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.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Weather Briefing for Independence Day, 2021


Temperatures and moisture will rebound early this week, with afternoon highs rising above normal Monday. Precipitation chances will gradually increase Tuesday through Thursday, when a trough of low pressure will approach from the west. Tropical Cyclone Elsa could also affect the region around that time, possibly enhancing the threat of heavy rainfall.

Happy 245th Borthday, America!!! [LINK]


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.


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 Tuesday Night

Franklin area


Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Calm winds.


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


Sunny, with highs in the upper 80s. Light and variable winds.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with lows in the lower 60s. Calm winds.


A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Partly sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Light and variable winds. Chance of rain is 30%.

Tuesday Night

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with lows in the low-to-mid 60s. Chance of rain is 20%.

Highlands Plateau


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


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


Sunny, with highs near 80. Calm winds.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Partly sunny, with highs in the mid-to-upper 70s. Light and variable winds. Chance of rain is 30%.

Tuesday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with lows around 60. Chance of rain is 30%.

Otto area


Patchy fog before midmorning. Otherwise, sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Calm winds.


Mostly clear, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


Sunny, with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s. Light and variable winds.

Monday Night

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


A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Partly sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Calm winds in the morning increasing to come out of the southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain is 30%.

Tuesday Night

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with lows in the mid-60s. Chance of rain is 20%.

Nantahala area


Sunny, with highs near 80. Calm winds.


Mostly clear, with lows around 60. Calm winds.


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

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with lows in the lower 60s. Calm winds.


A slight chance of showers between 2pm and 4pm, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Mostly sunny, with highs near 80. Calm winds. Chance of rain is 20%.

Tuesday Night

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with lows in the mid-60s. Chance of rain is 20%.


Hazardous Weather is not anticipated today.


Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
200 AM EDT Sun Jul 4 2021

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

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Elsa, located just over one hundred miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

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]

Elsa Weaker; Significant Impacts Still Expected in Cuba, Florida, and Southeast U.S. (recorded July 3rd)

Tropical Storm Elsa Discussion Number 15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL052021
1100 PM EDT Sat Jul 03 2021

Elsa is undergoing a convective bursting pattern the past few hours, with some cold overshooting tops of -90 deg C east and northeast of the center. However, data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that this convective increase has not translated into an intensity increase. To the contrary, 5000-ft flight-level and SFMR surface winds have decreased while the central pressure has increased to 1004 mb. Based on the latest recon data, the intensity has been lowered to 55 kt. The aircraft has now climbed to 10,000 ft for safety reasons and will be penetrating the area of intense convection to check for stronger winds there.

The initial motion estimate is now 295/15 kt. Elsa is forecast to gradually move around the western periphery of a deep-layer subtropical ridge over the next 96 hours, accompanied by an additional decrease in forward speed. The latest model guidance has continued to converge along the previous advisory track, with the corrected-consensus models HCCA and FSSE nearly on top of each other. The TCVA simple consensus model is also similar to the HCCA and FSSE models. However, out of respect for the slightly more westward GFS and GFS-ensemble models, which have performed admirably thus far with Elsa, the new official forecast lies a tad west of the aforementioned consensus models and lies nearly on top of the previous advisory track.

After interacting with the mountainous terrain of southwestern Haiti, which could have caused some disruption in the low-level field despite the center remaining offshore, little change in intensity is expected tonight. However, some slight restrengthening could occur by Sunday afternoon as Elsa approaches the south-central coast of Cuba where the sea-surface temperatures are quite warm at more than 30 deg C and the water is deep. Weakening is expected after the cyclone moves across west-central Cuba, followed again by some slight restrengthening after Elsa emerges over the warm Gulf Stream in the Straits of Florida. Westerly vertical wind shear increasing to near 20 kt by 96 hours should prevent any significant strengthening from occurring. Elsa should become a very asymmetrical tropical cyclone late on day 3 and on day 4 with most of the heavy rain and strongest winds displaced along and to the east of the forecast track. The initial intensity is similar to the previous advisory and closely follows the simple and corrected consensus models.

Given the remaining uncertainty in the track forecast and the degree of land interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba, users are urged to factor in some of this uncertainty. For reference, average NHC track errors at days 3 and 4 are 125 miles and 150 miles, respectively. The average NHC intensity errors are around 15 mph for both days 3 and 4.

Key Messages:

1. Widespread heavy rain will move across southern Haiti and Jamaica tonight into Sunday where isolated to scattered flash flooding and mudslides will be possible. Heavy rain will then impact the Cayman Islands and Cuba Sunday into Monday resulting in significant flooding and mudslides over Cuba. As Elsa approaches the Florida Keys and Florida Peninsula early next week, isolated flash flooding and minor river flooding will be possible.

2. Tropical storm conditions and dangerous storm surge are expected with hurricane conditions possible in portions of eastern Cuba beginning early Sunday, with tropical storm conditions possible in central and western Cuba Sunday night and Monday.

3. There is an increasing risk of tropical storm conditions, storm surge, and rainfall impacts beginning Monday in the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula, and a Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for portions of the Florida Keys. This risk will spread northward along the Florida Peninsula through Wednesday and reach the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday and Thursday, however uncertainty in the forecast remains larger than usual due to Elsa's potential interaction with the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba. Interests elsewhere in Florida and along the southeast U.S. coast should monitor Elsa's progress and updates to the forecast.


INIT 04/0300Z 17.9N 75.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
12H 04/1200Z 19.2N 77.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
24H 05/0000Z 20.9N 79.4W 60 KT 70 MPH
36H 05/1200Z 22.5N 81.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...INLAND
48H 06/0000Z 24.1N 82.2W 45 KT 50 MPH...OVER WATER
60H 06/1200Z 26.0N 82.8W 50 KT 60 MPH
72H 07/0000Z 28.0N 83.0W 50 KT 60 MPH
96H 08/0000Z 32.7N 81.0W 45 KT 50 MPH...INLAND
120H 09/0000Z 37.7N 74.9W 35 KT 40 MPH...OVER WATER

Air Quality

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

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 (3.3 out of 12) today with Grasses, Plantain, and Dock being the main culprits. Tomorrow is expected to be in the low-medium range (3.5 out of 12).

Weather Extremes for Macon County on July 2nd

Highest Temperature 96°F in Franklin in 1948
Lowest Temperature 46°F in Highlands in 1996
Greatest Rainfall 4.46 inches in Highlands 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

On This Day

July 4th is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar; 180 days remain until the end of the year. The Aphelion, the point in the year when the Earth is farthest from the Sun, occurs around this date.

Historical Events

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

362 BC – Battle of Mantinea: The Thebans, led by Epaminondas, defeated the Spartans.

414 – Emperor Theodosius II, age 13, yields power to his older sister Aelia Pulcheria, who reigned as regent and proclaimed herself empress (Augusta) of the Eastern Roman Empire.

836 – Pactum Sicardi, a peace treaty between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples, is signed.

993 – Ulrich of Augsburg is canonized as a saint.

1054 – A supernova, called SN 1054, is seen by Chinese Song dynasty, Arab, and possibly Amerindian observers near the star Zeta Tauri. For several months it remains bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants form the Crab Nebula.

1120 – Jordan II of Capua is anointed as prince after his infant nephew's death.

1187 – The Crusades: Battle of Hattin: Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.

1253 – Battle of West-Capelle: John I of Avesnes defeats Guy of Dampierre.

1359 – Francesco II Ordelaffi of Forlì surrenders to the Papal commander Gil de Albornoz.

1456 – Ottoman–Hungarian wars: The Siege of Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) begins.

1534 – Christian III is elected King of Denmark and Norway in the town of Rye.

1584 – Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe arrive at Roanoke Island

1610 – The Battle of Klushino is fought between forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia during the Polish–Muscovite War.

1634 – The city of Trois-Rivières is founded in New France (now Quebec, Canada).

1744 – The Treaty of Lancaster, in which the Iroquois cede lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River to the British colonies, was signed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

1774 – Orangetown Resolutions are adopted in the Province of New York, one of many protests against the British Parliament's Coercive Acts.

1776 – American Revolution: The United States Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: U.S. forces under George Clark capture Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign.

1802 – At West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy opens.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people.

1817 – In Rome, New York, construction on the Erie Canal begins.

1826 – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, respectively the second and third presidents of the United States, die the same day, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence. Adams' last words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives."

1827 – Slavery is abolished in the State of New York.

1831 – Samuel Francis Smith writes "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" for the Boston, Massachusetts July 4 festivities.

1832 – John Neal delivers the first public lecture in the US to advocate the rights of women.

1837 – Grand Junction Railway, the world's first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool.

1838 – The Iowa Territory is organized.

1845 – Henry David Thoreau moves into a small cabin on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau's account of his two years there, Walden, will become a touchstone of the environmental movement.

1855 – The first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems, Leaves of Grass, is published In Brooklyn.

1862 – Lewis Carroll tells Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.

1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg: Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to U.S. forces under Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege. One hundred fifty miles up the Mississippi River, a Confederate army is repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.

1863 – American Civil War: The Army of Northern Virginia withdraws from the battlefield after losing the Battle of Gettysburg, signalling an end to the Confederate invasion of U.S. territory.

1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: The Zululand capital of Ulundi is captured by British troops and burned to the ground, ending the war and forcing King Cetshwayo to flee.

1881 – In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opens.

1886 – The Canadian Pacific Railway's first scheduled train from Montreal arrives in Port Moody on the Pacific coast, after six days of travel.

1887 – The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, joins Sindh-Madrasa-tul-Islam, Karachi.

1892 – Western Samoa changes the International Date Line, causing Monday (July 4) to occur twice, resulting in a year with 367 days.

1894 – The short-lived Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.

1898 – En route from New York to Le Havre, the SS La Bourgogne collides with another ship and sinks off the coast of Sable Island, with the loss of 549 lives.

1901 – William Howard Taft becomes American governor of the Philippines.

1903 – The Philippine–American War is officially concluded.

1910 – The Johnson–Jeffries riots occur after African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in the 15th round. Between 11 and 26 people are killed and hundreds more injured.

1911 – A massive heat wave strikes the northeastern United States, killing 380 people in eleven days and breaking temperature records in several cities.

1913 – President Woodrow Wilson addresses American Civil War veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1914 – The funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie takes place in Vienna, six days after their assassinations in Sarajevo.

1918 – Mehmed V died at the age of 73 and Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascends to the throne.

1918 – World War I: The Battle of Hamel, a successful attack by the Australian Corps against German positions near the town of Le Hamel on the Western Front.

1918 – Bolsheviks kill Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).

1927 – First flight of the Lockheed Vega.

1939 – Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, informs a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considers himself "The luckiest man on the face of the earth", then announces his retirement from major league baseball.

1941 – Nazi crimes against the Polish nation: Nazi troops massacre Polish scientists and writers in the captured Ukrainian city of Lviv.

1941 – World War II: The Burning of the Riga synagogues: The Great Choral Synagogue in German-occupied Riga is burnt with 300 Jews locked in the basement.

1942 – World War II: The 250-day Siege of Sevastopol in the Crimea ends when the city falls to Axis forces.

1943 – World War II: The Battle of Kursk, the largest full-scale battle in history and the world's largest tank battle, begins in the village of Prokhorovka.

1943 – World War II: In Gibraltar, a Royal Air Force B-24 Liberator bomber crashes into the sea in an apparent accident moments after takeoff, killing sixteen passengers on board, including general Władysław Sikorski, the commander-in-chief of the Polish Army and the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile; only the pilot survives.

1944 - 1st Japanese kamikaze attack, US fleet near Iwo Jima

1946 – The Kielce pogrom against Jewish Holocaust survivors in Poland.

1946 – After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attains full independence from the United States.

1947 – The "Indian Independence Bill" is presented before the British House of Commons, proposing the independence of the Provinces of British India into two sovereign countries: India and Pakistan.

1950 – Cold War: Radio Free Europe first broadcasts.

1951 – Cold War: A court in Czechoslovakia sentences American journalist William N. Oatis to ten years in prison on charges of espionage.

1951 – William Shockley announces the invention of the junction transistor.

1954 – Rationing ends in the United Kingdom.

1960 – Due to the post-Independence Day admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, almost ten and a half months later (see Flag Acts (United States)).

1961 – On its maiden voyage, the Soviet nuclear-powered submarine K-19 suffers a complete loss of coolant to its reactor. The crew are able to effect repairs, but 22 of them die of radiation poisoning over the following two years.

1966 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into United States law. The act went into effect the next year.

1976 – Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.

1976 – The U.S. celebrates its Bicentennial.

1977 – The George Jackson Brigade plants a bomb at the main power substation for the Washington state capitol in Olympia, in solidarity with a prison strike at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary Intensive Security Unit.

1982 – Three Iranian diplomats and a journalist are kidnapped in Lebanon by Phalange forces, and their fate remains unknown.

1987 – In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (a.k.a. the "Butcher of Lyon") is convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1994 – Rwandan genocide: Kigali, the Rwandan capital, is captured by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, ending the genocide in the city.

1997 – NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.

1998 – Japan launches the Nozomi probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as a space exploring nation.

2001 – Vladivostock Air Flight 352 crashes on approach to Irkutsk Airport killing all 145 people on board.

2002 – A Boeing 707 crashes near Bangui M'Poko International Airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, killing 28.

2004 – The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid on the World Trade Center site in New York City.

2004 – Greece beats Portugal in the UEFA Euro 2004 Final and becomes European Champion for first time in its history.

2005 – The Deep Impact collider hits the comet Tempel 1.

2006 – Space Shuttle program: Discovery launches STS-121 to the International Space Station. The event gained wide media attention as it was the only shuttle launch in the program's history to occur on the United States' Independence Day.

2009 – The Statue of Liberty's crown reopens to the public after eight years of closure due to security concerns following the September 11 attacks.

2009 – The first of four days of bombings begins on the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao.

2012 – The discovery of particles consistent with the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider is announced at CERN.

2015 – Chile claims its first title in international football by defeating Argentina in the 2015 Copa América Final.

2017 - North Korea tests first successful intercontinental ballistic missile into Sea of Japan

2019 - Biggest seaweed bloom in the world, the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico after algae explosion due to deforestation and fertiliser

2019 - US President Donald Trump holds a “Salute to America” Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C., controversial for its emphasis on the military and presence of tanks

2019 - Russian President Vladmir Putin meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican

2019 - Record temperatures in Alaska as Anchorage reaches 90F (32C)


If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month. Those who support Macon Media with at least a dollar a month receive early access to video of some events and meetings before they are made public on the website. Videos and news involving public safety are not subject to early access.

Become a Patron!

Or, if you prefer Pay Pal, try

Published at 5:30am on Sunday, July 04, 2021