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Kirk Mellish Blog

    Much of the country North and West of us has been and continues to be wet while a drying trend has begun in parts of the Southeastern part of the nation.  There is no drought here yet but Southeast Georgia is drier than normal on a short-term basis. However, there are signs of at least a short-term drought expanding over much of the state. Trends this time of year and June are important because weather patterns often start to “lock-in” for weeks or months at a time and in Summer drying usually means frying.  In this blog back on MAY 11th I first showed you what was coming. Our first HEAT WAVE of the new year and “the summer” although it’s still Spring.  With an upper-level trough of low pressure out West a ridge of high pressure pops over the Southeast, with wet and stormy in-between and below-normal rain and above-normal temperatures under the jet stream ridge: There are no signs of this locking in for the rest of the Summer YET, but like I said we need to watch the trends. As of now it looks like the hot dry pattern will break down by June. Fingers crossed. BOTH the ECMWF model ensemble and the GFS ensemble (maps below) show below-average rainfall the next 1-6 weeks with mostly above-average temperatures. Soils will dry rapidly and will impact lawns gardens and farmers/ranchers. Notice above the “Urban Heat Island” effect around Atlanta really shows up in the map which shows above and below normal temperature areas in the map above.  ESTIMATED RAINFALL NEXT 7-DAYS: The flooding in the nations mid section this Spring has been reminiscent of 1993 and the current sea-surface temperature patterns are a decent match to 2014. Using those as analog predictors for the summer show this: IF the coming summer mimics those years it be a warmer than normal summer with rain near-normal to below normal.  The CAS soil moisture model however shows a much more temperate Summer, much less extreme: I’ll have my thoughts on Summer by early June. Meanwhile here is the next 15 day Ensemble models temperature guidance: If your local soils are wet or if you get a lucky thunderstorm that will hold temperatures down but if you stay rain-free for much of the duration then the higher values become more probable.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • As I’ve been saying on the radio for days it would not be constant rain this weekend with some breaks, but we will be pretty gloomy much of the time along with the threat of a shower or thunderstorm anytime of the day or night and some heavy rain totals along the way and an isolated severe storm possible. The rain odds are high. Once passed the weekend a stretch of beautiful weather awaits so there is weather light at the end of the muggy and unsettled tunnel. A cold front will sweep through Monday and bring refreshing weather with low dew points (dry air) so low humidity producing cool to chilly mornings and mild afternoons with a return of ample sun. Good weather to open the windows especially at night and get some free natural air conditioning and save some money. High and low temperatures will be cooler than normal for this time of year. Normal or average is currently a high of 79 and low of 59.  Sure the timing could be better but it beats a long hot dry brutal Summer that starts in April and doesn’t ends until October as we’ve had so many times in recent decades.  A small chance of a shower returns with another front Thursday (moisture pocket seen in Midwest in second chart below), but after that looks dry again through next weekend with a warming trend. MONDAY SURFACE WEATHER MAP: AIR MASS MOISTURE CONTENT THIS WEEKEND: AIR MASS MOISTURE MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: 15-DAY TEMPERATURE TREND ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL GFS MODEL ENSEMBLE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The 500mb jet stream level chart shows a “noisy” flow of disjointed incoherent vorticity max and min advection.  Therefore, unfortunately it will be difficult more than a few hours ahead of time, to give a timeline for rain this weekend. That’s due to the complicated pattern with a slow moving frontal low pressure system, difficult to time upper level disturbances (aforementioned vorticity), large scale assent but varying surface instability and unknown low level outflow boundaries. I’ve often pointed out over the years that thunderstorm forecasts, unlike regular rain or snow forecasts many times must be updated ever two hours or so.  So it’s impossible to give specific start and stop times for any given place in this type pattern but neither day should rain all the time.  Bottom line for the weekend is have an umbrella available on stand-by and have a plan B if planning outdoor activities.  It should not be a constant rain either day and coverage and intensity should max out afternoons and evenings, however, there will be a chance of rain in the mornings as well.  Remember even if it’s not raining on you “When thunder roars go indoors”, if you hear thunder or see lightning even at a distance you are at risk of being struck.  Heavy downpours at times and rain accumulation over time could lead to some flooding of low-lying areas and the usual suspect creeks and streams. An isolated strong or severe thunderstorm with damaging wind will be possible. No widespread severe weather expected as of now, but that could change so monitor forecast updates ahead.  TODAY the chance of rain is estimated to start 2pm, goes up after 4pm but it looks much more hit and miss compared to late yesterday with rain amounts a tenth to a quarter of an inch on average and isolated 1 in totals possible.  Weekend rain amounts a quarter to half an inch each day on average with isolated 2-4 inch totals possible by the time it all ends. Looks like it will be diminishing Sunday evening. It turns cooler than normal Sunday into next Wednesday with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 40s to low and mid 50s along with low humidity early next week.  Most if not all of next week looks dry, and maybe just maybe next weekend as well.  DOWNLOAD the WSB RADIO APP here and turn on weather alerts.  RAINFALL ESTIMATE FOR FRIDAY/FRIDAY NIGHT: ESTIMATED AVERAGE RAINFALL TOTALS BETWEEN NOW AND LATE SUNDAY NIGHT: EXCESSIVE RAINFALL OUTLOOK NEXT 3 DAYS: SEVERE WEATHER RISK LEVELS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. 
  • The above chart shows estimated rainfall between now and 8am Friday. A warm moist Southwest flow ahead of a slow moving low pressure frontal system will bring a more unsettled weather pattern to Georgia the next 3-4 days.  The chance of rain goes up late this afternoon and this evening. There’s a marginal level 1 of 5 risk of a severe storm late day mainly I-85 West. There is a chance of rain or a thunderstorm anytime Friday through Sunday, but the highest odds each day will be afternoon or evening, so no all-day rains are expected at least as of now but stayed tuned. The odds of SEVERE WEATHER at least marginal levels Saturday and Sunday.  SURFACE WEATHER CHART TODAY/TONIGHT: SURFACE WEATHER CHART FRIDAY/FRIDAY NIGHT: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT: ESTIMATED RAINFALL TOTALS BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY NIGHT: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK TODAY AND TONIGHT: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK FRIDAY-SATURDAY MORNING: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK SATURDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT: “Normal” high temperature this time of year is 78, we’ve been above-normal for weeks now. But a bit of a cool off is coming Sunday into next Wednesday with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. We dry out Monday through Wednesday. 
  • As I’ve discussed on the radio the past couple days and in the prior blog post, not a washout Saturday. There will be dry periods before and after any downpours and storms.  There is a risk of severe weather in the form of 60mph wind gusts and maybe quarter sized hail. The tornado risk is not zero but it’s very low.  NOT all storms will be severe. Rainfall amounts the next 36 hours a half to one inch on average with 2-3-inch totals possible in some spots.  This is a standard or routine severe weather risk (level 2/5) that we experience many times a year in this part of the country, nothing unusual about it as things stand now. Hardly the end of the world.  THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK PRIOR TO 4PM SATURDAY: MAIN THUNDERSTORM AREAS AFTER 4PM: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AVERAGE NEXT 36 HOURS: The MAIN severe weather risk period is sometime between 4pm to 11pm give or take an hour, the broad rain window is 2pm today to 8am Sunday, with the rain chance ending after 1pm Sunday.  Obviously all forecasts are subject to change so stay tuned to updates on the radio via all platforms.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB and download the WSB RADIO APP here. 
  • The weather map above is for Friday and despite some isolated to scattered showers or thundershowers in Metro Atlanta there will be more dry areas and dry hours than wet along with some sunshine.  The chance of a shower or thunderstorm goes up on Saturday as humidity continues to rise but still plenty of hours when it is not raining.  There is a standard risk 2/5 of a thunderstorm with damaging wind or hail tomorrow in North Georgia, the chance of rain Sunday is mainly before 2pm. Next week starts dry and warm. Chance of a thunderstorm returns by midweek.  SATURDAY SURFACE WEATHER MAP: SUNDAY 8 AM SURFACE WEATHER MAP: AVERAGE RAINFALL FRIDAY: TOTAL ESTIMATED RAINFALL BY END OF DAY SUNDAY 3-DAY TOTAL: MY 5-day Forecast here. WEATHER AVERAGE NEXT 6-WEEKS ECMWF MODEL: Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB and download the WSBRADIO APP here. 
  • DTN research shows the trends in weather for each season over the past decade. In our neck of the woods a warming trend for Winter and Spring in particular with a wetter trend for Winter and Spring, a little drier for Summer and especially Fall: They also looked at tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean:  Weak El Nino conditions are expected to continue into the Summer to near-neutral: ENSO or El Nino Southern Oscillation which includes La Nina and La Nada (neutral) impacts both tornado season and the hurricane season: The seasonal outlook from the ECMWF and other models suggest warmer than normal Gulf and Atlantic waters with muted wind shear. Tropical storm/hurricane outlooks are more accurate in the summer.  Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • More clouds than yesterday but as the above surface weather map shows we stay dry and around 10 degrees warmer than normal today. A front and weak low pressure system moves in tomorrow night into Friday as it turns briefly a little cooler to end the week: Rainfall amounts average a quarter of an inch or so, no severe weather is expected as of now, but we’ll have to monitor that for any change. Then an upper level ridge of high pressure will bring the warmest weather of the year so far next week: As you would expect with a jet stream ridge over the Southeast along with warm weather it turns drier: A warm May with rainfall normal to a little below normal.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The weather system impacting us overnight and this morning continues to look impressive. The worst pushes East after reports of 2-6 inches of rain, isolated higher totals. RADAR ESTIMATED RAINFALL THROUGH 11AM FRIDAY: Flood Warnings in green and red: NAMNEST MODEL SIMULATED RADAR 2PM: 5PM: 8PM: NOON SATURDAY: Some snow is still possible in the higher elevations of the Cumberland plateau and Smokies Saturday. Behind the cold front chilly temperatures tonight and tomorrow into Sunrise Sunday. 8AM EASTER SUNDAY: My Atlanta area 5-day forecast here. 
  • The above European model simulated radar chart shows the squall line of showers and storms moving in from Alabama after midnight tonight. The threat of at least a few isolated severe storms with hail and damaging straight line winds continues early Friday morning even though the risk looks higher to our West, South and East, especially the tornado risk. The tornado risk here is low but not zero.  ECMWF 8AM FRIDAY: The QLCS squall line will move across the Metro Atlanta area during the pre-dawn hours through at least the first half of the Friday morning rush hour, if not a little longer.  The rest of the day on Good Friday could see some peeks of sun but also scattered showers and an isolated thundershower. Temperatures will be in the mid 60s to start the day but behind the cold front temperatures will be falling into the 50s late day and into the 40s at night.  An isolated light shower or drizzle possible Saturday and unseasonably cold with a high only in the 50s.  Clearing for Easter Sunday with morning temperatures of 40-44 for sunrise services but warming Sunday afternoon into the low to mid 70s with sunshine.  SPC SEVERE WEATHER RISK AREAS THURSDAY NIGHT-FRIDAY: ESTIMATED RAINFALL BETWEEN NOW AND SATURDAY MORNING: Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. DOWNLOAD the WSB RADIO APP here and turn on weather alerts. 

News

  • Emergency crews are investigating after a reported incident occurred on board a plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. In a statement to WSOC, airport officials said, “There is an investigation of a security incident on board an aircraft. More information to come.” Dozens of people were escorted off the plane and first responders came to the aircraft.  >> Read more trending news  Officials have confirmed the investigation involved a Jet Blue airplane departing from Charlotte, North Carolina, heading to New York on Sunday morning.  A JetBlue spokesperson told to WSOC the flight has been delayed. “JetBlue Flight 218, scheduled to depart from Charlotte to New York this morning, has been delayed for additional security screenings out of an abundance of caution. Local law enforcement is on-site and we are working to get customers on their way to New York as soon as possible.” According to David Lathan, a passenger on the plane from Rockingham, North Carolina, the aircraft was taxiing to the runway when the pilot had to stop. Lathan claims the pilot told the passengers there had been a bomb threat and gave them directions. “He said that there's been a bomb threat,” Lathan told WSOC., adding that the pilot said, “There’s going to be a policeman come up to the door. They’re going to open the door. When they do, get your luggage, and exit the airplane.” No other information has been released.  The investigation is ongoing, WSOC reported.
  • Two men are behind bars facing charges of inducing panic after allegedly surfing on the swollen Great Miami River. >> Read more trending news  Passersby spotted the men in the water shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday. Andrew S. Cook Jr., 25, and Garrett M. Pickiering, 26, said they also had asked someone to call for help after they apparently fell into the river in the area of State Route 47 and Port Huron Drive. “We had prepared for a water rescue,” Sgt. Joel Howell, of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We weren’t exactly sure if they were in the water.” Deputies received word that the pair, who were wet and carrying an oar, were just south of town. “They ended up going to jail for inducing panic, the reason being they left after asking somebody to call for help for them,” said Howell, who added that Cook and Pickiering apparently admitted to seeing at least one deputy respond. Cook and Pickiering were each booked into the Shelby County Jail on suspicion of inducing panic. They await Monday morning court dates, according to online records. Howell said the river is especially dangerous because it is flooded over the banks, full of debris and has a swift current.
  • A Mississippi teen is fighting for her life after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Jonestown, Mississippi. >> Read more trending news  Family members said Lamonshae Williams was shot in the stomach during a graduation party overnight. She was rushed to Regional One in critical condition. Williams graduated from Coahoma Early College High School on Saturday. Relatives told FOX13 she graduated sixth in her class.  Another victim who was shot at the scene was treated at a local hospital and is expected to be OK. Lamonshae's mother Luetisha Gardner said she is heartbroken about the situation. She told FOX13 that Lamonsha's older sister was killed a few years ago. Jonestown has very limited police coverage, so Coahoma County deputies are currently handling the case. Officers have not identified any suspects at this time. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
  • A year ago, the world watched as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at Windsor Castle’s historic St. George’s Chapel. Less than a year after their nuptials, they welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. On Sunday, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary. >> Read more trending news  Harper’s Bazaar reported that the couple has shared behind-the-scenes moments from their big day in an Instagram post on Sussex Royal. Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline The video slideshow begins with a series of black-and-white photos that include images of Markle holding hands with her mother, Doria Ragland, and Prince Harry pretending to hitchhike to his wedding. Audio of “This Little Light of Mine,” which Sussex Royal said was selected by the couple for their recessional, can be heard as the images are displayed. The video slideshow ends in color images of the big day and wedding bells. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also shared a message to supporters, saying, “Thank you for all of the love and support from so many of you around the world. Each of you made this day even more meaningful.” Watch the video below.
  • Billionaire Robert F. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College at institution’s Sunday morning graduation exercises, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.  But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the billionaire technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019.  >> Read more trending news  “This is my class, and I know my class will pay this forward,” he said. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony. The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning. Tonga Releford, whose son, Charles Releford III, is a member of the class of 2019, estimates that her son’s student loans are around $70,000. “I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith’s gift has been estimated at $40 million. Tonga Releford’s husband, Charles Hereford Jr., is also a Morehouse graduate. He said their younger son, Colin, is a junior at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college. The father said he doesn’t know who the keynote speaker will be at Colin’s graduation ceremony but is hoping for a return performance by Smith.  “Maybe he’ll come back next year,” he said.
  • The creepy, unsettling image of the “Momo challenge” will be coming to the big screen, according to one report. Deadline reported that “Getaway,” a horror film directed by Lilton Stewart III, will follow a group of teens on their last summer vacation before college who end up secluded in a cabin. >> Read more trending news  “In ghost story fashion, one tells the story of the urban legend, MOMO, a strange spirit of a bird-like woman that taunts its victims with specific personal details and violent commands via text message and phone calls,” Deadline reported. “What starts out as a harmless prank soon turns more sinister over the next 24 hours as the teens start disappearing without any motive or pattern.” The urban legend is inspired by the viral internet hoax that made the rounds last year. Related: What is the ‘Momo challenge’ and is it a hoax? Despite endless media coverage and local law enforcement warnings on social media of the supposed internet challenge, there were no verified cases of the “challenge” or people being harmed because of the game. “We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube,”  the video platform said on Twitter in February 2019. “Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.”