Kirk Mellish's Weather Commentary 

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Any hot summer weather fleeting

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

It was a rather pleasant spring and now the first summer month too has been cooler than normal. Hot weather has not lasted more than a couple or few days so far this year.

It sure saves the lawn and bushes a lot of stress and saves the watering bill and the A/C bill, so I like it. But I am sure sun tanning fans are not thrilled.

It still looks like from today past the 4th of July real hot weather will continue to be hard to come by. Then odds of some heat go up if the new Weekly European [More]

Cindy! Tropical Storm in Gulf

  • 2:15 pm Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish


The primary threat is days on end of periodic rain in the South and Southeast and flooding at times scattered across most of the South, worse of course Central Gulf Coast.

Cindy joins Bret. Two at once in June has only happened three times, 1909, 1959 and 1968!! However, 2012 came close.

Satellite imagery, aircraft data, and surface observations indicate
that the low pressure system in the central Gulf of Mexico has
acquired a well-defined center, and is now Tropical Storm Cindy, the
third tropical storm of 2017.

At 100 PM CDT (1800 [More]

Tropical activity kicking up

  • 7:45 pm Monday, June 19th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

June tropical cyclones are not that unprecedented in the Gulf of Mexico, but many years don’t have one! It is even more rare to have a storm east of the Greater Antilles this early as we are watching now with Bret.

It is worth bearing in mind that in the pre-satellite era many storms we can detect now would have gone unnoticed. But in over 164 years of weather history there’s never been an East Caribbean storm in June. Bret is also lowest latitude storm in June since 1933.

That being said, research by Dr. Gray has found that storms in the [More]

Drought gone in most of Metro Atlanta

  • 8:52 am Thursday, June 8th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Wet weather prevailed in the Southeast where rainfall amounts of over 4 inches fell in areas of southeastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The excess rainfall helped alleviate abnormally dry and drought conditions in parts of eastern Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

However, drought and dryness still linger at timescales longer than about 3 months. This week’s map reflects a one-category improvement in conditions in the drought/abnormally dry areas of South Carolina.

Recent rains also resulted in improvements to the drought/abnormally dry areas in northern and central Georgia as streamflow and soil moisture conditions improved.

In the southern part of the state, moderate (D1) [More]

Late June-August signals mixed

  • 7:22 pm Sunday, June 4th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Models and analog methods are hotter and drier for mid to late June through August.

They depict the jet stream storm track retreating toward if not into Canada while high pressure ridging aloft expands from California, Mexico and the Desert SW into much of Dixie.

A standard method in synoptic meteorology used to indicate summer-level heat trends even without looking at model temperature output, is to look for a jump north by the 588dcm contour of constant height at 500MB, and/or the northward lurch of the 576dcm measure of 1000-500mb thickness value.

500mb height levels in summer of 582 or less are common, [More]

Hurricane season outlook 2017

  • 2:00 pm Thursday, June 1st, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Tropical cyclone season begins June 1st and runs through the end of November.

An early out of season tropical storm already formed back in April named Arlene. It was only the second April tropical storm since the satellite era, that was Ana in 2003.

Rare, earlier than normal storms also developed last season in January and May.

Last year Hurricane Mathew killed 46 people in the Southeast U.S. The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes last year.

The theme of preliminary outlooks for the 2017 season has been that an [More]

Impediments to hot dry summer

  • 4:45 pm Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

As I’ve been Tweeting and blogging about for weeks now, while we may end up on the “warmer than normal” side of the ledger when the summer is in the record book, ENSO trends, most but not all numerical variants, and the relentless Pacific Jet Stream being stronger than normal point to a muted heat up.

The relative wetness of May has really helped the drought to fade. That is important in two ways. The one is it helps prevent a positive feed back loop that helps create more heat and drought in summer. Dry ground means more sun energy goes [More]

Drought reversal in North Georgia, South dry

  • 5:01 pm Thursday, May 25th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

After 11 consecutive months of drought in most of North and Central Georgia the April and May rains have brought a lot of relief.

1.6 million Georgia residents are under a drought classification, but most of those are in South Georgia, a big reversal from past months where the Mountains were in extreme drought or worse.

On a national basis the extent of drought is at it’s lowest since they started tracking it in 2000, at just 5% of the lower 48 states.

During the past 7 days in Georgia 3.4 Trillion gallons of rain has fallen, 4.9 the past 21 days, and [More]

Models have cooler wetter June and summer

  • 5:13 pm Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Much of the computer modeling for June and the summer has been trending cooler and wetter for the next 90 days for a good chunk of the U.S. compared to prior projections from the numerical variants.

They have a tendency for below-normal temperatures and above-normal rainfall in the center of the nation into the SE. This does not mean cold.

However, the analog sets based on a slow to develop and weak El Nino base state are the opposite of the numerical equations. So confidence is low for the summer outlook one way or the other thanks to the discrepancy.

I still think [More]

Drought shrinkage

  • 6:49 am Friday, May 5th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Parts of Metro Atlanta are no longer in drought, and the extreme drought in the mountains has shrunk. Meanwhile, more of downstate Georgia has entered into drought conditions, so it’s a mixed bag. Total Georgians under a drought classification 4.1 million.

RAIN NEEDED TO WIPE OUT DROUGHT (chart will be updated soon):

Temperatures were 3-6 degrees above normal for the week while above-normal precipitation was very spotty and associated with thunderstorm activity. Many areas of Florida, southern Georgia and the coastal Carolinas were last week.

Portions of Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, central Tennessee, and North Carolina recorded over 200 percent of normal precipitation.

The [More]

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