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 !