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Kirk Mellish's Blog

    The models continue to suggest APRIL will average out near-normal to above normal on temperatures and rainfall, with brief up and downs on the thermometer.  To get a VERY PRELIMINARY look at the coming SUMMER pattern I don’t yet incorporate models except to try to get a read on the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation). Currently we are in what is known as the “Spring barrier” for ENSO where the models accuracy for predicting the state of the Pacific Ocean SSTA is poor. So for what it’s worth they presently show a neutral to weak La Nina for the Summer and Fall. This, if correct, hints at heat for summer in much of the country and an above normal number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic/Caribbean in the autumn.  To assess what the past can tell us about the future we look for analogs to recent weather behavior and current sea-surface temperature patterns around the hemisphere.  Using these and signals from how the winter played out plus recent and current jet stream patterns we can identify past years that are similar and use these as a possible guide to the future.  The total list of very preliminary analogs: Using the “best match” from this winter yields these analogs: So at this early juncture it looks like a widespread warmer than normal summer is on the way, a long hot summer that starts in May for some areas unless future analogs shift. Confidence is fairly high for the temperatures but the rainfall outlook has lower confidence as there has been a trend since 2013 for wetter summers with the Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico running warmer than normal: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The estimated average rainfall amounts next 24 hours shown above.  Showers early this morning become more widespread rain and heavier heading into the lunch hour then diminishing to scattered coverage later afternoon and then isolated leftover shower ending in most areas by early tonight. A thunderstorm possible, strongest South. Much cooler today and tomorrow, in fact below the average high of 68. Temperatures today will not change much during the daylight hours. Chilly and breezy Wednesday with some patchy light frost possible away from I-285 Thursday morning.  Dry weather returns tomorrow through Sunday with low to mid 70s Friday through Sunday.  Chance of rain returns next week.  SURFACE WEATHER CHART TUESDAY LATE AFTERNOON: SEVERE WEATHER RISK LEVELS TUESDAY: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We stay dry and warm today as seen in surface weather chart above, the shower chance is after midnight. The ONLY rain day of the week looks to be tomorrow with a few scattered light showers in the area during morning drive tomorrow, with rain more likely afternoon and evening, a risk of severe weather in Central and South Georgia, also noticeably cooler in Metro Atlanta tomorrow: Any pre-sunrise shower Wednesday goes away and it turns mostly sunny and cool. Some patchy light frost (no freeze) is possible Thursday morning away from the permitter.  24-HOUR RAINFALL ESTIMATE TUESDAY/TUESDAY NIGHT: MULTI-MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE OUTPUT: MY 5-DAY FORECAST HERE.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. 
  • Happy to be able to forecast a few consecutive dry days! Today we will see the clouds breaking to start the day with a good dose of sun this afternoon.  It will be noticeably cooler tonight but we get a warming trend to above-normal temperatures tomorrow through the weekend.  A chance of showers returns late Saturday night into the first half of Sunday but light rain amounts in most cases.  Cooler weather returns with showers by next Tuesday. Temperatures much of next week will be near-normal to cooler than normal.  SURFACE WEATHER MAP THURSDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART FRIDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY: MULTI-MODEL BLEND MAX/MIN TEMPERATURES GUIDANCE: MY EXCLUSIVE 5-DAY FORECAST HERE.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • A strong jet stream aloft with an embedded upper-level disturbance and a surface low pressure frontal system will bring back showers and thunderstorms tonight across much of Georgia and the rest of the Southeast.  A tornado watch has already been issued to our North and West where a strong tornado risk exists: For Metro Atlanta a few hit and miss showers early this evening will give way to increasing coverage of heavy showers and thunderstorms later tonight. A few storms may become severe. Sooner for the mountains but for the Atlanta area the main threat window is 9pm to 3am give or take a couple hours. The last shower ending before 7am Wednesday.  The SEVERE WEATHER RISK LEVEL IS 2/5 North and marginal 1/5 South: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AMOUNTS ON AVERAGE: To get severe weather alerts or listen live download the WSB RADIO APP Tell your smart speaker or stream us live on your desktop, laptop or phone. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • 2-day rainfall estimate in map above.  My Exclusive 5-Day Forecast here. The next 4-6 weeks are pretty straightforward and can be summed up as warmer than normal with frequent frontal passage showers.  “April showers bring May flowers” is the old adage, but this year we started all that 1-2 months ahead of schedule and that trend will continue through April.  As we transition to drier than normal and hotter than normal for the Summer, we will have to watch for a brief spell of significant severe weather along the way, but nothing specific is showing up just yet. If I had to estimate I would say a first opportunity Saturday March 28th give or take a day and again around April 1st. give or take a couple days.  **BEFORE that a low risk of a damaging thunderstorm today or Tuesday.**  Briefly cooler than normal weather may follow any stormy weather to end the month. But before then it’s unseasonably warm (warmer than normal even for Spring) starting Tuesday.  While April is expected to be warmer than normal (on average) there will probably still be a brief cool snap or two. Rainfall is expected to be above-average despite some dry spells.  CFSV2 APRIL: NOAA/NWS APRIL: MARCH 29-APRIL 4TH: MULTI-MODEL AVERAGE ANOMALY WEEKS 3-4: We may see a heat ridge set up over the Southeast U.S. starting in May, if it does as expected it will verify the expected pendulum swing away from the wet Winter and early Spring  to much drier.   As a side note, preliminary indications from ocean sea surface temperatures indicate an active hurricane season this year, but we have plenty of time to address that further in the months ahead. The season starts in June and runs through November, usually peaking in September.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The mountains had a couple of little snows and one good sized snow. The far North suburbs of Atlanta had one OK snow or one good snow in a small portion of the area on one day.  Many saw at least some flakes, sleet or grauple mainly from near Hartsfield Northward. Most of the Southern suburbs got a lot of nothing as per usual.  We had many cold snaps lasting a couple days or so. Other than that Old Man Winter was largely missing in action this season with many days with well above-normal temperatures and even some near records.  This all despite pretty good signals back in October that a decent winter was coming up for much of the country East of the Missouri River.  The snow forecast ended up being OK for half the area but just by the skin of our teeth, but all the warmth was not anticipated in my winter outlook.  What happened? As far as I can tell it may be related to why the models have struggled much more than normal beyond 5 days for a couple years in a row. All the warmth in the oceans and the arctic is distorting the temperature gradient (baroclinicity) between the high and low latitudes in turn disrupting jet stream patterns and the air masses and weather systems the jet streams produce and move. So in short the main jet streams become stronger and more zonal or West to East and the contorting blocking patterns needed for lasting cold largely vanish.  So we saw this winter things go from looking favorable in October to November breaking down over the ensuing months as the RECORD +IOD destructively influenced the MJO/ENSO/WPO/EPO/AO/NAO and the base state of the PDO and AMO shifted on us.  Most of the energy in the atmosphere after the sun comes from the oceans and is imparted to the atmosphere including the Polar Vortex (A0) and the jet streams which is why all that alphabet soup above is all interconnected in some ways we understand and undoubtedly ways we don’t yet understand. The warm Pacific Waters retreated from near the U.S. West Coast to further back West (PDO) and the North Pacific warm blog also cooled and the warm Atlantic (AMO) (warmest since 1950) helped sprawl upper level high pressure ridging in the Greater Antilles-Sargasso Sea (Cuba-Hispaniola) regions flexing into the Southeast U.S. All that changed the prevailing jet stream behavior from what expectations were back in the autumn. In other words the changes in the oceans and arctic and the stratosphere meant the analog years from past history ended up not fitting. It was striking this winter to see a record +IOD down around India-Australia underneath a near record +AO over the North Pole, something unprecedented in the record books.  So naturally new patterns emerge that have not been experienced in quite the same way before by man or machine. That shifting climate patterns will produce a shift from past averages makes logical sense. 
  • The next 7 days looks somewhat similar to the past week, not the constant rain and flooding amounts of prior weeks but far from days of dry weather and sun.  “Showery” would be a good descriptive, plenty of dry areas and dry hours in between rain or thunder and some sunshine at times later in the week. Except for a brief chilly wedge Monday much warmer than normal will predominate. April showers bring May flowers but that Spring pattern is already underway here in March. Global satellite imagery reveals a split jet stream pattern with storms lined up from China to the Pacific Northwest and from the Equator to Mexico and the Southern states. So it’ll be hard to get any extended dry spells or multiple days of sunny weather through April with no major pattern change until May and June when the shift is to drier than normal and warmer than normal.  NOTE 5-DAY TOTAL RAINFALL ESTIMATE AVERAGE IS MODEST: MULTI-MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • After a dry Monday (map above) the chance of rain returns, but nothing like the past two weeks.  This week the rain will not be as heavy nor as persistent. There will be more dry spaces and dry hours in between showers and even days with a mix of showers and sun. Sounds more typical of Spring because it is so.  We may get a day in the mix where there is some CAD cooling but otherwise above-normal temperatures will prevail with 70 not out of the question along the way. Given the jet stream pattern depicted in the short, medium and long range numerical weather prediction (NWP) variants I’d say the equations signal any “LAST HURRAH” from Old Man Winter as we’ve seen in March and April in the past is off the table this year.  Winter, such as it was is over.  Of course we can still get our usual brief cold snap that often happens in March and April even if none is shown in the foreseeable future at the moment. The first “opportunity” for that would be around after the 24th or by the start of April.  But prior to that, beyond this week may lie even warmer temperatures, but with that, a concern for the start of SPRING SEVERE WEATHER SEASON around the 17th give or take a day but odds are greater to our West.  Overall, the long look suggests the trend for the Spring and Summer will lean toward above-normal and drier than normal as the pendulum swings.  SURFACE WEATHER MAP TUESDAY: But notice this week the fronts get close and tend to stall never coming fully through until the weekend, hence the more sporadic nature of the rain and thundershowers: 3-DAY RAINFALL FORECAST ESTIMATED AVERAGE: EXPERIMENTAL EXTENDED RANGE TORNADO ACTIVITY  (NATIONAL) OUTLOOK: MODEL FORECAST JET STREAM PATTERN 500MB ~18,000FT: However, it is worth noting that the “big 3” global models all show the EPO going negative starting around the IDES OF MARCH. If IF they are correct we have to watch out for the models to correct toward a cooler outcome as the March/April temperature departure pattern from a -EPO is this: Mother nature rarely lets us say definitely or never. The chaos of the future keeps absolutes at bay.  So we will keep an eye on these trends (so far this winter they’ve all been head fakes) and enjoy the coming warmth in front of us. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Some of the worst rain and isolated thunder occurred before many people woke up today.  Periods of rain on and off today, some moderate to heavy but much of it light. Periods of rain will be diminishing between 1 and 3 pm give or take, then lingering showers ending between 3pm and 7pm give or take. Additional rain amounts today a half to one inch on average with isolated amounts over 2 inches possible.  Temperatures in a hurry to go nowhere today. We are chilly today through Saturday but warmer Sunday and Monday. Sunshine is coming back Friday and Saturday with some clouds Sunday. Chance of rain comes back by Tuesday on and off most of the week. No there is not yet an end to the pattern of only brief dry spells. When there is I’ll blog about it. PREDICTED ADDITIONAL RAINFALL TODAY ESTIMATE 6AM-7PM: SIMULATED MODEL RADAR 3PM (representation not to be taken literally): MODEL SIMULATED RADAR 7PM (not to be taken literally): SURFACE WEATHER CHARTS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY MORNINGS: MULTI MODEL BLENDED TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: JUST HOW WET IT HAS BEEN: * February was the 2nd wettest on record 10.6 inches and records go back to 1878! * Atlanta has NOT had 4 dry days in a row since Christmas! December 24-27th. * Average yearly rainfall for Atlanta is 47.1 inches... this year we are almost halfway there already, rain amounts for the year officially at Hartsfield now about 22 inches! The wet winter stats data here. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

News

  • Hobby Lobby is closing all its stores nationwide and furloughing employees without pay. The arts and crafts store released a statement Friday saying it’s closing its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hobby Lobby also said in the statement that it will be furloughing a large portion of corporate and distribution employees. Hobby Lobby will remain closed after 8 p.m. Friday until further notice. Hobby Lobby statement: 'As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, effective Friday, April 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. The stores will remain closed until further notice. HOBBY LOBBY OFFICIAL STATEMENT “In order to allow our furloughed employees to take full advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Recovery Rebates provided to eligible employees by the federal government, we are ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of Company provided paid time off benefits (PPTO and Vacation) in accordance with the requirements outlined in the CARES Act (subject to State law requirements). However, we will maintain medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1, 2020, and will pay the cost of employee premiums for these benefits on behalf of employees while furloughed without pay. We encourage furloughed employees to file their claims with their State’s unemployment commissions as soon as possible. Upon return, employees will retain their original dates of hire and any accrued PPTO and Vacation. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees at this difficult time, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome them back, once we are able to reopen. HOBBY LOBBY OFFICIAL STATEMENT “We know our customers relied on us to provide essential products, including materials to make personal protective equipment, such as face masks, educational supplies for the countless parents who are now educating their children from home, and the thousands of small arts and crafts businesses who rely on us for supplies to make their products. Over the past several weeks, we implemented several best practices to provide a safer shopping environment, including the installation of physical barriers between customers and cashiers, enhanced cleaning, and the enforcement of social distancing measures. We are prepared to reopen our stores in a responsible way when the current situation improves, and look forward to welcoming our valued customers back to our stores. Until then, we pray for those affected by the virus, protection for the health care professionals caring for the sick, economic security for all impacted businesses and employees, and wisdom for our leaders.” HOBBY LOBBY OFFICIAL STATEMENT 'As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, effective Friday, April 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. The stores will remain closed until further notice.”
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance late Friday concerning the wearing of cloth face masks while out in public. The CDC, according to President Donald Trump, said that people, when going to public locations, should now wear “non-medical, cloth face coverings.” The action is voluntary, Trump said in his afternoon press briefing. Since the beginning of the battle against COVID-19, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said that people didn’t need to wear masks unless they were sick and coughing, The New York Times reported prior to Trump’s announcement. Thursday evening, Trump had said his administration would have regulations when it came to the general population and the wearing of masks. Some opportunities for wearing masks while in public would be when going to pharmacies and grocery stores, the Times reported. Many people may now be looking for ways to make their own personal protective equipment or to make PPE for those working the front lines. There are many designs to make, from no-sew options to ones that need some needle and thread. No Sew Supplies: A bandanna or piece of finished cloth Hair elastics Sewn versions Supplies: Paper, to make a pattern Cotton fabric Fusible interfacing Elastic Pins Sewing machine The New York Times has an alternate pattern. Click here for step by step instructions. Kaiser Permanente has also shared a design approved by the health system for donation to hospitals, The Washington Post reported.
  • A Brooklyn landlord waived this month’s rent for hundreds of his tenants. Mario Salerno posted signs on the 18 buildings he owns throughout the borough letting tenants know they do not have to pay April’s rent, The New York Times reported. “My concern is everyone’s health,” Salerno told the Times. “I told them just to look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table.” Salerno had not calculated how much he would be losing from not collecting rent on the 80 apartments, but it’s likely hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Times reported. “I’m really not concerned about the rent right now, I’m concerned about people’s health,” Salerno told Greenpointers.com. “Not only are we up against an epidemic, these poor people have no jobs and they’re worried about getting sick. I didn’t think it was much on a person like me, who God was good to, to help them all out.” It has helped ease the stress for some tenants who are out of work because of the coronavirus. Tenant Paul Gentile has lived four years in one of Salerno’s buildings. He works as an attorney but lost his job when the courthouses closed March 18. “You don’t see that, especially in a landlord-tenant relationship in New York City,” Gentile told the Times. “He’s amazing.”
  • A Michigan sugar company purchased $131,000 worth of gift cards from restaurants in communities where it operates. The Michigan Sugar Co. gave each of its 1,300 employees a $100 gift card from more than 50 restaurants, MLive reported. “We hope this helps ease the pain of this pandemic for those businesses just a little bit,” Michigan Sugar Co. Board Chairman Adam Herford told MLive. The company has also donated personal protection equipment including masks, gloves and safety glasses to Michigan-area health care facilities.
  • A Detroit bus driver who complained about a coughing passenger in a video posted on social media, has died from the coronavirus. Jason Hargrove got sick four days after posting the video on March 21 where he went on a profanity-laced tirade about a woman who coughed repeatedly while on the bus. The bus drivers’ unions said Hargrove, 50, died Wednesday. The coronavirus can spread through the air, health officials have said. “Public workers doing our job, trying to make (an) honest living, take care of our families,” Hargrove said in the video. “For you to get on the bus ... and cough several times without covering up your mouth and you know (we’re) in the middle of a pandemic — that lets me know that some folks don’t care.” The city stopped collecting fares March 17. The buses were to be more thoroughly cleaned and passengers were required to enter and exit from the rear door only. Mayor Mike Duggan expressed condolences and urged others to watch Hargroves’ video. “He was infected before we closed the front doors (on buses),” Duggan said. “Some of his language is graphic, but I don’t know how you can watch it and not tear up. He knew his life was being put in jeopardy ... by someone who didn’t take this seriously and now he’s gone.”
  • A Pennsylvania man who lost a lung to cancer about a decade ago has survived another health battle -- this time, with the coronavirus. It started as what he assumed was just a cold, but when Richard Botti, 61, started to feel lung pain in early March, he thought his cancer had returned. It turned out to be COVID-19 instead. Because of his previous bout with cancer, he was at higher risk. His family told WPXI they got very concerned when his conditioned started to worsen. “It slowly got worse and he wasn’t getting out of bed,” said Vanessa Venezie, his daughter. “You immediately think the worst because of everything you’re seeing and reading.” He soon tested positive for the coronavirus and had to be hospitalized. However, he pulled through, spending 11 days at Heritage Valley Hospital hooked up to oxygen. Botti’s daughter wanted to share not all coronavirus outcomes are grim. “We’re just really happy and we want people to know there is hope for them,” Venezie said. “Stay focused on the positive. Do things that make you feel good. We can all get trapped in the negative.” Botti was taken back home by medics in an ambulance equipped to handle COVID-19 cases. He has to self-isolate in his room away from his family for two weeks.