Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/31 - 6pm - MSU Video Forecast

Our weather at MSU this week is forecast to be fairly calm, with highs in the 90's and a chance of rain on Friday. After a cold front passes by on Friday we should be left with slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Hurricane Earl is making headlines as it nears the North Carolina coast... Hurricane Watches have just been issued for that area. Check out the video below:

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30 - 7:45pm - Tropics Becoming Very Active / Calm in MS

The tropics have so-called "roared to life" over the past few days as Danielle, Earl, and Fiona have formed in the Atlantic. Danielle is no longer a hurricane and still poses no threat to land, so you can write that storm off. Hurricane Earl is the one making headlines as a Category 4 storm right now with sustained winds of 135mph. There's a chance this storm could become an ominous Category 5 storm over the next 24 hours as it nears the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There's much concern over Earl's effects on the East Coast, especially because the projected path of the storm (seen on left) has shifted closer and closer to the Outer Banks and much of New England over the past couple of days. The consensus among the various computer models (the 'spaghetti plot' to the right) is that Earl's center will stay off-shore, but it's too early to be sure about that because of the model inaccuracies and last-minute corrections that come with any storm. Should Earl track further west than anticipated, the East Coast will have quite a mess to contend with later this week. Rip currents and high waves from the storm passing offshore will be bad enough. A land falling Earl would really take things to the next level. Tropical Storm Fiona has also formed today, but it's way too early to tell if that storm will curve out to sea, hit the East Coast, or travel into the Gulf of Mexico.

Here in Mississippi we've had on and off rain over the past couple of days, but nothing all too heavy. As our air dries out from moist easterly flow from the Atlantic we've had all week, we should see a gradual decrease in clouds over the next couple days with dew points falling below 70 degrees. Our next chance of rain will happen on Friday as another cold front approaches and passes through North Mississippi. Rain chances won't be too high as the front will not have much moisture to work with as aforementioned. Don't forget to check back here tomorrow evening for my weekly MSU video weathercast!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

8/28 - Big Announcement: Job at WBBJ-TV ABC 7 in Jackson, TN!

This is the big announcement that I've been hinting at in my last few blog posts. I'm going to be the Saturday morning weather forecaster at WBBJ-TV ABC 7 Eyewitness News in Jackson, Tennessee! I just returned from my first visit to the station a few minutes ago and I must say that I am thoroughly excited by what lies ahead. The new Saturday morning news show at ABC 7 will start on October 2nd and that's where I come in. Besides doing the weather on that show, I'll also be doing local weather cut-ins during Good Morning America for the folks in West Tennessee, which airs just after the Saturday morning show. My first newscast at WBBJ ABC 7 will most likely happen on a weekend afternoon before that to introduce the new Saturday show and me as the new weather guy for it.

For those of you wondering, I'm still attending Mississippi State to get my full meteorology degree and I'll be driving to Jackson, TN on the weekends to do the weather at ABC 7. Storm chasing this spring is still on my schedule and they'll have someone at WBBJ to fill-in for me during that and the remainder of my summer breaks when I won't be close enough to drive to West Tennessee.

This job is really a dream come true. I've been working hard over the past four years to develop my skills in broadcasting and weather and it's great to be able to see that begin to pay off. The kicker in all of this is that I'm only 19 years old. Landing a broadcast job before 21 has been my goal for years, but this just blows that expectation out of the water. I want to thank the Mississippi State University meteorology department for helping me get to this point. They recognized my passion for weather and broadcasting early on and have since helped me tremendously by sharpening my skills as a weathercaster and getting networked with the right people in the industry. There is no doubt in my mind that MSU has the best broadcast meteorology department in the nation. Am I crazy for wanting to get up every Saturday morning at 2:00 or 3:00AM to do the weather on TV? Quite possibly, but I'm going to love every minute of the experience.

I'll try to get videos of the shows I do in Jackson on the blog here for everyone to see. Unfortunately we can't get the station here at Mississippi State, but it is available over-the-air in the Jackson area and on cable from Corinth, MS to Murray, KY. Thank you, the viewers of this blog, for supporting me throughout the years. Things are just now beginning to heat up as I turn to this new chapter in my career path and there's no telling what other surprises may be ahead!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

8/26 - 9pm - Two Words: High Pressure

If you remember anything about the forecast over the next week, remember this: High pressure will continue to keep things sunny and dry. An area of high pressure hovering near the eastern seaboard will meander around the East and Southeast over the next week, providing us with a continuation of the wonderful weather we've had here in North Mississippi over the past few days. The humid, unpleasant air that influenced our weather last week should stay south of a stationary front over the Gulf Coast. A small surface low associated with that front could produce a small chance of showers here on Friday and Saturday night, but I don't expect anything substantial. The increased moisture that will accompany this rain chance during the weekend will also bring back a small taste of humid air to the area on Saturday, but things should dry back up by Sunday and through next week. Highs will stay in the mid 90's for the next week or so, save for Monday when we'll see a brief cool-down into the mid 80's.

It's been a slow start to the Atlantic hurricane season, but things are now in high gear. We now have Hurricane Danielle, Tropical Storm Earl, and a tropical wave off the coast of Africa that will most likely become Fiona in the coming days. Neither Danielle (which is expected to become a major hurricane) nor Earl will directly impact the United States and should stay out at sea. Earl may get within a few hundred miles of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but I don't see it getting any closer than that given the high pressure that's expected to be in place at that point in the East US. We'll keep an eye on the disturbed weather that could become Fiona to see where that tracks, but for now the US is in the clear.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8/24 - 5:15pm - The Return of MSU Forecast Videos!

It's a new school year and that can only mean one thing, the return of my Mississippi State University video weather forecasts! We have new graphics this year (the banner, 5-day forecast bars), and heck, I even got a new suit for the occasion! The weather won't be terribly active here in Mississippi over the next week or so, but the drop in dewpoint is certainly a welcome change! Check out the video below:

Check back next Tuesday for another video forecast!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

8/22 - 2:30pm - Humidity Taking a Dive / MSU Weathercasts

The heat and humidity have been relentless for the past few weeks, which is quite normal for summer here in Mississippi. While we won't be able to do anything about the heat, the humidity will at least give way somewhat over the next couple days. A cool front (you really can't call this a cold front... not one aspect of this is cold!) will drop through the Golden Triangle tonight and lower our dew points for the next week or so. These lower dew points will do two things for us: 1) Decrease the oppressive humidity in the daytime and 2) help temperatures at night drop below 70 degrees. The decrease in humidity during the hottest part of the day is a big deal because heat index values will be considerably lower than last week. Our overnight lows will dip because a decrease in air moisture (A.K.A. lower humidity) means that the air won't be able to retain heat at night and temperatures should fall into the 60's for lows. So even though we won't shake off the mid-90 temperatures with this front, the drop in humidity will do wonders for our overnight temperatures and daytime heat index values. High pressure in place across the Eastern US should keep us dry this week.

Tropical Depression Six has formed in the Atlantic and could become a hurricane by Wednesday. Winds right now are at 35mph and it's moving northwest at around 12mph. I really don't think this storm will hit the US and should curve back out to sea before it gets near to land. It's too early to say that definitively, but I think it's a good bet right now.

My Mississippi State University video forecasts return to this blog on Tuesday evening! Like last year, I'll be posting those videos every Tuesday evening as I continue to improve on my broadcasting skills. The stakes are higher this time around because I'll be putting those skills to good use in a few weeks time for something very special that will be announced soon. Like I said in the last post, this announcement will not disappoint, especially for those of you who have been following this blog for over three and a half years.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

8/19 - 4:30pm - Weekend Rain on the Way, Belski Retiring

It's been one busy week at MSU so far! Classes have begun and it's time to get back into the swing of things. It's also been a rainy week around here, with nearly an inch of rain since the 14th in Starkville. We could add to that total tomorrow afternoon with storms that fire off during the heating of the day, but I think our best chance of rain will come on Saturday as a surface low (the remnants of TD 5) moves to the Eastern seaboard. We'll be keeping an eye on a couple cold fronts that could make their way down here next week (like Monday, left image), but for now expect temperatures in the low to mid 90's and a daily chance for afternoon rain after this weekend.

WAVE-TV meteorologist and good friend John Belski is retiring after over 30 years on the air in September. John has been one of my main inspirations for getting into broadcast meteorology after growing up watching his cheerful, informative, and oftentimes humorous forecasts. Throughout the last few years John has supported me greatly as I've made the transition from wanting to be a meteorologist to getting the education needed to be one. You may recall when John put me on the air during a job shadow I did at the station back in 2007... That was completely his idea to do that and I haven't been the same since. Since then I presented a forecast with him on TV as part of a contest at WAVE back in February 2009 and this spring Kevin Harned (now chief meteorologist at WAVE) and I sent video updates to him during my annual storm chasing trip. Louisville will surely miss John's forecasts and especially his blog, which is probably one of the most successful local weather blogs in the nation. TV news is one of the fastest-paced industries in the country and John was always at the technological forefront. Kevin Harned will do a fantastic job as his replacement and I'm sure that WAVE will continue in their tradition of having an exceptional weather department.

Just as one career is winding down, another is just beginning. I received some great news today about an opportunity I've been pursuing and I can't wait to share it with everyone. There are still some details to be worked out, but I assure you that the news won't disappoint. I'll have all the specifics on this in a few weeks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

8/16 - 1:30pm - Hello From Mississippi State!

I'm all moved in and ready for another semester at Mississippi State University! While temperatures here this week are comparable to Louisville, the humidity is considerably higher and makes it challenging to do anything outside. For a comparison, the dew point in Louisville right now is 61 degrees while at MSU it's 72 degrees. The proximity of Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico causes the higher humidity and those scattered afternoon tropical air-fueled thunderstorms that can put a lid on the heat for some areas.

Speaking of things tropical, the remnants of Tropical Depression Five off the coast of Louisiana may strengthen again (60% chance according to the National Hurricane Center) as it nears land and become a tropical depression once again. Regardless of whether this low strengthens again or not, it will bring quite a bit of rain into Mississippi by Wednesday and Thursday as it moves inland and curves eastward. This may put a slight damper on the heat around East Central Mississippi (lower 90's instead of upper), but temperatures will rise back into the upper 90's by the weekend with that daily chance of afternoon storms.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

8/14 - 6:30pm - Leaving for Mississippi State Tomorrow!

I'm off to Mississippi State University tomorrow to begin a new semester. This will be a particularly exciting semester because I'm enrolled in my first-ever meteorology class, and it's sure to be a fun one! As I said before, I'll be posting updates on MSU weather while I'm down there and throw in some Louisville reports if anything extreme happens. It's a challenging 8-hour drive to get to Mississippi State from Louisville, but it's well worth it when you consider how top-notch their meteorology and broadcasting programs are.

A broken line of severe storms again affected Kentuckiana, causing some power outages and torrential rain. Reports of a possible tornado touchdown are coming in from Jefferson County, Indiana, but overall most places saw very heavy rain and straight-line winds.

Here's a video I shot on Thursday of a very severe storm that passed through Louisville. The 60mph+ winds (which made it look like a tropical storm or hurricane was occurring) took off some siding on my house and reorganized our patio furniture into quite a mess. You can view the HD video below:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8/11 - 11:45pm - One Hot Summer...

We have had 57 days in the 90's or higher so far this summer in Louisville and there could be many more ahead as this brutally hot weather continues. It's going to get even hotter this week as the current ridging pattern stays in place, with temperatures expected to creep closer to 100 through Saturday. A Heat Advisory is in place through Friday, but I think a couple more Excessive Heat Warnings could be issued for us over the next few days. Like today, showers and thunderstorms could develop in the intense heat and spare some communities from the excessive temperatures over the next few days. As a cold front approaches the area by the end of the weekend, we'll see a better chance for rain and temperatures dipping (relatively speaking) into the lower 90's.

It's that time of year again. Like many college students, I'm heading off to school for the semester and that means not only a change of scenery for me, but a change of content on this blog for you readers out there. I'll be leaving Louisville for Mississippi State University on Sunday and I'm very excited to be getting back into the swing of things. This summer has felt extremely long for me and there's a good reason for that... Mississippi State has a three and a half month summer break, which is over a month more than the summer breaks I've had back home in Louisville. That extra month allowed me to witness eight tornadoes in the Plains this year while storm chasing. Needless to say, Mississippi State is a storm chaser-friendly university with that kind of semester schedule. As far as the content change on the blog goes, you'll be seeing Mississippi State-centric weather updates with a wealth of other weather news from around the nation. Hurricane season is still in full swing and I'll be covering that as well. As the semester gets underway I may throw a few surprises in the mix as well, so be sure to check back for new blog posts!

Monday, August 2, 2010

8/2 - 9am - One Last Trip to Florida!

I'm off to Orlando, Florida for one last trip this summer before I have to move back to Mississippi State for the fall semester. It may be hot and muggy down there this time of year, but it's definitely a great way to top off a great summer break. After a week there, I'll be back in Louisville for a few days before heading back to college.

There's a possibility we could run into some issues with a developing tropical system this week that's currently positioned east of the Lesser Antilles. The National Hurricane Center says there's a 90% chance of this system becoming a tropical depression and the current computer model tracks (left) are taking it into the Bahamas later this week. Should Tropical Storm or Hurricane Colin form out of this and move near the Florida Peninsula, I'll post updates on Twitter and Facebook right from Orlando. Should be a fun week down there, but hopefully we don't get soaked by a tropical system!