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Saturday, August 1, 2020

News and Weather Briefing for Saturday, August 1, 2020


Expect hot and humid August weather this weekend, with showers and thunderstorms each afternoon and evening. The chance of rain increases Sunday as tropical moisture begins to interact with a stalling front, ahead of Hurricane Isaias. The storm will pass near the Georgia and Carolina coasts Monday through early Tuesday, enhancing our risk of heavy rainfall, but not likely posing much of a wind risk.

Local News Brief

Macon County Board of Education approves Plan B for upcoming school year [LINK]

General Forecast Through Saturday Night


Areas of fog in the morning. A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Otherwise, partly sunny, with highs ranging from the mid-to-upper 70s in the higher elevation to the mid-to-upper 80s in the lower elevations. Light winds out of the south in the morning increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%.


A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with lows in the 60s. Winds out of the south around 5 mph becoming calm by midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.


A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny, with highs ranging from the mid-70s in the higher elevations to the mid-80s in the lower elevations. Calm winds in the morning increasing to come out of the southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Sunday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8pm, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 8pm and 4am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with lows in the 60s. Calm winds. Chance of precipitation is 70%.


Rain chances increase throughout the day from 30% chance early in the morning to 50% around noon and 70% by 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with highs ranging from the lower 70s in the higher elevations to the lower 80s in the lower elevations. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Monday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then a chance of showers between 9pm and midnight. Mostly cloudy, with lows ranging from the upper 50s in the higher elevations to the lower 60s in the lower elevations. Chance of precipitation is 40%.


Strong to possibly severe storms will be possible today. The main threat from these storms will be isolated damaging wind gusts. Locally heavy rainfall is possible.


A strong to marginally severe storm cannot be ruled out again on Sunday afternoon with an isolated damaging wind gust being the main threat.

Air Quality


An H5 low will move across eastern Canada today, resulting in an upper-level trough over the eastern US. A shortwave is expected to move into the mid-Atlantic region, which will help provide lift; with abundant moisture in place, this will result in widespread showers and thunderstorms and plentiful cloud cover. The unsettled weather will help keep air quality Code Green.


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Tropical Weather
(The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th)

Tropical Tidbit from Levi Cowan

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
200 AM EDT Sat Aug 1 2020

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane Isaias, located near the central Bahamas, and on Tropical Depression Ten, located over the far eastern Atlantic between Africa and the Cabo Verde Islands.

1. A westward-moving tropical wave located about 650 miles east of the Lesser Antilles continues to produce a few disorganized showers. Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development in a day or two, and a tropical depression could form early next week. This system is forecast to turn northwestward, and then northward over the western Atlantic north of the Leeward Islands through the middle of next week.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...50 percent.

Hurricane Isaias

Hurricane Isaias Discussion Number 17
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL092020
500 AM EDT Sat Aug 01 2020

Isaias has a somewhat ragged appearance in satellite imagery this morning, likely due to the impact of westerly shear and dry air entrainment. The area of central convection has shrunk in size, although radar data from the Bahamas shows some banding near the center and occasional attempts to wrap up an eyewall. Also, a dry slot is now present in the eastern semicircle between the central convection and the outer banding. The last Hurricane Hunter mission indicated that the maximum winds had increased to near 75 kt, so that is maintained for this advisory. NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft are scheduled to investigate the storm during the next several hours.

The initial motion is now northwestward or 315/10 kt. The track forecast philosophy remains unchanged, as Isais should continue to move northwestward on the southwest side of a mid-level ridge today and begin to turn north-northwestward through a weakness in the ridge on Sunday. After that, the storm should recurve into the mid-latitude westerlies, with a turn toward the north-northeast and northeast with an increase in forward speed likely. The track guidance envelope has shifted a little to the east near the Florida coast and calls for a slower forward motion that the previous guidance. Thus, the new forecast track has been adjusted a little east of, and slower than, the previous track.

The hurricane is currently undergoing about 25 kt of westerly vertical shear, and some mid-level dry air is present west of the center. This combination should prevent any more intensification, and, while Isaias is expected to remain a hurricane as it passes near the Florida coast, at least slight weakening should occur during this time. Current indications from the global models are that the storm will continue to experience strong shear as it recurves, and thus the intensity forecast follows the previous forecast in calling for weakening during this time.

Key Messages:

1. Hurricane conditions and dangerous storm surge are expected in portions of the Bahamas through Saturday, and Hurricane Warnings are in effect.

2. Hurricane conditions are expected along portions of the Florida east coast late Saturday and Saturday night, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

3. Dangerous storm surge is possible along the Florida east coast from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach where water rises of 2 to 4 feet above ground level are possible along the immediate coastline and adjacent waterways. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local emergency officials.

4. Isaias will produce heavy rains and potentially life-threatening flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas, across South to east-Central Florida, and across the Carolinas to the mid Atlantic. Minor river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and into Virginia early next week.

5. There is a risk of impacts from winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge spreading along much of the the U.S. east coast through early next week, and interests there should monitor the progress of Isaias and updates to the forecast.


INIT 01/0900Z 23.9N 77.1W 75 KT 85 MPH
12H 01/1800Z 25.0N 78.2W 75 KT 85 MPH
24H 02/0600Z 26.3N 79.2W 70 KT 80 MPH
36H 02/1800Z 27.6N 79.9W 70 KT 80 MPH
48H 03/0600Z 29.1N 80.3W 65 KT 75 MPH
60H 03/1800Z 31.2N 79.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 04/0600Z 34.0N 77.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
96H 05/0600Z 41.5N 71.4W 50 KT 60 MPH...INLAND
120H 06/0600Z 47.5N 61.5W 40 KT 45 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

End Daily Weather Segment

Begin COVID-19 Update

Here are some numbers from the CDC, the NCDHHS, and the Johns Hopkins Dashboard. Macon Media prefers the Johns Hopkins Dashboard because the counts include those non-residents that are left out of the CDC and NCDHHS numbers.

The CDC website [LINK] reports 120,194 people in North Carolina are infected, 1,903 have died, and infections are widespread, the NCDHHS website [LINK] reports 122,148 confirmed cases from 1,757,102 targeted tests, and 1,229 hospitalized and 1,924 deaths in the state. The Johns Hopkins Dashboard [LINK] reports 122,298 people infected and 1,942 deaths.

North Carolina Coronavirus Map and Case Count [LINK]

Data from Macon County Public Health as of July 27th and graph by Macon Media of data from May 30th to July 27th [LINK

Please note there is a gap for Saturdays and Sundays starting two weekends ago since the health department will no longer be reporting numbers on those days.

456 Detected Cases (+6 in one day)
74 Active Positive (unchanged)
379 Recovered (+6 in one day)
3 Deaths (unchanged)

Testing Data for Macon County

4187 MCPH Tests (+73 in one day)
1427 Tests by Others (unchanged)
5614 Total Tests (+73 in one day)
305 Tests Pending Results (+68 in one day)

And here is the weekly Demographic Update from Macon County Public Health released on Wednesday, July 29th. The next demographic update will be on Wednesday, August 6th.

Infographic from Johns Hopkins University [LINK]

Resources for Reliable Information about the Corona Virus (COVID-19) [LINK]


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Published at 5:45am Saturday, August 01, 2020