June 21: Tracking Cindy, Daily Links


The big weather story is obviously Tropical Storm Cindy — the center of the storm is still out over the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s spreading rain onshore along the Gulf Coast, and it’s sending high cloud cover over our heads already:

The center of circulation will make landfall near Lake Charles, Louisiana late tonight:

Even with the high clouds overhead, the first full day of summer will definitely feel like it, with increasing humidity and high temperatures near 90° this afternoon:

We’ll see a slight chance of afternoon and evening storms near the TN-AL state line, as the outer edge of Tropical Storm Cindy begins to influence the Midstate — that’s why temperatures there will be slightly cooler.  The HRRR model’s radar simulation shows those showers (maybe a thunderstorm?) in southern Middle Tennessee before a larger area of rain approaches late tonight:

The center of Cindy will still be hundreds of miles to our southwest tomorrow, but the first surge of substantial moisture will already give us our first good chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Our RPM model shows off-and-on activity throughout the day:

A few storms could be strong tomorrow, but the greatest severe weather threat will be closer to the center of what’s left of Cindy, well to our southwest:

We’ll get a chance to dry out a bit Thursday night and early Friday, before another round of heavy rain moves in late Friday.  Returning to the RPM model for the when/where:

Tropical systems are tricky, so we’ll be making tweaks to the timing and placement forecast over the next 48 hours as we get more data.  Localized flooding will be a concern, with 2″-4″ of rain possible through early Saturday morning…again, this pattern could shift around depending on the track Cindy’s remnants:

Because there will be a break between the rounds of heavy rainfall, I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll be able to avoid any widespread flooding.  But we’ll also see a chance of damaging winds or even an isolated tornado on Friday — these tropical storms maintain a decent amount of spin even once they move ashore, so we’ll be watching carefully for any signs of small-scale rotation.  The Storm Prediction Center has outlined a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5) for severe weather over southern Middle Tennessee:

I think they’ll have to shift or expand that northward — the SPC’s own forecast model is showing a 50%+ chance of storms with severe ingredients across the Midstate late Friday:

Most of Cindy’s influence should move off to the east in time for the weekend…but I’ll emphasize this point again: tropical systems are tricky.  The two main long-range forecast models agree that Saturday should be mostly dry after a few lingering early-morning showers.  But they’re painting vastly different pictures on Sunday — the American GFS model shows dry weather for the second half of the weekend:

But the European model shows more showers and storms on Sunday:

Usually I buy what the Euro is selling, but not this time — I think the northerly flow of air (that will kick in as what’s left of Cindy moves east) will drag drier air into the Midstate.  My level of confidence in disagreeing with the European model can only be expressed in GIF form:

Therefore, I haven’t removed rain chances entirely from the weekend forecast:

If you have outdoor plans for the weekend, here’s the bottom line…while the dry-weekend chances look more favorable than they did at this point yesterday, we’re not out of the woods yet.  Be flexible with any outdoor plans, and stay plugged-into the forecast as the whole situation evolves.



About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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