Newberry South Carolina as this juncture, that will result in easterly surface which will begin to provide upslope in our favored locations in the foothills.

 


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By late afternoon, the low pressure will be located near where the North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia state lines meet. Surface flow will be veering to southeast at this point keeping the rainfall at a steady rate. Plus our feeder line of moisture from the Atlantic will continue to impact our northern tier.

 


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Right now we continue to forecast the potential of excessive rainfall through early Monday as amounts could range up to six inches (storm total), however any of the feeder bands that develop could result in local higher amounts. Upslope flow into the higher terrain will also provide elevated rainfall amounts. This should result in flash flooding later today in several local areas…

 

 

In summary here are the key points for today’s weather as Florence will provide its biggest impacts to the Western Carolinas today…the entire weather team will be monitoring the latest with Florence and will have continuous updates here at our website and on social media.

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Tropical Storm Florence 40 Miles SE Of Florence SC This Morning, Moving SW At 5mph. Wind/Rain Impacts Begin Today

Saturday Morning September 15, 2018 7:00am

Chief Meteorologist Chris White

 

Good Saturday morning. Winds conditions overspreading the area and those should continue to increase today. Sustained winds will be 20-30mph and gusts could reach 50mph at times, slightly higher along the eastern slope. Wind Advisory will take us through Sunday Morning when wind should slowly weaken slowly.

I didnt have a lot of time to do a ton of work on these graphics overnight as our obligations expand but I agree with GSP on these totals.

Florence remains a tropical storm this morning with winds of 50mph and higher gusts.  Florence is 15 miles West of Pawley’s Island SC and is creeping WSW at 5mph. Florence will likely be downgraded to a tropical depression later today. 

Synopticlly: 

High Pressure in the Ohio Valley Will shift east today releasing its block on Florence that currently is restricting its movement West. Florence will start to pick up speed later today and will move to a position near or just North Of Columbia SC by tonight. A trough will move SE and pick Florence up by Monday Morning and push it through the Northeast and out to sea. Florence will at that time finally be a memory but the recovery will be in full swing. 

 

Impacts: 

Winds: Increasing now and very gusty with gusts to 22mph. Become sustained 10-20 today with gusts to 50mph, especially when the heaviest rain develops this evening. I expect power outages to grow here going into the night. Wind advisory until Sunday Morning at 8am looks very well placed by NWS.  Some damage is likely to trees and power lines so be prepared of the possibi,it’s of losing power tonight for an extended amount of time. Weak structures could experience minor damage.


Rainfall: Scattered at first this morning but as day goes on becoming more widespread by this evening. Rainfall will become heavy as the night goes on tonight. I think total storm total accumulation we forecast  of 6-10 inches is very well done and see no reason for raising or lowering those. Two heavy strips of rain are likely. One from Charlotte up 77 to I-40 and then NW along and North Of 321 toward Virginia (includes Alexander, Catawba, and Caldwell. Then the second is of course those upslope areas that are always favored. In those two area up to 15 inches of rain remain possible. Everywhere else should fall righ in that 6-10 range.

 

Tornado: While our 8 County area will be on the east and northeast side of Florence, the system will be in a weaker state and the tornado risk is less than 2%. Although we cannot completely rule them out this evening or overnight tonight the chances are low. Tornadoes in tropical cyclones are generally weak and can occur so quick that they spin up and are gone in between radar frames. If a tornado warning or two should be needed then move to an interior room quickly. Tornadoes from landfalling tropical systems are normally weak and are almost always rain wrapped, and not visible.

 

Florence Approaching NC Coast; Preparations Across NC and SC Should Be Rushed To Completion. Florence's History Included.

5:30am Thursday September 13, 2018

Chief Meteorologist Chris White

Good Morning. Florence is about 205 miles ESE of Wilmington and churning North. Florence did encounter some of that shear that we have been discussing was possible over the last few days. A small meso low developed Wednesday Evening just East of Jacksonville Florida and it was just enough to disrupt Florence’s flow. Florence has been going through an eyewall replacement cycle since about 3am and continues to be wop sided to the Northeast. The southeast quadrant of Florence continues to experience shear and I doubt Florence will be strengthening very much before she approaches land tonight.

High pressure continues to build east slowly and the cold front remains over Memphis TN. Frontal systems have a tough time progressing Southeast through our part of the country this time of year and most of the time are slower than most models project them out 5+ days. In accordance with that experience we were concerned with higher impacts from Florence across the foothills since this past weekend. Ill be honest. I feel like I have been forecasting this monster for two weeks. Well, I guess that is because we have.

Here is some fun facts about Florence. Florence began as a area of disturbed weather over Kayes Africa (Lat 12.9N and Long -10.9W) on August 29th 2018 at 1:00pm. Florence emerged off the West Coast of Africa on August 30th at 1:00am EDT (12.8 N, -16.9 W) with a sea level pressure of 1007mb or 29.73 inches. At this time she was known at Ivest06. To be Florence had winds of 23 mph. From there its slow journey across The Atlantic began. Florence moved WSW reaching is Southern most point on August 30th at 1:00pm at Lat 12.8 N, Long 19.0 W with a sea level pressure of 1007mb or 29.73 inches of mercury. To be Florence turned WNW at that point and was designated as Tropical Depression Number 6 on August 31st, 2018 at 1:00pm while located at Lat 13.8 N, Long -23.8W. Florence continued WNW and was dubbed Tropical Storm Florence on September 1st, 2018 at 1:00am while located at 14.3 N, -26.1 W. Florence had a sea level pressure of 1003mb or 29.61 inches of mercury. Florence had winds of 40mph. Florence’s journey took her WNW across the Atlantic and her next milestone was becoming Hurricane Florence on September 4th, 2018 at 7:00am. At that time Florence was a category 1 hurricane with winds of 75mph, a sea level pressure of 990mb or 29.23 inches of mercury, and was positioned at 19.5 N, -42.0 W. All of the hurricane models indicated Florence would remain out at sea as of this point. It didn’t take long for Florence to strengthen either. By September 4th at 7:00pm Florence became a category 2 hurricane while positioned at 20.4 N, -43.4 W. At that point microwave and satellite data indicated winds of 98mph around the eye of Florence with a pressure of 976mb or 28.82 inches of mercury. Florence was undergoing rapid intensification. Just 12 hours later at 7:00am Florence became a category 3 storm with a sea level pressure of 961mb or 28.27 inches of mercury. Satellite and microwave data indicated Florence had winds of 121mph and was moving NW. Florence was not done showing off just yet either. On September 5th, 2018 at 1:00pm Florence became a category 4 hurricane with winds estimated at 132mph, a sea level pressure of 953mb or 28.14 inches of mercury while located at 22.4N and -46.2 West. From there Florence moved into a less than favorable environment and started to weaken. Florence was moving NNW and continued that path until September 7th, 2018. On this day Florence would weaken back down to a tropical storm. She was located at 25.0 N, -49.6 W and had a sea level pressure of 993mb or 29.32 inches of mercury. Winds dropped to 69mph according to microwave and satellite data. Florence was a little less than halfway across the Atlantic. From there Florence moved WSW as a tropical storm before reaching Lat 24.4 N and Long -56.1 W where she regained her reign as a category 1 hurricane. Florence would move due west again rapidly strengthening and became another major category 3 hurricane on September 10th at 7:00am. By this time all eyes became fixed on the East Coast because it was apparent Florence would miss a trough that was passing to the North and not be taken back out to sea. Florence’s pressure dropped to 955mb or 28.2 inches of mercury and had winds of 121mph. Florence would become a major category 4 hurricane in just 6 short hours. Florence reached its lowest recorded pressure on September 11th, 2018 at 7:00pm. There, located at 25.6 N, -61.8 W Florence’s pressure dropped to 941mb or 27.78 inches of mercury. Florence was again downgraded to a category 3 hurricane on September 12th, 2018 at 1:00pm. Florence has continued to weaken to a category 2 hurricane where she is located this morning at 32.8 N, -74.7 W.

Florence is approaching the North Carolina Coast this morning and residents there are thankful for her weakening. It looks like now that Florence will come on short around Wilmington as a category 2 storm and winds around 105mph. She should come ashore around 2:00am tomorrow (Friday) Morning. Florence does not look like she will move down the coast now and instead will slow way down and slowly move WSW toward Columbia before turning NW and moving into SW NC. By 2:00am Monday Morning Florence is forecast to be over Uncle Bill’s Flea Market just West of Dillsboro NC.

Impacts locally will start to be felt here in the foothills Saturday Night. Those impacts will arrive as light rain, transitioning to torrential rain rather quickly. Winds will be gusting to 45mph with the heaviest rainfall and with the saturated ground we do anticipate that being enough to bring down multiple trees and powerlines across the foothills and mountains.

Here are our high impact briefing graphics. Any questions just ask and we will be glad to answer. Florence’s impacts should start to wind down Tuesday Morning in our forecast area.

Florence Moves Closer To Carolina's. Track Starting To Become Clearer But Still Some Uncertainty.

Tuesday September 11th, 2018

Chief Meteorologist Chris White

Good Evening. I apologize for running late but here are our updated high impact weather graphics. Florence has went though another eyewall replacement cycle and the new eye is slightly smaller at about 10 miles in diameter. Florence though continues to grow and expand. She is still a very dangerous category 4 hurricane moving NNW.

Synoptics:

The high pressure ridge continues to build and strengthen to the North and out over the Northern Atlantic. The ridge has built south in behind Florence and in response Florence is almost moving at 20mph. High pressure continues to move South from the Great Lakes into the Ohio Valley. Models all are pointing at Florence running into that block from those high pressure ridges and halting forward progress around hour 72, which is Friday. At that point look for Florence to stall along the East Coast. Florence arrives as a high end category 3 or low end category 4 hurricane with catastrophic damage expected around the area it comes on shore. We have highlighted that Florence could weaken slightly before landfall in previous discussions and The National Hurricane Center indicates that models could be picking up on Florence’s own outflow, so questions rise about that.

Currently Florence is expected to make landfall between Wilmington and Morehead City. It is however very important to note that the cone of uncertainty extends down to Charleston. Where Florence stalls is a huge key factor in what will happen from there. If it stalls just offshore it will be able to maintain more of its strength but if it stalls over land it should spin down fairly quickly.

FOOTHILLS WEATHER NETWORK AREA:

Major model guidance indicate Florence moving West after that stall along the Coast. While the winds don’t appear that they will be a huge factor for our area some gusts 20-30mph are possible. Rainfall will be our biggest concern. Right now it looks like a decent place to start at with 3-6 inches through most of the coverage area. We indicate some higher totals on the eastern slopes but it is important to note here that those are highly dependent on the track of Florence. I Florence were to say track North through North Carolina and pass to the east then we would need to bring these 4-8 inch totals down along the Blue Ridge because upslope flow would not be a huge factor. If Florence were to take a track just to the SW of our area then that puts us on the right side of the disturbance and easterly flow will pile up the precipitation over that highlighted 4-8 inch zone. So with everything here it is very important that you monitor later forecasts and the adjustments that may need to be made.

We have been getting alot of questions about evacuations. Emergency Management normally does not evacuate inland areas ahead of the storm because there really is no need for it. If you live in a flood prone area it would be great for you to start making plans of where you can go if flood warnings are issued for your area.

Landslides and mudslides are of great concern with this impactful tropical cyclone. The mountains and foothills have been very wet overall this year and are already above normal on rainfall for the year in most cases. The amount of rain that moves in with Florence would likely cause a lot more of the hillsides to collapse. This is something that cant be forecast but if you live in unstable areas it would be good for you to have an emergency plan as well because you could have to leave at a moments notice.

Tornado threat will be low overall in our viewing area we think right now. Of course the right region of a tropical cyclone is more apt to create tornadoes than any other side. The good thing here is that Florence will likely weaken substantully before coming inland so for now we will keep our coverage area in a low risk for tornadoes.

Wind Damage should also be minimal across our viewing area. Florence is expected to weaken rapidly once it makes landfall. The most wind damage will likely be to trees and powerlines because of saturated ground.

ALL OF THIS SHOULD BE MONITORED FOR CHANGES AND UPDATED FORECASTS.

Life-Threatening Flash Flooding Remains On Table For Western North Carolina. Official Track Shifts West Slightly.

Tuesday September 11, 2018 Morning 7:47am

Chief Meteorologist Christopher White

Good Morning. Here is high impact weather briefing number four. Florence continues to churn in the open Atlantic but forward speed did pick up overnight to the WNW at 13mph. That is in response to the Atlantic ridge of high pressure developing to the North and East of Florence, forcing him West. Overnight Florence gained a little latitude and now sits at 26.4 N and 64.1 W. A buoy 80 miles to the North of the eye of Florence is reporting continuous tropical storm force winds and 23 foot seas. This indicates that Florence’s windfield is starting to spread out.

Over the next two days Florence is going to be in optimal conditions from strengthening. The National Hurricane Center almost make this a category 5 storm by Wednesday Evening. High pressure will be moving South on Wednesday from the Great Lakes and into the Ohio Valley. This will cause a major road block and in response Florence’s rate of speed will slow. Florence could also encounter some wind shear Wednesday Night and Thursday that should weaken it a little before it makes landfall overnight Thursday into Friday

Right now the best guidance we have looks like a land falling major hurricane between Wilmington and Morehead City early Friday Morning. This is subject to change and some ensemble models want to make a make Florence landfall in SC. It will just have to be watched and monitored. Overnight models did start to ease toward and agreement. It is pretty clear that Florence is going to stall along the coast. How long is the next question. Models agree a 24-36 hour stall before Florence comes West. This increases our risk of flash flooding, mud slides, landslides, and rock slides. Everything is slowed down now though due to the blocking and we may not see the rain and effects until Friday or Saturday.

I cannot stress to you how much we want you to prepare. Of course it isnt likely that everyone see flooding. It is likely that somewhere between NC, SC, and VA will experience extremely devastating flooding but where exactly is the key. The GFS finally agrees a run inland is plausible.

Next full update 9pm tonight.

Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Florence Heads For Carolina's And Virginia. Here Is An Update On Our Imacts In The Foothills

Monday Evening September 10, 2018 7:00pm

Chief Meteorologist Chris White

Good Monday afternoon. I hope your day is going well. We are all anticipating Hurricane Florence late this week and I will get right to the latest.

Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen in the open Atlantic and is picking up forward speed to the NNW at 13mph. Hurricane Hunters are out in the storm at this time and are sampling the structure and intensity. Mesovortices are seen on Goes-16 rotating around the eye. It is pretty remarkable to watch and have new images from the Goes-16 satellite ever 30 seconds. View it HERE but you will have to switch to infrared after the sunsets.

Some changes in the upper atmosphere today has allowed more of a NNW movement and the scary thing is that now Florence is likely going to get very close to category 5 status in the next 36 hours. Now the winds will likely come down as this storm gets close to landfall because of the shear it will encounter again. Also a ridge building over the Ohio Valley will slow Florence’s forward progress down Wednesday. Florence may slow and the central winds of Florence may come down into the category 4 range but Florence will grow in size. This increases the storm surge along the coast and broadens the impacts inland with high winds and rain. Therefore the only changes in our impact maps below will be to expand the extreme rainfall into central and eastern Virginia. We are keeping the moderate wind and rain threat in our entire viewing area and are holding onto the high rainfall impact along the Eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge. Even though current forecasts only produce 2-4 inches along the eastern slopes I worry that is underplayed a bit. So no change there. We will reevaluate these tonight during our nighttime briefing update.

Timing is next. Florence as said will slow in forward speed and some questions now rise as to just how strong that ridge is going to get to the North and East of Florence. Model data has definetely shifted to the NE of us today but the impacts will be felt well out from the center of Florence once inland because the wind field spreads out as it winds down. The next question is just how far southeast that front gets Wednesday. Models indicate that it will be over our area and work as a barricade to keep Florence from coming west. However, my experience tells me that these cold front are notorious for slowing down or stalling over or just west of the mountains. Some of the hurricane models are picking up on this too and are allowing Florence to move more West than North once landfall occurs Thursday Night.

For our area winds will start to arrive Thursday Afternoon and even with an eastward track of the center of Florence winds should still gust 40-60mph. Any shift to the West will increase those winds. Winds of 40mph can start to bring down trees and powerlines so we are forecasting a moderate impact from the wind event. The heaviest rain should arrive overnight Thursday into Friday and then it just depends on where Florence stalls as to how long this hangs out and rain holds on in the foothills.

Summary:

We still reccomend preparing for poweroutages and widely scattered flooding.

Timing: Thursday Night through atleast Saturday Morning

Confidence: 60%

Hurricane Florence Threatens North Carolina....High Impact Weather Briefing

Chief Meteorologist Chris White -  8:30pm Sunday September 9, 2018

Good Evening.  Here is our first High Impact Weather Outlook for Hurricane Florence and it's potential impact on our coverage area. 

Hurricane Florence still has some dry air wrapped up in the core of the storm and that has inhibited it from strengthening rapidly today.  The National Hurricane Center does indicate rapid intensification of Florence Monday and Tuesday.  Since the storm is currently weaker, the the storm has stayed a hair south.  Today we have really set the GFS model as the outlier model.  It is the only model that has taken the storm off shore and stalled it just East of Hatteras.  While not totally out of the question that occurs it is certainly less than a 5% chance of it re-curving out to sea.  The hurricane models and the European model in good agreement of a landfall between the NC/SC line and Morehead City.  Most of the models indicate a Wilmington landfall Thursday Afternoon as a major category 4 hurricane.

For our area across the foothills it is time to prepare for the storm as well.  Tropical storm force winds could surge into our area Thursday Afternoon and Evening.  That's right, well ahead of the storm.  The next problem is going to be the rainfall.  There could be significant rainfall across our area that would cause flooding.  Right now the greatest threat is up that Hwy 321 and Hwy 16 Corridor from Lincoln, Catawba, into Alexander Counties.  That doesn't mean that folks in our southern and western counties should let their guard down.  Heavy rainfall is possible for those areas as well. 

MEAT AND POTATOES

A very strong high pressure ridge over the Northern Atlantic is forcing Florence South and West.  Florence missed the trough that was originally forecast to pick it up and take it out back out to sea east of Bermuda late last week.  It starting growing concern for this setup we have developing now.  A cold front over our area today stalled along roughly Interstate 85.  That front will wash out.  Monday and Tuesday the high pressure ridge will strengthen further and force Florence to pick up speed as he moves West.  The current cold front over our area will wash out Wednesday and another will approach from the NW.  At the same time Wednesday Florence will slow it's forward speed due to that advancing front and high pressure that moves in behind it.  Florence should also be moving Northwest by Wednesday.  The cold front moves into our area and stalls.  The cold front will be a focal point for showers and storms on Wednesday and with winds shifting to the Southeast ahead of that front upslope flow rainfall becomes a concern.  The cold front washes out over us and high pressure will build over the Ohio Valley.  This means another roadblock for Florence advancing on through the area.  Florence in turn could move inland and stall over the Western Carolina's and Virginia bringing the inland significant flood risk.  It is too soon still to pinpoint exactly where that would set up to be the worst but everyone needs to stay abrest of the changing forecast. 

The bottom line is that now is the time to prepare for winds that could cause extended power outages and rainfall that could cause significant flooding.  It is too early to post model guidance still because it is rapidly evolving now.  The GFS is trending toward the European and the hurricane models now too.  That is for a landfall between the SC/NC State Line and Morehead City. 

 

Florence Timeline Slows. Major Hurricane To Impact Coastline Friday. Brief Sunday Morning Update. Coast Prepare. Inland Plan.

TIMELINE SLOWS ARRIVAL TO FRIDAY ALONG COAST....SATURDAY FOR POINTS INLAND

Florence has become a hurricane once again as of 11 am. 

 LOCATION...24.4N 56.3W ABOUT 750 MI...1210 KM SE OF BERMUDA ABOUT 610 MI...985 KM NE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...984 MB...29.06 INCHES

I cannot stress to you how important it is to prepare for a major hurricane making landfall late this week along and East of I-95. Please note that even inland to the mountains and foothills you must keep abreast of the changing forecast. This will be a life threatening situation if you choose to ride this storm out on the coastline. Do not compare it to other previous storms.  This storm is much different. This storm is not only likely going to make landfall as a major hurricane but it has a very good chance of stalling out and raining for days creating a life threatening flood event inland. The states of SC, NC, and VA all could have major impacts.

 

Today a cold front is moving through and will stall. Right now we think that this front will keep Florence pushed off to the East of us in the foothills and mountains. Some of the model guidance though is trending toward this front breaking down allowing Florence to move further West before it stalls.  The heaviest rainfall and winds will be to the East and Northeast of Florence’s Center.  

 

Coastline: Prepare for major hurricane direct impacts

Sandhills: Prepare for major flooding

Piedmont, Foothills, Mountains: Make a plan for prolonged heavy rain and flooding along with gusty winds should Florence’s track shift South and West.  More updates coming through the day.

 

 

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Florence getting better organized, will regain hurricane status soon. Threat to East Coast increasing...

Submitted by Daniel Crawley: @SoApps1979

 

Good Saturday afternoon to everyone, all eyes continue to be directed out into the Atlantic Ocean as Tropical Storm Florence continues to move west….

 

 

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As you can see Florence has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph as of the 11 am advisory. Visible satellite imagery is showing that Florence is still dealing with some dry air, however the wind shear that weakened the storm over the past 48 hours has lessened giving the storm a more symmetrical appearance compared to yesterday. As Florence gets further away from that dry air source and into warmer ocean waters, all of the key components for intensification are in place. Hurricane Hunters are currently en route and will investigate Florence this afternoon, the storm could become a hurricane as soon as tonight.

 

 

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The forecast through the next couple days seem pretty straight-forward as Florence will intensify as it continues to move west, chances are high that it could be a major hurricane by some point on Monday or Tuesday. Its in the later portion of the 5-Day forecast where differences still exist. High pressure to the north of Florence is going to be the main steering component going forward. It’s the strength of the high along with its exact shape and orientation that will mean the difference in where or if Florence makes landfall on the East Coast next week. While its still too early to accurately gauge where landfall might occur, we do feel that an “out-to-sea” scenario is becoming a less-likely option at this juncture.

 

 

 

As you can see on Monday morning, high pressure is steering Florence along and that ridge on some of the guidance gets even stronger as the week wears on. The European model in particular is painting a scenario where ridging works back into the US as Florence continues on a WNW path toward the Southeast Coast, specifically the South Carolina coast. Other guidance is not as strong with the ridge and allows Florence to round the corner a bit earlier implying more of a threat to the Carolina Outer Banks. Regardless of path, all guidance indicates a major hurricane will be approaching the coastline by late week. Hopefully the models will come into a better consensus on the path in the near future…

 

 

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The latest hurricane model guidance tends to side with the Euro type solution on a further south and west track…so, take that at face value.

 

 

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At this point in the game there is no need for panic in regards to Florence and potential impacts along the coastline. We’re still looking at 5-6 days away from any significant impact. Waves and rip current risks will increase a bit quicker with the approach of Florence. Regardless, have a hurricane readiness plan in place and be ready to take action when necessary.

Florence continues to migrate west across the Atlantic, questions remain in ultimate path.

Good Friday afternoon to everyone, Tropical Storm Florence is located out in the middle of the Atlantic. Florence has been quite the story-maker in recent days on social media. We are closely monitoring the latest trends  and how it could potentially impact sections of the United States down the road.

 

 

First off, shear has really worked its magic in weakening Florence over the past 24-48 hours. At one time Florence was a major hurricane but it is currently a 65 mph Tropical Storm. As you can see on the visible satellite, dry air and shear continues to impact the storm.

 

 

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Looking at the water vapor image, you can see the main steering influences that will help guide Florence over the next few days. An expansive ridge in the Atlantic Ocean is pressing down on the circulation of Florence and sending It to the west. Also, an upper level feature in the Southwest Atlantic sits in the way. This feature which really organized quickly over the past 24 hours is going to play a big role in the ultimate path of Florence.

 

 

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The Atlantic Ridge will keep Florence moving west and as it enters into light upper level winds combined with warm ocean waters, the storm will likely intensify into a hurricane once again. Then by next week conditions are looking favorable for it to possibly become a major hurricane again.

 

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It will be at the middle part of next week where any possible effects on the US could begin to happen. It’s way too early to say if or not a landfall may  occur anywhere on the East Coast. Our advise to you if you have interests along to coast is to continuing monitoring forecasts throughout the weekend and be ready early next week to make preparations if the possibility of a landfall continues to increase.

 

 

In summary...here is a look at what we know right now in relation to Florence. A lot of questions remain and we hope to starting knowing more in the coming days...

 

 

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Initial Thoughts On Tropical Storm Florence.

Friday Morning 9/7/18

Chief Meteorologist Chris White

 

There has been a ton of information flow through your social media feeds about Florence.First of all, past 5 days out right now we have no clue exactly where Florence will go. No one does at this juncture.Be careful who you are following and getting your information from because some are trying to panic you just so you will come to their site and read updates.


There are little pieces of the puzzle that still need to come together.  The first occurred today with the weakening of Florence from a hurricane to a tropical storm.  That weakening was due to SW winds shearing the system off to the Northeast.  Now that an upper level low is developing to the SW of Florence the shear will become weaker and more conducive to rapid reintensification.  Florence will also move over much warmer water over the next 24-36 hours. 


Now the third thing we don't yet know.  We don't know how quick Florence is going to restrengthen.  The longer it stays weak the further West it would most likely come.  We just don't know how quick this is going to happen.  Model guidance is all over the place because we just haven't had any good samples of the atmosphere yet around and ahead of Florence.  The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to go out starting Monday and fly the system but they could start earlier.  Also the Bermuda Weather Service will be launching balloons starting tomorrow to get one sample. 


The fourth question we have to ask is how strong will  the high pressure in the North Atlantic become?  Historically model guidance doesn't handle these well.  So no one knows yet.  We will get a better handle on this system over the next 24 - 48 hours as more data gets injected into the models.


It does appear that the East Coast will see some sort of impact from Florence whether its from larger waves causing erosion due to it's close pass to the shore, or whether it is a land falling tropical system. 


The earliest impacts would be felt along the coast is Wednesday.  So Coastal areas, you should be in planning mode for the possibility of a tropical system.  This includes making sure your Hurricane Preparedness Kits are stocked.  It is September after all and you should be prepared for any system that could threaten.

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Wednesday Futurecast: Warm pattern with scattered storms to continue...

Good Wednesday morning, a stagnant pattern remains across the Southeast US and here specifically in the Carolinas. High pressure aloft to our north has a firm hold on the weather. Hot, humid weather with widely scattered afternoon thunderstorms have been common in recent days and it looks to continue today.

 

As of 10 am the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon is located near Jackson Mississippi moving to the northwest. A strong feeder band of moisture extends eastward through the state of Alabama giving them heavy rainfall and the potential for some gusty winds. Some of the high cirrus from Gordon is streaming northeast into the Carolinas, that should persist through most of the day and may keep temperatures in check by a few degrees later this afternoon…

 

 

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Futurecast

 

 

Noon

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3 pm

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6 pm

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High Temps

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The Week Ahead + September Debut

Good evening, Foothills Weather Nation! It's September, which means a lot of things for North Carolina and the Atlantic coastline in general. As Chief Meteorologist Chris White wrote yesterday it is officially Meteorological Fall. But! As seasons are only a suggestion for Sweet Caroline we will see our general summery pattern of heat, humidity, and just enough energy to suggest a thunderstorm at some point nearly every day. Here are a couple of additional graphics I'd like to share with you about the long range forecast of September:

 NWS Long Range One Month Temperature Forecast Valid for September 2018

NWS Long Range One Month Temperature Forecast Valid for September 2018

This is looking to be an overall warmer than normal September for most of the country as all but 2 states within this graphic have an area within it a 30% or higher chance of being above normal temperature. We will dive into this further later.

 NWS Long Range One Month Precipitation Forecast Valid for September 2018

NWS Long Range One Month Precipitation Forecast Valid for September 2018

Not nearly as much of the country will be experiencing higher precipitation chances, but we are seeing that the typical regions that experience storms regularly in September are predicted to above normal precipitation for September. 

As mentioned before- hot and humid! 

Onto the stormy part of September: 

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We have three areas of focus in the Atlantic basin at this time. Let's start off with our "heavy hitter", Tropical Storm Florence. Florence is the sixth named storm of the season with  maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. This looks as though it will be the little heat engine couldn't as there isn't much promising further development. As she treks towards warmer waters she will also be met with higher wind shear- a critical factor for even the strongest of tropical cyclones. The GFS and Euro make no current suggestion of a US landfall for this storm. 

Next up to bat is Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph. Seven may only be a little unnamed storm, but it shows aspiration to be Tropical Storm Gordon as of Monday afternoon or evening. With it's promise and proximity our medium weight holds the stage of our current attention as far as tropical cyclones go. As the graphic depicts above, current forecast track has Seven, likely then Gordon, making a bee-line straight for the Big Easy which is under a tropical storm watch. This has the likelihood of bringing a bounty of energy and moisture into the Southern US by the end of our work week. Further forecasting will require time as development and track progresses.

Lastly, and certainly least we have Disturbance 2 which is hardly much of a disturbance at all really with a 0% chance of formation in the next two days and only a 20% chance of formation in the next 5 days. Neither the GFS nor the Euro make anything more of this weak collection of thunderstorms. Alas, Mother Nature has her plans, so we will wait and see what she has in store for us.

Onto our Week Ahead which has two main weather events and thus we will be broken into two sections:

Short Term Forecast (Tonight-Wednesday)

Our highly featured Mid Atlantic center of high pressure hold's its stage during this time of the forecast. This of course will bring it's ever familiar bounty of humidity and heat, but this will also create a more neutered convective situation than one might see for such heat and moisture. This isn't to say a pop-up thunderstorm or shower is out of the question during this time, but what will produce will be a small endeavor. From tonight through Wednesday Forecast Area (FA) has low precipitation probabilities (10-30%), mostly to partly sunny skies, light winds from the east-northeast, diurnal highs in the upper 80's/lower 90's and diurnal lows hovering just around 70 degrees. 

Long Term Forecast (Wednesday night - Sunday)

Starting late into Wednesday evening is when we can see our high pressure center begin to recede away from our coastline as it is side-swiped by a Canadian high pressure center moving southeast. While this doesn't suggest any troughs or fronts for the Eastern US, this does help with convective abilities, bringing in the typical 30-50% chance of rain and thunderstorms for the later half of our work week. This could ramp up higher depending on Seven's development and track! For now, anticipate for Thursday through Sunday partly cloudy conditions, light southeasterly winds, temperatures maintaining around 90 degrees and 70 degrees for the daily highs and nightly lows.

Thank you very much for reading! Have a wonderful Labor Day!

Happy Meteorological Fall; Warm Summer-Like Pattern Continues.

5:15am - Chief Meteorologist Christopher White

 5:00am Temps

5:00am Temps

Good Saturday Morning.  Lots of rain out there along and East of the Hwy 18/64 corridor and that means patchy areas of fog this morning.  Temps this morning spread from the mid 60’s to around 70°.

Hot weather continues today even though Meteorologicaly speaking we start Fall today. Summer wants you to hold out on changing everything over to that pumpkin spice yet though. A ridge of high pressure continues to dominate our area today and really the entire forecast period (7 Days). High temps today will likey be a degree or so warmer than those seen on Friday. Expect highs to top out in the upper 80’s to at most low 90’s. Thunderstorm activity will develop in the mountains first and then expect only widely scattered activity across the our coverage area. That is thanks to that strengthening ridge of high pressure. Chance of rain is 40%.

 Saturday High Temp Forecast

Saturday High Temp Forecast

 

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Futurecast Radar 5:00pm Saturday Afternoon. (Likely just a hair overdone)

 

 

Tonght any shower and storm activity will quickly fade away with the loss of daytime heating and the high pressure strengthening over the Mid Atlantic. Sunday not a lot of change but will take storm chances down to 30% chance. Temps will remain warm with forecast highs in the upper 80’s. Moving into Sunday Night again any storms will quickly dissipate after sunset. Low temps will drop back into the upper 60’s to around 70° for lows. On into Monday now as high pressure builds South and centers itself over Virginia. This will bring rain chances down even lower for your Labor Day, only a 20% chance outside of the mountains.

Looking out long term chances of rain remain around 20% for Tuesday and Wednesday with temps in the upper 80’s each afternoon. Chances for rain start to increase very slowly late this coming week. Hopefully you can find a way to stay cool! 

 

Thursday Futurecast: Slow increase in storm coverage expected...

Submitted by: Daniel Crawley (@SoApps1979)

 

Good Wednesday evening, before going to bed here’s a preview of Thursday’s weather…

The Carolinas is in the process of being caught in a general weakness between two ridges, one off the east coast and another across the Southern Plains. Light southeast flow off the Atlantic will help to provide a weak upslope component to the flow on Thursday. That combined with the general weakness aloft should help to promote a few more showers and thunderstorms compared to previous days…

 

These should be mainly garden variety storms with lightning and locally heavy rainfall, severe weather should be very limited in scope.

 


 

FUTURECAST:

 

Noon Temperatures/Future Radar

 

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2 pm

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4 pm

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Could the tropics be showing signs of life heading into September?

Submitted by: Daniel Crawley (@SoApps1979)

 

Good Tuesday evening, we are taking a look at the tropics in this briefing and quite honestly the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been very lackluster to this point in terms of impacts especially here in the United States. However we are now entering the yearly  peak of the hurricane season and there is reason to believe that activity could be on an uptick as we head into the first of September…which is all right on cue.

 

So far there have been a total of five named tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debbie and Ernesto. The first storm, Alberto was classified as a sub-tropical storm as it developed in the Gulf of Mexico and moved into the inland Southeast US. Alberto was a huge player in our weather locally as it provided excessive rainfall which resulted in significant flooding and landslides to areas along the Blue Ridge on May 29-30.

 

The four named storms since then have been storms that have mainly remained out-to-sea. Chris did brush parts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia with wind and waves but no direct impact…

 

 

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Dry air, strong westerly winds aloft and Sahara dust has played a big role in providing a hostile environment in tropical cyclone development to this point but some of that appears to be changing. A look at the visible satellite of the Atlantic Basin late this afternoon shows some cloudiness and disturbed weather between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. While it does not look very impressive right now on satellite, the region nearby and out ahead of the feature does contain a good amount of high moisture content throughout the atmosphere. This will help allow the feature to at least keep a pulse as it approaches the Island through the end of the work week.

 

 

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Computer models over the past couple days have started to hook on to the idea that some tropical development may take place with current features in the basin and more waves that will be moving off the African Coastline over the next 2-3 weeks and possibly beyond that. This initial feature is now being acknowledged by guidance as slowly developing by the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Once we get to Saturday, the models show energy in the mid levels crossing the Island and into Hispanola. Then by Labor Day itself, we could begin to see a more organized feature moving through the Turks and Caicos. The European model is the most bullish of the global models however the GFS is slowly coming around to the same idea.

 

 

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The models also have some ensemble support as well, as you can see on the European it has probabilities of tropical cyclone development at near 50/50 by early next week. Also notice on the ensemble additional probabilities with subsequent  waves in the Tropical Atlantic.

 

 

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All of these things coming together at this point is a big “if” but considering how mundane things have been in recent weeks, we do have at least something to monitor and keep in the back of our minds for the holiday weekend. Good news is for the Carolina Coastline is that high pressure aloft should be firmly in place meaning no impact expected. This ultimately will be of interest to Florida and possibly the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

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We’ll watch it and provide updates later this week if we see additional support for development.

The Week Ahead: Summer Strikes Back

Good afternoon, Foothills Weather Nation! We hope you have had a pleasant weekend so far.

As the title suggests, our cool spell has subsided for now as our week ahead brings back the heat and humidity. Expect temperatures back into the 90's, relative humidity around 65% during the day, mostly sunny for the start of the week with gradual increase of cloud coverage towards the end, as well as precipitation probabilities peaking up near the weekend. There are only two main weather features, so we will break up the forecast as such.

Let's get to it.

Short Term Forecast (Sunday-Wednesday)

An upper ridge centered over the Southeastern US dominates the earlier week's forecast. What does this mean for us? Reprise of the heat with a gradual increase of precipitable water as the week goes along. Expect daily high temperatures in the upper 80's, lower 90's with the nightly lows in the low 70's during this time period. Overall, there isn't enough energy in this time frame to create anything more than a pop-up tiny shower. Wind direction will be mainly mild (5-10 mph) and westerly.

Long Term Forecast (Thursday-Sunday)

Precipitable water will be heaviest most during this time in conjunction with an increase of shear within a progressing baroclinic zone associated with a cold front that will stay north of the Carolinas. To cut through the jargon, we will have more water and more energy to make thunderstorms during this time frame of the forecast with a stronger focus for Saturday and Sunday. From Thursday to Sunday expect a gradual increase in cloud coverage, chance of thunderstorms 40-60% respectively, temperatures in the upper 80's for the diurnal high, lower 70's for the nightly low. 

Have a wonderful week!

Next couple days continue to look nice, however summer weather returns next week

Good Thursday evening…we have talked a little bit about the great weather that is expected across the Western Carolinas through the first part of the upcoming week. However, the reality is that the calendar says August and we’re bound to see a return to warm, humid and possibly stormy weather and all indications lead to that happening for next week, the last full week of August (hard to believe, isn’t it?)

 

High pressure aloft will begin to develop across the Mid-Atlantic and into the Northeast US as we get to Sunday, that will allow heights to rise along and south of the upper level ridge. At the low levels high pressure will begin to exit off the East Coast, that will help bring in some easterly Atlantic moisture in a gradual nature. Sunday is really the transition day right now as the changes will begin.

 

 

 

 

As we get to the early next week, a stout upper ridge will be centered to our north and east. It will be in close enough proximity to allow temperatures to rebound nearly next week to above normal values, however easterly flow will allow moisture to build even more and by Tuesday, a few showers may begin to enter into the forecast equation once again….

 

 

 

 

By the end of the week and going into Labor Day Weekend, our part of the world should be fully back into a late summer regime where abundant moisture and daytime heating will yield showers and thunderstorms. Ridging aloft will also begin to shift east at this point. The positioning of the ridge by Friday is normally suspicious in that it is a good  indicator for possible tropical activity in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean, just off the east and southeast coast. Of course, the tropics are very quiet for what is now the climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and hopefully it will remain that way as we do get closer to the Labor Day holiday…

 

 

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As we mentioned temperatures beginning early next week will be running above normal values (mid-upper 80’s) for the last week of August. Model data seems to be pointing at some widespread low 90’s for a good part of next week. So it looks that the weather will be toasty for all the students who will be returning to the classroom next week for the start of the 2018-19 school year…

 

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Midweek Weather Briefing: Mother Nature's reminder that autumn isn't too far away...

Submitted by Daniel Crawley: (@SoApps1979)

 

Good Wednesday morning to everyone, significant changes are in place for the weather here in the Western Carolinas. Our region going back to last weekend was stuck in the middle of a weather pattern that consisted of high moisture content with little to no capping in place. It all resulted in daily thunderstorms that brought a few bouts of severe weather but the bigger story was localized excessive rainfall that occurred especially in the foothills and close to the Blue Ridge.

Thankfully for all parties affected the weather pattern chance is underway and in a transition mode. As of early this morning you can see on water vapor that a front moved through the Western Carolinas Tuesday evening which ended the showers and storms. It's not really a cold front more than it is a moisture boundary. The initial front will help end the storm chances for today, meanwhile back across the Plains States is a secondary front that will deliver even more refreshing air starting on Thursday and going into the weekend.

 

 

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A look at the precipitable water values this morning shows it even better how the deep tropical moisture (PWAT's 1.5-2 inches) are exiting the East Coast. Then as you get further north you can see an even drier and cooler airmass, of Canadian origin that's behind the secondary front that we made reference to on the water vapor image....

 

 

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For today's weather, high pressure located across the Plains will begin to slowly influence the weather here in the Southeast. With the lower moisture content and northwest surface flow, storm chances should be close to non-existent for today. With the late August sun angle it will be a warm Wednesday with high's expected to be in the mid 80's...but again the big difference is a more comfortable feel to the air compared to the muggy conditions earlier.

 

 

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Surface high pressure will continue to approach from the west tonight establishing a stronger hold on the weather pattern across the region, with increasing dry air pushing in, look for lows tonight to drop down into the upper 50's to low 60's, a good 10-12 degrees cooler than previous morning values. If you are heading toward the mountains tonight,  40's and 50's are expected by first thing Thursday morning...

 

 

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Speaking of Thursday, high pressure will be dominating the weather scene as it will be centered just to our north and west by the afternoon hours pumping cooler air on northerly winds. High temps on Thursday are going to be pleasant and quite honestly it was be refreshing considering the number of hot and humid days we have seen this summer. High's will reach the lower 80's with plenty of sunshine...

 

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High pressure will be overhead by Thursday night and that will put us at the zenith of this weather change. Temps will fall off pretty fast after sunset and by daybreak Friday we will see widespread 50's across the Foothills and Western Piedmont...a true taste of fall weather!

 

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This nice weather looks to have staying power through most of the upcoming weekend. However that said, do not mistaken this for the end of summer as we may see above average temperatures return sometime next week.

 

Have a great day!