Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Look into the next couple of weeks....

Now since the rain has passed and we are looking at a chilly Christmas Day in the 40's, I thought I would take a glance into the next couple of weeks and discuss what is ahead of us in the weather world.

Of course we are nearing the end of a very busy month with plenty of rainfall. We are also in the middle of a strong El Nino pattern which typically delivers more rain to the southeast along a Jet pumping in from Mexico and the Western Gulf. We also received our first snow back on December 4 from a Gulf Low that formed near the Texas Coast. This is because the cold canadian air mass is routinely pushing down to the Dixie Line (near Tennessee and Arkansas) during El Nino patterns, and the Gulf Low pull in the cold air into the southeast. Since we are in a strong El Nino, our forecast also shows a continuation of Gulf Lows forming every 4 or 5 days, and models are already putting us close to a rain/snow line as the moisture meets the cold air mass.

Here is when current long range model forecast currently show moisture laden systems impacting our area:
-Sunday (12/27)
-Wednesday (12/31)
-Sunday (1/3/10)*
-Saturday (1/9/10)*
*Anything past 7 days is difficult to be exact, but this gives us an idea of what models are wanting to show.

So the cold air is forecast to be present across the eastern U.S. due to 2 key oscillations going negative. The North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation both will continue to be in the negative going into the New Year. Negative values resemble the ability for cold air to get locked into the nation. So once a Low is formed along the Gulf, the cold air can filter down and produce some snow flurries. No, I'm not saying this is a definite thing for the Pine Belt, but the southeastern states look to be in the discussion for possible snow sightings in the next couple of weeks. Luckily, we've already had a good measure of snowfall!

Also, model consensus continues to predict the El Nino pattern will continue into the Spring, but weakening going into the Summer of 2010.

In Summary:
The same wet pattern will continue to exist into the New Year, and southeastern states have a better than average opportunity for more snowfall in the next few weeks.

Record Montly Rainfall

The rain is near ending here in South Mississippi after an intense afternoon of heavy rain and storms.

Now we can officially look at a record breaking monthly rainfall. We've officially broken the WDAM-TV monthly rainfall total this month with 14.70". *This record goes back to 1986 data records at the station.

Although we've received nothing compared to New Orlean's 25.43" this month!

Live Streaming Titan Radar

Live Titan Radar Stream:

Biggest Threat at this point is heavy rain and possible strong wind. I'm currently watching a cell in Marion/Jeff'Davis County that has the highest potential at this point for damaging wind and hail.

Looks like the showers in front of the main rain line are defeating the instability needed for tornadic activity. The height of the storms right now is very low, and I don't expect a major change. Also, it's lacking, but the better instability for a spin-up looks like the Coastline at this point.

....We'll still keep an eye on things.

Moderate Risk on the Eve

Well I have talked about this for several days now and here we go for a severe day of storms on Christmas Eve.

**Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK, will upgrade the risk to a Moderate Risk for SE LA and South MS at 10:35am.** This means our atmosphere will continue to be favorable for tornadic supercells forming in advance of the propagating cold front.

A deep 997mb surface Low is present in Eastern TX, which is slightly farther south than expected. This is also why we believe our risk should increase as well. Multiple tornadoes have already been tracked in Louisiana as the line nears the Mississippi River late in the morning. I'm expecting the line to speed up as it crosses into MS with help from the dry cold front propelling it forward. We could also see strong gradient wind out ahead of the cold front. This will not be storm related wind but only pressure gradient wind from the strong gradient induced setup. We could see gust between 25-40mph ahead of the cold front.

Early afternoon, the updraft into any supercell will easily contain a rotating component with the strong storm relative helicity values present. Thermodynamics (instability) is still lacking, but the strong system dynamics have already produced tornadoes this morning. Also along the squall line damaging winds of 55+mph are a concern. So we will be on high alert this afternoon for eyeballing strong supercells approaching our viewing area.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Severe Potential Discussion

Severe weather has broken out in the ArkLaTex region near Shreveport and Texarkana. This is right along the main convergence from the warm air mass overtaking the cooler air mass. But I don't expect our severe weather until tomorrow as the cold front pushes through.

My timing tomorrow looks like 11am to 5pm. I know this window might seem too big for some, but some analysis shows me the potential for the front to move slower than expected. So whats the big deal?

Minimal, but sufficient, instability will be present in South Mississippi from Natchez all the way east towards Greene County and the Coast. The whole state will have plenty of storm relative helicity (rotation in the atmosphere) to go along with the instability. Also, plenty of moisture will be present for heavy rain. So everything seems to mark South Mississippi as the best potential for damaging wind and tornadoes. I'm looking at the area South of Hwy 84 as the geographical line for the highest potential.

A squall line will push across the state parallel to the cold front, and this is where major wind gust can be found. In front of the cold front, discrete supercells can produce isolated tornadoes within the unstable air mass.

My Concerns:
1) The instability has been my concern for the last several days, but I continue to lean on climatology and note the winter season doesn't need much instability to trigger severe events.

2)The timing has been difficult to forecast as well this week. Models are beginning to agree on an early afternoon frontal passage, but some current analysis of the action to our west looks a little slower than anticipated. Some notes have been made that the front could accelerate with the increased drying behind the front as it passes through the state.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday's Discussion

So long to bright sunny days during the next 48 hours. Still the same picture with the cold front on Thursday, but I'll detail tomorrow's forecast first.

Tomorrow most of the rain totals will be found in the Delta and SW portion of MS, but we can still find some scattered showers in the area. The potential is still available for the shower location to record high localized amounts near 1" but a majority of the Pine Belt shouldn't see this.

The cold front looks to barrel through the Pine Belt in the afternoon on Thursday. Instability still looks low ahead of the front. My only concern is to read from climatology and notice most winter season severe weather events occur with low instability parameters. The deepening surface Low in Arkansas/Missouri will create plenty of rotation in the atmosphere so it's a situtation I'll detail more in depth tomorrow. Definitely a situation to keep an eye on.

Rain totals could be near 2" but most should see near 1".

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pre-Christmas Storms

Today was another great day! I really enjoyed capturing the alfa insurance skycam from our Grubbs Ford location in Columbia. Clear skies equals good stuff.

A trough is beginning to move across the county tonight. The West Coast will begin to experience the action of the trough, but we won't see anything till Wednesday and Thursday. This trough is different from the last few systems because the trough will "hook" North once it reaches Arkansas. The surface Low will be in the strengthening phase as the cold front sweeps through the Pine Belt, which is an important factor to notice. So the storm relative helicity (rotation in the atmosphere) variable will be at the moderate-to-high level on Thursday, but the instability (C.A.P.E) value will be low during this frontal passage. What does this mean for the severe weather potential? I'm not impressed at this point for a serious severe weather event on Thursday, but the scenario will require careful watching for any model differences.

When will the rain come? Scattered showers are expected on the fringe of the Pine Belt during the day Wednesday. Then the cold front passage midday Thursday will create heavy showers during the day. Everything looks to be clearing out on Christmas day!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Record Monthly Rainfall

I mentioned this in yesterday's weather forecast...
Here is the list of the record monthly rainfalls at WDAM-TV since 1986.

1) March 2001: 13.79"
2) June 2004: 13.42"
3) December 2009: 13.07"
4) January 1998: 12.60"
5) May 1987 :12.36"
6) November 1986: 11.90"

Give us 0.73" at the station during these last two weeks of December and we will break a monthly rainfall record.

Sunday's Weather Discussion

Another wonderful day here in the South. Our day started off with some light frost on vegetation and automobiles, but the sun slowly warmed the ground to produce a high over 51 here at WDAM. Tomorrow will be slightly warmer. I'm going with a high near 60, but we will slowly be warming in our high and low temperature leading upto the cold front passage on Thursday.

My big story line in the forecast will begin to focus in on the rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. National Weather Service is predicting near 2" for the Pine Belt, which is on track with the latest GFS computer model run.

Yesterday I talked about having widespread showers across the region due isentropic lift along the warm front on Wednesday, but latest model runs have shifted the core lifting zone (area needed for significant rainfall) to our Northwest. So I have lowered the expectations for widespread rain on Wednesday at this point. Although the biggest story will be going into Thursday. Models have slowed a couple hours on the frontal passage. Looks like the cold front will move through around Thursday afternoon at this point. Instability for severe weather will be on the low-end side, but we will keep our eyes open in the next few days for the severe potential.

Christmas forecast still looks like a high near 50. Sky cover is difficult to determine 5 days out....I'm going with mostly cloudy skies

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beautiful Weekend!

A beautiful weekend with plenty of sunshine to enjoy! I know today was perfect weather for the final shopping Saturday before Christmas (And the roads were extremely busy).

Similar weather will be around for Sunday's daycast. Highs will top out in the mid-50's with lows near 30, but big changes will come again.

On Tuesday I'll expect warmer temperatures to shift in association to a warm front. A good surge of isentropic lift along the warm front Wednesday morning will allow showers to form across the region. Then a cold front will swing through the Pine Belt late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. The instability looks minimal at this point, but we will be paying close attention to the severe nature of this frontal movement Wednesday night. Models are currently suggesting the upper level jet will weaken as it approaches the area late Wednesday, which is one good sign for avoiding a severe event.

Early Christmas forecast shows mostly clear conditions with a cool high near 50.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rain and more rain !

A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for our area beginning at noon today and will last through noon Tuesday. Radar is already showing showers and possible thunderstorms moving in from the south and the Watch may have to go into effect earlier than previously thought. Expect rainfall totals to average from 1-3 inches and possibly higher. The ground is already saturated so it will only take a little for some flash flooding issues. Colder and drier weather is forecast by Wednesday and even colder weather may arrive for the weekend. More on that later. Rex

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rain Again then Cold Air next week...

Tonight the big story is the dense fog advisories throughout the whole southeast. Visibility will be less than a mile through tomorrow morning. So your morning travel could involve some dangerous visibility conditions.

The ground has cooled over the last few days and a moist warm layer of air over the ground has created the abundant fog tonight. But expect the fog to fizzle out mid-to-late morning.

Another warm front will begin to increase more of our rain totals tomorrow. This will likely cause tomorrow to be another cloudy and rainy day. Then late Monday night and into early Tuesday morning a cold front will drift through to provide even more rain. The cold front might have some lightning and thunder embedded in the rain line, but the main front seems on the weaker side. Instability values aren't impressive, and helicity values are extremely low for South Mississippi. Looks like mainly just a rain event.

After the front we will clear out. Temps will drop down into the 50's for daytime and 30's overnight. I've been studying a couple of cold air shots going into the 5 days before Christmas. Looks like a dry cold front could kick through around Saturday and open the door for even colder temps following a second front around the 22nd. GFS has been aggressive on this forecast until today, but it looks like ECMWF is leaning towards a cold direction as well. The Arctic Oscillation is going off-the-charts negative on the 16/17, but the NAO is only slightly negative. So the cold air will be present coming out of Canada, but the air mass might not making it down to South Mississippi.

There is a lot to play out in the next week! Have a good one!


Review of River Stages (12/13)

I'm reviewing river stages around the area after our amazing rain totals from yesterday. Main issues are found at Tallahala Creek, Leaf River, Black Creek, and Chickasawhay for this region.

Tallahala Creek @ Runnelstown: 17.14ft. (Action Stage) Forecast to below Action Stage Monday morning.

Leaf River @ Mclain: 18.78ft. (Flood Stage) Forecast 22ft. through Tuesday afternoon. Dropping below flood stage on Thursday afternoon.

Black Creek @ Brooklyn: 14.45ft (Action Stage) Forecast 20.5ft. (Flood Stage) Sunday evening. Back to Action Stage quickly on Monday morning.

Chickasawhay @ Leakesville: 22.28ft. (Flood Stage) Forecast 26ft. at noon on Monday. Below flood stage on Thursday morning.

Wow! Pascagoula 6.86"

Yesterday and last night was a memorable affair. Nearly another inch fell last night with thunder and lightning embedded in the rain, and this was adding to the nearly 2.50"+ we had already received.

The radar is finally clear of any rain for the remainder of the day, but check out these area rain totals:

Pascagoula: 6.86"
Mobile, AL: 5.53"
New Orleans, LA: 5.45"
Gulfport: 4.82"
HBG: 3.71"
Slidell, LA: 3.46"
PIB: 3.10"
Columbia: 3.09"
Collins: 3.00"
Sumrall: 2.86"
McComb: 2.85"
Prentiss: 2.85"
Mize: 1.89"

Rain will come back into play going into Monday afternoon's forecast, which could easily give us another inch or two.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Big rain totals! Flooding concerns...

Flooding issues are a big concern now. Yesterday I talked about the opportunity to collect 3"+ in the Pine Belt through next Tuesday, and we have already neared 2" for most of the region.

Here are some totals so far as of 2:30pm:

HBG: 1.90"
PIB: 1.87"
WDAM-TV: 1.73"
Mobile: 1.66"
Pascagoula: 1.13"
Jackson: 0.57"
Meridian: 0.37"

Obviously southeast Mississippi is seeing the bulk of rain today as expected. And it's still raining! Expect the rain to diminish as we go into the overnight period.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain

Low temperature tonight is a little difficult to come by with a very cold air mass in place and high clouds streaming in. Normally I would trend a little warmer than model output statistics but I think the models are missing the moisture. It's extremely dry tonight so it's going to be difficult to keep the dry air from holding much energy. Expect the station to drop to near 29 and other areas to be around 30.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day! Starting of partly cloudy then becoming cloudy throughout the day. Precipitation shouldn't come until very late in the day on Friday. I'll leave precip out of my daycast, but the earliest precipitation could be in the form of very fine sleet. NWS is going with sleet/rain forecast late Friday, but I think the lower levels of the atmosphere will be narrowly too warm and melt anything to rain. I'll lean more with the European on the warmer 850 mb temps.

Rain looks to continue throughout the day on Saturday. Chilly rain at first then warming into the 50's by the afternoon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rainy setup...

Our setup going into the weekend will trend to a troughy pattern across the nation. This will keep us warm and leave room for vertical lift to enhance the rain forecast. This will start by a Gulf Low forming Friday morning near Brownsville, Texas, and sliding into the Pine Belt late Friday night. Rain is expected late Friday night and into Saturday, but it's a little difficult to determine Saturday's evening forecast because we could still have leftover instability behind the Low.

Next another system will run through late on Monday. Showers will go along with this Monday and into early Tuesday.

Not until Next Wednesday will we be back into the "colder" temperatures after the weekend. But we will continue to be in an active pattern oscillating back from mild to cold temperatures. Long range models depict cold air anchoring down in Mississippi for the days leading up to Christmas, but this is two weeks away and hard to determine.

Wrapping up Last Night

Last night most of the severe weather stayed to the North near Meridian and Columbus. Jackson's atmosphere sounding at 6pm last night labeled a good opportunity for severe activity, but Slidell's sounding showed a nice cap keeping convection from growing within thunderstorms. This limited the severe activity South of Hwy 98 because this clearly made a difference in what transpired with the frontal passage. Covington and Jones Counties saw a couple cells move through that knocked down some trees as well as producing golf ball sized hail.

Helicity values were very high last night, which showed decent upper-level rotation in most of the thunderstorms last night, but we were limited by the cap. The cap acts like a bottle top keeping anything from getting out. This is what happened with the rising air.

This was a very unique event to work through last night, but, of course, every event is different and always fun to look research.

A glimpse at Christmas weather!!

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile but plan on doing much more of it with the upcoming winter!!! The next few days will be cold followed by yet more rain starting sometimes Friday and lasting into Saturday. But what I really am blogging about today is that we are beginning to get a peak at what type of weather that we may have on and around Christmas!! From what I am seeing it just looks plain COLD!!! The weather models are often not accurate so far out but it's looking very interesting to say the least ! Santa may feel right at home here in South Mississippi ! I will continue to blog to each day as we get more data in. Have a great day! Rex

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

JAN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Jones [MS] till Dec 09, 12:15 AM CST

JAN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Covington, Forrest, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Marion [MS] till Dec 09, 12:15 AM CST

Greatest Threat...hail and wind

Tuesday 11pm Update

Looks like a line will be moving through the Pine Belt near the Midnight hour. No severe thresholds should be achieved by this line, but the potential for 30-40 mph wind is a concern. Hattiesburg/Laurel should see line just after midnight and Columbia will see this in the next 30 minutes.

The majority of the severe weather tonight is continuing to be to our North along the I-20 corridor and North. A couple of tornado warnings skirted near our viewing area, but I'm sure this is good news for most of us. The only storm reports I've heard were some trees down in Central MS.

Tuesday 8pm Update

We are still outside of my "biggest risk" window for our region. From 9pm to midnight things should become more active, but I'm narrowing the location to our Northern and Eastern viewing area. This includes Hattiesburg and North of Hwy 98 that has the highest risk for storm damage heading towards midnight. Even though my window is till midnight, the cold front is still back in LA at this time so we could still be concerned about the instability after the midnight hour.

It's a tricky scenario, but we are looking out the window now and seeing how the atmosphere is evolving in the progression of the cold front.

Busy Tuesday Night

I'm the only one in the weather office tonight so it is tough for me to cover the blog as well. Twitter is my quickest outlet to get information out, but I will update this blog as much as I can throughout the night pending important information.

We've already had two tornado warnings in the viewing area for Simpson County, and the majority of the viewing area is under a Tornado Watch until 2AM. We are under a watch box because the atmosphere can easily rotate any thunderstorm cell.

My main concern will be damaging winds as these thunderstorms pass through because upper levels winds are very strong. These winds could easily be delivered down to the surface.

This sounds like a good night to have the weather radio nearby. Please be safe and email or twitter any comments you have. Thanks!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tuesday's Severe Weather Threat....

Severe Weather Threat Tuesday...
The instability isn't great, but in the winter we only need a small amount to produce severe storms down here. This means we could see storms cells with towing cumulonimbus capable of strong winds near 50+mph.

I expect the severe risk index to be the highest from Noon to 7pm, and after 7pm any tornadic threat greatly diminishes.

Highest rain totals with the frontal passage will be found in North Mississippi, but we will have the higher severe weather potential. Generally the southern tip a line of storms is the most vulnerable to rotation and higher severity.

Keep track of my twitter account @ WDAMTannerCade and follow this blog for dependable coverage....We'll track anything all night if need be

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Totals and Discussion

Snow Total estimates from the area:

Mt. Olive: 5.0"
Hattiesburg: 2.5"
Laurel: 2.3"
Bassfield: 2.0"
Braxton: 2.0"
Columbia: 2.0"
Moselle: 2.0"
Prentiss: 2.0"
Seminary: 2.0"
Forest: 1.5"
Morton: 1.0"
Heidelberg: 0.5"
Pachuta: 0.4"
The average for the area was about 2.0", but Mt. Olive clearly is the maximum snow fall estimated total at this time from the National Weather Service co-op observer.

Tonight looks like a record cold temperature will be set. Low tonight will fall quickly into the lower 20s and break the old record of 28. This cold night will also do a number on vegetation because a hard freeze will easily kill most plants. If you want to save some plants, then make sure to cover them with a clear bag, but you might still damage since we are already below freezing.

Our forecast for the next several days will now begin to experience a more normal weather pattern. Temperatures will be back to normal with highs in the 60's and lows near 40. Monday should deliver some light showers along a warm front, and Tuesday could incorporate some storms as a cold front passes through. The extended forecast for the end of the week looks "mild" and right on climatology.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Morning...Snow Update

Our conversations about snow are finally about to come to an end. Tonight is the event we've examined all week to distinguish a specific snow forecast, and hopefully you will be blessed with a pleasant white landscape early Saturday morning.

So what are my thoughts now and what has changed in the last 24 hours for this forecast?

The biggest change I have noticed in the last 24 hours is the computer models are trending slightly less in precipitation for Mississippi. National Weather Service also notices this by removing their winter weather watch and only issuing a winter weather advisory for our region. But I don't remember ever saying this was going to be a major snow event anyway. In fact, most of our talks have discussed only light snow, and we are continuing to keep that terminology for tonight's forecast.

After this morning it's nearly pointless to continue looking at the models because our attention is drawn to "nowcasting." Today we will simply be looking out the window to see how the atmosphere is evolving. And we start by noting Houston, TX, is already seeing their expected snowfall this morning with a temperature of 36 degrees. The temp should continue to drop over there for the remainder of the day with even more snow.

We should finally see the system move our way late tonight. I'm going with a window of 9pm to 6am ( 6am looks like a definite cut-off time for anything). In this time period many of us should expect snow flurries...near an inch of light snow for some. Flurries should be plenty wet and melt on contact with the roads.

Have a good day! And regardless of the precip talk...bundle up because it's going to be cold tonight.

Also, now we are beginning to focus more attention on next week's forecast. Rain likely next Monday and Tuesday...I'll have more on next week's forecast this weekend!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

A snow forecast to remember...more snow info.

I don't think we will forget the National Weather Service's updated "Snow Accumulation Probability" map listed through 6am Saturday. The NWS shows a 10% probability line running through Hattiesburg, McComb, Baton Rouge, and East Texas. This 10% isn't just for a snow forecast, but is the percentage that this area could see at least 4 inches of snow accumulation. I highly doubt seeing 4" of snow in the Pine Belt Friday night, but it's incredible to make note of this opportunity on December 5.

With cold arctic air moving south and a Low forming in the Gulf, this is the prime ingredients for a good snow fall in South Mississippi. After 6pm Friday our atmosphere above the ground will be below freezing up through the, moisture rich, snow growth region near 14,000 feet above the ground. Snow fall in South Mississippi is likely from 9pm Friday through 6am Saturday. I expect the roadways to quickly melt the frozen precipitation because the soil temperature is well above freezing right now.

The biggest issue is location. This snow event will form a line across the region, and my best guess has the line running perpendicular to Highway 49 in a SW to NE tangent. The center of this line could be anywhere between Mendenhall and Beaumont.

How much snow? Most will only see near an inch, but isolated locations within the snow line could see near 2 inches (plus some). This means most will see enough to cover vegetation (grass, plants, trees, etc.).

If you have questions going into the Friday night please feel free to send a message on twitter at

Snow likely in the Pine Belt!

As I write this Thursday morning, the question "is it going to snow?" has shifted to "where and how much is it going to snow?".

While models will paint a better picture as the day rolls along, right now it appears many folks in the Pine Belt may be seeing rain turn into snow sometime around 10pm Friday night. As we saw in two significant snows in 2008, pinpointing exactly where the precipitation becomes frozen is the hardest part. You may remember last December, the town of Collins saw a whole lot more snow then Hattiesburg. In January of 2008 there was snow in Sumrall, but just rain right down the road in Purvis.

At this point I think it's safe to say that SOME folks south of I-20 will see snow.

How much you ask? Current predictions are anywhere from a 1/2 inch to 2 inches. If it truly looks like someone is going to get 2 inches of snow you will quickly notice the National Weather Service issue a "Heavy Snow Watch" or "Heavy Snow Warning". And of course here at WDAM we would display that graphically on air immediately.

-Nick Ortego

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Latest Snow Forecast Update (Wednesday PM)

As we’ve discussed for several days now, a cold arctic blast will punch down to the coast Friday and setup the opportunity for wintry precipitation. Computer models are slowly coming around to picking up on variables to align for snow development.

During my last look at the most recent atmospheric forecast, I detailed a noticeable amount of moisture available in the snow growth region 14,000 ft above the surface to induce the creation of snow. And the evolution of the snow as it falls will maintain a temperature below freezing till about 800 feet above the surface. Slight melting will occur as the precipitation falls in the small layer at the surface (ground), but the warmer layer should be thin enough to meet the threshold for maintaining snowfall. I do expect the warm layer to become increasingly thin as any melting of precipitation will cause the atmosphere to cool, which will help see more white stuff.

In other words, the latest computer models show snow falling after 9pm on Friday and going into the early hours on Saturday morning. A big difference at this point is the location. WRF computer model has the main snow line tracking through Jackson, but the GFS has the snow line tracking right through Hattiesburg. Similar to our snow event back in December 2008, a line of snow will stretch across the state perpendicular to Hwy 49 in a SW to NE direction. Last December, Hattiesburg barely saw any snow while Collins had nearly 3 inches. So location is very important.

How much snow? Well, considering the models are still varying on the location of the snow (see previous paragraph) the amount is still uncertain. Some models depict slightly more than a dusting, but others (GFS) show over an inch. My opinion, I would say some isolated areas will see up to 2 inches, but many folks will experience less than an inch.

The only definite forecast I can give is the potential snow event's snowflake size will be big and wet. After forming in the snow growth region in the atmosphere, the snow parcel will continue to have a wealth of moisture at its disposal. Also, knowing the surface temperature will be above freezing makes me note the snow parcel will slightly melt to give it a “wet” feeling.

Much can change in the next 48 hours going into Friday evening, but hopefully we can all wake up Saturday morning with a beautiful white landscape. I’m sticking with saying “light snow” for Friday night’s forecast until we get closer to the event to help distinguish the exact location of the snow line through the state. But the snow line is still capable of missing our region all together.

Interesting note…The Houston, Texas, area could see a rich snowfall before it reaches Mississippi on Friday.

Snow chances looking better...

(Wednesday - 9:05am) Tuesday morning, there were some early indications that we may see snow here in the Pine Belt Friday night into Saturday, but the majority of models were predicting that there would not be enough moisture to allow it to happen. However, looking at the models Wednesday morning there seems to be a growing shift that snow may fall in the Greater Hattiesburg- Laurel area as we roll into the weekend.

Arctic air is moving in right now and will be here to stay through the weekend. But due to possible cloud cover Friday night, there still is some question on whether or not we will make it down to freezing. The other question mark is the depth and placement of a surface low that will likely develop in the west Gulf and track just south of Mississippi. Wednesday morning there was a majority consensus of models that there will be enough moisture to tap from that surface low to give us some type of frozen precipitation. However, we are still 60+ hours out from this taking place, so there is still a lot of uncertainty.

If all the ingredients come together for wintry weather, we stand the potential to see anywhere from a 1/4 inch to an inch of snow.

Stay tuned to WDAM and for the latest.

-Nick Ortego

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cold Air filters into Pine Belt

Possibly the coldest air mass of the season will enter Mississippi by the end of the week.
A strong stream of cold air will drop into South Mississippi Friday, and high temperatures are only expected to be in the upper 40’s going into the weekend. Friday’s overnight forecast involves the potential for snow in the state, but many variables are still uncertain at this time.

Any small variation in the passage of the forecast Low can greatly change a snow forecast for the Southeast. Also, our soil temperature this time of year is still well above freezing, which will make it difficult for any accumulation.

The air mass above the surface will be cold enough Friday night for snow, but variables like the moisture content and upper-air convergence are lacking according to current forecast model runs. The consensus computer forecast does not depict any precipitation Friday or Saturday, but an outlier model does show a line of snow stretching from Houston, Texas, through Central Mississippi and into New England. While snow is unlikely at this time, the News 7 Weather Team will provide you with any future developments.

Today is not the first calendar day for winter, but December first marks the beginning of meteorological winter. The timing of the cold forecast this week is right on schedule with the start of the winter season, which includes December, January, and February.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Busy Weather Week!

We have a busy week in the weather world so please allow me to break this down in number points.

1) Cold Front is moving through this morning (Monday) delivering a good soaking for the whole state. This front will move through the whole region by this afternoon and allow overnight temps to get back into the upper 30's.

2) Tuesday starts off mostly clear as rain comes back into play Tuesday night. A Low rotating from our SW churns through South Mississippi and dumps plenty of rain going into Wednesday Morning.

3)Rain will progressively clear out Wednesday afternoon, and cold air cuts down the middle of Mississippi.

4) Overnight lows dip into the mid to upper 20's on Thursday and Friday Nights

5) Cold Air Mass also keeps Thursday and Friday's High temperature near 50.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ring Around Moon

Many phone calls came into the Weather Center tonight. The top 2 questions were..When will it rain? and Whats up with the ring around the moon?

1) The rain will arrive late morning tomorrow (Monday) and last througout the afternoon. This is due to the passage of a cold front, but not severe weather is expected. Also, possibly a heavy rain event will bust into South Mississippi Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday morning.

2)The ring around the moon is often called the "Halo Effect." This happens when the ice in a thin cloud layer diffracts the moon's light. Usually the cloud layer is at least 22,000 feet above the ground, which is known as high level clouds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Foggy, Drizzly, Blues

Today seemed to define fall-like conditions. Our diurnal temperature ranged from 53-56 with cloudy/drizzle. This is due to a slow moving Low Pressure system exiting towards the east coast.

Our forecast involves two cold fronts this week. The first front will push through late Tuesday night, but GFS computer model keeps the rain in North Mississippi. The prime lifting dynamics for rain will be lacking here in South Mississippi, but I will only use little wording about this in my final forecast output.

Then early Thursday the second cold front will barge into the South. We will all notice the entrance of this front because the temps will drop off dramatically. I'm not expecting an extremely cold event, but cold is a relative term to most. Thanksgiving day will have highs in the upper 50's. And the overnight temps will be near freezing on Friday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Frost Overnight

Wednesday night is probably our best chance of seeing a morning frost. This is not to be confused with a freeze. I'm calling for a morning low of 34 with a rebound of 68 Thursday afternoon. We're also keeping an eye out for a low to develop over Texas on Friday and possibly bring us some rain on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ida continues to weaken.

Ida has continued to weaken overnight and is now becoming extratropical. The system will slowly move into Alabama today. We are forecasting cloudy and breezy conditions today with a 60% chance of light rain mainly early today. Highs will be in the upper 60s with northerly winds of 15-25 mph with higher gusts. As the system moves away expect much nicer weather for the rest of the week. Rex

Monday, November 9, 2009

What to expect from Ida this evening?

(4:30pm Monday) Right now the center of Tropical Storm Ida is approximately 100 miles south of Mobile, AL and has not yet begun its much anticipated turn to the east. However a strong turn away from the Pine Belt later tonight is still forecast. Within the next couple of hours we can expect moderate rainfall to begin in Hattiesburg and Laurel as well as winds between 10-20 mph. Some parts of the Pine Belt can expect between 1-2 inches of rainfall. Counties along the coast as well as George and Greene counties may see much more rainfall as Ida makes it turn right on top of them.

Ironically, a fast moving Ida helped to actually reduce our chances of rain Monday. We were poised to have a good amount of rain develop over South Mississippi from a separate low pressure system, but Ida rushed in very quickly and zapped much of the moisture from the low. With us only forecast to get a glancing blow from Ida we actually will end up with less rain from Ida than what we may have received from the low.

Ida update !

Ida has been downgraded to tropical storm status by the National Hurricane Center. Further weakening is anticipated. The National Weather Service in Jackson feels that the storm may come close enough to our area tonight to cause winds of 20-30 with gusts up to 40. If this is the case we may experience power interruptions in some areas. In any event, the storm is expected to move away from our area early Tuesday. We expect skies to rapidly clear by Tuesday afternoon followed by string of very nice weather that is expected to last into the weekend. ! Nick will have further updates later today. Rex

Ida can't hold on

Latest information...
Category: Tropical Storm
Maximum Winds: 70mph
Minimum Pressure: 996mb
Movement: NNW 17mph

Tropical Storm Ida is barely holding on this morning. The last 12 hours have seen a dramatic change in the storm's characteristics. Obviously you can tell the max winds have diminished in to Tropical Storm status.

The current satellite image shows Ida has finally allowed inhibiting dry air and wind shear (frictional force) into the center of rotation. Also the cold water temperatures in the northern Gulf have further inhibited any growth.

Last night's discussion labeled this as a minor event for the Pine Belt. The highest impact for maximum storm winds near 50-60mph will be found east of Mobile into the Florida Panhandle. Although the pressure gradient will cause breezy conditions in Hattiesburg/Laurel (15-30mph) late Monday.

The storm will cross over the AL/FL coastline late tonight.
Ida will continue to diminish in strength. By landfall Alabama/Florida should only expect extratropical conditions.
The best chance of rain will be tonight for the Pine Belt, but we will continue to be on the "drier" side of the system.

Now many of us in the meteorology world are begin to focus on Ida's remnants making a strong impact in New England later this week. If you have travels plans in the Northeast U.S. later this week, you should plan for major travel issues with strong winds and possible heavy snow.

Hurricane Ida weakens !

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Ida continues to weaken. Sustained winds are now 80 mph. Futher weakening of the storm is forecast and Ida could very well be below hurricane strength when landfall occurs sometime around midnight in the Florida Panhandle. The further east the storm goes the less impact it will have on our weather. At this time it appears light rain will occur and winds will be rather breezy in the afternoon. Rain is possible tonight and breezy conditions will remain with us. By Tuesday the storm will be far to our east allowing much drier and nicer weather to move in and that weather will stay with us for the rest of the week. Rex

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hurricane Ida: Night Update

Latest update on Hurricane Ida:
Category 2 Hurricane
Max Sustained Winds: 105mph
Minimum Pressure: 979mb
Movement: NNW 14mph

Ida is sustaining similar characteristics as previously discussed. I'm only noticing minor changes in pressure, wind, and movement. The minimum pressure dipped to 976mb but has since risen 3 mb to 979mb. This might signify the first glimpse of the forecast downgrade, but more has to be distinguished before making big mention of this. I still think Ida will downgrade to a strong Tropical Storm at landfall. Also, Ida has increased in speed from 10-14 mph within today's statistics. The overall schematics show the storm is moving a little quicker than anticipated, which means landfall near Fort Walton Beach, FL, could occur just after midnight Tuesday morning.

In the previous discussion we talked about the weak Low moving across the NW Gulf from Mexico. This system is now in a foot race with Ida to the Northern Gulf, but I'm seeing the weak Low converging with Ida late Monday night. Texas and Louisiana have already seen rain from this extended shortwave (weak Low) moving northeast in the NW Gulf. We could also see some showers from this overnight. Alabama and Georgia are forecast to see plenty of rainfall after these two system join together. We, however, will be on the "drier" side of the whole system. One model output has South Mississippi in the "open window" for the least amount of rain in our region. I've been leaning towards this all day, but the greater influence of the systems joining together inclines me to still see a likely chance of moderate to heavy rainfall. If I was drawing a line I'd use I-59 to say heavier rain amounts will be to the east of this boundary.

What should you prepare for?

The Pine Belt will begin to experience an increase in winds throughout the day on Monday, but sustained winds are not expected to surpass Tropical Storm criteria. Late Monday night winds could range from 20-30 mph. So you might want to check any loose items around your house that could blow around.
Our second concern mentioned in the previous discussion is the plausible situation of flooding conditions, but my thoughts think our rain will not accumulate into major flooding conditions. Yes, a moderate amount "total event" (Monday and Tuesday) of rainfall is expected, but major flooding conditions are unlikely given our position around the systems.

Ida Update: Sunday Afternoon

Latest Stats on Hurricane Ida:
Category 2 Hurricane
Max Sustained Winds: 100mph
Minimal Central Pressure: 978mb
Movement: NW 10mph

Pleasant conditions continue to dwell across the region. Clouds are now stretching through Hattiesburg, but the temps still stay comfortable in the lower 70's.

The big story today is Hurricane Ida, and conditions will be changing greatly in the next 36 hours. As we have talked about this past week, a weak low is also moving towards South Mississippi a little ahead of Ida. So are biggest two topics include the weak low coming off of Mexico and Hurricane Ida.

The weak Low is connected to a shortwave trough building through Texas this afternoon. A slow northeastward movement into Southern Louisiana is the forecast for this system, and plenty of rain has already begun throughout TX and the NW Gulf. In the early Morning on Monday SW Mississippi will first see some showers in association with this Low. But what about hurricane Ida?

Ida will also be tracking North/Northwest in the next 36 hours. (It is still uncertain the exact evolution as these two system as they near each other.) My mind sees this as being a quick One, Two, punch. "One" will be the showers Monday morning associated with the weak low coming from Mexico. The "Two" will be the impacts Ida, but the system will eventually tie together. Ida will drift near MS (most likely making landfall just east of Mobile), and we could see additional rain throughout Monday night. Some models suggest the system clearing quickly going into Tuesday midday/afternoon, which is something I'm looking at with a grain of salt.

My thoughts on IDA...

Intensity of Ida:
The intensity of Hurricane Ida is a very important note to make with all of us and the you the viewer. Latest update shows Ida as a weak Category Two hurricane, but this is merely just the storms characteristics way into the southern Gulf. A lot will change between now and Tuesday morning. Ida's main strength is being gained right now and for the next 12 hours. The farther North Ida travels into the Gulf then the cooler water temperatures it has to endure. Sea Surface Temps are currently very cool for favorable Tropical development. Also, wind shear is knocking on the west side of the storm, which hinders major growth for the whole system. (It's like running friction on a spinning top. It doesn't help the formation of the storm.)
As of now, I think the storm will very slowly decrease in strength and become a high-end Tropical Storm at landfall early Tuesday morning....which leads me to the forecast track of Ida

Track of Ida:
It's currently heading Northwest at about 10mph. This should be the average direction because the storm will make a generic line through the center of the Gulf. But the weak low we talked about early will help turn the Ida eastward starting late Monday night and into Tuesday morning. So an Eastward movment is certain, but the timing is a little uncertain. Most of us agree the eastward turn will occur right at landfall east of Mobile. Early computer models wanted to show a turn before it hit the coastline, but this has become the unfavorable forecast at this point. So Hattiesburg/Laurel will be on the Northwest side of the storm. Although the possibility is still portrayed in two computer models to come right through Biloxi. (When I speak of track I'm talking about the road taken by the center of the storm.)

How will this impact us?
Clouds have already entered into the area, but we will also notice a slow increase in wind speed as the pressure gradient increases with these two systems approaching. By late monday we could have sustained winds in the 20-30mph range. Rain will start scattered Monday morning and then heavier amounts could arrive late Monday afternoon and lasting into Tuesday morning. Expect the rain and wind to be clearing out of the area by Tuesday night.

One thing I must stress..."This is a serious threat with a Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, but in the immediate Channel 7 viewing area we do not expect major damage from Hurricane Ida. Our biggest concern is the possibility of flooding and minor wind damage."

Hurricane Ida Enters Gulf

The update overnight upgraded Ida to a strong Category One Hurricane

My thoughts think Ida will flourish under healthy conditions in the next 12 hours and likely become a Category 2 before the day is over. But Monday morning should find Ida diminishing a little down to a Cat1/Tropical Storm because of the cold sea surface temperatures found in the Northern Gulf. This is a good sign for us in MS/AL/FL panhandle because the storm will be weakening before landfall so it's not a powerful "punch."

The most difficult forecast is the exact track of Ida going into Monday afternoon/evening. Will the storm begin to make an early eastward turn before making landfall near Mobile, or will the eastward turn happen just after landfall? I know the storm will turn right (east) but the difficult is determining when.

Our impacts? Expect to see an increase in breezy conditions going into Monday and Tuesday. Also rain chances increase going into late Monday and Tuesday. We will be on the "driest" side of the storm, but we should still see some rain combined with a weak low to our SW.

The Gulf will also become very choppy and dangerous in the next 24 hours. New Hurricane/Tropical Storm watches will be issued throughout the day.

Next update near 2pm...


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tropical Storm Ida heading North

Tropical Storm Ida is churning very well in NW Caribbean. Latest Summary:

LOCATION...19.5N 84.4W

The intensity forecast expects Ida to peak into lower Category One characteristics going overnight into Sunday morning. BUT, as Ida enters the Gulf she will hit plenty of obstacles. Anyone can notice the very cool sea surface temperatures and see how this will hinder the growth. Storms love warm waters of at least 80 degrees, but temps are runnning near 70 degrees in the North Gulf.

This is a good sign for us because the forecast has Ida running near the MS/AL Coastline. An Eastward turn will occur but model consensus thinks this will occur before running over land.

Our impact is still tough to distinguish. Ida will most likely become extratropical nearing the coastline, but we will be on the NW side of the storm. I'm thinking the combination of a weak Low from West Gulf will interact with Ida and allow a good outbreak of rain in a northeast direction across MS/AL/ and GA.

Timing...Rain is expected to start on Monday and last through Early Tuesday Morning.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wonderful Weather this Week

A very beautiful night here in South Mississippi. High Pressure system sinks into Mississippi to provide a wonderful clear night, and a full moon is like icing on the cake.

My theme for the night is "stable air mass." Yes a stable air mass will continue to deliver mostly clear skies for the whole week. Two cold fronts will pass through to our North during the week, but we will still be dry. The fronts will aid in the continuation of cold air filtering into our region.

Late next weekend models are trying to show a Low forming in Northern Mexico, which could provide SW flow into our area. The whole setup is definitely low in confidence, but this might be our next best chance for rainfall.

Have a wonderful week! And send your sunset/sunrise pics to !

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Strong Front becomes stronger in West.

The clouds are becoming partly cloudy across the region after steady rainfall this morning. Also, the small Low aiding in the development of the rain is beginning to move northward to clear out of the area. I might have to raise the afternoon temp a degree since we are in a clear knotch in the middle of the system.

We will clear ourselves of any rainfall in the state this afternoon, but some moisture will be left behind as only slight cool air will drift in for a night. The setup will allow the opportunity to form fog, which I imagine will be around Wednesday morning. The fog will also play a tricky role in the overnight Low and tomorrow's high.

I'm expecting a very nice return flow from the gulf after tonight. So Wednesday and Thursday will be on the warm side. The chances for rain on Thursday still exist ahead of the front, but I've considerably dropped the rain chances for Thursday with the association of the High Pressure off the coast of Georgia/Florida. The Ridge (high) will walk east by Friday to allow the penetration of a strong cold front into South Mississippi.

Rain is likely on Friday afternoon/evening, but the best dynamics for Severe weather seems to be to the North of us with a very strong Upper jet streak diverting air aloft. Also, the system will move through very quickly according to model consensus so I expect a dry Saturday with only seasonal temps.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Active Weather Pattern this Week

After a wonderful Sunday things are changing in the next 24 hours. On Monday we will be a little warmer as we shift to a more southerly oriented flow bringing in more moisture and a Low Pressure system. A low will form over SW LA and skirt around the NW side of the Pine Belt. This will allow a good shot of rain late Monday night into Tuesday, but the system will eject quickly to North to clear things out on Wednesday. The position of the Low on Tuesday will create significant shear for our region, but the extreme lack of instability will dramatically reduce the chances of severe weather.

Our next big rain event will come at the end of the week. Starting on Thursday instability will increase for much of the Lower Mississippi River Valley as another cold front slowly approaches for the West. Models still differ a bit on the timing of this front and the push of cold air behind the front. My favored models are trending to only "mild" (seasonal) temps behind the frontal passage at the end of the week. A stiff setup will try to keep the cold canadian air out of the South.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beautiful October Weather

Most of the clouds have moved out the region after the cold front moved east early this morning. The moisture has pleasantly dropped down as well.

Expect mostly clear conditions tonight with lows dippping into the mid 40's. A light NW wind will continue throughout the night and into tomorrow. A few clouds will linger around tomorrow morning, but Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high in the upper 60's. Then the coldest night this weekend will be Saturday night as some areas could see 39 degrees.

Our next chance of likely rain chances come into the forecast late next week. I'm confident it will rain late next week, but the timing is difficult to determine at this point.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tornado Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for COVINGTON, JEFFERSON DAVIS, SMITH, SIMPSON, LAWRENCE, MARION, LAMAR, AND FORREST Counties. The watch will last until 12AM.

This means some variables have the potential to produce a tornado.

The threat is still unlikely for tornadic activity, but this is a precaution for what could happen in-light of the atmospheric setup.

My opinion: The NWS seems very cautious with this event, but I think any tornadic activity is unlikely. A "spin-up" might happen as the front pushes through with a noticeable wind change from surface to the upper atmosphere.

Rain and Storms Tonight

Thunderstorms are moving through the lower Mississippi River Valley in association with a large swath of rain by a bold Low Pressure System. Plenty of rain was dumped on southeast Texas and Louisiana early today. I saw Shreveport experienced nearly 2.5" from the main line of rain.

Here is a quote from the latest Mesoscale discussion for eastern LA through southwestern MS...

I expect things to "downgrade"in severity as the main rain line pushes through the Pine Belt this evening and tonight, but a relatively micro low pressure area in Southern Arkansas could create some rotation in the atmosphere late tonight. I expect mainly lightning and thunder impedded in the storms. The highest instability seems to be along the MS Coast in Jackson, Harrison, and Hancock counties.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clouds are here, Rain is coming

Clouds have rolled into our region, but no rain is associated with the cloud cover today. Although a LOW Pressure system has developed over the central plains and will track towards the Great Lakes through Friday morning. This will delivery the ingredients for rain late Thursday into Friday morning in South Mississippi. Some areas could find nearly an inch, but an isolated area could find totals near two inches.

850mb temps will drop behind the passage of the front early Friday morning, but this will not be as cold compared to last weekend. I'll expect over night temps Friday night and Saturday night to drop only into the 40's.

My long range forecast is looking down the barrel of an impressive cold air mass running through a majority of the country at the end of October. Halloween Saturday might involve a cool candy run.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Freeze Warnings in October?

Freeze Warnings have been issued from the National Weather Service Office in Jackson for Jasper and Clarke counties. (Other counties not in our viewing area include WEBSTER-CLAY-LOWNDES-CHOCTAW-OKTIBBEHA-WINSTON-NOXUBEE-NESHOBA-

This freeze warning is due a stable air mass (high pressure) placing directly over central Mississippi going into the night. The contribution of the high pressure system is cold and dry air along with calm winds. All of these points will help drop temps across the area into the 30's. Some spots to the northeast of Hattiesburg will be in the main corridor of "coldest temps".

My opinion: I'm still a little concerned about the freeze warnings issued b/c of several factors. One factor is the warm soil temps. Even though a cold air mass is above the surface, it doesn't mean the soil is cold as well. Just a week ago, soil temps were still near 80 degrees. Also, I know radiation cooling will take place to remove plenty of energy from the surface, but dewpoint temps will hover near 33/34 degrees for a couple hours overnight. I believe most folks in our viewing area will stay between 35-37 tonight.

Also, some folks could see patchy frost develop before sunrise. Overall, this will be the coldest night of the season, but the next 3 days will steadily warm into the upper 70's again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Notes and Such

A huge funnel of cold canadian air is pumping straight down the center of the country into South Mississippi. Today, strong winds have continued to sweep through the region. This allows the cool high of 56 to seem even colder, but tonight will continue to feel cold with temps dropping into the upper 30's. Although Sunday night will probably be the coldest night of the season with some Freezes watches issued across the state.

Our pattern will shift out of the cold air mass by Tuesday into more moisture flow from the S/SW. This will conclude with another LOW swinging through the country and providing showers for us on Thursday/Friday.

Overall, it seems the consecutive warm nights is an after thought of the warm 2009 season because we are settling into our typical fall season of cooler overnight lows and less humidity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Much Cooler Weather Headed Our Way !!!

After few more days of showers-much cooler air will invade the our area for weekend! Highs Friday will reach the lower 70s and lows will be in the uper 40s ! Great football weather ! For Saturday highs may only reach the upper 50s and lows Saturday night will be around 40 and possibly upper 30s. Stay tuned ! Rex

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cold front Thursday

A cold front will push through late Thursday bringing storms and cooler temperatures. The next few days will continue to have higher humidity streaming from the Gulf of Mexico, but a weak cold front will keep mid-Tuesday dry. Although a good chunk of moisture will return quickly late Tuesday for more rainfall going into Wednesday. Another story through Wednesday will be the return of warm temps ahead of a developing shortwave trough. This trough will be developing early Wednesday over the Central Plains and gain plenty of momentum with dense cold air pushing into the deep South late Thursday. Friday and the weekend looks chilly with temps in the 60's and overnight lows in the 40's. Theres a tough forecast on seeing exactly how low we will get Friday night and Saturday night, but the story will continue to be "cooler."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Waiting on the next Front

The 90 degrees Friday afternoon quickly dropped down to a cool 70 degrees in the evening as a result to an October cold front. We are left now with overcast skies pocketing in temps in the lower 70's. Unfortunate to some, we aren't experiencing the bitter cold freeze warnings in Central Plains and Middle Mississippi River Valley, but the clouds will help maintain temps in the 70's through Monday.
My forecast story going into the next 7days follows this pattern, cloudy, warmer, muggy again, storms, major cold front, and cooler temps. Yes a warm front will creep north from the coast late Sunday producing rain over much of the area, but this will also allow our moisture to increase going into the week.
All week long models have tried to depict a major cold front dipping into mississippi, but each forecast has been delayed and delayed. I'm beginning to think this Friday will finally be the cold front we've all been looking for, which we usually have a major pattern change (into fall-like) by two and a half weeks into October. This includes overnight lows generally close to the 40's. I'll urge caution on the cold front forecast through today, but I'll be more confident tomorrow if the models are still in agreement.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The muggy days in October

I imagine I'm not the only one checking the calendar to make sure it is really the sixth day in October. Today we are experiencing a very warm outbreak of temperatures in the whole lower mississippi river valley. But I'm interested in much more than just the warm temperatures near 90 degrees, I'm talking more about the dewpoint temperatures of 73 and 74. This results in a relative humidity of 60%, and August is usually the month we have temps in the 90's with 60% humidity. In other words, its muggy outside.

This will be the trend going into the next few days. A cold front will pass to our north within 24 hours, but our heat relief will be minimal. Then another front will push through on Friday, and this is the relief we will be wanting. Temps after Friday will drop into the 70's, but overnight temps will still linger around 60. Not until a 3rd front pushes through early next week will we begin have seasonal overnight lows.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Typhoon could influence our forecast

Super Typhoon Melor in the far western Pacific Ocean will conceivably play a role in our forecast. In a similar effect of a running wave created by popping, or flipping, a rope, Super Typhoon Melor will propel a major wave in our evolving atmosphere across the United States. The act of a major typhoon typically enhances the trough and ridge patterns in North America. This will likely bring a cold Canadian air mass into the Southeast U.S., and more than one computer model forecast reflects this cold air mass setup. The GFS, Canadian, and European (ECMWF) long-range forecasting computer models all show a significant cold front pushing through our region next weekend. If all goes as planned, Columbus Day, on the 12th, will record the lowest temperatures for the season so far.

A cold front pushing through next weekend will be a pleasant break in our week-long warm, muggy, and wet forecast. Showers are expected on and off for the next 6 days. Then the passage of the cold front next Saturday will allow a cold air mass to rid our region of the warm, muggy, air mass.

Some extended forecast show October remaining dry and cool after this week. Feel free to tweet me at or email me your questions at

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cue the Clouds and Rain

As scheduled, the clouds from the Low in Texas are building in our region. Also, Tropical Storm Olaf, near the Baja of California, is sending an addition jet of tropical moisture across the South. This system will be around for a few days, and our forecast reflects the influence of the Low pressure system. Warm and muggy are my terms I'm using to describe the conditions for next week. After a cloudy and wet Sunday and Monday, Tuesday/Wednesday will be in the mid-80's with high moisture content in the air.

Sunday's rain seems to be more abundant North of I-20, but through the Pine Belt we should see more of a scattered showers event. A line of showers could be swinging through later in the day.

As of now, this setup will be around through next Friday, but the weekend will finally have a front clear out the moist air mass. Long Range GFS shows a High pressure building for the 2nd work week of October, which will allow dry and clearer conditions.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October is usually dry but...

Early this morning the whole Pine Belt experienced the frontal passage. A cold front sweeped through the region deliverying about 0.50" for most of us. Here at WDAM-TV we received 0.61".

Our main weather story going into the first week in October will revolve around comparing October, normally the driest month of the year, to an unusually wet forecast. Our weather setup will have a strong pull of moisture with enough uplift to produce rainfall. Believe it or not, Tropical Storm Olaf near the Baja of California will contribute a moisture flow all the way into our area. Also the flow from the Gulf of Mexico will pump more moisture towards us. So combine these two mechanisms along with a "troughy" setup and we will have rain. Sunday will be the start to this deliverance of moisture with cloudy and wet conditions.

So much for a dry October...

Half a good weekend !

A front is sweeping through the area this morning taking the rain out of our area. High pressure will quickly build in and that will result in nice weather for area football games tonight. Saturday promises to be very nice with highs in the lower 80s and lows in the lower 50s. By Sunday our beloved front backs up on us as a warm front bringing rain again to the Pine Belt. Looks to be a wet start for what is tradionally our driest month! Still looking for a possibloe brutal winter for our area. As soon as I get more on that outlook I will pass it along to you! Have a great weekend ! Rex

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Finally the muggies and rain are gone for awhile! Autumn weather will be around in the Pine Belt for the next few days. One of my favorite meteorologist on this planet is Bob Breck. He is the chief weathercaster at Fox8 in New Orleans and he says that our hurricane threat for this year is pretty much over. Feel free to visit and read his blogs at I have watched his broadcasts since he first came to New Orleans in 1978. I have temendous faith in his forecasting ablilities and his opinions. Give it a shot!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big Change Coming

The weather moving into the Pine Belt this Monday evening is going to be a big change from what we have grown accustom to. Starting Tuesday morning you should notice cooler weather with lows in the lower 50s and highs Tuesday afternoon should max out around 80. This weather should stick around at least for a few days, but come Friday more rain could be in store.

Enjoy it while it last!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finally, a Cold Front

After an abnormally wet month in September, the month is ending with a very pleasant weather trend. The skies have cleared today after a weak front moved through yesterday. In fact, yesterday will most likely be our last rain for the month. Another, stronger, cold front will push through Monday evening. This will setup Fall-like weather. Temps Monday and Tuesdays nights will drop into the 50's, and Wednesday morning could see some temps at, or near, the upper 40's.

The pattern will oscillate into another front pushing through Friday. At this time, it looks like some showers could come around late Thursday as the front will progress through Friday morning. This will leave rain chances only on Thursday and Friday, but I'm leaving room for model error on timing 5 days away from the event. Also, the exact movement of the low pressure system is key to our precipitation forecast.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First day of Fall...Tuesday

Well the first day of Fall will be Tuesday, but I'm sorry for the un-falllike weather pattern. A good cold front would be a good entrance into Fall, but we will be stuck in the ways of a muggy afternoons. Our weather setup has us right between a Low in the central plains and a weak High over the Northern Gulf. I saw "weak" because it's not well defined in the lower levels. Afternoon showers can still occur with this weather setup...even though a High system is near. My long range forecast has confidence in a cool front pushing through late next weekend. This will knock out the humid weather for a few days, but thats a forecast 8 days away.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Forecast changes ahead

Looks like the wet trend will continue into next week, but a few things will vary the rain chances ahead. A big trough is forming near the state of Washington, and this will play an influence in our forecast by midweek. Models currently keep this system to our West, and the placement of a weak High will create an area of suppression (or non lift) to occur in our region within the lower levels. Also the upper level mechanism will be lacking starting late Tuesday, which will begin to drop the confidence in rainfall.

Even though these mechanisms will setup for a lack of rain, we can still see showers develop within these circumstances. It's always interesting to see how models forecast the spread of rain in Mississippi while we are in this setup, but we'll have to keep a close eye on the day-to-day changes in the atmosphere to see what happens with the results of transition away from the Low Pressure-driven forecast we've been under recently.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Showers possible-no cool air anytime soon!

A warm and humid air mass continues to dominate our weather pattern here in the Pine Belt and will do so for the next several days. Expect a good chance for showers and isolated thunderstorms today and most likely again on Saturday. Highs for the weekend will be in the 80s and lows around 70. When is it going to cool down ? Models indicate that a change may be coming by the middle or latter parts of next week or at least around October 1st. Have a great weekend ! Rex

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Humid !!!

Humid weather is here to stay for awhile. We will run the risk of mainly afternoon showers and maybe an isolated thunderstorm for the next few days as a pesky low pressure area drifts to the north of our area. Highs for the next seven days will be in the 80s and lows mainly in the upper 60s to lower 70s. When will it turn cool again ? Colder air is building in Canada and if we see a pattern shift, some of that cool air may spill into the our neck of the woods by the middle of next week! Keep your fingers crossed ! Rex

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Light Showers continue

Light showers was the main weather headline here in the Pine Belt. The rain totals in the area were mainly all around 0.10", which well defines "light" showers. Although we only recorded 0.02" at the station. A similar story will arise tomorrow with scattered showers.

A Low pressure system will continue to move North into the Red River Region (Texarkana) into Sunday, but this continues to put us in a rainy pattern. I'll expect the wet pattern to stick around for most of the week, but GFS depicts a drier end of the week. ECMWF computer model shows an extended wet pattern, but I believe the influence of a developing tropical low near the Bahamas will help turn our atmosphere a little more wet to close out next week.

...we'll watch and see

Friday, September 11, 2009

Keep an umbrella handy for the weekend !

A wet weekend is still forecast for our area. Low pressure in the Gulf is expected to send plenty of moisture into the Pine Belt for the next few days resulting in good rain chances through at least Sunday. Several inches are possible and that is good news! Will the system become tropical in nature? Not sure yet but we will continue to monitor here in the weather office! Have a great weekend ! Rex

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wet weekend likely!

Low pressure is still forecast to form in the western Gulf of Mexico over the next few days and that should send plenty of moisture into our area resulting in periods of heavy rainfall over the weekend. Some rainfall predictions range from 2-4 inches locally. This is still a developing weather situation and we will update as more information becomes available. Rex

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wet weekend possible ?

A tropical low is likely to form in the western Gulf of Mexico by the weekend and it could bring some heavy rain to the Pine Belt for Saturday and Sunday. Of course at this stage of the game it is too early to say exactly how strong the system will be or the exact track. It appears the low will form near Brownsville, Texas and it may move north or northeast. The further north and east the system tracks will determine on the amount of rain that we get here in our area. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the blog accordingly. Rex

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fred not a threat !

Tropical Storm Fred is in the far Atlantic off the African coast and is forecast to begin a northward track that will keep it far away from the U.S. Our weather for the next few days is forecast to be warm with only slim chances for a shower. As we head towards the weekend, however, rain chances are expected to increase. Highs for the next few days will range from the upper 80s to near 90 and lows in the 60s. Patchy fog is also possible again Wednesday morning !Rex

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day showers !

Showers and a possible isolated thunderstorm will likely form over some portions of the Pine Belt this afternoon. Any showers that do form will dissipate when the sun sets and that will give way to mostly clear skies tonight. A tropical wave near the African coast will likely become Fred sometime this week but it appears that a trough will take the storm out into the open Atlantic and not pose a threat to the U.S.-but it never hurts to keep an eye on those storms until we know for sure that they have recurved ! Have a safe and happy Labor Day 1 Rex

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Widespread rain totals and Discussion

Showers across the region today delivered over an inch for some portions of Hattiesburg and Columbia while other areas only had a trace (0.19" for us at WDAM-TV). The rain and clouds also quickly dropped the temperature to a comfortable lower 70's, and I'm sure many people enjoyed a day without temps in the upper 80's.

The humidity will continue to be around through the week. A cut-off low will rotate throught the Ohio River Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday then we will still encounter good upper level lift in producing scattered thunderstorms. The heating of the day will destabilize the atmosphere and aid in pop-up showers in the afternoon.

Although Monday and Tuesday forecast seem rather slim on the rain chances. Expect today's rain showers to be the most abundant for the next couple of days, but another similar wet trend could be next weekend as well.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wet labor Day weekend ?

Rain chances are pretty slim for today and tonight-about 20%-but the chances increase a bit for Saturday afternoon-around 50%. Will the game at U.S.M. escape ? Probably for the most part since the game starts at 6:00 PM hopefully most of the showers will have ended. For Sunday and Labor Day it looks kinda wet at this time with 60% chances for both days. Highs will be in the 80s for the next few days with lows in the 60s to near 70. Rex

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not much rain expected today !

Not much if any rain is expected this afternoon. We should top out in the upper 80s. Partly cloudy and mild tonight with lows in the mid 60s. A slightly better chance for a shower on Friday with highs in the upper 80s to near 90. Looking ahead to next week-a very strong cold front may sweep through on Friday! I will keep you posted ! Rex

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The name is Erika

Clouds have built quickly into the area today from the East. We normally don't have an easterly flow at this time of the year, but an inverted trough helps transfer today's activity. Moisture will continue to increase in the midlevels throughout the day, but I don't expect any shower activity.

Watching the tropics:
Tropical Storm Erika is holding onto to Tropical Storm status with a weakening trend. Erika doesn't have much movement with upper levels winds calm at this time. So the forecast doesn't move the storm very far Northwest in the next 5 days. Model forecast track and intensity are very diverse at this point. A strong models consensus is yet to be seen, and GFS has the system maintain a weak intensity but entering the Gulf in a week. Canadian turns Erika North at the Bahamas to impact the East coast. NoGaps pulls the system more to the East...similar to Bill. And our trusty European model takes Erika along the east coast.

The intensity models also range greatly on Erika. As seen by the image...
So much is to say about this storm in the next few days. We'll have to wait on the intensity. NHC keeps it a Tropical Storm Through 5 days out.

My thoughts on Erika:
As of today, I think the weak Ridge will remain in place to cause Erika to move more westerly, but I feel like it's still an east coast storm. Erika's intensity and makeup will waiver a good bit in the next few days with disrupting shear and dry air inhibiting growth. But much is yet to be determined.

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Goodbye August...poetic vibe

As of now, Invest 94 looks very symmetric and has good banding on satellite imagery. This afternoon I wouldn't be surprised to see A tropical depression out of this storm, but the future life of this storm is still uncertain.

Otherwise, the meteoroligical fall starts today with an easy/breezy greeting. Low moisture and a dry breeze from the North makes for beautiful weather conditions.

As we close the book on a below normal August, it's time to pull some notes about the month in review. The average temperature was slightly below normal, and the total rain data was down nearly 2 inches. Highest temperature of 96 was found on the 7th and 14th, and the lowest temperature of 58 recorded on the 24th. Highest peak wind of 53 mph was recorded on August 4th. *All of these numbers come from Bobby L. Chain airport.

Now as we jump into September, I think there is no better way than stating what Chicago Area Forecaster wrote in a very poetic way in a discussion early today....

...ODE TO SUMMER 2009...






Monday, August 31, 2009

A glimpse into September

It's turned into a beautiful day here in the Leaf River Valley. The fog/clouds have dissipated this morning to deliver Mostly Sunny conditions for the remainder of the day. High pressure in the Ohio River Valley is contributing to the drier and cooler air now in place. The dry air will definitely radiate it's energy tonight so temps will drop into the 50's for much of the area, and, yes, the first day of September will have a "cool" start.

What to expect in September? The month looks to be starting off on the dry side and slightly below normal in temperature. Remember, September is the 3rd driest month of the year behind October, first, and June, second. A quick look at Climate Prediction Center depicts an "equal" (or average) month to come, but if we were to swing on one side of the fence I would jump on the below normal side. The unfortunate forecast doesn't depict a major precipitation month, which will further increase our abnormal drought conditions across the area.

It also looks like we might be missing our shot at gaining rain from a tropical system, which is probably a relief to many. The main benefit from a tropical system is the deliverance of rain to help drought conditions, but we might be on our way to another rain deficit year again.

Tomorrow I'll have a wrap on the unpredictable August of 2009.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Notes and Bits to chew on

Recognizing the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina today...

Otherwise, a cold front is slowly progressing through the state today, but the complete front will not push through until tomorrow. This will stir up some thunderstorms in the area. Scattered trends will be my wording for tomorrow from daybreak till the afternoon.

The best news will be the dropping temps overnight to start the work week. Similar to last week, overnight lows will dip to the 60 degree mark, and I'll expect some areas to see upper 50's. This "cool" trend will surprisingly stick around for longer than usual. Like an October system, we'll experience a lack of rain to start September, but the humidity will be back next weekend for the start of College Football.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekend showers ahead of cold front !

There is only a slight chance of seeing a shower today but our chances increase for Saturday and Sunday afternoons as a cool front pushes our way. By Sunday night the front should have passed south of the area resultinig in drier and less humid conditions for the beginning of next week. A new tropical disturbance between South American and the coast of Africa bears watching! We will keep you posted ! Rex

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Afternoon weather update!

A few showers and an isolated thunderstorm could devlop over the area by this afternoon so the rain chances have been upped to 40%. Tropical Storm Danny will not be much of a player in our weather as it is expected to remain well east of the gulf. A new disturbance near the African coast will have to be watched as it moves further west into the Atlantic. Rex

Another front on the way !

Yet another cold front will move into our area by the weekend. This will result in a chance for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday-but the chances are only around 40%. After the frontal passage more unseasonably cooler and drier weather will arrive for Sunday into early next week. Danny is NOT a threat to our area !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danny forms !

Tropical Storm Danny has formed in the Atlantic but will not pose a threat to the Gulf coastal area. It may brush the outer banks of the Carolinas and or New England but most likely will remain at sea. Rex

Another dry and warm day !

We are going to have another dry and almost hot day here in the Pine Belt with highs around 90. Mostly clear tonight with lows again in the 60s. A slight chance for a shower or two for Thursday and Friday with highs around the 88-90 degree range and lows in the upper 60s. A slightly better chance for showers on Saturday but the chances aren't that great. Another cool front will move through the area by Sunday resulting in ending rain chances and drier and cooler conditions for the begining of next week. Highs on Monday and Tuesday will be in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Danny may form in the Atlantic today but will pose no theat to the Gulf coastal area. Rex

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tracking Invest 92L with ECMWF

Like we've discussed multiple times in our weathercast, Invest 92L will be a threat to the East Coast. Many early model runs predicted the storm to follow a similar track as Hurricane Bill, but I must lean on the strong ECMWF (otherwise known as European) model. This model continues to prove it's high ranking in tropical guidance. It was the first model to nail Bill's track, and I think many folks can agree on it's track of Invest 92 at this point. ECMWF has Invest 92 farther west into North Carolina and Maryland on Saturday morning.

Also, I expect Invest 92 to become a depression by Thursday, and some intensity models forecast tropical storm Danny by Friday.

Why trust a crazy model named ECMWF? Well it's proved itself multiple times. Now lets define the model...

The ECMWF stands for the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is supported by 31 European states. The main purpose of the model is to provide forecast 3 to 10 days for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Slight changes made to our long range forecast.

We have made a few adjustments to our long range forecast. Have added a slight chance for a shower on Thursday and have increased rain chances to around 30% for Saturday and Sunday. We have removed rain chances for Monday as by then another cool front will have passed resulting in slightly cooler and drier weather for the beginning of next week. Rex

String of nice weather days to continue !

We will have several more days of this very nice for August in Mississippi type weather. We will top out in the upper 80s today and around 90 for Wednesday and Thursday. Lows will continue to be in the 60s. Another cold front is forecast to arrive early next week!!! If these cool fronts keep coming through we may not have too much to worry about from the tropics this year-but of course that remains to be seen as we are now in the heart of the hurricane season. There is a disturbance out to the northeast of the Leeward islands but if it does develop it will likely either affect the east coast or stay out to sea. We will keep you informed. Rex

Monday, August 24, 2009

This is not normal...

The past few days have been fantastic! High's in the 80s, Low's in the 50's and 60's, and in Hattiesburg, we tied a 52 year old record this morning when HBG recorded 58 degrees.

In fact, we may even set a record again Tuesday morning.

However, you should know that this is not normal. In the coming days you will notice highs back to the seasonal 90's and lows will be back up to the upper 60's.

Nice weather to continue for the next few days!

Sunny and warm today with highs in the mid 80s. Clear and cool tonight with lows in the upper 50s. Mostly sunny and warm for Tuesday through Thursday with highs around 90 and lows in the 60s. Friday through Sunday mostly cloudy skies with a slight chance for showers each day. Highs around 90 and lows in the upper 60s. Rex

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Notes to Remember

Wonderful day again for this Sunday! I hope you were able to enjoy the weather. Unfortunately I was unable to bring my desk outside this afternoon while I made my forecast.

A couple points I want to make:

1)Moisture will begin to return Wednesday when a Low forms over the Arkansas Ozarks
2)The Low will bring us a better chance of showers on Friday/Saturday
3)The tropics will seem to only have a few weeks left for any activity. Why? The MJO forecast that tracks the tropics shows a major decrease in rising air in the mid-Atlantic, which helps produce cyclones. This doesn't mean anything can't form after mid-September, but the odds become even lower. Now we are watching to see if the Atlantic takes advantage of the "limited" time.
4)A tropical depression might for mid-week an impact the Carolinas. We'll be keeping an eye on this developing Wednesday.

Have a good week!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good Stuff

Wonderful weather hits the Pine Belt today with an overwhelming applause. High temps today barely hit the upper 80's. 86 was our high here at the station. Dewpoint Temps dropped to the 50's, which we haven't seen those digits in a long time.

The relief from the muggy heat will stick around through Monday. Enjoy it!

I've been looking over some things on the tropics, and I think the tropics have a few weeks left to produce anything. The window exist from mid-August to mid-September. I'll try to talk about this point in a blog tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Define Heavy Rain

We've received 1.50" in 30 minutes so far here in Eastabuchie (South Jones County). The heavy rain is causing minor flooding issues all across the Pine Belt this evening.
Also, high school football games are dealing with the water issues on the fields, and lightning will keep folks from playing at the moment.

Feel free to report your rain totals from your house. Email me at

Thanks! and Be Safe!

Thunderstorms Roll Through

The roadways are very dangerous under the thunderstorms rolling through the Pine Belt at this time. Hwy 84 was recently thrashed with heavy rain in the last few minutes.

A major complex of storms are headed Southeast very quickly ahead of a cold front. Here is the latest Warning...

JAN issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Covington, Forrest, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion [MS] till 6:15 PM CDT

The biggest impact of this will be heavy rain and wind potentially 30-40mph.

Drier and less humid weather on the way !

We have a good chance for mainly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms today before a cold front sweeps through overnight bringing with it much drier and less humid air. No rain is forecast Saturday into next Wednesday. Highs may reach the lower 90s on Saturday but it will be in the 80s for Monday and Tuesday. Lows Saturday night into next week will be in the 60s ! Have a great weekend ! Rex

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lightning Tonight...Low Humidity Arrives Soon

Watching a good lightning show tonight from the South as a cluster of thunderstorms clash through Jones County. Good news that we haven't heard any news from you guys up there and the storms are dissipating.

Another round of thunderstorms is expected to swing through South Mississippi in accordance with a frontal passage. A cold front will slowly creep southward tomorrow and deliver a rumbling, but the weekend should become very nice behind the front. I expect the front completely move through between midnight and 3am Saturday morning.

Dewpoints in the lower 60s will be a nice change from Td's in the mid-70's...unless you like the sticky goodness of mid-70s dewpoints. I know we all have our likes and dislikes.

This cold front is dropping in from a unusually robust Mid-lattitude cyclone near the Great Lakes, and added to a major ridge/trough setup nation wide. But we can also thank our friend, Bill, churning deep atmospheric blunders to the global pattern for a bit.

A lower level High pressure system will control our sunny forecast going through Sunday and into Tuesday. Enjoy!

Cold front coming !

We have a good chance for mainly afternoon and early evening showers today and Friday. Highs each day will be in the upper 80s to near 90 with rather high humidity. The big news is the cold front that is still progged to push through early in the weekend. This should result in dry and less humid conditions Saturday into early next week. Highs through that period are forecast to be in the upper 80s and lows in the 60s! Rex

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August cold front on the way !!

The tropics have calmed down-at least for us-for now. Our big news this morning is a cold front that is forecast to move through sometime Friday night and it will bring with it much drier, less humid air for the weekend into early next week. Lows for the upcoming weekend will be in the 60s !! Wow! That's great for August for our neck of the woods. For today through Friday we will run the chance for showers and a few isolated thunderstorms. Highs will be in the 90-92 degree range and lows in the lower to mid 70s. Back to the tropics. Bill is a major cat 4 hurricane but is forecast to recurve in the Atlantic and miss the U.S. Whew ! That's good news for the states !

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tropics not a big player at this point !

We are tracking Hurricane Bill out in the Atlantic but it appears that the system will begin a more northerly track and that will lessen the threat to the U.S. a great deal. Whats left of Ana appears to be of little concern at this time. A deep east coast trough is forecast to develop by the weekend and that will send a cold front down through our area for the weekend resulting in less humid weather and slightly cooler nights. We are also forecasting dry weather for the weekend into early next week. Rex

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tropics active !

The remnants of Claudette will move northwest into east central Mississippi today. The National Weather Service has our area with an 80% chance for showers and thunderstorms with highs in the upper 80s. The atmosphere is forecast to remain quite moist and there is a 70% chance for more showers and storms on Tuesday withh highs again in the upper 80s. Humid weather is on tap through Saturday with a chance for a few afternoon and early evening showers and storms each day with highs in the lower to mid 90s and lows in the lower to mid 70s. By Sunday a cool front is forecast to move through and bring drier and slightly cooler weather with highs in the upper 80s. As for as Ana and Bill, at this time Ana should be very weak when and if it moves into the Gulf and Bill, which is now a hurricane, is forecast to remain at sea and possibly never have any effect on the U.S. We will keep you posted ! Rex

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do you know your A-B-C's?

Ana, Bill, Claudette makes for a very busy weekend. Raise your hand if you picked Claudette to be the first landfall system? Reminds me of my luck in March Madness brackets.

Claudette hasn't quite made landfall tonight at 10:30pm, but Fort Walton Beach is on the doorstep for the main center of circulation in the next hour. After landfall, the system will disipate quickly while we maintain our position on the "weak" "dry" side of the storm. We'll probably need to be on the watch for a possible spin-up tornado which we usually find with landfall systems.

Next, Ana could easily be downgraded to a tropical wave on Monday. The storm has been falling apart all day and will struggle to find any regeneration in the next few days. But as a meteorologist friend said, "Don't sleep on Ana!" Things could pop once it enters the Gulf.

Finally, Bill is the real tropical storm the nation should be watching. The best news is declaring the forecast track seems to take the north in the Atlantic after a break in the atlantic ridge. A Gulf entry is near unlikely at this point with most models making a consensus on a Northward track starting midweek. The biggest U.S. risk should be the Carolinas and eastern coast line next weekend. But Bill has a classic setup and will steadily build into a Hurricane by tomorrow. The system is liable to reach Category 4 limits by Friday, but some limiting factors of shear and dry air could hinder the explosion of intensity.

That's your A-B-Cs.

Tropical Storms Update (Sunday Afternoon)

Tropical Storm Claudette continues it's northwest movement towards Panama City. Radar loop from the KTLH in Tallahassee clearly shows the cyclonic rotation in the rain/thunderstorms. In fact, the main threat with Claudette is the heavy rain, but wind doesn't seem to be a major factor. Only one or two isolated areas very close to right side of the center will see 45+ winds.

Ana has now become a tropical depression as it continues to fight off dry air and shearing. The system was very small to begin with, and I expect the storm to continue to disipate into Monday. My main concern comes at the end of the week. It might quietly sneak through into the Gulf and then develop into a Tropical Storm again.

Tropical Storm Bill is a real "beast" at this point. The storm has impressive banding and outflow, which makes me think the storm will continue to intesify. Bill could easily be a hurricane by Monday. The GFDL has Bill becoming a Cat. 4 by weeks end. Where is Bill going? The GFS model has finally agreed with reliable EMCWF and turned Bill into the Atlantic. A break in the Atlantic Ocean ridge will allow the strong storm to move in a northerly vector by Tuesday.

Could see Claudette named tonight

The tropical low in the Eastern Gulf has now become Tropical Depression 4 overnight. The storm has become a well organized system will better rotation in the last 12 hours, and multiple models show TD4 become a tropical storm before landfall.

Landfall will be this evening near Panama City, FL.

We will have updates at the top of every hour starting at 1pm.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Watching Low in the Gulf

Along with Tropical Storms Ana and Bill, I'm also watching Invest 91 (Tropical Low) in the Eastern Gulf. The storm is producing a nice circulation visible on radar reflectivity over Southern/Central Florida. I don't expect a lot with this system, but thunderstorms and "tropical-like" air mass can consume Alabama and the Pine Belt through Monday.

My list of tropical disturbances is as follows: Invest 91 (in the Gulf), Tropical Storm Ana, Tropical Storm Bill, and a new tropical wave on the coastline of Africa.

After Ana and Bill, the next name in line is Claudette. Will the next tropical wave be the 3rd named storm of the season? We have much to figure out in the next few days. Tropical Storm Ana will be near Florida Wednesday/Thursday.

1 Day and 2 Tropical Storms

A very eventful day here in the weathercenter. A quiet hurricane season has led to a Saturday on August 15 to remember. Tropical Storm Ana (ah-na) was named this morning and then the National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression 3 to Tropical Storm Bill. Both have similar stats on paper, but the satellite images tell two stories. Each storm is traveling near 16mph west with maximum winds at 40mph. The difference in the storms is seen by noticing the small size of Ana and the width of Bill. Also, a lot of mid-level dry air is in the pathway of Ana, but Bill is surrounded by a healthy dose of moisture and latent heat to feast upon. Thirdly, Ana will temporarily compete with higher shear of 15kts.

Forecasting the two storms is a little tricky. It apperas model consesus has both moving in a west-northwest motion, which drops Ana on the Southern tip of Florida. Although it is uncertain at this time if Ana will still be strong enough to maintain Tropical Storm strength. Bill is the more bullish storm, if you were to pick one. The positioning of the Atlantic ridge is a key player in the path of both storms.