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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Weather Briefing for Wednesday, September 16, 2020


High pressure will maintain cooler and drier weather across the region today. Moisture associated with tropical cyclone Sally will bring the threat of heavy rainfall Thursday and Friday before a fall-like air mass settles into the region over the weekend.


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General forecast through Friday night


A 20 percent chance of showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with highs ranging from the mid-60s in the higher elevations to the mid-70s in the lower elevations. Calm winds in the morning increasing to come out of the southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.


Showers likely, mainly after midnight. Patchy fog expected to form after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with lows ranging from the upper 50s in the higher elevations to the lower 60s in the lower elevations. Light winds out of the northeast. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.


Patcchy fog in the morning. Showers likely. Otherwise, cloudy, with highs in the 60s. Light and variable winds. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Thursday Night

Rain. Lows rnging from the upper 50s in the higher elevations to the lower 60s in the lower elevations. Calm winds increasing to come out of the northeast around 5 mph by midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%.


Rain likely before noon, then a chance of showers between noon and 4pm, then a chance of rain after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with highs mostly in the 60s with a few locations in the lower elevations reacing the lower 70s. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday Night

A 30 percent chance of rain before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with lows in the 50s.


The remnants of tropical storm Sally are expected to pass close enough to the area to bring heavy rainfall Thursday into Friday. While there is considerable uncertainty regarding amounts and the location of heaviest rain, rainfall totals are expected to be sufficient to result in areas of flash flooding, some of which could be significant. Flooding along main stem rivers is also possible. Continue to monitor the forecast for the latest on Sally and the possible impacts across our area.

Air Quality

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


Pollen levels are expected to be medium-high today (7.4 out of 12) with Ragweed, grasses, and chenopods being the main alergens present oday. Tomorrow is expected to be much lower due to rain (0.8 out of 12).

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

Tropical Tidbit from Levi Cowan (video recoded yesterday afternoon)

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
200 AM EDT Wed Sep 16 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 south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, on Hurricane Sally, centered near the northern Gulf coast, on Tropical Storm Teddy, located over the central tropical Atlantic, and on Tropical Storm Vicky, located over the eastern tropical Atlantic.

1. An area of low pressure over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is producing showers and thunderstorms that are showing some signs of organization Upper-level winds are forecast to gradually become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression could form late this week while the low meanders over the southern Gulf of Mexico for the next several days.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...40 percent.

2. Showers and thunderstorms associated with an area of low pressure located a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands have changed little during the past several hours. Environmental conditions are conducive for development of this system, however, 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 a few hundred miles northeast of the Azores. This system could acquire some subtropical characteristics while it moves southeastward and eastward at about 10 mph during the next few days. For more information on this system, see High Seas Forecasts issued by Meteo France.

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

Hurricane Sally Special Discussion Number 20
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL192020
130 AM CDT Wed Sep 16 2020

Justification for this special advisory is to increase the initial intensity and the 12-h forecast intensity at landfall.

Observations from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft and Mobile Alabama WSR-88D Doppler radar data indicate that Sally has continued to strengthen this morning. Radar data show that Sally's eye has become better defined and Doppler velocities in the northern eyewall have reached average values of at least 110 kt between 5000-6000 ft ASL, which supports an equivalent surface wind speed of about 89 kt. The reconnaissance aircraft has recently measured peak 700-mb flight-level winds of 103 kt, which equates to about 93 kt using a standard 90 percent adjustment factor, while peak SFMR surface wind speed have been 85 kt. In addition, a recent dropsonde in the northeast eyewall measured an average wind speed of 113 kt in the lowest 150 meters, which equates to about a 94-kt surface wind. However, those winds appeared to be possibly contaminated by wind gusts. Based on the above data, the initial intensity has been increased to 90 kt.

Some additional slight strengthening is possible until landfall occur, and Sally could peak at 95 kt. Rapid weakening will occur after the center moves inland, and the system should become a remnant low in a couple of days. This is consistent with the latest model guidance.

Radar and aircraft center fixes indicate that Sally's motion is north-northeastward, or 030/02 kt. No changes were made to the previous track forecast. Sally should continue to move north-northeastward this morning, and then turn northeastward with a gradual increase in forward speed by tonight. That motion will then continue for the next day or so. Then, as Sally approaches the westerly flow at higher latitudes, the cyclone should turn toward the east-northeast with a slight further increase in forward speed until becoming a dissipating remnant low near the southeast U.S. coast in 2-3 days. The official forecast is close to the latest corrected dynamical model consensus, HCCA, prediction.


1. Historic, life-threatening flash flooding due to rainfall is likely through Wednesday along and just inland of the coast from the Florida Panhandle west of the Apalachicola River to the Alabama/Mississippi border. Widespread moderate to major river flooding is forecast across the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama. 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 Georgia and the western Carolinas this week.

2. Life-threatening storm surge is expected along portions of the coastline from Alabama to the western Florida Panhandle, including Mobile Bay.

3. Hurricane conditions are expected this morning and then continue into this afternoon within portions of the Hurricane Warning area along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines and the western Florida Panhandle.


INIT 16/0630Z 29.9N 87.8W 90 KT 105 MPH
12H 16/1200Z 30.3N 87.5W 95 KT 110 MPH
24H 17/0000Z 31.2N 86.8W 40 KT 45 MPH...INLAND
36H 17/1200Z 32.0N 85.7W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
48H 18/0000Z 32.9N 83.9W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
60H 18/1200Z 33.6N 81.5W 20 KT 25 MPH...INLAND
72H 19/0000Z 34.0N 79.0W 20 KT 25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
96H 20/0000Z...DISSIPATED


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Published at 5:00am Wednesday, September 16, 2020