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Kirk Mellish Blog

    The expectation for a neutral to weak LA NINA episode in the Pacific Ocean this Summer and Fall is a major input to the outlook for average weather over the next 3-4 months, but the -ENSO (La Nina) is not the sole input to the outlook. Ocean patterns in the Atlantic and Caribbean along with recent solar and atmospheric trends are also inputs. A list of analog years is composited to show what years in past history suggest could be the outcome for the coming Summer.  NATIONAL MODELS BLEND ENSO FORECAST: INTERNATIONAL MODELS BLEND ENSO FORECAST: MULTI MODEL SYSTEM SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE FORECAST ANOMALY: HISTORICAL LA NINA TRENDS FOR SUMMER: NORTH AMERICAN MODEL CONSENSUS: INTERNATIONAL MODEL CONSENSUS: MULTI NATIONAL SYSTEM BLEND: So the models generally agree on above-normal rainfall but are split on temperatures being warmer than normal or just normal. I will lean more on my analog years list for my outlook... ANALOG LIST CONSIDERED: ANALOG SUMMER TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL OUTLOOK: TEMPS: COOLING DEMAND: RAINFALL: Above-normal air-conditioning demand is expected in much of the country. In terms of precipitation the wettest area is the Upper-Midwest and the driest areas are the center of the country to Louisiana and in the Mid-Atlantic states. The later is subject to being thrown off if multiple tropical systems reach there as many indicators point to happening.  For the Atlanta area near-normal rainfall is suggested along with temperatures a little warmer than normal. No drought is indicated by the analogs and is supported by the model blends. A long brutally hot summer is also not indicated for our area but warmer than normal none-the-less.  That does NOT mean there will be no heat waves, it just means steady un-ending extreme heat is not expected as of now.  Remember the outlook covers the average of June-September temperatures and rainfall, it does NOT describe every day or every week. If data from May or early June indicates a need for a revision then I will update the outlook. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The recent chill is fading now as the thermometer roller coaster ride we’ve been on for 6 months now continues.  The thing about unseasonably cool weather this time of year is, that when it breaks down it usually breaks down in a big way so you get a surge of above-normal temperatures. So you go from cool for the season to almost summer. It looks mostly dry the next 7 days. And rainfall the rest of the month looks near-normal to below-normal.  It looks like that is about to happen as the jet stream pattern changes yet again from a cool trough over the East and a t ridge out West to the mirror opposite with a ridge over the central and East U.S. and a trough out west with heavy rain and severe weather in-between: 500MB JET STREAM PATTERN FORECAST: MODEL FORECAST TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL: FORECAST 5-DAY RAINFALL ESTIMATE: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK:
  • It was two weeks ago I first showed the return of below-normal temperatures was coming and now it’s upon us with more to come.  We’ve had several cold fronts pass through the area this week and another one will move through by Friday evening. I’ve showed the reasons for the temperature drop with the why and the mechanics behind it in my last blog post. A light freeze will be possible in the Northeast Georgia Mountains and frost will be possible in the usual cold spots away from the perimeter Sunday morning, not great for all the tender plants and blooms.  It will not last long as has been the case for many months now, the cold snap will be replaced by a return to above-normal temperatures again by the middle or end of next week.  The cool air mass from Canada is also a very dry air mass so afternoon humidity levels will be very low adding to brush fire danger. The drier air also means an extended rain-free spell as well after the frontal passage Friday brings some showers. NORMAL OR AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR: PERIOD TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL: PERIOD DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL RAINFALL: Temperature and moisture changes follow shifts in the upper-level jet stream flow pattern: FORECAST 500MB LEVEL JET STREAM: GFS ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE EXAMPLE NORTH COBB: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • A wavy front near us will provide just a few scattered heavy or strong storms the next couple of days, but more dry than wet. Continued warmer than normal the next 48 hours.  NOAA/SPC SEVERE WEATHER RISK TODAY AND TOMORROW (MARGINAL): The pattern since December: unseasonably warm followed by a brief unseasonably cool spell then back again, rinse and repeat.  And here we go again. As I’ve been pointing out in multiple posts for the past several weeks this was seen coming so no surprise to followers of the blog.  A late season cA airmass gyre or vortex in the polar jet stream is progged to settle into SE Canada providing a cool down here and record cold for parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast states, maybe even the Mid-Atlantic region.  This occurs by the coming weekend and may well be repeated the following week with reenforcement. Put another way, despite the recent/current well-above normal temperatures an “early Summer” is not in the cards. The temperature step-down will begin Wednesday. The weekend looks dry and unseasonably cool. Note the change in the jet stream flow from the start of the week to the coming weekend as we go from a somewhat zonal flow with some ridging over the Southeast to a big strong tall +PNA ridge out West and a deep -NAO trough in the East: GFS 500MB JET STREAM PATTERN: SURFACE WEATHER CHART WEDNESDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY: ANALOGS support the numerical variants in showing below-normal temperatures this Wednesday through next Tuesday 85%: THE ANALOGS also indicate a risk of a freeze, especially away from I-285 30-45% (50%+ NE mountains): The GFS model however is not quite that cold showing 10 degrees below normal: However, the ECMWF model suggests 21 degrees below-normal. (Normal high 78 normal low 58 at Hartsfield Airport). TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE MODEL BLEND AND EUROPEAN ENSEMBLE: So too early to know just how low temperatures will go, but given all the green and blooming plants it bears watching as we get closer to the weekend. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The “official” hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through the end of November. I’ve already posted on the coming season back on April 17th here. Over the past 5 years or so tropical storms IN MAY have occurred more often than in the past record.  There are indications this could be another such season by the end of the May. This is the typical genesis area and track zones for “early season” systems May/June: Seasonal peak is September: Most of the numerical and statistical prediction models point to near-neutral conditions or a WEAK La Nina in the Pacific for the heart of the season August-October: ENSO El Nino vs. La Nina can be influential on the nature of the tropical storm/hurricane season: Thanks in part to the mild winter and the +AMO the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean sea-surface water temperatures are above normal, and in some areas warm enough to support cyclogenesis: Research finds that warmer than normal water near the U.S. coastline does not necessary increase THE NUMBER of total storms a season has, but DOES influence the strength of storms that form or move into those region and does increase the odds of an early start to the season.  The Pennsylvania State University team if forecasting almost double the average number of named tropical storms at 20 (average is 12). IF that number is actually reached it would make this the second most active season on record in number of named tropical cyclones.  Here is the CURRENT FORECAST CONSENSUS FOR THE 2020 SEASON: The average predictions (orange dot on the line bar at the left) are all above-normal.  Although we can not predict where storms might go or even if they will hit land until there is an actual real life storm to track this is still very concerning, especially with regard to evacuations and shelter in the time of COVID-19. Also National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center forecasters are often working from home like the rest of us, making forecasting and communicating to the public more difficult. READ story in link below: Disaster worries for coming hurricane season. State governments better get ready now for unique challenges. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • As discussed in my prior blog post the threat level for severe weather today just did not look good to me based on the key ingredients not quite in sync and with the latest data the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center now agrees and has downgraded the risk level to 1/5 or marginal. The risk of large hail is none and the small risk of a tornado is mostly South and East of Atlanta. An isolated strong or severe storm is still possible but would be the exception not the rule. Still expecting some gusty and heavy downpours in some of the showers and thunderstorms. The chance of rain goes down tonight and away after midnight.  SPC DISCUSSION: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The chart above is the surface weather map for late today. The risk of LARGE hail or a tornado is low today but not zero.  Damaging winds are the higher threat from thunderstorms today and early evening.  However, widespread damage is NOT expected, as of now. Stay tuned for updates in case that changes.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A stray morning shower is possible but most of us will stay dry until later today. The chance of a shower or thunderstorm starts going up during the lunch hour and goes higher after roughly 3 PM.  Unseasonably cool weather follows for tomorrow. Then the weekend will have only a few clouds with a big warm-up to near-record highs by Sunday. It just looks to me that the best combination of atmospheric parameters are out of phase for most of Metro Atlanta with this system i.e. instability, helicity for rotating updrafts, highest wind shear etc. IF that changes we will find ourselves placed under a WATCH of some kind late today.  SEVERE WEATHER RISK LEVEL 2/5 TODAY: 24-HOUR RAINFALL ESTIMATE WEDNESDAY/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK NOON-4PM: 4PM-8PM: 8PM-MIDNIGHT: For more listen to 95.5 WSB Radio across all platforms including the WSBRadio APP. MY Exclusive 5-Day Forecast. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Our next chance of heavy rain or severe weather comes Wednesday late afternoon or early evening. As of now it looks like the standard or routine Spring type risk level (2/5) for a thunderstorm with damaging winds. Behind the system much cooler Thursday, but it looks like the warmest weekend of the year so far and dry.  SURFACE WEATHER CHART 8AM WEDNESDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART 8PM WEDNESDAY: NAM MODEL SIMULATED RADAR WEDNESDAY 2PM, 7PM, AND 11PM: use as guidance only not exact details... ESTIMATED 24-HOUR TOTAL RAINFALL WEDNESDAY/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: MULTI-MODEL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We could be near 80 Tuesday and see low to mid 80s on the weekend, but then the pendulum will swing again. Possible squall-line Wednesday afternoon needs to be monitored for any strong or severe weather.  March was warmer than normal and April is ending up the same but to a lesser degree. In both cases the average has been the result of a lot of up and down wild swings from above average to below and back again. This pattern dates back to December 1st.  The result of the temperature changes from frequent low pressure systems and frontal passages has been +50% above-normal precipitation: It looks like we will see more for the first half of May at the very least: NOAA/CPC MAY 03-07: NOAA/CPC MAY 5-11: However, I do NOT see these as being very cold temps, just lower than average that comes and goes. No frost or freeze.  Also of note regarding tropical cyclone season. Each of the last five years has seen a tropical storm form BEFORE the official start of hurricane season.  There are signals that could well happen again this year, probably in the second half of May.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We stay dry today as the system that brought rain and some hail storms yesterday moves away. The next system is right on its heels though for tomorrow (map above Saturday morning) but moisture return to feed it looks limited.  The NOAA/NWS/STORM PREDICTION CENTER has a 1/5 marginal risk for a severe thunderstorm over North Georgia afternoon or evening: I think the best chance for that is in far North and East Georgia away from Atlanta and more so in the Carolinas. Near-normal temperatures today, above-normal tomorrow, and cooler than normal Sunday/Monday. The normal or average high this time of year is 75. MULTI-MODEL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

News

  • More than 5.6 million people worldwide -- including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, May 27, continue below:  Worldwide coronavirus deaths top 350K Update 4:46 a.m. EDT May 27: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 350,752 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The United States – with nearly 1.7 million cases, resulting in 98,929 deaths to date – remains the nation with the highest number of infections and virus-related deaths. Brazil now reports the second-highest number of cases worldwide with 391,222, while the United Kingdom’s 37,130 virus-related deaths rank as second highest globally. Trump gives NC governor 1 week to decide if RNC stays in Charlotte amid coronavirus concerns Update 3:27 a.m. EDT May 27: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday dismissed President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte. “I’m not surprised by anything I see on Twitter,” Cooper said. “It’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.” According to WSOC-TV, the governor said state health officials will continue to work with convention organizers to draft guidelines that will ensure the event can be conducted safely during the coronavirus pandemic. In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president threatened to pull the event out of North Carolina if Cooper doesn’t immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has infected more than 62K US health care workers, CDC reports Update 2:10 a.m. EDT May 27: An estimated 62,344 health care professionals in the United States have contracted the novel coronavirus to date, resulting in at least 291 deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed. The latest figures represent a nearly seven-fold increase in less than six weeks. According to CNN, the CDC last highlighted the number of cases among health care workers April 15, revealing a total of 9,282 cases at that time. US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths near 99K Published 12:40 a.m. EDT May 27: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Wednesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,681,212 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,916 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 363,836 cases and 29,302 deaths and New Jersey with 155,764 cases and 11,194 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,693 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,473, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 113,195. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 52,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 99,684 cases, resulting in 3,823 deaths • Pennsylvania: 72,778 cases, resulting in 5,163 deaths • Texas: 57,230 cases, resulting in 1,546 deaths • Michigan: 55,104 cases, resulting in 5,266 deaths • Florida: 52,255 cases, resulting in 2,259 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Virginia, Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 17,703 and Arizona with 16,864; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Rhode Island with 14,210 and Mississippi with 13,731; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,416; Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 7,130; Arkansas and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday dismissed President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte. “I’m not surprised by anything I see on Twitter,” Cooper said. “It’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.” According to WSOC-TV, the governor said state health officials will continue to work with convention organizers to draft guidelines that will ensure the event can be conducted safely during the coronavirus pandemic. “I supported having the convention in North Carolina. But we have to put the health and safety of North Carolinians as the guiding star in this process, and we hope to continue the discussions and look forward to those discussions with the RNC later on this weekend and into next week,” he later added. For months, Republican leaders’ public posture has been that the party’s national convention, where Trump will be formally nominated in August, is “full steam ahead.” But on Memorial Day, the president appeared to hamstring convention planning by threatening to pull the event from Charlotte because of the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions. In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president threatened to pull the event out of North Carolina if Cooper doesn’t immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s tweets Monday came just two days after the state recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet. Currently, mass gatherings at venues like arenas are prohibited as part of Cooper’s executive order because of the potential spread of the novel coronavirus. The RNC is set for Aug. 24 through Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. Trump expressed his concern about spending millions of dollars without knowing if the state would allow them to fully occupy the space. “Plans are being made by thousands of enthusiastic Republicans and others to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” Trump said. “They must be immediately given an answer by the governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” Trump said if he is not given an answer, he will find another location for the convention. “This is not something I want to do,” Trump said. “Thank you, and I love the people of North Carolina.” Cooper allowed the state to enter a second phase of gradual reopening Friday with some further loosening of restrictions on hair salons, barbers and restaurants. But he said the state must continue to closely watch virus trends and has ordered entertainment venues, gyms and bars to remain closed. On Monday, Cooper responded to Trump’s tweet, saying, “State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plan as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.” Cooper warned on Tuesday that it is still too early to give the president the assurances he demanded about “whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” “Already, we’ve been in talks with the RNC about the kind of convention that they would need to run, and the kind of options that we need on the table. We’re talking about something that’s going to happen three months from now, and we don’t know what our situation is going to be regarding COVID-19 in North Carolina,” he said. On Monday, Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte released a joint statement, saying, “We are in constant communication with our local and federal counterparts to plan and prepare for a safe Republican National Convention (RNC). The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and other local stakeholders will continue to plan for the RNC while respecting national and state guidance regarding the pandemic. We are working with stakeholders to develop guidelines for several large events planned for Charlotte in the coming months including the RNC and anticipate providing that guidance in June.” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles tweeted: “With the health and safety of our residents and visitors being the top priority, the city of Charlotte will continue to follow guidance from Governor Cooper and public health professionals in determining the best and safest way to host the Republican National Convention. While I’ve remained consistent in my statements regarding the RNC being held in Charlotte, the science and data will ultimately determine what we will collectively do for our city.” Meanwhile, two GOP governors on Tuesday offered up their states to host the Republican National Convention. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sent an open plea to Trump on Tuesday to consider his state as an alternate site. Kemp’s offer was followed by one from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The convention is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the Charlotte area and millions of dollars to the local economy. In a letter that North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen sent to the RNC, she requested a written plan for how the convention plans to address COVID-19 safety protocols. The letter came in response to the president’s tweet Monday and confirmed that the RNC and state officials in North Carolina were in talks about convention planning as recent as Friday. “Jordan Whichard from Governor Cooper’s team shared with you the written protocols that NASCAR developed and then refined after discussions with our public health teams which allowed that event to occur in the Charlotte area this past weekend,” she wrote. “While the RNC convention is obviously a very different event with its unique challenges for COVID-19, we hoped it would help illustrate the type of plan that would facilitate further conversations. The status of COVID-19 infections in our state and in the Charlotte area continues to rapidly evolve, thus, it will be important to have several scenarios planned that can be deployed depending on the public health situation.' Cohen urged the RNC to consider “several scenarios” as they continue to move forward with planning, since the abrupt threat from Trump comes just after North Carolina saw its highest one-day spike in cases over the weekend since the onset of the pandemic. Cooper referenced the letter during Tuesday’s briefing, saying he aims to reach a resolution with the RNC about how to move forward with the event. “We’re going to have to take steps to protect people. We have asked the RNC to present to us in writing their proposals. We’ve had discussions with them about a very limited convention all the way up, and we want to see in writing what their plans are,” Cooper said. “We asked NASCAR to do the very same thing, and NASCAR did a good job this weekend of executing their plan,” he added. “We want to see from the RNC what their plans are, and we have asked them to submit those plans to our public health officials. They have someone hired to advise them as well. And we look forward to the back and forth on that. We’d like to reach a resolution that everybody can be reasonable about that puts public health, safety, the science and the facts as the number one thing we’re trying to do here. So we look forward to those continue conversations. Everyone wants to get back into action soon, but I think everyone knows that we have to take certain steps to make sure we’re protected.' After Cooper’s news conference, Trump said the governor needs to confirm within a week whether the GOP convention in Charlotte can go forward. “If he can’t do it, if he feels he can’t do it, all he has to do is tell us, and then we’ll have to pick another location,” Trump said of Cooper. “I don’t want to have it where we get there and they announce ... ‘Guess what? You can’t put anybody in the arena,’ or you can put a tiny number of people in.” Read more here. –Visit WSOCTV.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • The body of a missing 5-year-old boy has been recovered in Ohio, Adams County Sheriff Kimmy Rogers confirmed Tuesday. According to WHIO-TV, Cameron Walters, who was reported missing from Mineral Springs Lake Resort in Peebles on Monday, was found dead in the water Tuesday, but authorities have not specified where. The boy went missing about 5:15 p.m. Monday, officials said. Groups of volunteers and water rescue crews returned to the campground Tuesday to continue the search for the missing boy, according to WCPO-TV. An Endangered Missing Child Advisory was issued for Walters late Tuesday morning, saying he was believed to be in danger. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the case to call their department at 937-544-2314. No further information was immediately available. – Visit WHIO.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • A hair salon in North Carolina is denying service to employees at a Tyson plant due to a coronavirus outbreak. SmartCuts posted a sign at their Wilkesboro location that read, in part, “Due to the number of Tyson employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, we are unable to serve Tyson employees.' The note was widely circulated on social media. Last week, 570 workers at that Tyson plant tested positive for the coronavirus. Some of the Tyson workers WSOC-TV spoke with were upset by the sign placed outside the SmartCuts, but others said they understand the owners’ decision. David Gentry, who has worked at Tyson for years, doesn’t agree with the ban. “Knock on the door, shoot them a bird and cuss them out,” he said. “That’s me.” The business is about two miles from the Tyson plant. The sign said the business would be “unable to serve Tyson employees until approximately June 8, once the recent COVID outbreak has been controlled.” The business has enacted several precautions to keep workers and customers safe, including mask-wearing, temperature checks and social distancing measures. “I think it’s a good thing because too many people are passing who’ve had this virus,” said one customer, Frances McManus. “That there is something this place has to deal with,” said another customer, James Spears. “Because if they come in with the disease, that’s bringing it into their business.” SmartCuts said it will give Tyson employees a $3 discount once they return to providing services to them. Bob Hartley owns SmartCuts and said he’s not only trying to protect his employees but his customers and the community. “If it is unethical in some way that’s still legal but unethical, we will stop it,” he said. “It’s just an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19 on the Wilkesboro community and among our employee group.”
  • The line to get into That One Place stretched down the walkway outside the restaurant. There was no social distancing and virtually no one wore a facemask as they waited for their party to be called to an open table inside. “I’m excited, I’m looking forward to it,” said John Weiman. “It’s about time. It’s time to make a change.” His wife Michelle Weiman added, “I’m looking forward to it, very hungry. Glad he’s doing it.” The Port Orchard restaurant has been open for takeout service during the statewide coronavirus shutdown. But restaurant owner Craig Kenady said he was encouraged by his employees to open his business on Memorial Day to customers seated inside as a way of protesting, saying smaller counties such as Kitsap have fewer cases of COVID-19 and should be treated differently than larger counties such as King, Pierce and Snohomish. “I do think if we’re going to take it on a case-to-case basis then we need to actually look at our county based off of our numbers,' said Kenady. “We’re not in it to break laws, not in it to cause problems. We’re not doing this for politics. We’re doing this for freedom.” Staff in the restaurant wore masks and gloves as they serve patrons. Some tables were kept empty to keep customers further apart from each other. Kenady said his protest would last just one day, on Memorial Day before he goes back to takeout only. “We don’t discount the virus at all. We believe in it and we believe in the severity of it. But we also feel at the same time we can safely operate,” Kenady said.
  • Dozens of tombstones dating from the 19th century were found near a North Carolina neighborhood. A Piedmont Natural Gas worker told WSOC-TV that he found dozens of what appeared to be decades-old tombstones in a wooded area behind the Crestdale Crossing neighborhood. The stones appear to be from the 19th century and have what looks like dates and initials carved in them. The discovery piqued the interest of local historian Jeff Houser who said burial grounds are often lost to developments. Houser believes they are footstones created for a family grave. “These were either pulled up from someplace and set into the woods for some reason,” he said. He said the stones might have never been used, but it would take some time to uncover the truth. “We’d like to know why are these are here, how they got there and who are they for,” Houser said. Historians are working to compare the initials on the stones with census records from that time. Houser said that as of now, there is no official record of a cemetery in the area.