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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Weather Briefing for Tuesday, September 15, 2020


High pressure will bring cooler and drier weather to the region Tuesday and Wednesday. Moisture associated with tropical cyclone Sally will bring the threat of heavy rainfall to the area late in the week before a fall-like air mass settles into the region over the weekend.


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News Brief

Lowering Of US and NC Flags To Half-Staff In Honor of Fort Bragg Paratroopers, Sgt. David Eugene Hughes and Pfc. Jean Cruz De Leon [LINK

General forecast through Thursday night


Partly sunny, with highs ranging from the upper 60s in the higher elevations to the mid-to-upper 70s in the lower elevations. Winds out of the southeast 5 to 10 mph.


Mostly cloudy, with lows in the 50s. Light winds out of the east.


A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with highs ranging from the mid-60s in the higher elevations to the mid-70s in the lower elevations. Light winds out of the east.

Wednesday Night

A 50 percent chance of rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


Showers likely, mainly after 7am. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with highs ranging from the upper 60s in the higher elevations to the lower 70s in the lower 70s. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Thursday Night

Rain. Lows around 60. Chance of precipitation is 80%.


Rain chances will increase mid to late week as moisture from the remnants of tropical storm Sally interact with an approaching cold front. While confidence remains low regarding the timing and exact track of this system, heavy rainfall and localized flooding are possible, mainly Thursday and Friday. Continue to monitor the forecast for the latest on Sally and the possible impacts across our area.

Air Quality

Air quality is in the upper-range of green today as ozone and particulate matter levels are expected to not be a problem today.


Pollen levels are expected to be medium today (7.2 out of 12) with Ragweed, grasses, and chenopods being the main allergens present today. Tomorrow is expected to be higher (in the medium-high range), with the pollen level forecast to be 7.5 out of 12.

(The North Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to Nov 30th)

Tropical Tidbit from Levi Cowan (video recorded yesterday afternoon)

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
200 AM EDT Tue Sep 15 2020

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

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane Paulette, located several hundred miles north-northeast of Bermuda, on Hurricane Sally, centered over the north-central Gulf of Mexico, on Tropical Storm Teddy, located over the central tropical Atlantic, and on Tropical Storm Vicky, located over the eastern tropical Atlantic.

1. A broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is producing little shower or thunderstorm activity. Any development of this system should be slow to occur while the low meanders over the southern Gulf of Mexico for the next several days.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

2. An area of low pressure has formed from a low-latitude tropical wave located a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands. Shower and thunderstorm activity has become more concentrated during the past several hours, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next few days while the system moves generally westward at 10 to 15 mph.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

3. A non-tropical area of low pressure is located over the far northeastern Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles northeast of the Azores. This system is forecast to move south-southeastward during the next few days where it will encounter warmer waters, which could allow the low to gradually acquire some tropical or subtropical characteristics this week.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

Hurricane Sally Discussion Number 15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL192020
1000 PM CDT Mon Sep 14 2020

After rapidly strengthening earlier today, Sally's intensity has plateaued for now. Both the NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunters have been investigating Sally this evening and they have found that the minimum pressure and winds have leveled off, and support perhaps a generous initial intensity of 85 kt. Doppler radar images and reports from both aircraft indicate the inner core of the hurricane is quite small and that the eyewall is open on the south side, likely due to some dry air that has wrapped into that portion of the circulation.

Aircraft and Doppler radar fixes indicate that Sally is moving very slowly to the west-northwest, with the latest initial motion estimated to be 300/3 kt. Weak high pressure ridging to the north and east of Sally is expected to cause the hurricane to continue to move slowly west-northwestward to northwestward for another 12 hours, bringing the center of the storm very near the northern Gulf coast. By Tuesday afternoon, when the hurricane will likely be just offshore, the models show the steering currents collapsing and Sally is likely to drift northward before finally turning northeastward ahead of a developing mid-level trough over the central U.S. by late Wednesday. There continues to be a significant amount of uncertainty on exactly where and when Sally turns northward and makes landfall, with model solutions ranging from a landfall on the Florida panhandle to a landfall in extreme southeastern Louisiana. It should be emphasized that it is always challenging to forecast the track of hurricanes in weak steering currents, and in Sally's case the weak steering is occurring very near land. The new NHC track forecast is a little to the east of the previous one, trending toward the latest consensus aids.

Sally is still in generally favorable environmental conditions consisting of very warm SSTs and low wind shear. Since the hurricane will likely remain in those conditions through Tuesday morning, some strengthening seems likely in the short term. In 12 to 24 hours, when Sally is forecast to be very near the coast, a combination of an increase in westerly shear and cooler upwelled shelf waters should limit additional intensification. After the hurricane makes landfall, rapid weakening is forecast and Sally should become post-tropical in 3 to 4 days over the southeast U.S. The NHC intensity forecast lies at the high end of the model guidance and is quite similar to the previous one.

Users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast track or the specific timing and location of landfall. Hurricane-force winds, dangerous storm surge, and flooding rainfall will affect a large portion of the north-central Gulf Coast during the next few days.


1. It is still too early to determine where Sally's center will move onshore given the uncertainty in the timing and location of Sally's northward turn near the central Gulf Coast. Users should not focus on the details of the official forecast track, since NHC's average forecast error at 36 hours is around 60 miles, and dangerous storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards will extend well away from the center.

2. An extremely dangerous and life-threatening storm surge is expected for areas outside the southeastern Louisiana Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line in the Florida Panhandle, where a Storm Surge Warning is in effect. Residents in these areas should follow any advice given by local officials.

3. Hurricane conditions are expected early Tuesday within the Hurricane Warning area in southeastern Louisiana and are expected by late Tuesday and Tuesday night within the Hurricane Warning area along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines and the western Florida Panhandle. Tropical storm conditions are already occurring in some of these areas.

4. Life-threatening flash flooding is likely with Sally, as well as widespread minor to isolated major flooding on area rivers, along and just inland of the Central Gulf Coast. Significant flash and urban flooding, as well as widespread minor to moderate river flooding is likely across inland portions of Mississippi and Alabama and into northern Georgia, southeastern Tennessee and the western Carolinas through the week. Sally may continue to produce flash flooding across the Florida peninsula and prolong existing minor river flooding across west-central Florida through tonight.


INIT 15/0300Z 28.9N 87.6W 85 KT 100 MPH
12H 15/1200Z 29.1N 88.1W 95 KT 110 MPH
24H 16/0000Z 29.6N 88.4W 90 KT 105 MPH
36H 16/1200Z 30.4N 88.3W 85 KT 100 MPH...INLAND
48H 17/0000Z 31.3N 87.4W 50 KT 60 MPH...INLAND
60H 17/1200Z 32.0N 86.3W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
72H 18/0000Z 32.7N 84.9W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
96H 19/0000Z 33.1N 82.3W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
120H 20/0000Z...DISSIPATED


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Published at 4:30am Tuesday, September 15, 2020