Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frosty Noise Makers

It looks like we will see almost freezing temps as we say goodbye to 2008. I expect air temperature to be about 35 degrees at midnight with the wind chill as low as 30 degrees. New Years Day should be pretty uneventful and will feel much like today.

Friday I expect a chance of light rain, but we may have a stormy Saturday as another boundary pushes through, so stay tuned.

-Nick Ortego

Happy New Years Eve Everyone!!!

A cold front will sweep through the Pine Belt later this morning and will result in much windier and cooler weather today. We are forecasting high in the 50s with northerly winds at 10-20. Tonight should be picture perfect to bring in the new year with temps at midnight in the 30s under clear skies. The first day of the new year also promises to be sunny and cool with highs again in the 50s. Have a safe and happy New Year!!!!!! Rex

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Clouds but No rain

You might have noticed the clouds entering from our West this afternoon/evening, but the clouds won't usher in rainfall. We have found ourselves in a nice dry air mass, and this will keep any showers from really forming. There is also a lack of upper level energy to produce any rain. Another Cold Front is also on our doorstep to the Northwest. This cold front will push through tonight and tomorrow morning to give us an afternoon temperature only in the mid-50s. This will set us up for a nice and cold New Year's Eve Night. Temps around midnight will be in the mid-30's, but the overnight low will fall into the upper 20's. After New Year's Day our weather forecast becomes rather tricky. Although most models are agreeing on a weather pattern changer, I still think the exact timing on different frontal passages is difficult. This change will take us from the zonal pattern into a baroclinic pattern. This will allow a few disturbances to enter into the Southeast over the weekend an into the start of next week. Have a good night and enjoy the Waxing Crescent Moon!

Great day weatherwise !!!

A very nice and sunny day is forecast for the Pine Belt with highs in the mid to upper 60s. Clear skies are forecast tonight with lows in the lower 40s. For New Years Eve day cooler weather is on tap with highs in the 50s. The weather for New Years Eve night is almost picture perfect with clear skies and temps in the 30s. Happy New Year! rex

Monday, December 29, 2008

December Sun

A lot of clear weather consumes our forecast going through tonight and into Wednesday, but I think many of us can really manage to enjoy the sunshine. After all, we haven't seen Clear skies since at least December 22. Feel free to watch my forecast tonight as I was able to catch a beautiful sunset from our Grubbs Ford skycam in Columbia. I know it's December, but I think I miss the nice summer sunsets that usually always occur here in South Mississippi. Expect clear and calm conditions to help bring our temp down to the near freezing mark tonight. We are already at 38 here in Eastabuchie! Bring out the blankets and turn on the heat because we can finally get back to experiencing nice seasonable temps. Why are we seeing this? Well after the front moved through yesterday we have a 1027mb High sitting to our Northwest, this is our weather stablizer for the near future. Although I'm looking for the High to spin Eastward and stir up a slight increase in moisture tomorrow, which will allow temps to climb into the upper 60's tomorrow afternoon. Enjoy the night and always feel free to send me your weather photos/comments at Goodnight!

Online Images

We apologize about the current problem with our Current Temperature Graphic and our Radar Image. We are currently working on getting these problems fixed. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful sunny day!

Clearing skies today!!

Skies are forecast to gradually clear today with highs in the low 60s. Clear and chilly weather is on tap for tonight with lows in the mid to upper 30s. The weather is expected to cooperate for New Years Eve night with clear skies and chilly temps! Lows are forecast to be around 31 on New Years Day morning. Happy New Year!!! Rex

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Rain Came

Well it has rained almost all day in Hattiesburg/Laurel. Total Event Rain totals so far as of 8:30pm: WDAMTV=0.83", PIB = 0.77", Jackson = 0.81", Meridian = 0.48", McComb = 1.06", Gulfport = 0.04". You can see where the rain hasn't been...Gulfport. Today we have seen the Cold Front turn into a stationary boundary over the I-59 Corridor, and Gulfport definitely has a rare case of only 0.04" so far. I expect the coast will see a little more rain later in the night, but not nearly close to the Hatt/Laurel totals. Also, Temps have dropped the expected 15-20 degrees from this time yesterday. We are finally back to more normal temps for this time of year. Expect a couple of mild days ahead of us, but rain chances coming late in the week. The last two model runs indicate WAA, warm air advection, coming into play late on New Years day. This will allow some showers to break out, and Friday will follow through with another cold front. But please don't miss the sunshine Monday afternoon and into Tuesday. Things will finally clear up these next few days as an enjoyable 1028mb High Pressure system will build into Mississippi. Have a great week! And make sure to check back here for your local Pine Belt New Years Day Forecast!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

5-Point Discussion

We have a lot to discuss...lets get down to it. First of all, temps right now are ridiculous. Our low last night was 68. Jackson has already blown it's record high by 3 degrees (they're at 80 now), but I'm pretty sure our temp of 77 is still shy of a record. It's December 27th folks! Second, will we have severe weather tonight? I highly doubt we see any severe activity with tonights frontal passage. Most of the true dynamics and severe indices will follow the Northeastward moving Low through Memphis and the Ohio River Valley. I expect to see light to moderate rain here in the Pine Belt in the middle of the night, and we might have some stray showers bounce through South Mississippi Sunday night. Third, temps will become more mild to start our work week as the National Weather scene becomes more zonal (or no major troughs or ridges). Fourth, when will we see rain again? I expect another disturbance by the end of the week. This means we could see some light showers on New Years Day and into Friday. This will be due to a strong Polar cold front dipping south through the center of the country. Fifth, when will we see cold temps again? I have good news if you like colder temperatures. My long range models point towards colder temps as we move into January. The North Atlantic Oscillation and Artic Oscillation both show the capability of cold air seeping into the Eastern Corridor of the Country. The Artic Oscillation shows a rapid negative trend which will allow the cold air to enter into our region. Okay those were the five points I was itching to discuss with you about. Now you will have to watch my 6pm and 10pm newscast for even more information on your local Pine Belt Forecast. Have a good night! -Tanner Cade

Friday, December 26, 2008

Rain is coming

No we didn't set a record High today, but we definitely were a few degrees below our record of 81. Pine Belt Airport saw 77 today and we recorded 76 early this afternoon in Eastabuchie. Tomorrow will be another warm day with winds gusting into the 20mph range. As you may know, a cold front will be making it's way across the South on Saturday, but we won't see the main rainfall until early early Sunday morning. I'm very glad the GFS forecast model finally slowed down to match the other NAM/WRF/ and European models. Sunday morning seems like a sure bet, but some lingering showers could stick around for Sunday night. Afterwards our temps will be dropping off to more "normal" levels. So far New Years Eve looks like the next best shot of rain with a 40% chance of showers, but New Years day still looks like partly cloudy conditions with only a slight chance of showers.

Warmer weather on tap early part of weekend!

Expect mostly cloudy conditons thru most of the weekend. We have a very slight chance of a shower today but our best chances for rain and thunderstorms will be late Saturday into early Sunday a as cold front sweeps through. Highs today and Saturday are expected to be in the upper 70s and then fall to the lower 60s on Sunday. At this point there appears to be a good chance that a cool New Years Eve night is at hand and you may need a sweater or light coat to bring in the New Year. Happy Holidays! Rex

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Of course a cloudy Christmas day for much of us in South Mississippi. Fortunately a majority of the rain this morning only skirted along our northern counties around I-20, but now we find ourselves in warm conditions. The boundary moving northward through our area is a warm front, which is allowing us to maintain these warm temps. Our lows are certainly well above normal. Our normal high/low for Christmas Day is 61/37 but we just experienced a very warm day at 68/57. Althought tomorrow we trump today's high by possibly 10 degrees. The trickest part tomorrow will be determining the cloud cover. If we maintain low-level clouds throughout the whole day then I expect our temps to be in the mid-70s, but if we see a small gap in the clouds we could easily crawl into the upper 70's. My forecast reflects a forecast full of clouds. What about our next cold front? The models have a wide range on the exact timing of the rain Saturday night, but I am going to keep my wording on "saturday night". The forecast becomes very difficult 2 days out when I try to pin-point to viewers whether it's 10pm or 2am. What about severe weather? Well the majority of the severe weather should be to our Northwest and North. By the time the rain makes it to the Pine Belt, we shouldn't see high indices for severe activity. Although I must leave room for a little thunder and lightning. As for now, take care and enjoy this wondeful Christmas Night! God Bless!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Weather

After an intriguing afternoon weather scene, I am now watching the area for scattered shows in the wake of a frontal movement. A cold front will be moving through Hattiesburg/Laurel at about midnight, but the term "cold" must be used loosely as temps will still be relatively warm. A stationary boundary will sit over South Mississippi for the majority of our Christmas Day, which makes for a cloudy forecast and a touch of scattered showers. The location of the showers is a tough forecast to make, but I can narrow down the area to South of I-20. Although I bet most showers will be bringing us light amounts of rain. Expect Christmas Day temps to top out in the upper 60's. Friday will definitely be a warm day in the upper 70's under partly cloudy conditions. Another cold front will be pushing through on Saturday. Early thoughts lead me to the "main event' impacting us on Saturday night. Now things are a little early to tell the exact intensity of the rain, but I must caution the chance of thunderstorms as instability indexes are above normal for saturday night. As for now, I hope you have a wonderful and Merry Christmas! God Bless!

Tornado Warning

If you have just watched my weathercast on the 5pm newscast, you heard me talk about the current tornado warning in Perry County. The warning is set to expire at 5:30pm, but I would go ahead and say the specific storm seems to be diminishing in strength. The tornado warning was issued because radar indicated the possibility of a tornado, but no actual tornado has been reported as of yet. Yes it is Christmas Eve but we are still working diligently in the weather center. Stay tuned to our weather page and newcast for more updates throughout the night.

Afternoon Hail

I'm watching some scattered showers/thunderstorms roll through the Pine Belt this afternoon, and one cell in central Lamar county seems to have the potential for dime-sized hail. This small cell is moving East at about 30mph. At 3pm the Cell is a few miles north of Purvis. I expected the cell to be south of hattiesburg by 3:10pm and just into North/Central Perry County by 3:22pm. More scattered cells are running through South Mississippi this afternoon, but please be aware of the potential for isolated high winds and hail. This is all due to the effects of a front moving through our region late tonight. Stay tuned for more details. Tanner Cade

Will Santa need an umbrella tonight?

Most likely!! Showers and thunderstorms are likely here in the Pine Belt until around midnight. Todays high will be in the mid 70s. Look for cloudy skies to remain with us through Christmas Day, however shower chances are rather slim on Christmas Day with highs in the upper 60s. Looking ahead to New Years Eve. Weather models are now disagreeing on what type of weather to expect. One of the most reliable models, the GFS, thinks that we will see much colder weather on New Years Eve while other models keep us warm with a chance of rain. We will have to wait and see!! I kinda hoping the GFS is right!!!!! Happy Holidays everyone and please drive safe!!! Rex

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quick weather update!!

We have a made a few changes to our forecast from earlier this morning as new data has come in. Although we are now forecasting a high of 59 today, temps will gradually rise overnight reaching the mid 60s by dawn on Christmas Eve. Showers and windy conditions are likely overnight as well. The good news!!! Shower chances have been lowered to around 30% on Christmas Day with a high in the mid to upper 60s. Cooler weather is still expected for the weekend with lows in the 40s Saturday night and in the upper 30s Sunday night. Also we will monitor the possibility of some strong thunderstorms with the frontal passage Saturday night. Happy Holidays!!! Rex

Cloudy, windy and milder today.

After a very chilly Monday expect today to be a little warmer with highs in the low 60s. Windy conditions are expected today and tonight. Cloudy skies are still in the forecast for Christmas Eve and for Christmas with a chance for showers both days. We may see some cooler weather by the weekend. Rex

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Wet not White Christmas

It's looking like the Pine Belt will have a stalled boundary right on top of us from Christmas Eve through the 26th. This will result in rainy days and mild temperatures for the holidays. The 24th may contain some stormy weather.

Tonight (Monday) will be another cold one. Fortunately mostly cloudy skies will help keep us from setting records... I think we will get down to about 29 degrees.

Merry Christmas
-Nick Ortego

Chilly today but a big warm up on the way!

Today promises to be quite chilly here in the Pine Belt with a high of 43 expected. Clouds will be on the increase tonight with lows in the lower to mid 30s. At this time our holiday week doesn't look very promising weather wise as a big warm up is forecast as well as increasing chances for rain. Highs on Christmas are forecast to be in the low to mid 70s with a chance for showers. Hopefully this forecast will change! Happy Holiday! Rex

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Showers Precede Cold Weather

Late tonight (Saturday) a line of showers is expected to move through the Pine Belt. While they may contain some lightning and heavy rain at times, I am not expecting much severe weather. Once this passes in the early morning hours, much colder air will move into our region. Tune into the Weekend Nightbeat for more details.
-Nick Ortego

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big blast of Arctic air expected!!!

Mild to warm weather will prevail across the Pine Belt until a very strong Arctic front passes late Saturday. Temps will begin to plumment and will barely make it to 50 on Sunday. Expect winds to very strong across the area as well. Lows in the mid 20s are possible by Monday morning with highs only in the low 40s on Monday. Christmas weather? Well, at this point it appears we will have mostly sunny skies with a high of around 60. Hopefully Santa will not bring us any weather suprises!!! Have a great day and thanks for watching and for visiting our website. Rex

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cold Air... Sooner than later

For those of you that have been anxiously awaiting more winter like temperatures, it looks as if we may see them sooner than later. The cold front which is leading a strong blast of arctic air may reach the Pine Belt as early as Saturday night. This means Saturdays high is 76 while Sundays high is 49!

Before the cold air gets here we have to deal with some more rain and maybe thunderstorms. It's to early to talk about the potential for severe weather, so tune in Friday night for that.
-Nick Ortego

Foggy again this morning but a mostly sunny afternoon expected!!!

More dense fog has formed in the Pine Belt this morning but should begin to lift after 9:00 am. Mostly sunny and mild weather is on tap for the area this afternoon with highs in the mid to upper 70s with no rain expected. Cold air is still forecast to arrive late Saturday or early Sunday with highs in the 40s for both Sunday and Monday. Have a great day! Rex

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Feast or Famine

What is normal? What is average? This week has been an extremely warm week. I can't believe waking up with temps still in the 60's, but things will be changing soon. As a professor of mine always said, the weather pattern is usually feast or famine. We are either really cold or really warm. Once again, what is normal? The next few days we will see our temps climbing into the upper 70's, but Sunday will deliver a cold weather changer into South Miss. By the way, Sunday is the first day of winter. Bottomline, Monday will be cold. Several things tell me we will be flipping into a cool weather pattern. An ensemble forecast of the Artic Oscillation shows a slight negative trend, which will allow Colder air to pull into the Eastern Corridor of the U.S., and the North Atlantic Oscillation is forecast to go negative to lock in the cold air. Also, most long range models indicate a Ridge/Trough pattern (this refers to the Eastern side of the U.S. in a trough, which allows cold air to filter down from Canada). This pattern will be different from our week-long Trough in the West and Ridge in the Southeast that we experienced this week. Although, next week we might see a couple shots of cold air throughout the time period. I mean we will see a strong cold front on Sunday, and we could also see another cold front mid-week. This means we will warm a tad inbetween cold fronts. What is expected for Christmas? A forecast for 8 days out is still very tough to make. My best thoughts right now are based on the long-range GFS and Canadian models. Precip on Christmas Eve but clearing out on Christmas Day. Temps look to be on the cool side. -Tanner Cade

Dense Fog... Again!

All of the Pine Belt is under a dense fog advisory Wednesday night. Fog is expected to redevelop and may be widespread until 9:00am Thursday.

A dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less than one quarter of a mile.

A forecast remains steady.... Warm through Saturday, a cold front will move in Sunday.
-Nick Ortego

Dense Fog Advisory

Good morning Pine Belt! A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect until 9:00 am . Please use extreme caution while driving and leave a little early for your destination! After the fog burns off expect mostly cloudy skies with highs in the mid 70s. A rather stout blast of Arctic air is still forecast to arrive sometime on Sunday with temps falling during the day. Highs on Monday will struggle to reach the lower 40s. Have a great day and please drive safely. Rex

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Low Visibility

Not much has changed from previous post about the forecast, but our fog situation must be addressed. Much of the Pine Belt is under a Dense Fog Advisory until 11:00am Wednesday morning.

A dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less then one quarter mile.

Combine the moisture in place with light winds and we can look for widespread fog through out the night. Keep up with conditions by looking at our four Alfa SkyCams on the weather page.
-Nick Ortego

Monday, December 15, 2008

On the Cusp of Cold!

For the next 24 hours the Pine Belt will be on the cusp of cold. Right now about 80% of the country is being blasted by arctic air, and this cold air reaches all the way to Jackson, MS. Meanwhile Hattiesburg/Laurel has stayed unseasonably warm. The front will continue to push further South, but will stall right on top of us. We will experience somewhat cooler temps, but just temporarily. On Wednesday, we get a new blast of warm air from South. In fact, we will jump up into the upper 70s!

While all this is going on, we will have a lingering chance of rain. Not expecting severe weather, but an occasional strong downpour will be a possibility.

-Nick Ortego

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the Warm Side

Above normal High and Low temperatures are expected for the majority of our week. This time of year we normally experiences Highs around 60° and Lows at about 40°. My forecast reflects Lows in the 50s through Thursday Night and Highs in the upper 60's to lower 70's through Friday. Although, the abnormal forecast comes with a tricky meteorology setup. Usually I can determine the surface temperature by looking at temperature trends at about 5,000 ft. high, but this Tuesday brings in a special low-level cold air blast into Mississippi. Will we experience the cold air? My thoughts expect Jackson to be the cut-off line for the cold air, but I do know our temps will be topping out in the upper 60s on Tuesday with clouds and showers in the forecast. Tuesday is also a day that our state could see a large range of temps. On Tuesday North MS could see freezing rain with temps in the mid-40s, but we should maintain a steady temp in the 60s. Some of us in our southern counties (Stone and George) could actually see 70°. Of course with such a temperature gradient and upperlevel energy we could see some scattered showers on Tuesday. By Wednesday and Thursday I will expect temps in the mid-70's, but another cold front will push through on Friday to give us a cool start to our first day of Winter next Sunday.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Warm Week ahead

After just compiling my forecast for the next few days I have a few things in mind for our near future. First, the next few days will be relatively warm for this time of year. High temps will be jumping into the 70's, which is about 10° above our average for this time of year. But do you remember earlier when I talked about a cooler than normal start of winter? Well even though we will have warm temps this week, several forecast models still show a cool week as we start the first full week of the winter season. What does this mean? Well I expect to see a short trend of warm temps this week, but next week I do expect to find us back to normal or a degree below normal. My next thoughts focus on possibly another wet week for us. I'm not expecting large rain totals within the next 7 days, but I am expecting a healthy dose of clouds and light precip. Any precip we get will continue to define this month as a wet one. So far we have already accumulated 2.66" here in South Jones County, but I do realize other isolated areas could easily be over 3" for the month so far. Stay tuned to my live weathercast tonight at 6 and 10 for a better picture of our upcoming weather. Thanks for reading and watching your WDAM Weather Team!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tornadoes Confirmed by NWS

The National Weather Service Storm Surveys report multiple Tornadoes from Wednesday nights storm.

Hattiesburg An EF1 Tornado on December 10th at 1:13 AM CST -- Damage occurred to 7 apartment buildings around Foxgate Ave near the intersection of I-59 and 98. Most of the damage was to siding and roofs. One of the apartment buildings has significant roof damage. Several hardwood and softwood trees downed. Two cars were blown into each other, one a window was blown out. Minor damage to 4 other homes. The Tornado rated EF1 with 100 mph max winds. Max width 100 yards and path length 1 mile.

3 Miles NNE Ellisville [Jones County] An EF1 at 10 Dec, 01:08 AM CST -- *** 2 injured *** numerous hardwood and softwood trees snapped and uprooted. Minor roof and siding damage to 1 home and an unoccupied building. Two outbuildings were damaged... a power pole was snapped high up and two signs were damaged. some of the trees were blown onto Interstate 59. Tornado rated EF1 with 95 mph max winds. Path length 1 mile and max path width 150 yards.

4 Miles SSW Prentiss [Jefferson Davis Co, MS] at 09 Dec, 11:24 PM CST -- rated EF1 with maximum estimated winds at 95 mph. Most of the damage was minor to moderate tree damage. An outbuilding was destroyed on Burrow Road with tin strewn dozens of yards downstream. One house on fate ward road suffered some roof damage. Path length was 2.7 miles and max width was 50 yards.

Snow Totals and a Big Moon!

A quite weather day for us in the Pine Belt is a nice way to wrap up a busy weather week. However, tonight (Friday) there's a significant event if you look outside the atmosphere. The moon is the biggest and closest full moon to be seen in 15 years. It will pass 221,595 miles away, which is about 17, 400 miles closer than average. The next "closest encounter" with a full moon will not be until November 14, 2016

Below are snow totals from the Jackson, MS office of the NWS.

9" - New Hebron, Jeff Davis County
5" - Columbia, Marion County
5" - Kokomo, Marion County
5" - Jayees, Lawrence County
4.5" - Collins, Covington County
4" - Taylorsville, Smith County
4" - West Hattiesburg, Lamar County
4" - Prentiss, Jeff Davis County
3.5"- Mt. Olive, Covington County
2.5" - Bay Springs, Jasper County
2" - Purvis, Lamar County
1" - Ellisville, Jones County
.08-Hattiesburg, Forrest County

Hope you enjoyed it.
-Nick Ortego

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Talking Winter Weather...

The National Weather Service has just issued a Winter Storm Warning for a majority of Mississippi including areas in our viewing area West of I-59.  Timing on this warning is from midnight tonight to 6pm tomorrow.  This warning means significant amounts of snow are expected.  Strong winds are possible.  The combination of snow and wind will lower visibility.  Snow fall will be very wet in nature, which will make for large snowflakes.  Our biggest concern here in the weather center is the forecast of temperatures.  Yes, snow can still occur in temps above freezing.  The reason we could still see snow is because the ground up to about 800 ft. will be above freezing, and usually a distance of 1,000ft. above freezing will melt snow completely to liquid.  But since the falling snow will only have to pass through 800ft. of above freezing temps then we could still see snow at the surface.  Will it stick?  Obviously we need the ground temperature to be at or below freezing for snow to stick.  We are forecasting temps to be in the mid-30s by early morning when the snow is expected to fall.  Temps should stay in the mid to upper-30s through the morning, but our afternoon temp should jump into the lower 40s.  Thanks for reading!  We will have more updates later.

Winter Storm Watch

The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a Winter Storm Watch for much of the WDAM viewing area beginning late tonight through Thursday morning. If all the ingrediants needed for snow come together we could see several inches in our area. According to the latest information available to us, rain mixed with snow is likely after midnight changing to all snow around 4:00 am.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2:00am More Damage... Laurel & Hattiesburg

During the 1:00 O'clock hour, Jones County Law enforcement reports several trees down along Interstate 59 at exit 90. There was a car accident associated with the downed trees. A tornado warning was issued for this area at this time. Jones County Law enforcement also reports quarter size hail just North of Laurel.

From Jones County Emergency spokesman....Highway 11, North of Ellisville, trees and Power lines down. One person was injured.

In Hattiesburg we have had numerous calls of downed trees and a possible tornado there. However, the National Weather Service never detected rotation in the Hub City as a cell passed. I just spoke with Forrest County Emergency Management (@1:53am), and they say they have had reports of limbs down but no sign of a Tornado reported. At this point it sounds to me like some strong straight line winds... I passed the reports on the the NWS, and they can decide to investigate further.

Jasper County Emergency Management reports damage to a trailer roof, and a few limbs down.
-Nick Ortego

Storm Damage Report 1:00am Wednesday

As of 1:00am Wednesday, WDAM's Northern counties had been hit by the storm the hardest. multiple Tornado Warnings were accompanied by heavy rainfall, hail, winds, and a ridiculous amount of lightning. Law enforcement reported a tree down along Highway 28, West of Taylorsville. Emergency Management in Covington County reports penny size hail, while Jasper County Emergency Management reports quarter size hail. Our Titan Radar shows over 1,000 lightning strikes an hour within Jones County alone and many other counties have seen the same.

The main line of storms will not likely clear all of the Pine Belt until around 3:00am.

-Nick Ortego

Severe Tonight

Clouds and other variables have been good for limiting the severe weather this afternoon, but this whole event has barely even started. Have you stepped outside lately? Temps at 5:50pm are flirting around the 70°F mark, but, as you may know, we will have a big weather changer pushing through late tonight. I imagine most of us will be asleep by the time our main squall line and cold front push through. What is going to happen tonight? A strong line of rain will be pushing through South Mississippi as the night progresses. I expect the main line of rain to move through our viewing area after 10pm and past midnight. How much rain will we get? Well the front has already pushed through Monroe, LA. They received more than 2 inches. So if things hold out, we could see a similar total for different locations within the Pine Belt. Of course, we are still watching the area ahead of the front for the major risk of severe activity. My main concern tonight...Heavy Rain and Wind.

Frozen precip for the Pine Belt?

It still looks like we may see some type of frozen precip here in the Pine Belt Wednesday night thru Thursday. If things work come together it could be snow or a mixture light rain and snow!

The "S" word.....S*#W?!

There is a lot of buzz about snow in the Pine Belt. Two models (GFS and ECMWF) suggest snow is coming to South Mississippi Wednesday night and Thursday. However, models have been all over the place within the past 36 hours. It appears that an area of low pressure that's needed for snow will be in place. That low may result in dynamic cooling. (quick vertical cooling in the atmosphere caused by a drop in pressure.) However... how much dynamic cooling will take place? That is the billion dollar question.

But here is the catch, if we see snow in Mississippi, it will not be a widespread blanket of snow. It would more likely be a line of snow. In other words, it may snow in Jackson and Meridian, but not Hattiesburg and Laurel. Or the other way around? To predict an exact location at this point is nearly impossible. The slightest change in data could throw everything off.

So keep watching, or reading, and know that S*#W is a possibility. I'll reexamine the issue Tuesday evening.
-Nick Ortego

Moderate Risk

This morning the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK, issued a Moderate Risk of Severe Weather for Northern LA and Central/Southern MS.  This area includes Areas west of I-59, but this is still a concern to areas east of I-59.  A Moderate Risk from the SPC means there is a 15% chance of a tornado occurring within a 25 mile radius of any point within the Risk Area.  A moderate risk is not issued very often so please stay tuned to our updates for more information.  My thoughts agree with this forecast from SPC, but we won't start experiencing severe weather until this afternoon and into this evening.  I expect the main cold front and squall line to move through around midnight tonight, but my greatest concern is what could happen before the front moves through.  As we will have a moderate to large amount of instability and dynamics for severe thunderstorms to develop south of I-20.  If you walk outside, you know there is more moisture in the air, which isn't normal, and this moisture will be a prime variable in creating thunderstorms this afternoon and into the evening.  Please stay tuned to this blog throughout the afternoon and evening.  We will go on-air this afternoon/evening/night if our viewing audience is at risk of severe weather.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Severe Tuesday Night?

It has been months since the Pine Belt has been placed under a "Slight Risk" for severe weather by the Storm Prediction Center, ( but this Tuesday we will need to have our guard up. With growing instability in the atmosphere and an approaching cold front, the Pine Belt may potentially see strong winds, thunderstorms, and a chance for tornadoes.

Our in house model suggest that the squall line will pass over the Pine Belt between 10:00pm Tuesday and 3:00am Wednesday. However, it is very possible that we may see some super cells develop in front of the squall line earlier Tuesday.

We are monitoring the situation in the 7 on Your Side Weather Center, stay tuned for more information.
-Nick Ortego

Live Weather Chat

Tonight at 7pm we will have a Live Weather Chat on  Our main discussion will be concerning our forecast for tomorrow night as the Storm Prediction Center has the Pine Belt under a slight risk of severe weather.  As time allows, Nick Ortego and Tanner Cade will also be taking any other weather questions you might have.  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Big 24 Hour Change

Ok take yesterday and today, now bottle up both days and set it on the shelf because we won't be seeing the weekends weather for a few days. The next 24 hours is a major transition day for us in the weather world. Expect winds to slowly shift more to the SE as a High pressure system shifts east of our region. Winds alone can be a big story line because with a shift in the wind we will also begin to see a pull of more moisture from the Western side of the Gulf of Mexico. Dewpoint temps are in the 20s now but I'll expect Dewpoint temps to be in the lower 50s by Tuesday morning. As I wrote about yesterday, because of the major influx of moisture, instability, and shear (upper level change of winds), the Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk for the Lower Mississippi River Valley (which includes the Pine Belt). Day 3 refers to Tuesday with Sunday being Day 1. I have also noticed the models have slowed down the frontal movement, but the back end of the front has exited quicker. In other words, I'll be looking for our main rain event coming into play Tuesday PM and into Wednesday AM, but our precip should clear out by Wednesday PM. Tuesday's impact looks like a squall line event, which we could see pass through between 6pm Tues and 6am Wed., and my main concern is wind and heavy rain (flash flooding). Of course with other variables factored in the slight chance of a tornado is in my thoughts. As this is the first severe weather threat for the season, I hope you will stay up-to-date with this blog and our live weathercast . Thank you for reading!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rain is coming

First of all, today has been a beautiful day! Temps have been on the cool side, but the sunshine definitely made this a wonderful day. This sunny weekend has packaged in cool and dry weather, but I must continue to look at our forecast for next week. A strong front will be digging it's way into our neck of the woods by Tuesday morning. I expect this frontal system to usher in plenty of moisture, shear, and lift to produce rain/thunderstorms. I'm a little surprised SPC (Storm Prediction Center) doesn't have any discussion about the chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday and Tuesday night. The huge amount of moisture and strong upper-level jet is very hard to overlook in our forecast, but I also realize we are still 4 days out from this event. I'll wait for tomorrow for SPC to atleast have a small write-up about our area for Day 3 outlook. Overall, my main forecast is heavy rain with the threat for high winds and hail. Although so many things could change between now and Tuesday, but I am confident to expect rain on Tuesday. So much is happening next week in the weather world so please stay tuned to our live weathercast and this blog for updated details in our forecast. Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keep an Eye on Tuesday

It's a little early to be 100% sure about this, but keep an eye on our weather next Tuesday. There's a chance for strong if not severe storms. Pay close attention to the forecast Sunday and Monday.

-Nick Ortego

Cool Weekend...Rain Coming

Honestly, this morning felt very cold as I headed into the station. Wind Chill temp dropped to 20° this morning at PIB airport, which was 10° below the air temp.

Temperatures will be our main concern this weekend as temps will stay below average for this time of year. In fact, this December has already started off to be a cool and wet month so far.

Wet conditions will come back into play next week. In fact, Tuesday could potentially be a day of heavy rain. A strong Low Pressure system will sink into the the Mississippi River Valley and create an ample amount of instability throughout the Southeast. The ECMWF model actually has this setup lasting through Thursday. So could rain exist for a majority of our week?

I am also considering a thunderstorm event on Tuesday. A moderate amount of lift, instability, and moisture will be available for heavy rain and thunderstorms. The severe weather threat seems low at this point, but the potential for wind and hail is my first concern for next Tuesday.
Thanks for reading through our blog today!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rain Exit Right, Cold Air Enter Left

As of 3:15pm Thursday, we are done with most of the rain. The clouds are still in place and a light rain or mist is possible, but it will be so light you will not find it on radar. But lets forget about the rain, that's the past.

The cold air, accompanied by wind, is what the future holds, and it's coming in strong from the NW. Overnight, expect temps to drop into the lower 30's and winds to blow around 10-15 mph.

Tomorrow it will be a prettier day, but still cool with highs in the low to mid 50s.
-Nick Ortego

Rain far

As of 7:10am
Here in Eastabuchie: 0.57"
Grubbs Ford in Columbia: 0.57"
Pine Belt Airport: 0.60"
Bobby Chain (Hattiesburg): 0.54"
Jackson, MS: 1.03"
Meridian: 0.89"

Bad news: you might have to walk outside in the rain this morning
Good news: The rain is moving through relatively quickly.

The front is pushing through quickly as we see the rain totals nearing between 0.5" to 1.0". My biggest story is rain in this morning, but our weather will be clearing out as the day progresses. By this evening, some of our western counties (Walthall, Marion, Jefferson Davis, Covington, and Smith) might actually see a beautiful sunset. Some low level clouds could still be hanging around for the rest of the viewing area. Temps won't be warm at all. Our high for the next few days tops out in the mid-50s.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rain Timing Update

At 4:00pm Wednesday, you can see the line of showers through Arkansas and Texas coming together nicely. By our 10:00pm newscast, I expect the line of showers to look impressive, but still be hours from the Pine Belt. Models suggest that rain will be approaching our western counties in the early morning hours of 4:00-7:00 o'clock. This means we will likely be dealing with some type of rainfall throughout the morning commute. Intense severe weather is not likely, but isolated pockets of wind, heavy rain, and lightning can not be ruled out.

Once the front pushes through expect much cooler air on the other side. Thursday nights low is 31!

Rain Timing

In light of tomorrow's rain forecast, I have already received a phone call from a viewer wondering about the timing of the forecast.
Well honestly, the models aren't close enough for me at this time to really rely on a consensus. My thoughts make me think the system is a little slower than the GFS, and this would allow rainfall to begin in the early morning. I do expect things to be clearing by the time you go to sleep Thursday night. A few models like the SREF have moisture sticking around through the evening, but I do believe the main instability and lift mechanisms will be out of the picture.

As this is a streched shortwave system, I would suspect some clouds to stick around behind the main push of the front. Friday looks like a Mostly Sunny day.

Temps will drop off a bit behind the front. Cold Air advection, CAA, will bring in stable conditions with a big of a clearing. 850 temps look like last week's rainfall event, but the difference is the direction of the wind flow. Cold Air Advection hinders uplift and development of moisture, but last week we had a nice Warm Air Advection area bringing in a swatch of moisture.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cool Future...

We have already had mild Summer and Fall seasons, but what is in store for winter? Well our winter will officially begin on December 21, and plenty of difficult exist in forecasting weather several weeks in advance. Although we can make a good effort at distinguishing future trends, which will help us produce a future forecast.

Right now I am noticing a below normal trend in temperatures for the next few weeks. Several long range models are producing a ridge/trough pattern across the U.S. This would deliver us cool temperatures as cP (continental polar) air will have a better opportunity to filter into our region. The Artic Oscillation, which brings cold air into the Eastern U.S., will be going extremely negative by the middle of December. This will allow the great possibility of us to be cooler than normal heading into the 1st day of Winter on Dec. 21. Also the NAO, North American Oscillation, looks to be going negative, which helps lock in the cold air for the Eastern Conus of the U.S.
Honestly, I am really interested to see what numbers we end up experiencing as they will be compared to these models right now.
Take care