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Kirk Mellish's Blog

    The forecast for Athens (Dawgs game) is similar to the Atlanta forecast just a couple hours later and a few degrees cooler. It probably will not rain every minute of the day Saturday but rain is possible at any time of the day and night. However in Metro Atlanta the main window for showers is 8AM to 5PM give or take a couple hours, diminishing chances after 9pm and tapering off further after Midnight give or take a couple hours.  Rainfall totals averaging a half to one inch, but it looks like THE BULK OF THE RAIN FALLS BEFORE DARK.  NE winds 10-15 MPH gusting at times to 25 MPH or greater (a tree or two could fall). High temperatures only 56-60 (but feeling more like 52). Everyone dries out Sunday and it warms up to around 76. SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY MORNING: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY PM: SURFACE WEATHER CHART 8AM SUNDAY: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AMOUNT DAYLIGHT HOURS SATURDAY: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AMOUNT SATURDAY EARLY EVENING: ESTIMATED RAIN AMOUNTS MIDNIGHT SATURDAY NIGHT TO 8AM SUNDAY: ‘NESTOR”: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The surface weather chart above shows the fair weather autumn high pressure moving into our area and the big ‘Nor easter storm in New England with a formative potential tropical system in the Southwest Gulf of Mexico.  It looks like an active changeable weather pattern the next couple weeks with a wavy progressive jet stream bringing fronts and/or low pressure systems along every few days.  The weather systems progress East Northeast by the end of the day Friday: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY MORNING: SURFACE WEATHER CHART TUESDAY MORNING: ESTIMATED WEEKEND RAIN AMOUNTS: ADDITIONAL RAIN TOTALS MONDAY/TUESDAY: SEE how the jet stream flow changes from mostly zonal West to East to a trough in the East with flow from the Northwest, this means any warm-ups will come and go. In fact, Sunday and Monday will probably be the warmest days for the rest of October: Indications are this pattern will extend well into November allowing for badly needed above-normal rainfall with up and down temperatures: Model ensemble teleconnection charts support the cooler trends to end October and start November (search engine terms for details): Rainfall above-average the next 3-6 weeks: ECMWF MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: MULTI MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Remember, this is not MY forecast it is output from numerical prediction guidance.  This is what the various long-range computer models are showing for the coming winter.  Most of the models suggest a mild winter with low odds of snow. They generally are indicating a mean jet stream trough over the West/NW part of the country with a Southeast ridge (to varying degrees). The only model showing below-normal temperatures is the Japan Met Agency JAMSTECH model. MOST models show precipitation near-average with a bit of range from below to above.  I discussed in my first thoughts on winter in a blog a month or so ago that this would probably be a difficult winter to try to figure out with the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) in the Pacific being weak and/or near neutral.  The models suggest this as well as most show either a weak “Modoki” (warm central Pacific) El Nino OR a weak La Nina. So clearly the models are having a devil of a time deciding what the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures will be like in the winter. Since the Pacific Ocean is so vast it inputs a lot of energy into the atmosphere, so when a major climate driver like El Nino/La Nina is near neutral, other, much less predictable factors will be in winters driver seat. Unfortunately the traditional International model ensemble is not currently available, I’ll share it if and when it becomes available.  JMA JAPAN MODEL TEMPS/PRECIP: IRI MODEL TEMPS/PRECIP: CANDIAN MODEL TEMPS: NORTH AMERICAN MULTI MODEL SUITE TEMPS/PRECIP: C3S ECMWF MODEL TEMPS/PRECIP: NCEP TEMPS/PRECIP: UK MET OFFICE MODEL TEMPS/PRECIP: INTERNATIONAL MULTI MODEL TEMPS/PRECIP: JAMSTECH MODEL (JAPAN) TEMPS/PRECIP: NOAA/NWS TEMPS/PRECIP: ECMWF MODEL SNOWFALL ANOMALY FORECAST: MY first estimate for winter will be out late this Month with the final winter forecast by the start of December.  Remember I use the teleconnection and analog method for long-range forecasting with less weight on models. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • HRRR model predictive radar shown above 4pm give or take a couple hours.  There will be dry areas and dry hours in-between showers today not constant rain. Scattered showers today will be on the increase during the afternoon evolving into fairly widespread rain by evening accompanied by temperatures a little cooler than normal for this time of year (normal is a high of 73 and low of 54) and little or no sun today, best chance for some North suburbs or mountains. Highs today 67-74 lows tonight around 62. The heaviest rain amounts are expected to be South of I-20 especially in Central Georgia.  The greatest number of dry hours will be in the mountains and North suburbs with the fewest dry hours in the South suburbs.  The rain will not bust the drought but it will at least put a small dent in it, especially in middle Georgia. But we’ll all take what we can get.  IF the models are right we may be able to bust the drought or put a big dent in it over the course of the next month. This does look to be just the start of a more active weather pattern the next 2-4 weeks, with multiple frontal passages and the jet stream developing into a wavy pattern, providing ups and downs in temperatures from warmer than normal to colder than normal and back again the rest of this month and into the start of November: RAINFALL AMOUNT ESTIMATE AVERAGE TODAY: RAINFALL AMOUNT ESTIMATE TONIGHT: RAINFALL AMOUNT ESTIMATE TOMORROW: TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNT ESTIMATE AVERAGE: The pattern next 4 weeks: ECMWF ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • After a very long spell of stagnant weather the normal seasonal shift to a more active pattern is taking place across the country and over the next 7 days it will start to include Georgia.  As expected the drought has worsened in the area over the past week: It would take 12 to 15 inches of rain to eliminate the drought in much of the region. That won’t happen any time soon but there is some hope for rain in the not too distant future. Saturday a cold front will move through the area and it could produce a few brief raindrops but don’t count on it, it will bring chilly temperatures for Sunday morning: Sunday the front stalls in the area producing some scattered light rain showers but not an all day rain, heaviest amounts North: ESTIMATED RAINFALL SUNDAY WPC WeatherBell CHART: MONDAY the front is close enough to give us some clouds and maybe a couple of showers in the area but no big deal: Tuesday more fronts moving into and through the area along with upper-level disturbances (not shown) will bring more widespread rain lasting into the first part of Wednesday with heavier amounts: ESTIMATED RAINFALL TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: The rain does not look like a drought buster but IF the forecast holds it will be the most in many months: That Wednesday cold front passage will be followed by a Canadian High pressure air mass and a real taste of autumn temperatures Thursday: Widespread low temperatures in the 40s Wednesday and Thursday with highs barely making 70 Thursday: Friday October 18th: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Keep in mind various websites and books that show the average date of the first frost or freeze, often confuse the two.  Above dates are for the first 32F occurrence. However, FROST can occur with temps as high as 39/40F under the right conditions: clear sky and no wind for a sufficient number of hours with a mostly dry air mass with just enough low level moisture.  The OFFICIAL first freeze in the city is usually around November 13th. But that reflects the impact of the “urban heat island” so obviously the suburbs and rural areas away from the heat of the “concrete jungle” cool off faster and so get frost and freeze weeks earlier in many cases. The average date of the first frosty 36F in the city is November 3rd, but that low of 36 has come as early as September 30, 1967 and as late as November 28, 1988. Putting it simplistically, in much of Metro Atlanta the first freeze 32F happens sometime between October 16th and Halloween, 1-3 weeks later in the city and South Suburbs.  DATA FOR THE CITY OF ATLANTA: The older maps shown above do not have the latest climate data input. The map below shows the first freeze is tending to come later in the most recent decade or two (updated through 2018) so for Hartsfield Airport it is November 13th: ALLERGY WEATHER... if you suffer from allergies from mold, weeds, ragweed relief does not usually come until low temperatures drop below freezing.  Use this zip code link to find first and last freeze dates at sites near you.  Great interact map you can zoom in and click on your backyard for average date.FALL FOLIAGE THIS WEEK: FALL FOLIAGE OCTOBER 19TH: FALL FOLIAGE FORECAST OCTOBER 26TH: NOVEMBER 2ND (NEARING PEAK NORTH GEORGIA): NOVEMBER 9TH (PEAK COLOR MUCH OF NORTH GEORGIA): NOVEMBER 16TH (PAST PEAK EXCEPT SOUTH): For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We’ve had some warm winters without snow and some cold ones and some snowy ones. Temperature records go back to 1878 and official snow records back to at least 1949 but with some missing data.  The record shows that Atlanta winters are typically mild with little or no snow. I’ve lived here 33 years and I can attest to that.  The long-term average is just 2 inches of snow falling on an average of one day in January and one day in February. In the winter of 1968 it snowed on seven days. The most snow in one day officially in Atlanta was 8.3 inches on January 23, 1940. YEARLY AVERAGE SNOW AMOUNT: Last winter the NW suburbs saw about 5 minutes of heavy snow then the sun came out. There was also some snow in Central Georgia. That was it for last years warmer than normal winter: The year before 2017 the NW suburbs got 6-12 inches while the city got 2.3 and the East and Southeast suburbs got zero. Other notable (top 10) official snow amounts since 2000 are:  2009 4.2, 2010 3.6, 2011 3.7, 2014 2.6, 2018 2.9 inches. Most were in January followed by February then March. For the last 18 years this mild trend has been true with the Fall and early part of winter (October-December) averaging warmer than normal: AVERAGE WINTER (December-February) TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL SINCE 2000: The coldest part of winter has on average come late winter into early Spring: So you can see for yourself that since 2000 alone winters here are mild on average, NOT cold and snowy.  Winter precipitation since 2000 has averaged near-normal in most of the state: How about the most recent decade? WINTER AVERAGE SINCE 2008: So an increase in precipitation (mostly rain) since 2000 and quite a bit warmer than normal December-February since 2000.  7 out of the past 20 winters ( 35% have been colder than normal, 13 of the past 20 (65%) have been warmer than normal.  Since the year 2000 the yearly official snowfall at Hartsfield has averaged 2.04 inches, pretty much the same as the average dating back to 1928. YEAR AND TOTAL SNOW THAT YEAR: Note: winter is December-February but calendar year is Jan-January that’s why it looks like we had 2.4 last winter in chart above, but that’s calendar year not winter only. So far 2019 has had no snow at Hartsfield officially.  So clearly snow is the exception to the no-snow rule and we usually don’t get much when it happens. If it’s going to happen January is the most likely month followed closely by February and March in that order.  WINTER TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES SINCE 2000: So there you have it. I love snow. But dreaming of a White Christmas or snow and cold anytime of winter when we live in the South is a fools errand. Enjoy it when it comes if you like it. But if you need it then a move North of the Ohio River is in order lol, or at least up way high in the mountains of the Carolina’s or TN.  My first estimate of what THIS winter might bring will be at the end of this month.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • It was ten days ago I first did a blog about the models showing hope for the end of the heat wave and it still looks like they were right. The big upper level jet stream heat ridge of high pressure that has been parked over the Southeast U.S. for over a month is finally expected to flatten with its core moving out West as upper-level troughs move from West to East between now and early next week: Meanwhile, at the surface the hot dry high pressure will be replaced by a “back-door Wedge” moving in from the Northeast down the Appalachians during the weekend and that is followed by a cold frontal passage on Monday from the Northwest followed by a cooler less humid air mass and fair weather high pressure bringing in more Fall-like temperatures at long last. In the transition a stray shower possible on the weekend but most of us stay dry, better chance of a shower or thundershower Monday: Rain chance only about 20% on the weekend and 40-50% Monday. ESTIMATED AVERAGE RAINFALL TOTALS NEXT 5 DAYS: MULTIPLE MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE FORECAST: (NOTE MY FORECAST MAY VARY FROM MODELS) The drought has worsened over the past week with 100% of the state abnormally dry and areas of EXTREME DROUGHT in parts of Metro Atlanta: RAIN AMOUNT NEEDED TO END DROUGHT: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The solar cycle is at or near a minimum, part of a downward trend cycle that has been coming on for many years now. Given the hot late summer and recent mild winters it’s a good thing I guess the sun has not been at a maximum of sunspots.  But like many things in weather there is always a lag of impacts and many factors decide what the weather and climate will be not just one single thing. Most of us studied “The Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere System” as early as middle school and no later than High School hopefully. It is indeed a SYSTEM. One with many mysteries.  Like most things in weather there is not a 1:1 relationship, the atmosphere is nonlinear. That’s why predictions are so hard.  As seen in the image above the sun just had a single very weak spot. Spaceweather reports that so far in 2019 72% of the days have been free of sunspots pushing 200 days: The August-September data charts from Commodity Wx Group and NOAA indicate the numbers are trending toward one of the prior deepest minimums of our lifetimes 2008. Model predictions of the future are at variance with some pointing to a continued down trend in sunspots for at least a few more years if not the entire next cycle, others show an uptick although with weakness continuing in the next cycle 25 with a peak around 2024/25. I was curious about how other low solar summers in the 2000s have tracked temperature-wise: And the recent low solar winters have averaged like this: The whole year all seasons average of those recent low solar years: Next solar cycle estimate.  Sunspot story from 2018 on new model research. Dr. Shepherd PH.D University of Georgia.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • I first did a blog last Monday the 23rd on the cause of our heat wave and drought. I did a blog on the prospects for an end to the heat wave on Wednesday the 25th (the first day of autumn). This is an update of both.  It’s the jet stream. It’s always the jet stream. The jet stream is both the result of weather and a mover and shaper of the weather.  It represents a baroclinic zone, the boundary between contrasting air masses as it moves generally from West to East. Simplifying things you generally find the cooler temperatures to the left or poleward of the jet flow and warmer air to the right or equator-ward of the jet stream flow and the wettest storm track in-between.  For this reason across the nation it is typical for opposite weather in opposite parts of the country at the same time. Something we’ve been seeing for a long time now, cool-wet Northwest and hot-dry Southeast.  We have been under a Great Smokies high pressure ridge which is a Westward extension of the subtropical Bermuda high in the Atlantic.  The jet stream does not flow in a straight line though it bends dips curves and swings forming what are known as Rossby Waves forming “high pressure ridges” and “low pressure troughs”. When the pattern becomes amplified or abnormally strong we get extremes of weather and if a jet stream blocking pattern forms, the jet stream configuration can get stuck for extended periods of time making extremes such as floods or drought, heat waves and cold waves last a long time.  The bright colors in the chart below represent upward vertical motion of air that creates precipitation. Notice under the high the colors are muted indicating mostly downward sinking air currents, the opposite of what is needed for precipitation and the downward sinking air currents also add compression heating: SNOW SO FAR: MORE SNOW FORECAST: COLD NW HOT SE trough vs. ridge: THE GREATEST PRECIPITATION IN-BETWEEN WITH THE “RING OF FIRE” JET STREAM BAROCLINIC ZONE: Over the next few weeks the jet stream is forecast to finally de-amplify and the heat ridge over the Southeast will break down and the jet stream flow will “flatten out” some becoming more “zonal” West to East and the troughs and ridges begin to move again taking the crazy extremes with them: In fact the ECMWF Deterministic/operational model suggests a deep trough coming East in 8-10 days. IF, if true that could bring us some real good and badly needed rain around that timeframe early next week: Until then, only the very lucky get any rain the next 5-7 days: But with that jet stream change comes cooler temperatures, not cold but much lower despite still being a bit above average for the coming weekend into next week highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s and 60s with low humidity (if we’re lucky maybe some highs only in the 70s later next week--normal high this time of year is 78): MODEL ENSEMBLES AND BLEND: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

News

  • Three young children, including a baby, were alone in a St. Louis apartment Sunday when a fire broke out in the building, killing the infant and critically injuring the others, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  According to KSDK-TV, firefighters said the blaze began about 1:30 p.m. on the top floor of a three-story building on Kealty Lane. After calling 911, neighbors reportedly tried to save the children, kicking down the locked door before the billowing smoke forced them to retreat.  When emergency crews arrived, they discovered the baby dead inside the apartment, KTVI reported. The two surviving children were rushed to a nearby hospital, where they remain in critical condition, officials said. Although authorities have not revealed the victims' names or ages, a family friend told KTVI that the older children are 5 and 3. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire or whether anyone could face criminal charges in the incident. Read more here or here.
  • One of Texas' largest cities is reeling after a tornado swept through north Dallas on Sunday night, officials said. >> Read more trending news  According to KDFW-TV, the twister struck about 9 p.m. CDT near Dallas Love Field Airport, then headed east, damaging homes and businesses while initially knocking out power to more than 100,000 people in the region. As of early Monday, no deaths or serious injuries had been reported, the city of Dallas said in a news release; however, emergency officials told The Associated Press that they received reports of people cut by glass shards. Crews also were trying to determine whether any victims were trapped inside a collapsed structure after seven people safely fled the building, the AP reported.  WFAA-TV reported that the storm destroyed Dallas Stars hockey player Tyler Seguin's mansion. Seguin appeared to confirm the news on Twitter but assured fans that he was OK. 'Thanks to everyone reaching out about the news tonight, I am safe,' he tweeted. 'Luckily this is my house for sale and I have moved into a new one. I just left the area and it is an extremely sad sight to see. Prayers to everyone affected by the tornado.' The storm caused 'significant' damage to six homes in nearby Sachse, as well, the AP reported. Four of those houses are now considered 'uninhabitable,' according to the news agency. Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A toddler is dead and two adults are recovering from injuries after gunfire erupted Sunday in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, police said. >> Read more trending news  According to KYW-TV, a shooter armed with an AK-47 rifle fired into a Water Street home about 3:30 p.m., striking a 2-year-old girl, her 24-year-old mother and a 33-year-old male contractor, authorities said. The girl, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, died at the scene, police said.  Emergency responders rushed the woman, who was struck in the head and back, and the man, who suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach, to a nearby hospital, WCAU-TV reported. They are in stable and critical condition, respectively, authorities said. Investigators believe the shooter intentionally targeted the house, then ran from the scene, the news outlets reported. Police said they have not arrested any suspects in connection with the case. Police also are investigating whether the incident is connected to a shooting that occurred minutes earlier on East Clearfield Street, according to KYW. No injuries were reported, authorities told WCAU. Read more here or here.
  • A Georgia woman has been arrested in connection with the death of a toddler in Donalsonville, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Paresij Handford, 28, was charged with the death of 2-year-old Zayden Brown, GBI spokeswoman Jamy Steinberg said in a news release. Handford is the girlfriend of Brown’s father.  Brown’s autopsy at the GBI Crime Lab revealed that Brown died from several injuries. His death was then ruled a homicide, Steinberg said.  Handford was arrested after the GBI performed witness interviews and obtained evidence related to the case, the release said. She is charged with one count of felony murder and one count of first-degree child cruelty. Handford was booked in the Seminole County Jail, Steinberg said. The county borders Alabama and Florida, and Donalsonville, the county seat, is about 225 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Donalsonville police or the GBI at 229-225-4090.
  • Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo was arrested in Fayette County over the weekend. >> Read more trending news  The details surrounding the alleged incident are unclear at this point, but state police confirmed it stemmed from a 'domestic situation' with Chickillo's girlfriend over the weekend. Multiple sources have told Channel 11 the incident happened at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington. We have reached out to Nemacolin regarding the incident but have not yet heard back. Chickillo is facing multiple charges, including simple assault, criminal mischief and harassment.  According to court documents, Chickillo was released from jail on a $10,000 bond. State police said Chickillo's girlfriend was cited for harassment as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers issued a statement regarding Chickillo, confirming they were aware of the 'incident' that led to his arrest: 'We are aware of an incident involving Anthony Chickillo last night and are still gathering information. Until we have further details, we will not provide any further comments.' Chickillo's status with Pittsburgh is uncertain moving forward, but he is still listed on the team's roster as of Sunday night.
  • A 500-pound bomb the United States dropped during a bombing raid over Italy during World War II didn’t explode -- until Sunday. >> Read more trending news  The bomb was found near a cathedral in Balzano, not far from a train station, the likely intended target, during construction of a shopping center, the ANSA news agency reported.  About 4,000 people were evacuated while experts spent more than three hours defusing the bomb before it was taken to a controlled site and detonated, online newspaper Neue Suedtiroler Tageszeitung reported. The Associated Press contributed to this report.