As of the 11am update, the National Hurricane Center has upgrades Tropical Storm Michael into a Catagory 1 Hurricane. As you can see on the visible satellite, hot towers going up around the center of Michael, and that will likely continue to strengthen it. Shear looks to relax one relax next 36 hours in the upper atmosphere, and that could allow Michael to make a run a category 3 status. The track for Michael is still a difficult one to nail down due to how it will interact with a trough moving across the US.
Long range models have been keying on the possibility for tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico, and now the NHC is giving Michael a 90% chance for development over the next few days. There are a lot of factors to consider though with this forecast.
1. How will Michael interact with the trough that will be moving across the central portion of the US.
2. How strong will Michael be when it makes landfall on the Gulf Coast?
3. Will Michael move through WNC after it makes landfall?
4. How cold will it be after the cold front passes through next weekend?
Above you can see the 6z NAM 3km simulated radar depiction. There is a bit of moisture showing up in Mississippi and that would signify the front coming through. This front will be what pushes Michael back out to sea. So it’s a huge player. Depending on how far west Michael moves will determine how much rainfall WNC receives.
Michaels Impact On WNC
so models depict Michael moving directly over WNC (GFS). Others (Euro) believe that the trough will be too strong and that will sweep Michael out to sea quickly. So what were are dealing with is a classic tropical setup. The trough sweeping across the US will sweep the storm out to sea.. but when? Will the trough finally catch the storm when it reaches NC like the GFS states, or will the trough catch the storm just after landfall and sweep it out much quicker. These are the difficult details to nail down, but they are crucial to the end forecast. We will have a better idea in the next 36 hours regarding the development of Michael, so please stay attentive, and check back soon for another update!
Training storms have remained nearly stationary this morning or portions of Southeast Buncombe Co. and that had lead to flooding in the area. A landslide occurred early this morning along Lower Sand Branch Rd. Off of Highway 9 near Bat Cave, NC, and flooding on Highway 9 have made travel in the area dangerous. Please turn around, don’t drown!
The radar continue to indicate that rainfall will remain in the area for the next few hours so please be careful if you have to travel Highway 9, some road may become impassable.
Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall in Wrightsville Beach this morning at aprox 7:15am. Winds are estimated at 90 mph. On shore flow has cause extreme flooding in places like New Bern, NC where numerous rescues have taken place this morning. Florence is expected to creep towards WNC, and eventually cause flooding problems even in the mountains. Rainfall totals could exceed 10” in some locations along the Eastern Blue Ridge Escarpment. Ashevillewx will have all the info, so check back this afternoon for another video update!
6:36am Wilmington Radar Florence Landfall at Wrightsville Beach, NC.
A rare and incredible sunset lit up the sky around WNC last night (September 3rd), and small supercells that had pop-up around sunset were set ablaze.
Time-lapse from Hendersonville, NC provided to Ashevillewx by Paul Jackson
These updrafts were in a relatively dry atmosphere aloft, so the cloud debris didn’t spread out. As the sun sets, the rays refracting around the earths surface fade and since red wave lengths are longer they linger the longest. These cloud are 30000ft in the air, so they see sunlight for long compared to the earths surface! You can even see some hints of mammatus clouds showing up in the photo from Black Mountain. Also, an interesting phenomenon known as anti-crepuscular rays can be seen from a few photos, especially from the one below near the Asheville Airport. I have never seen a cloud top produce anti-crepusuclar rays and have only seen photos of mountains producing them. It is a rare occurrence for sure.
You can see how the top of the cloud almost looks on fire, and the rays of light are absorbed and bend around the structure. At the base of the cloud you can see the red of the light spectrum. Those last lingering rays that bend around earths surface as the sun retreats. These rays hit the base of the cloud with a hue of red, because they have traveled farther than any other. One can see that since the top of cloud is higher, the sun can still hit it because if the angle in which the light is traveling. In a sense this represents the light spectrum, and could be used to prove that the earth is round. I as a meteorologist get caught up on the anti-crepuscular rays coming from behind the could, but there is just so much to marvel at in these various photos.
Usually these cells will spread out and winds aloft will blow cloud debris in a way that obscures your view from seeing the entire updraft. Luckily last night, unique conditions were set up, and it appeared to many that these cells we on fire! Thanks for sharing!
Photo sequence taken from Flat Rock, NC and provided by Didi Salvatierra
The short answer is yes, it will. Unfortunately, abundant rainfall is not part of the recipe for vibrant fall color in WNC, simply because it prolongs the process. Chlorophyll is supplied to the leaf a few days longer compared to normal, and the cork barrier struggles to form. Typically during late October and early November we will have a strong line of storms move through WNC. Winds gusting over 40mph blow off these leaves that have just begun the color changing process, and we never get to see them fully change.