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!