MWN Lightning Round: awesome local weather, a west TN quake, KMEM is StormReady, and a note on T.S. Erika

Decided it would be a good idea to hit a few topics all at once today, so here comes another edition of the MWN Lightning Round!

Awesome weather week

I don’t know many people complaining about this week’s weather. For late August, you can’t be disappointed with morning lows in the 50s for many, afternoon highs in the mid 80s, abundant sunshine, and low dewpoints! We have one more day to copy/paste that forecast, then humidity starts creeping back up as wind shifts back to the south.

By this weekend, we’ll be back to “near normal” for this time of year – lower 90s afternoons, lower 70s morning, and a little more humidity. The good news is there still is no appreciable rain chance in the 7-day forecast. Looking further out, NOAA thinks the first 10 days or so of September will feature slightly higher rain chances and above normal temperatures (which means 90s). Don’t worry, this week’s weather will be back before long! Fall is not too far away!

Temperature outlook for September 3-9, 2015, which shows a 70% probability of above average temperatures in the metro during this period. Summer may not quite be done!

Tipton County Earthquake

Tuesday morning at 8:26am, a magnitude 3.5 earthquake struck the Mid-South, centered a few miles north of Covington in Tipton Co. There were many reports of people feeling the tremor, especially north of the metro, including Lauderdale County. Fortunately, it was too weak to cause damage, but it is a good reminder that the New Madrid fault lies very near the area. For those of you who saw our post on Twitter and Facebook (below) and shared, commented, or liked it, thanks. It was all in good fun (especially since there were no major ramifications). The post went viral with over 100,000 views in 24 hours (and climbing). 🙂

We stand with Tipton County. #TNQuake #TiptonStrong
Posted by on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Memphis International Airport becomes StormReady

About a month ago, Memphis International Airport (KMEM) achieved an important designation. No, not the first airport with a “Grit and Grind” spokesperson, but the first airport in Tennessee (and  only the 16th nationwide) to earn the “StormReady” designation from the National Weather Service. From the Airport Authority newsletter, the designation is “for demonstrating excellence in the preparation and planning for severe weather.”

Jim Belles, Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS’s Memphis Forecast Office; Cedric Simon, Memphis Int’l Operations Duty Manager; Stephen Kearney, NWS meteorologist; Terry Blue, MEM Vice President of Operations; and Gary Woodall, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. Photo courtesy MSCAA. 

According to the National Weather Service, “StormReady helps arm America’s communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property–before, during and after the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.”  So the next time severe weather threatens the airport, rest assured that airport officials have a plan and are ready to execute it at a moment’s notice to keep patrons and operations safe.

Tropical Storm Erika struggling, but has potential

As of Wednesday afternoon, Tropical Storm Erika is being affected by moderate to strong wind shear as it moves towards the Caribbean. This shear has weakened the storm and will continue to affect it for a couple of days. However, if Erika can survive the shear, much more conducive conditions await as the storm approaches the Bahamas, and potentially Florida, in a few days.

Computer models have narrowed in on a track that takes the storm north of Puerto Rico and into the Bahamas this weekend, while also strengthening it as it leaves hostile conditions behind. From there, it’s difficult to say what Erika will do, but those along the Florida east coast will need to closely monitor the system. Multiple scenarios take Hurricane Erika up the east coast of Florida early next week.

NHC Forecast track for T.S. Erika as of Wednesday afternoon. The last forecast point just off the Florida east coast is valid Monday afternoon and indicates a hurricane with 75 mph  maximum sustained wind.

By the way, Saturday marks the 10-year anniversary of Katrina’s landfall on the Gulf Coast. That year, 2005, was also the last time a major (category 3+) hurricane made landfall in the U.S., a 10-year drought that is unprecedented in the modern era. Hate to say it, but we’re overdue. For the latest information on Erika, see the MWN Tropical Page.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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