September 6: All Eyes On Irma

The calendar still says summer, but our weather will feel downright autumnal for the next several days!  Temperatures tonight will drop to around 50 — awfully close to Nashville’s record low of 49, set in 1988:

THURSDAY LOWS

High temperatures tomorrow will only climb to the low to mid 70s — that’s about 12 degrees below-average!

THURSDAY HIGHS

The great weather will continue through the weekend, with a gradual warming trend pushing us to around 80 by Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Our next chance of rain doesn’t move in until late Monday and Tuesday, and even that depends on where Hurricane Irma goes over the next six days:

7 Day PM

 

Speaking of Hurricane Irma, that’s where the weather world’s attention is focused — Irma is still a Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph as of 4pm, and gusts to 225 mph.  The satellite perspective of Irma is breathtaking:

DT SATELLITE TROP3D

Some tidbits about Irma’s unusual strength compared to past storms:

VIDEO OMNI.png

Over the next few days, Irma will scoot just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and just north of Cuba — a path that takes the worst of the storm right through the Bahamas:

PAUL TROPICAL FORECAST 1

 

Eventually Irma will make a sharp turn to the north — but exactly when and exactly where is still maddeningly uncertain.  The National Hurricane Center’s official forecast path brings Irma directly into Miami, then back out over the ocean off the east coast of Florida:

PAUL TROPICAL FORECAST

But notice that the “cone of uncertainty” still encompasses both coasts of Florida — disaster preparations have already begun in that state, even with the specific forecast still subject to further changes.  The various forecast models on the “spaghetti plot” are even farther to the east:

PAUL TROPICAL SPAGHETTI

 

That raises the possibility that Irma follows a similar path to last October’s Hurricane Matthew, which skirted along the coast until it finally made landfall in South Carolina.  Everyone on the southeastern coast of the U.S. needs to be paying attention to this storm, since more changes to the forecast path are likely — the problem is, we just don’t know in which direction those changes will happen.

Join Lisa Spencer for the latest on our forecast and an update on Irma on News 4 at 10pm.

Paul Heggen

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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