August 30, 2021 #TriCitiesWx Forecast

It’s been rough weather-wise for a lot of people across the Gulf Coast the past few days because of Hurricane Ida. It may take a while before we know all the awful stories from down there. Meanwhile, what’s left of Ida will be headed our way the next couple days, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds with storms that arrive starting tomorrow.

Here’s the outlook for the next few days before the discussion:

  • Tonight-Mostly cloudy. A couple showers this evening. Low 68.
  • Tuesday-Flash Flood Watch from 8 AM to Wednesday afternoon. Cloudy and windy with scattered showers and storms. Heavy rain is possible at times. Highs near 80.
  • Tuesday night-Rain and thunderstorms, with windy conditions. Low 68.
  • Wednesday-Rain and thunderstorms are likely, heavy rain still possible. Windy, with a high of 75.
  • Thursday-A small chance of rain, then becoming mostly sunny. High 78.

Ida is now officially a Tropical Depression, with sustained winds a fraction of what they once were. That said, occasional gusts are what could cause problems anywhere from Mississippi (where the center of the storm is now), to northwest Alabama into Tennessee through tomorrow. Ida will be closest to us early Wednesday morning, on its way to West Virginia by Wednesday afternoon, and off the New Jersey coast or thereabouts by the end of Thursday.

This storm is going to continue bringing a lot of rain. For that reason, the Flash Flood Watch I mentioned in the outlook is up for all of us starting at 8 tomorrow morning. It continues until 2 PM Wednesday if it’s not extended. Here in the Tri-Cities, 1-2, maybe three inches of rain are possible. We will be a bit east of the track, which is good news. Those closer might get rainfall close to 5 inches before it’s all over. Flooding is definitely possible.

This is the remnant of a tropical system, so wind will be gusty as well. I’m not implying that we’ll see hurricane (74mph) or even Tropical Storm (39mph) force winds for a sustained period with this. But inside individual storms, gusts could easily get over 40 and maybe close to 70 for short periods of time. I’ll be watching all the storms as they roll in during the next two days just in case something intense happens.

As for tornadoes, they cannot be ruled out with this storm. Hurricanes spawn tornadoes quite often, but they’re not typically the huge monster tornadoes. I’ve seen a few EF3 storms with landfalling tropical systems, but usually there’s not enough in a hurricane’s environment to keep tornadoes strong and on the ground for long. That said, spin-up tornadoes are possible, and even those could do some damage. As mentioned above, I’ll be around between tomorrow and Wednesday and keep track of what happens.

Thankfully, this is a two-day event. By the time we hit Thursday, we’ll be done with it and we’ll have more comfortable temperatures! While we might not see the mid 80s again through Thursday, it is highly likely that with the storm nearby, we won’t warm up past 80 through Thursday, especially after tomorrow. So we get a break from the heat for a while, at least!

Thanks for checking here for the forecast! Stay tuned, and I’ll update things as I can in the coming days. Have a great Tuesday!