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Kirk Mellish Blog

    Wednesday is the last morning of Winter. The Spring (vernal) equinox occurs at 5:58pm today.  That’s on the calendar, for meteorologists and climatologists the Spring season starts March 1 and ends June 1 which marks the start of summer. Think of it as a weather accounting method.  It is a MYTH that you can stand an egg upright on the equinox easier or more often than usual. It has been scientifically proven by many experiments for many decades that it works on ANY day of the year. For some reason others prefer brooms. But the same principle applies. You CAN balance an egg today or any equinox. But you CAN balance an egg or broom on any other day of the year as well, with no more or less success, it’s just that people usually only give it a try on the equinox.  So if you want to try it today, fine. Just try it again Easter Sunday, and Halloween and Christmas Eve. lol (Snopes.com image) Scholastic.com explains: Accuweather: Experiments going back at least as far as 1984 have shown the egg and broom standing myth on the equinox is in fact just a myth, gravity doesn’t work that way.  It’s one of those old wives tales, urban myths, internet meme hoaxes that just doesn’t want to die. But this is the information age with facts available from legit sights on the internet so no need to be uninformed or misinformed now a days. One of the main uses of science and the scientific method is to dispel such beliefs.  Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The main reason the winter weather behaved so differently from expectation was the failure of the stratosphere, atmosphere and Oceans to become coupled or linked in the ways they have so often in the past given similar conditions.  Now we are seeing a more normal coupling of the atmosphere and oceans, however at the same time we are seeing the El Nino strengthening rather than weakening.  These are not quite typical pattern behaviors and hence they cast doubt on weather outlooks for the next 30-90 days reducing confidence. A weak El Nino favors an active Spring Jet Stream pattern across Dixie providing above-average rainfall.  Compared to a LA NINA spring tornado season research shows El Nino tornado concentration tends to be more traditional: So despite some news-worthy tornado outbreaks in the Southeast that does not necessarily mean the whole season will be more threatening than normal: Much modeling suggests warm trends. However, El Nino tends to lean cooler and a late strengthening of the Polar Vortex event signals loaded odds toward cool in May.  U.S. CFS2 MODEL FOR APRIL: U.S. CLIMATE MODELS CONSENUS FOR APRIL: INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE MODELS CONSENSUS FOR APRIL: The World climate Service research found that in 8 past years with a similar polar region pattern since 1950 all 8 had cooler than normal May temperatures: The National and International model equations on the other hand suggest warmer than normal for May. They also show above-average rainfall in May.  U.S. MODELS SEASONAL CONSENSUS FOR THE APRIL-JUNE AVERAGE: INTERNATIONAL MODELS SEASONAL CONSENSUS FOR APRIL-JUNE AVERAGE: SOIL MOISTURE BASED MODEL: Above-average rain for the rest of Spring and into Summer is something they all show. Most indications point to a fairly normal tornado season for the country. But if cooler than normal wins out then it would probably be a lower than average tornado season.  The VERY preliminary outlook for Summer in Georgia is for above-normal rainfall with temperatures near-normal to a little above-normal but with a lack of extreme heat. No reason to expect drought at this point that’s for sure.  I’ll update the Summer outlook in May.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The showers and storms of last night and this morning diminish this afternoon with skies turning partly cloudy by tonight. Temperatures will drop into the 50s and 60s today as the cold front moves through and pushes to our East and South. After 5 consecutive weekends with rain on at least one of the days it still looks like this weekend will stay dry in Metro Atlanta. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The record breaking storm system in the news out West will have only a weak to moderate impact on our weather. During the day today only a nuisance shower possible with a better chance for a shower or thundershower late afternoon and especially overnight. But no heavy rain is expected and the risk of severe weather is mainly in the Northwest corner of Georgia. The weekend still looks dry and much cooler, after highs in the 70s today the weekend will see lows in the 30s right into early next week.  SURFACE WEATHER CHART MID-DAY THURSDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART END OF TODAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART FRIDAY MORNING: SURFACE WEATHER CHART END OF DAY FRIDAY: FORECAST RAIN AVERAGE AMOUNTS ENDING 7PM THURSDAY: FORECAST RAIN AMOUNTS NEXT 48 HOURS: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK THURSDAY-THURSDAY NIGHT: GFS AND ECMWF MODEL ENSEMBLE 15 DAY TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The giant and powerful “Spring-Winter” storm system forming out West will be making headlines much of this week with a blizzard on the NW side and severe weather on its Southeast side, a textbook March storm as two low pressure areas merge (phase) and experience explosive development/deepening (known as bombogenesis). Locally we get some gusty winds from it and some rain and thunderstorms to end the week but nothing crazy expected here so far.  Behind the system a jet stream change and a change of air mass from warmer than normal to cooler than normal. Minimum temperatures will drop into the 30s by Sunday morning. Temperatures will remain below normal for a stretch following the change before the next big warm-up, so the see-saw thermometer patterns goes on and on as expected. It probably will through April as well. But cooler will also be drier. In fact, we may even get a completely dry weekend coming up. There’s even a chance it turns into an extended dry period. But then a more active storm pattern resumes by the last week of the month into the start of April and the April warm-ups will of course be noticeably stronger. 15-DAY ABOVE AND BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURE AREAS: 15-DAY ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL AREAS: March is known for big storms. Nobody who lived through it will ever forget the 1993 blizzard with thunder and lightning which struck days after high temperatures in the 50s and 60s: Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Surface weather map Saturday afternoon shown above. More dry hours than wet this weekend. Some areas of fog and drizzle and a few scattered showers during the day. Best chance for a shower or thunderstorm comes late tonight into early Sunday. Still no severe weather expected in Metro Atlanta. SURFACE WEATHER MAP SUNDAY AM: SURFACE WEATHER MAP SUNDAY AFTERNOON: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AMOUNTS DAYTIME SATURDAY: ESTIMATED RAINFALL THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT: ESTIMATED TOTAL RAINFALL THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING: Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Surface weather map for Friday shown above. When you add it all up there will be more dry hours today, Saturday and Sunday than wet hours. So plenty of dry periods despite scattered showers and thunderstorms in the region at times the next few days. Temperatures will remain mild through the weekend. The threat of severe weather is not zero but it currently looks low.  The higher risk of severe weather or flooding North and West of Metro Atlanta. SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY MORNING: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY NIGHT: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SUNDAY MORNING: SEVERE WEATHER RISK AREAS SATURDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT: The CIPS Analog severe weather guidance lends support to the official SPC outlook: SPC SEVERE WEATHER RISK AREA SUNDAY: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AMOUNTS FRIDAY/FRIDAY NIGHT: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AVERAGE TOTALS THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT: As long forecast the thermometer roller coaster ride goes on and on, after a spell of mild weather another period of below-normal temperatures returns later this month: The El Nino fed active sub-tropical jet stream pattern will continue keeping new chances for rain or thunder coming every few days right into the end of the Month: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • I covered some of this in my previous blog on last Sundays tornado outbreak. A sad mix of meteorology, terrain, topography, poverty and lax rules make many in the South extra vulnerable to tornadoes.  The number or tornadoes, violent tornadoes, and tornado related deaths and injuries varies every year and decade. We have actually been in a relative tornado “drought” in recent years and thus naturally the number of deaths and injuries has been way down. Just last year we were on pace for the fewest twister deaths since 1875.  2018 was the first year since 1950 without an EF-4 or EF-5 tornado and continued the down trend in U.S. tornado occurrence since 2011.  Cooler Springs than in the past over a large portion of the nation have a lot to do with that, since it’s heat energy responsible for much of the instability that leads to severe weather. Much more accurate weather forecasting and detection/warning has contributed greatly to fewer deaths and better public safety. In the South unlike the Plains and Midwest trees and hills often obscure the twister until it’s right on top of you, also our tornadoes are often “rain-wrapped”  which hides them, and many occur at night hidden by the dark. Mobile homes or “manufactured homes” are NOT SAFE from tornadoes OR severe strait-line winds. They do not provide shelter no matter how nice they may be. You can not BE in a safe spot in the bathroom, bathtub, the closet, or a cubby-hole in a mobile home. They are unsafe from a tornado and so like a vehicle, they must be abandoned for a more substantial structure or designated storm cellar.  The Southern U.S. has an outsized number of mobile homes and trailer parks adding to population risk from a tornado. Most do not have a tornado cellar or designated safe shelter building, economics and lack of legal requirements are the reasons. Also some people somehow don’t get the forecast or the warnings, or when they do they don’t know the right thing to do or where to go.  Is Georgia @GovKemp better prepared than Alabama or any other state? I doubt it! Since we in Georgia are in “Dixie Alley” the ‘Tornado Alley’ of the South this is important, especially since some research shows tornado frequency may be growing East from it’s traditional location in the Great Plains: Unless people are prepared IN ADVANCE, know what to do, know the forecast, understand watches and warnings, can and do take the right action then it’s just a matter of luck.  Waiting to see the tornado, or get “confirmation” from friends/neighbors/relatives, or Twitter or Facebook can get you killed. So can opening the garage or front door to look and listen for it like so many dumb people do during a tornado warning.  Here is a great forecaster twitter discussion on the topic: Even regular houses are vulnerable especially if they are frame with little or no brick. (Three little pigs story). The safest place to be in a tornado is BELOW GROUND. Most “basements” here in the South are NOT really below ground, they are walk-in or on the same level as the ground...having floors above does not make it a true basement, but it’s still the best place to go.  Tornadoes do not dig down below ground, it’s the debris in the wind above ground that kills or injures. Most deaths are from head injuries which is why a sturdy helmet should be worn during a tornado threat. The safety advice has been the same for decades, I recommend you google it and memorize it. Have a tornado emergency safe-kit and make sure the whole family knows all of this before it is needed. Last Sunday included an almost 70 mile long track path of an EF3/4 tornado: For more read this coverage.  East shifting tornado trends in the South. Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB and download the WSB RADIO APP.
  • The big chill forecast more than a week ago is here with frost and freeze this morning and the next couple mornings. Take precautions for pets, pipes, people and plants. Above map shows minimum temperature this morning.  We warm up starting Thursday afternoon.  The El Nino having coupled to the atmosphere at long last but expected to continue to fade away heading into Summer suggests up and down temperatures will continue the rest of March with above-average rainfall. In other words, more of the same of what we’ve seen the past four months.  A continued enhanced sub-tropical jet stream suggests an elevated risk of active severe weather across the South through the Spring with the worst generally to the West of Georgia.  The back and forth is probably going to continue in the Month of April, before more hot and dry weather starts taking hold in May and especially June with high pressure ridging taking more of a hold over the Southeast U.S. Despite the unseasonably cold weather (10-20 degrees below-normal) no record lows (circled in white) are expected in Georgia. GFS FORECAST TEMPERATURE ANOMALY NEXT 15-28 DAYS:  FREEZE WARNING 6pm TUESDAY THROUGH 11am WEDNESDAY: FORECAST LOW TEMPERATURES WEDNESDAY MORNING: FORECAST LOWS THURSDAY MORNING: TAKE NOTE OF THE WIND CHILL FACTOR TODAY AND TOMORROW (plot for Mid-Town/Buckhead): Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Four confirmed tornadoes in Georgia Sunday, so far, the survey count continues.  As forecast more than 7 days in advance a brief but significant cold wave has begun that will include several mornings with frost and or a hard freeze.  Coldest air since late January.  The chance of light sleet or snow flurries in FAR South Metro Atlanta or Central Georgia late tonight is small but not zero. Little or no accumulation expected. Freeze for much of the state before big warm up to end the week into the weekend. We’ll have to monitor another severe weather risk next Sunday.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

News

  • A paraprofessional in a Texas school district was fired from a high school after she was accused of sending sexually explicit photos and videos of herself by Snapchat to a 15-year-old student, the Houston Chronicle reported. >> Read more trending news  According to court records, Kelsie Rochelle Koepke, 25, of Katy, allegedly sent nude photos of herself to the student at Paetow High School, where she worked, through the Snapchat application, the newspaper reported. Koepke was charged with improper relationship with a student, a second-degree felony, and solicitation of a minor, according to the Chronicle. She was released on a $15,000 bond, the newspaper reported. According to court documents, Koepke exchanged Snapchat information with the student around October 2017, and began a chat relationship with him, KTRK reported. Koepke used the nicknames 'kelsie_koepke' and 'Momma K,' the television station reported, citing court documents. The conversations allegedly turned sexual in nature, and “she instructed him not to save any of their chats,' according to court documents. Koepke then allegedly sent the first set of nude photos and videos of herself on homecoming night, KTRK reported. Koepke told investigators she thought she was sending the nude photos to someone else, the Chronicle reported. When she found out she was sending the photos to a student, she said she did not delete him from Snapchat because she wanted to “keep the peace,” the newspaper reported, citing court records. The student allegedly receiving the photos and videos reported what happened to school officials on Feb. 28, KTRK reported. Paetow High School Principal Mindy Dickerson sent a letter out to parents advising them of the situation, the Chronicle reported.
  • If you enjoy viral posts, a “Little Mermaid”-themed hairdo of a girl who attends a Houston preschool is part of your world.  >> Read more trending news  Atlantis Castillo sported braided hair to resemble the ponytail of Ariel, the main character in the Disney movie classic, “The Little Mermaid,” KTRK reported. It was part of a crazy hair day theme at Clear Lake United Methodist Church’s preschool, the television station reported. Ariel Romero posted photos of her younger sister’s hairstyle on Twitter, and they created a wave of positive reaction on social media. “My sister had crazy hair day at school today and my mom was not playing games and really wanted her to win,” Romero tweeted Tuesday. The hairstyle featured a bright green-colored braid that looked like a mermaid tail, topped by an Ariel doll on Atlantis’ head that resembled a hair pick. The hairstyle was created by Atlantis’ mother, KHOU reported. “My mom did the mermaid because my name is Ariel and my sister is Atlantis which is where Ariel lives under the sea,” Romero tweeted. “We’ve grown up loving mermaids thanks to my parents.” 
  • City Council members in San Antonio approved a concession agreement at the city’s airport that will exclude Chick-fil-A, KSAT reported. >> Read more trending news  By a 6-4 vote, the council approved the Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement with Paradies Lagardère at the San Antonio International Airport. The motion to exclude the Atlanta-based chicken chain from the airport was brought to the floor by council member Roberto Treviño, WOAI reported. Chick-fil-A has a history of donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations, and the city’s vote was applauded by the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, a local LGBTQ political action committee, KSAT reported. “The LGBTQ community is excited that the City Council has decided to look for restaurants that support all Americans in our airport,” Chris Forbrich, a co-chairman of the organization, told the television station. Treviño released a statement Friday, saying the decision “reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion.” “San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior,” Treviño said. 'Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport. I look forward to the announcement of a suitable replacement by Paradies.” Chick-fil-A released a statement, calling the action “disappointing.” “This is the first we’ve heard of this. It’s disappointing. We would have liked to have had a dialogue with the city council before this decision was made,” the company said in its statement. “We agree with Council member Treviño that everyone is and should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A. We plan to reach out to the city council to gain a better understanding of this decision.”
  • The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than 27,000 pounds of cocaine in Miami Beach that was seized in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. >> Read more trending news  'It will all be offloaded by the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa today in Miami Beach Florida and sent for destruction,' the Coast Guard said in a Facebook post.  The Coast Guard said in a news release that the drugs are worth an estimated $360 million. The cocaine was seized in 12 separate operations off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America during a three-month period.  Using #notonourstreets, the Coast Guard posted video on Facebook of the seizure, saying, “Here’s what 27,000 lbs. of cocaine looks like.”  'It takes a collaborative and sophisticated network to defeat a criminal network,' Deputy Commandant for Operations VADM Daniel Abel said in a news conference. The news release also stated: 'The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations.  The cutter Tampa even participated in the first joint boarding in recent memory between the United States and Ecuador. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Basin requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in Florida, California, New York, the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
  • The Georgia mother of a teen who recently overdosed after vaping THC wax is speaking out, hoping other kids and parents become aware of the danger. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis. >> Read more trending news Lacey Turner, of Butts County, wants to spare other parents the anguish that she and her son Bailey went through. Turner told WSB-TV her son could barely keep his eyes open and his blood pressure was dangerously low at the time of the incident. “When I pulled up to the school, they were loading Bailey on the ambulance,' Turner said. Turner described the harrowing day in January when paramedics rushed her 16-year-old son to the hospital. She said he collapsed after taking a single hit of THC vaping wax, provided by a friend, in the high school cafeteria. 'He continued to vomit in the bathroom and passed out until someone came in and found him,” Turner said. After arriving at the hospital emergency room, the teen was still unconscious and had an extremely fast heartbeat and low blood pressure. 'Cognitively, he was completely disassociated. You pretty much had to slap him and get him to open his eyes,' Turner said. Turner, a nurse, first thought her son had overdosed on opioids, and so did the emergency room doctors. They administered an overdose reversing drug. “They gave him a shot of Narcan -- absolutely no change,' Turner said. Urine and blood tests told another story. “He was negative for anything in his system, except THC,' Turner said. Schools in metro Atlanta have reported students falling ill after vaping THC or synthetic THC. Turner believes the high potency is the problem. “This form of marijuana can be 85 to 90 percent concentrated with THC,” Turner said. The mother is thankful her son has fully recovered, but thoughts of what could have happened still haunt her. “My son could have passed out there in the bathroom, hit his head on the toilet on the way down and died of blunt force trauma,” Turner said. Turner said that when she posted her son's story on Facebook, she got responses from kids and parents across the country who had had the same experience.
  • A Florida man is facing child sex abuse charges after officials said he paid over $800 on an Uber to bring a teenage girl to Apopka. >> Read more trending news Police said 25-year-old Richard Brown raped the 17-year-old girl in his parents' home over the course of several days. The two met over Instagram after he told the victim that he was a 19-year-old Instagram celebrity and that he would 'take care of her.' The victim told Apopka police that Brown paid for an Uber to drive her from San Antonio, Texas, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In Louisiana, she got into another Uber that dropped her off in Apopka on Sunday. Brown would later show police receipts showing the second part of the trip that amounted to over $800. According to arrest documents, Brown told police he was 'only friends' with the victim and thought that she was of age and 'in need of a place to stay.' One neighbor couldn't believe the accusations. 'You might never know about it and now the cops are here,' said Amanda Trail. 'That's crazy for the parents.' The victim said once she realized Brown wasn't 19 or 'Instagram famous' that she wanted to go home. Brown then allegedly told her, 'no you owe me now for bringing you all the way here.' She later told officials that she escaped on Wednesday when Brown fell asleep and while she was on Snapchat with her mother. Police would locate her near Ustler and Wekiwa Preserve Drive, but said she wasn't able to point out which home belonged to the victim or what his name was on social media.  Brown's attorney took issue with the story, citing 'several inconsistencies.' Brown faces six felony counts of child sex abuse.