SECTION 1: Everything not related to Hurricane Irma
Don't let the menacing threat in the tropics distract you from the absolute stunner of a weekend that we have in store across the area! A trough located over the eastern third of the United States will bring comfortable temperatures and mostly sunny skies Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Temperatures should be in the middle 70s across the area all three days with low temperatures at night falling all the way into the lower to middle 50s. Make sure to cherish these three days, because at least two days of dismal weather are set to follow thanks to a tropical system coming from the Atlantic basin that you might've heard of...
SECTION 2: The Latest on Hurricane Irma (as of 11 p.m. 9/7/17)
All day on Thursday, the models have trended farther west with the path of Hurricane Irma. The current best estimate is that the center of Hurricane Irma will make landfall somewhere in South Florida, although it looks more likely (as of 11 p.m. 9/7/17) that the center of the storm will pass to the west of Miami. It is likely that Irma will be a strong category 4 hurricane when it makes this landfall. After making the initial landfall, the center of Irma will continue in a northerly or north-northwesterly direction, going up either through Eastern Florida or just off the east coast of Florida. Nonetheless, the storm will be so large that all areas within several hundred miles of the center will see significant impacts. Once Irma gets to Northern Florida/Southeastern Georgia, it is expected that it will be pulled northwestward by an incoming disturbance. By this point, Irma should be either a strong tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane. This is the point where Irma begins to play a role in our weather.
SECTION 3: How Irma may impact the Foothills of North Carolina
At this time, it appears that Irma's biggest impact to the Foothills of North Carolina will be heavy rain, beginning around lunchtime on Monday and ending by Tuesday afternoon. While model-estimated precipitation totals have come down significantly in the past 24 hours, it is still highly probable that some areas will see flooding from this excessive rainfall. In addition to the heavy rainfall, some gusty winds are possible from this storm. Current model estimates would suggests that winds of 25-40 mph may be possible Monday Night, with some areas possibly seeing gusts to 55 mph. This wind, in addition to the heavy rain, may force some trees to fall, although additional damage is not expected from these winds. Nevertheless, the impacts from Irma may change depending on the exact track and strength that Irma has as it makes its way ashore.
An additional word from the author
The most important thing to do right now is remain calm. We have a beautiful weekend in store for us in the Foothills of North Carolina. However, remain vigilant, be prepared, and have a plan in place in case particularly foul weather sets in on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Luckily, this will not be a storm that we have to deal with for long. It should be in and out of here in 24-36 hours. However, please keep the people of South Florida and anyone on the Southeastern United States Coast in your thoughts and prayers as this potentially devastating storm will be much stronger as it goes through their area.
Have a great Friday!
Chase Scott Graham