I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Weather Briefing for Saturday, July 3, 2021


A passing cold front will move southeast of the area this evening. This will begin a dry and mild weather pattern that will last into the early part of next week. This will give somewhat unseasonal dryness and fair weather for the Independence Day holiday. By the mid to late next week, either remnants of Elsa, should there be any, or impacts from next upstream low pressure system will return humidity and chances for showers to the forecast.


Weather Sponsor

Adams Products, a Division of Oldcastle is underwriting the daily weather briefing & public safety updates for the month.

Open 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, M-F, located at 895 Hickory Knoll Road, Franklin, NC. Visit our Facebook page at:

All your masonry needs are available. Our phone number is 828.524.8545, the public is welcome, we’ll help you with your next project.


Local News Update
(National News is published after the Macon Calendar section)

Town of Franklin Announces Independence Day Celebration

(Franklin, NC) The Town of Franklin’s annual celebration of Independence Day will see several changes in 2021.

“Franklin’s celebration this year will be held on Saturday, July 3. It is a true, small town American experience. The Town Council and Employees have planned an event that is open to everyone-- children, residents, visitors, veterans, young, old, and pets—to have the opportunity to take part in the parade and all activities as we celebrate our Nation’s 245 th birthday. It is a celebration where everyone becomes a participant—not just a spectator,” said Mayor Bob Scott. The activities will begin at 12 noon with inflatables for kids including a water slide. The free attractions will be open until 4:00 p.m. on the square in Downtown Franklin near the Macon County Courthouse. Be sure your young ones are dressed appropriately to enjoy the water slide and other inflatables.

At 4:30 the Little Miss and Mister Firecracker Contest will take place. This contest is open to all girls and boys ages 3 to 6. It is patriotic in nature with entrants judged on their patriotic attire and one question. No registration or entry fee is required for this family-friendly contest that will be held at the Gazebo on the Square.

Even pets can get in on the fun with the Patriotic Pet Contest following at approximately 4:45 p.m. Deck your pets out in red, white and blue for this fun event.

“Franklin hosts one of the few parades in the country that visitors can actually participate in,” said Justin Setser, Interim Town Manager. “We encourage locals and visitors alike to be part of the parade. All you have to do is be in the lower parking lot of Town Hall at 5:30 pm for lineup. Entrants can walk, drive or ride and are encouraged to incorporate patriotic colors.”

The Patriotic Parade will begin at 6:00 p.m. and travel down Main Street, turn right on Iotla Street and disband back at Town Hall.

Following the Patriotic Parade, a short break is planned to relax, have dinner, and get ready for Fireworks Over Franklin. The park and watch fireworks show will be displayed in East Franklin at 15 First Street across from the Shops at Riverwalk (formerly East Franklin Shopping Center). Many will not even have to leave their homes to view the show.

“We are again working with Hale Artificier, Inc. of Lexington, North Carolina to produce the show,” said Scott. “These folks have been in business nearly 40 years and produce spectacular fireworks displays all across the Southeast.”

Fireworks Over Franklin is an all-aerial show that will feature hundreds of fireworks with over 250 shells in the grand finale alone.

A perimeter around the site will be secured and spectators will not be allowed to park or walk close to the launching site. Please note that any unauthorized vehicles in the safety zone will be towed.

“Plans are to have a test fireworks shell fired at 9:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. These test shells will help those who want to view the display determine if they might need to move to a different location for better viewing,” Scott said. “You will be able to view the display from many different locales in East Franklin and even from Town Hill.”

Prior to the fireworks display, the Town of Franklin will host a live radio broadcast on WFSC Radio beginning at 8:30 p.m. At 9:30 p.m. WFSC will air a patriotic soundtrack for the fireworks display that you will be able to enjoy, no matter where you are. Tune your radios to 104.9 FM for both the live broadcast and fireworks soundtrack.

“Franklin’s Fourth of July event is for everyone. The Town of Franklin is certainly very pleased to host these events for our residents and visitors as we return to normal during the pandemic,” Scott said.

For additional information call (828) 524-2516 or online at or follow on Facebook @FranklinNCEvents.

Vet's Portrait Project for 2021 

 The Macon County Art Association in Franklin is pleased to announce that the Vet’s Portrait Project will be held this year. This will be our ninth year for this event. Unfortunately the pandemic precluded the project last year but the artists are ready to go for 2021. This year there are spots for 4-7 veterans as we had applications remaining from 2019. Please announce the call for Macon County Veterans or their family members to apply to have the Veteran’s portrait painted by one of our local artists. Vets or their families may apply at the gallery between Memorial Day and July 4th of this year. There is no cost to apply or for the portraits. The only requirement is that the Veteran or their family member be present to receive the portrait on Veterans Day November 11, 2021. Community members who wish to help support the costs for this program are also welcome. Contact the project chair by email at

NC Dept of Justice Releases May 2021 Highlights [LINK]

National Weather Map for Today

General forecast through Monday Night

Franklin area


Patchy fog before midmorning. Otherwise, sunny, with highs near 80. Calm winds by midmorning increasing to come out of the northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.


Mostly clear, with lows in the mid-50s. Calm winds.

Independence Day

Sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Calm winds.

Sunday Night

Clear, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


Sunny, with highs in the upper 80s.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with lows in the lower 60s.

Highlands Plateau


Sunny, with highs in the low-to-mid 70s. Winds out of the north 5 to 10 mph becoming calm by midmorning.


Mostly clear, with lows in the mid-50s. Light and variable winds.

Independence Day

Sunny, with highs in the mid-70s. Calm winds.

Sunday Night

Mostly clear, with lows in the upper 50s. Calm winds.


Sunny, with highs in the upper 70s.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with lows around 60.

Otto area


Patchy fog before midmorning. Otherwise, sunny, with highs near 80. Winds out of the north 3 to 5 mph.


Mostly clear, with lows in the mid-50s. Calm winds.

Independence Day

Sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Calm winds.

Sunday Night

Clear, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


Sunny, with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with lows in the low-to-mid 60s.

Nantahala area


Patchy fog before midmorning. Otherwise, sunny, with highs in the mid-70s. Calm winds becoming north around 5 mph in the afternoon.


Clear, with lows in the mid-50s. Calm winds.

Independence Day

Sunny, with highs near 80. Calm winds.

Sunday Night

Clear, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


Sunny, with highs in the upper 80s.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with lows in the low-to-mid 60s.


Hazardous Weather is not anticipated today.


Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
200 AM EDT Sat Jul 3 2021

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

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane Elsa, located less than 300 miles east-southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic.

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days.


Tropical Tidbits is a website run by Macon Media's favorite no-nonsense tropical forecaster, Levi Cowan. He does not post material just to get clicks or to sensationalize the storms he covers to "make them more exciting." He is reliable and sober, unlike The Weather Channel crowd of Drama Queen Meteorologists.

Levi typically posts videos late in the afternoon or early before midnight on Youtube. [Youtube Channel]

Hurricane Elsa at a Crossroads; Will Impact Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba this Weekend (recorded July 2nd)

Hurricane Elsa Discussion Number 11
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL052021
1100 PM AST Fri Jul 02 2021

Data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that Elsa has weakened slightly, and that the flight-level and surface centers are not vertically aligned. The maximum 700-mb wind speed measured was 75 kt and the highest SFMR surface wind sampled was 61 kt in the northeastern quadrant. However, these data were collected outside of the strongest convection that was occurring just east of the flight track, so the intensity has only been lowered to 70 kt, which is supported by the slightly higher central pressure of 995 mb sampled by a dropsonde.

The initial motion estimate now is 285/25 kt. There remains little significant change to the previous track forecast or reasoning. The latest 00Z model guidance has become more convergent and now lies nearly on top of the previous advisory track. Over the last 48 h, the ECMWF model has steadily shifted Elsa's track westward by about 1 degree of longitude each model cycle, with the latest ECMWF forecast track now being located about 240 nmi west of its forecast track two days ago. As a result, less weight has been placed on the ECMWF solution for this advisory. However, even its latest solution no longer takes Elsa over the heart of Hispaniola. Elsa should continue to move generally west-northwestward for the next 48 h, accompanied by a slow but steady decrease in forward speed. By the time the hurricane nears southern Cuba, the forward speed should be less than 15 kt. Thereafter, Elsa should gradually turn northwestward and eventually northward through a developing weakness in the subtropical ridge This motion should take Elsa across Cuba and over the eastern Gulf of Mexico or the nearby Florida Peninsula on day 4, followed by a motion over the coastal regions of the southeastern United States on day 5. The new NHC forecast track is essentially just an update of the previous advisory, and closely follows a blend of the GFS, UKMET, and HWRF models, and the TVCA simple consensus model.

Elsa's fast forward speed and recent entrainment of dry mid-level air into the western semicircle has eroded some of the inner-core convection, resulting in the aforementioned weakening. In fact, NOAA G-IV dropsondes launched around 2100 UTC northwest of Elsa indicated a significant dry-air layer between 400-500-hPa that may have been imported by moderate northwesterly mid-level shear. However, as the cyclone's forward speed steadily decreases, the low-, mid-, and upper-level circulations should become more vertically aligned, which should allow for at least some slight re-strengthening during the next 24 h or so. Possible interaction with the landmasses of Haiti, southeastern Cuba, and Jamaica is the primary reason for not showing a more robust intensity forecast given the very warm water beneath the hurricane and a very favorable upper-level wind flow regime. The latest GFS and UKMET models indicate that Elsa will be moving into the center of a 300-200-mb synoptic-scale anticyclone, which would produce enhanced outflow jets to the north and south of the cyclone, resulting in significant strengthening. If Elsa ends up 'threading-the-needle' between Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba, then subsequent intensity forecasts may have to be increased similar to the much stronger HWRF model. For now, the official NHC intensity forecast maintains continuity with the previous advisory, and shows only slight re-strengthening due to possible interaction with land.

It should be noted that the average NHC track errors are 175 miles and 200 miles at days 4 and 5, respectively. Given the larger-than-normal uncertainty and because hazards will extend well away from the center of the storm, users are urged to not focus on the exact forecast points.

Key Messages:

1. Hurricane conditions and dangerous storm surge are expected within the Hurricane Warning areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic beginning Saturday and in Jamaica beginning Sunday.

2. The outer rain bands from Elsa will impact Puerto Rico by late tonight, with widespread heavy rain moving into southern Hispaniola and Jamaica Saturday into Sunday. Isolated to scattered flash flooding and mudslides are possible. Through early next week, heavy rain is expected to impact the Cayman Islands and Cuba resulting in significant flooding with mudslides possible in Cuba.

3. Hurricane conditions and dangerous storm surge are possible in portions of eastern Cuba beginning early Sunday where a Hurricane Watch is in effect. There is an increasing risk of wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts elsewhere in Cuba Sunday and Monday.

4. There is an increasing risk of storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts beginning Monday in the Florida Keys and spreading northward along the Florida Peninsula through Tuesday. However, the forecast uncertainty remains larger than usual due to Elsa's potential interaction with the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba this weekend. Interests throughout Florida should monitor Elsa's progress and updates to the forecast.


INIT 03/0300Z 14.8N 66.3W 70 KT 80 MPH
12H 03/1200Z 16.1N 69.8W 70 KT 80 MPH
24H 04/0000Z 17.6N 73.5W 75 KT 85 MPH
36H 04/1200Z 19.0N 76.2W 75 KT 85 MPH
48H 05/0000Z 20.5N 78.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
60H 05/1200Z 22.1N 80.4W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND
72H 06/0000Z 23.7N 81.7W 55 KT 65 MPH...OVER WATER
96H 07/0000Z 27.7N 82.9W 50 KT 60 MPH
120H 08/0000Z 32.4N 80.7W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND

Air Quality

Air quality is in the upper range of green for most of the county, with the ridges and other higher elevations today being in the upper range of green.

Fire and Smoke Map
(There are no significant sources of smoke in the region as of 3am on 04-22-2021.)


Pollen levels are expected to be in the low-medium range (3.8 out of 12) today with Grasses, Plantain, and Dock being the main culprits. Tomorrow is expected to be in the low-medium range (3.4 out of 12).

Weather Extremes for Macon County on July 2nd

Highest Temperature 96°F in Franklin in 2012
Lowest Temperature 42°F in Highlands in 1918
Greatest Rainfall 2.79 inches at the Coweeta Experimental Station in 2013
Greatest Snowfall (No snowfall recorded on this date since records started being kept in 1872)

July Weather Extremes for Macon County

Highest Temperature 101°F in Franklin on 07-29-1952
Lowest Temperature 34°F in Highlands on 07-27-1911
Greatest Rainfall 21.15 inches in Highlands on 07-29-1879
Greatest Snowfall no measurable snowfall has been recorded since records started being kept in 1872

Macon Calendar

The Macon County Art Association (a not for profit member organization) is offering classes in encaustic painting on Specified Fridays from 10AM-12PM at the Uptown Gallery 30 E Main St Franklin NC. Specific class dates are Friday July 9 and 23, August 3 and 27, September 3 and 17, October 29.

For more information contact the instructor, Karen Smith, at

National News Update

Firefighter's daughter among victims in Florida condo collapse - July 2st, 2021

TWiV 775: COVID-19 clinical update #69 with Dr. Daniel Griffin

PBS NewsHour live episode, July 2, 2021

On This Day

July 3rd is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar; 181 days remain until the end of the year.

Historical Events

(Please note that the Wikipedia articles often contain a bibliography and links to where you can learn more about a historical event)

324 – Battle of Adrianople: Constantine I defeats Licinius, who flees to Byzantium.
• [Wikipedia: Battle of Adrianople]
• [Wikipedia Bio: Constantine I]
• [Wikipedia Bio: Licinius]

987 – Hugh Capet is crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty that would rule France until the French Revolution in 1792.
• [Wikipedia Bio: Hugh Capet]
• [Wikipedia: Capetian dynasty]

1035 – William the Conqueror becomes the Duke of Normandy, reigns until 1087.

1187 - Battle of Horns of Hattin: Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, destroys Jerusalem's crusader army
• [Wikipedia: Battle of Hattin]
• [Battle of Hattin, 1187 ⚔️ Saladin's Greatest Victory - معركة حطين]
• [Third Crusade 1189-1192: From Hattin to Jaffa]
• [The Battle of Hattin, 1187 - Saladin vs. Crusaders]
• [Battle of Hattin, 1187: Three Primary Source Accounts]

1250 - Louis IX of France is captured by Baibars' Mamluk army at the Battle of Fariskur while he is in Egypt conducting the Seventh Crusade; he later has to ransom himself
• [Wikipedia: Battle of Fariskur]
• [The Seventh Crusade: A Concise Overview for Students]

1428 - Treaty of Delft between Jacoba of Bavaria & Philip the Good of Burgundy
• [Wikipedia: Treaty of Delft]

1608 – Québec City is founded by Samuel de Champlain.

1661 - Portugal gives Tangier and Bombay to English King Charles II

1754 – French and Indian War: George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to French forces.
• [George Washington's Defeat: the Battle of Fort Necessity]
• [Did George Washington Single-handedly Start an International War? - Fort Necessity & Jumonville PA]
• [Wikipewdia: George Washington in the French and Indian War]

1767 – Pitcairn Island is discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret.

1767 – Norway's oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, is founded and the first edition is published.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: Iroquois allied to Britain kill 360 people in the Wyoming Valley massacre.
• [Battle of Wyoming]
• [Vinnie Langdon: Battle Of Wyoming History]

1819 – The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.

1839 – The first state normal school in the United States, the forerunner to today's Framingham State University, opens in Lexington, Massachusetts with three students.

1844 - The last pair of Great Auks is killed
• [Highlight History: The Spiteful End of the Great Auk]
• [Wikipedia: Great auk]

1848 – Governor-General Peter von Scholten emancipates all remaining slaves in the Danish West Indies.

1849 – France invades the Roman Republic and restores the Papal States.

1852 – Congress establishes the United States' 2nd mint in San Francisco.

1861 - Pony Express arrives in San Francisco with overland letters from NY

1863 – American Civil War: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminates with Pickett's Charge.
• [Wikipedia: Pickett's Charge]
• [Civil War 1863 - Gettysburg Pickett's Charge]
• [Footage of Civil War Veterans at 50yr Anniversary in 1913 & 75yr Anniversary in 1938]

1864 - Battle of Chattahoochie River (Georgia) Begins (ends on July 9th)

1866 – Austro-Prussian War is decided at the Battle of Königgrätz, resulting in Prussia taking over as the prominent German nation from Austria.
• [Battle of Königgrätz]
• [Kings and Generals: Battle of Königgrätz 1866 - Austro-Prussian War ]
• [Tactics and rifles of the battle of Königgrätz - Lorenz and Dreyse rifles in action]

1871 - Jesse James robs a bank of $45,000 in Corydon, Iowa
• [Wikipedia Bio: Jesse James]
• [James–Younger Gang]
• [Timesuck | The Outlaw Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang]

1883 - SS Daphne sinks on Clyde River in Scotland; 195 die
• [SS Daphne (1883)]

1884 – Dow Jones & Company publishes its first stock average.

1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.

1886 – The New-York Tribune becomes the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.

1890 – Idaho is admitted as the 43rd U.S. state.

1890 - King Leopold II gives Congo, previously a private possession, to Belgium

1898 – A Spanish squadron, led by Pascual Cervera y Topete, is defeated by an American squadron under William T. Sampson in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.
• [Battle of Santiago de Cuba]
• [Rare Combat Photographs of US Navy Ships During the Battle of Santiago de Cuba (1898)]

1913 – Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenact Pickett's Charge; upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they are met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.
• [Footage of Civil War Veterans at 50yr Anniversary in 1913 & 75yr Anniversary in 1938]
• [Wikipedia: 1913 Gettysburg reunion]
• [Yesterdays Heroes Reunite during The 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg]

1938 – World speed record for a steam locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 125.88 miles per hour (202.58 km/h).
• [Wikipedia: LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard]
• [VIDEO: MALLARD - York - Scarborough - 1986]
• [Record Breaking Mallard Steam Train Video]

1938 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lights the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.
• [Wikipedia: Eternal Light Peace Memorial]
• [1938 FDR Dedicates Gettysburg Memorial]
• [Silent Newsreel]

1939 - Ernst Heinkel demonstrates 800 kph (500 mph) rocket plane to Adolf Hitler
• [Wikipedia: Heinkel He 176]
• [Heinkel He 176: Rocketmen]

1940 – World War II: The Royal Navy attacks the French naval squadron in Algeria, to ensure that it will not fall under German control. Of the four French battleships present, one is sunk, two are damaged, and one escapes back to France.
• [Wikipedia: Attack on Mers-el-Kébir]
• [Mers-el-Kebir - Tragedy on a Grand Scale]
• [Mers El Kebir 1940: When Britain Blew Up the French Fleet] (includes Newsreel Footage)
• [045 - Do the Brits hate the French?! - The Bombing of Mers-el-Kébir - WW2 - July 6 1940]
• [We All Feel Thoroughly Ashamed: Mers el Kébir (World War 2)]

1942 - German troops march into Sebastopol, Crimea

1943 - British Liberator bomber sinks German U-628 in Bay of Biscay

1944 – World War II: The Minsk Offensive clears German troops from the city.
• [Wikipedia: Minsk offensive]

1952 – The Constitution of Puerto Rico is approved by the United States Congress.
• [Wikipedia: Constitution of Puerto Rico]

1952 – The SS United States sets sail on her maiden voyage to Southampton. During the voyage, the ship takes the Blue Riband away from the RMS Queen Mary.

1967 – The Aden Emergency: The Battle of the Crater in which the British Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders retake the Crater district following the Arab Police mutiny.
• [Battle of the Crater (Aden)]
• [British Army in Aden | Crater Re-Taken | Lt. Colonel Colin "Mad Mitch" Mitchell | July 1967]
• [Mad Mitch and his Tribal Law, The Aden Emergency]

1969 – Space Race: The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N-1 rocket explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad.
• [Wikipedia: N1 (rocket)]
• [The Largest Rocket Explosion Ever - The Soviet N1 Moon Rocket Failure]
• [Soviet N1 Moon Rocket Documentary]
• [All the failed launches of the Soviet Moon rocket N1 | Historic Rocket Launches]

1970 – The Troubles: The "Falls Curfew" begins in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
• [Wikipedia: Falls Curfew]
• [Wikipedia: The Troubles]

1970 – Dan-Air Flight 1903 crashes into the Les Agudes mountain in the Montseny Massif near the village of Arbúcies in Catalonia, Spain, killing all 112 people aboard.

1979 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
• [Wikipedia: Operation Cyclone]
• [Episode 038 - Richard Rice on his piece of Operation Cyclone aka “Charlie Wilson’s War”]
• [The True Story of Charlie Wilson's War]

1986 - US President Reagan presides over relighting of renovated Statue of Liberty
• [President Reagan's Remarks at the Statue of Liberty on Governors Island, New York, July 3, 1986]

1988 – United States Navy warship USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
• [Iran Air Flight 655]
• [USS Vincennes (CG-49)]
• [NBC SPECIAL REPORT, July 1988 - Navy Missile Downs Civilian Iran Air Flight 655]
• [AP VIDEO] (some segments silent)
• [July 4, 1988 CBS News - Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 & Reagan & Ayatollah's Responses - VHS rescue]
• [The 8th Minute: The 'Forgotten' US Shootdown of Iranian Airliner Flight 655]

1988 – The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, providing the second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus.

1996 – UK House of Commons announces that the Stone of Scone, aka the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish (and subsequently English and British monarchs), will be returned to Scotland after 700 years in Westminster Abbey.
• [Wikipedia: Stone of Scone]

2013 – Egyptian coup d'état: President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi is overthrown by the military after four days of protests all over the country calling for Morsi's resignation, to which he did not respond. President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Adly Mansour is declared acting president.


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Published at 5:00am on Saturday, July 03, 2021