Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/14/18

Good afternoon! I hope everyone impacted by Hurricane Florence is safe. I want to give you another update with information from the latest advisory and discussion. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The latest data indicates the storm is moving West at a very slow pace of 5 miles per hour. This slow movement is expected through Saturday because of weak steering upper air currents. A trough is expected to move through the Great Lakes region and eventually pick up the remnants of Hurricane Florence and move North and Northeast.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.14.18 2pm

Maximum sustained winds are at 75 miles per hour with hurricane force winds extending 35 miles from the storm’s center and tropical storm force winds extending 170 miles from the storm’s center. Storm surge flooding along the coast will slowly subside through tomorrow. However, freshwater flooding from heavy rainfall continues.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.14.18 2pm

Areas closest to the center of Hurricane Florence will experience at a minimum of 20 inches of rainfall. Some areas have already measured as much and will receive more – possibly as much as 40 inches of rainfall. Even though the coastal flooding storm surge will be subsiding, it will take several hours. Storm surge was pushed up into the Pamlico River and Neuse River, where rainfall will flow into and flood the region further.

Hurricane Florence Public Advisory 09.14.18

Not much movement is expected over the next 24-48 hours, so catastrophic flooding from heavy rainfall will continue. Please stay safe.

Take care,


Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/13/18

Good morning! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence with information from the latest advisory and discussion. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

Beginning late yesterday, Florence started to weaken slightly from vertical wind shear near the southern part of the storm. The wind shear is from a system over Florida and Florence is expected to move away from the wind shear today into warmer waters. Hurricane Florence is presently a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. Keep in mind the tropical storm force wind field extends 195 miles out from the center of this hurricane.

Hurricane Florence Wind Arrival Times 09.13.18 8am

Storm surge and heavy rainfall forecasts have not changed and still present tremendous danger to the coast and most of North Carolina and South Carolina. As of the 8:00AM advisory, Florence is moving Northwest and has slowed to 12 miles per hour. It is expected to slow further as it approaches land.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.13.18 8am

Hurricane Florence is currently forecast to move more westward later today/tonight and eventually move slightly southward along part of the northern coast of South Carolina before moving inland.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.13.18 8am

North Carolina’s Outer Banks and South Carolina coast are experiencing the outer rain bands from Florence. Conditions will continue to worsen throughout the day into tomorrow for North Carolina and South Carolina.

Continental US - Longwave Window - IR

Hopefully your hurricane evacuation or provision plans are complete. During the next 24-48 hours, conditions will deteriorate to hurricane force winds, storm surge, and rain. Please keep yourself and your family safe, including pets.

Take care,


Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/12/18

Good afternoon! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence and what to expect in the next day or so. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

As of the 2:00pm Eastern Time advisory, Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. Hurricane Florence has gone through at least two Eyewall Replacement Cycles (ERC) which temporarily weakened the storm, but the wind field expanded. The expanded wind field will lead to a significant storm surge event.

Hurricane force winds (in brown) now extend 70 miles out from the center of the hurricane. Tropical storm force winds (in yellow) now extend 175 miles out from the center of the hurricane.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.12.18 2pm

You can see that hurricane force and tropical storm force winds extend will beyond the probable path cone of the eye of the storm. The strongest winds will be in the Northeast quadrant of the storm, along with the highest storm surge. However, that does not mean that anyone outside of that area is safe. The winds of Hurricane Florence will cause catastrophic damage, plus there will be significant rainfall with this system.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.12.18 2pm

Based on the current predicted path, the North Carolina coast will receive over 20 inches of rain. These estimates may change dependent upon storm track and speed. Currently, Hurricane Florence is expected to slow down as it gets closer to the coast and could potentially dump well in excess of 20 inches of rain along the coast. Hurricane Florence is now moving Northwest, changing from its previous course of West Northwest. Any further shift in the storm’s track will change the rainfall location and possibly rainfall totals. Anyone within the range of Hurricane Florence’s path should prepare to evacuate (if in the direct path of this storm along the coast) or have provisions in the event of a long-term power outage further inland. Flash flooding is expected inland and driving into a flooded roadway is way too dangerous.

What to expect over the next 12-24 hours?

Hurricane Florence Wind Arrival Times 09.12.18 2pm

Tropical storm force winds could reach the North Carolina coast by Thursday 8:00AM. As you can see from the above graphic, these winds will be constant through about Wednesday 2:00PM before hurricane force winds reach land. Plans for evacuation for those of you along the coast and near the coast, need to be complete today. Plans for provisions for those of you further inland should be complete today or very early tomorrow. I will provide another update tomorrow morning.

Take care,


Blog, Weather

Wintery Blustery Weekend

This winter storm gave us rain, wind, cold, freezing rain, and snow.  In my previous post, the weather models did not agree on the amount of snow from this storm.  The differences could have been amount of moisture in the air or how cold the air would be ahead of the storm.  If the air ahead of the storm stayed warmer longer, then most of the precipitation would have been rain.  But if the air ahead of the storm cooled more quickly, then most of the precipitation would have been snow (or combination of freezing rain and snow).  Now, how did this storm affect me?

I left the house around 8:30am to run a few errands and hoped I would be home before the storm.  I knew it was going to be warm in the morning (relatively speaking for January in the Midwest), but was amazingly surprised that it actually felt muggy.  It was still a little foggy, but not as bad as it was earlier in the morning.  In some places, visibility was less than one-tenth of a mile.  As you can see, most of the fog had lifted by the time I ventured out before the storm.  PS – The date on the picture should be 01/12/18.


As I start my car, I noticed the outside temperature gauge read 56 degrees.  Then I thought, Wow….it brought back memories of the Blizzard of ’78 (this wasn’t the same weather setup but the weather was mild the day before it hit).  Oooohhh, that would be a fun post!  Sorry, I digress.

After running a few erands I was walking to my car to go do my last one and boy had things changed!  It was about three hours later, so around 11:30am, it was raining, it had become very windy, and the wind was COLD.  A significant change from the warm and muggy air I felt earlier that morning.  My car was showing the outside temperature was now 41 degrees!!  A clear sign the cold front was beginning to move through and the weather was going to change drastically.  About an hour later I was finally home and happy to not have to be out driving when the weather was going to be much worse.



Lucky for me it was still raining, and really raining heavy at times, about 2:00pm while I was bringing in firewood.  My master plan was to be home before the rain started so I could have the firewood staged already.  That way when I got home all I had to do was load up the wood burning stove and start the fire.  Best laid plans….you know how it goes.

Just a short hour later or so, I noticed that it looked more like sleet coming down outside.  Plus the water on the deck and railing was freezing.  Definitely a big change in temperature!



Now by 5:00pm it had been precipitating a mix of freezing rain and snow.  I was thankful that I had a fire going because the power went off!!!  I was also fortunate that the power came back on right away…..if not, I would have had heat but no running water (but I’m prepared for that).

It kept snowing throughout the night.  The wind was very strong not to mention the wind gusts.  I would look out the window and the wind would pick up what looked like sheets of snow and just swirl it all around.  By daybreak, the snow had ended and it was so cold outside.  The wind had moved snow around so much that I could see grass in parts of the field, yet have snow drifts around the house.  I would estimate that I received 3-6 inches of snow, but really don’t know how much snow fell exactly at my house.


So about 7.5 inches in a small drift on the deck.  Underneath the eaves had about 3 inches of snow.


This was the snow at the bottom of one of the staircases.  I wish this was a better look but I was trying not to disturb the snow while measuring.  Plus is was FREEZING outside!!!  I walked out to the bird feeder and walked through deep snow near the house and barely any snow under the tree.


Under the tree, you can see all of the bird tracks and wisps of grass peeking through.



I filled the bird feeder to help out our feathered friends.  After the storm, cold arctic air settled in and we had wind chills into the single digits and sub-zero temperatures at times.


In the end, the back field had varying depths of snow.  At this point is was untouched by nature.  Such a beautiful picture and gorgeous blue sky with sunshine.


So we made it through this winter storm and had more snow yesterday.  How much snow did you see?



Blog, Weather

Calm (or Panic) Before the Storm

Starting late tomorrow, we are bracing for freezing rain and snow….Woohoo Winter Storm Hunter!!!!  This storm has been talked about by many on Facebook, Messenger, weather groups, colleagues (you get the idea) because the initial response was WHAT?!?  Two different scenarios – One with about two INCHES of snow and the other with about two FEET of snow! Yikes!! Here is what the WSYX weather team posted Tuesday on Facebook:

Tale of Two Storms Jan 2018

How can there be that much of disagreement between weather models?  At the time, the storm was still moving in from the Pacific Ocean providing all of the rain that hit California causing mud slides in the Santa Barbara area.  So the storm system appeared on radar and satellite imagery but more data was needed to better forecast this storm.  Once over land, and especially east of the Rocky Mountains, meteorologists could get a more realistic idea of what to expect from Winter Storm Hunter.

The National Weather Service (NWS) offices throughout the country launch radiosondes, or weather balloons with a sensor package attached, to take upper air observation readings.  Radiosondes report pressure, temperature, humidity, and in some cases wind speed and direction, at various levels in the atmosphere.  This data is added to the weather models, which help give a more accurate prediction of upcoming weather events.

radiosonde launch

This photo is courtesy of NWS Wilmington Ohio Facebook page from a tour showing a radiosonde launch.  The launches are performed at 12-hour intervals, and in the anticipation of severe weather events, special launches are sometimes done at 6-hour intervals.  So as this winter storm tracked eastward, more upper air data was input into the weather models.  However, even today there is still not 100% consensus on how much snowfall to expect…..

Tale of Two Storms Jan 2018 Update Weds

As you can see, the snowfall estimations are closer together but still not close in agreement.  This scenario highlights the challenges meteorologists face when forecasting weather, as it certainly isn’t just looking at the radar (or looking out the window – HA!!).  Sorry for such a short post.  I’m going to get back to looking at weather data for this storm.  I’ll post pictures of how this storm rolls through and see how much snow actually falls.  Stay posted and stay safe!


Blog, Weather

Passion for Weather


The other day I was getting reacquainted with my camera ~ I took these pictures of cirrus clouds. These are high clouds that are wispy and feathery in appearance. The weather in Ohio has been great with sunny skies and warm temperatures the last few days. I’m watching the skies and the weather data to see if severe thunderstorms are in our future!

As for my passion for weather, I like to watch storms as they move into the area. A couple years ago, I took these storm pictures from my driveway.


And the date set on my camera was wrong…HA! We don’t get storms like this in January. I do like to have the date of the pictures for reference, but this is obviously not January weather!

As I work to make accurate weather forecasts, I will post them here for you to see and make plans for your day…..getting to work, kids to school, yardwork, planting flowers, and whatever else comes to mind. I have to say thunderstorms and tornadoes are my favorite weather phenomena. I’m sure I will have much to say about them this summer. Stay tuned!




Who I Am & Why I’m Here

Hello! I’m Tammy and would like to welcome you to my blog, Mom’s Brown Thumb. A little about me……I live in the Midwest, I love gardening, I have three cats (I know, crazy cat lady starter kit), and I’m pursuing my dream of being a meteorologist. I have always loved the weather and am fascinated with thunderstorms. The more severe the better!

So, you may be wondering why I call my blog “Mom’s Brown Thumb” if I enjoy weather and gardening? Well, there is a story behind the name and I will share it with you in a future post. But for now, follow me along my journey including my oops along the way. Being a new blogger, I’m certain I will share a few with you!