Wednesday September 16 2020

Sally has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, continuing inland and slowly losing intensity. Heavy rain along the path will spread ahead of the center. While the storm will remain well south of our region, there is a signal that some of that rain will arrive Thursday. Combine that with the high level smoke layer, and it could bring the smell of smoke to the air tomorrow.

I know this may sound like a stretch, but worth addressing ahead of time so you won’t be surprise. I will explain why along with the update on Hurricane Sally below.

Afternoon Satellite

This afternoon there has been plenty of smoke (blurry view) across the northern half of the US seen on the satellite. We still have that haze in our sky today.  Sally is a dominant feature across the Southeast US. That storm may play a role in helping to disperse the particulates in our region.


September 16 tropical storm sally smoke satellite 2 PM Wednesday


Weather Features

Sally was downgraded to a Tropical Storm just after this map was made. It is centered inland about 30 miles north of Pensacola FL. On the outer edge, there has been a trough where the ripples of Sally reach.

Meanwhile, High Pressure in the Atlantic has been sending us an easterly wind. This interacting with that trough is helping to produce additional clouds this afternoon in our region.

September 16 weather hurricane Sally smoke Wednesday Afternoon


Smoke Layers

This cross section was posted by the National Weather Service yesterday. It shows the primary layer of smoke particles between 15,000 and 25,000 Ft high.  This was the morning measurement.

Tuesday Morning Cross Section

Smoke Cross Section weather National Weather Service


Wednesday Afternoon Cross Section: Lower

An airline pilot messaged me in the evening saying the smoke layer had lower to 5,000 Ft Tuesday evening. Here is the cross section data from Wednesday Afternoon. The Smoke Level peak has lowered to 10,000FT. Any rain potential tomorrow will drag some of that down to the surface.

Smoke Cross Section September 16


Quick Look at Tropical Storm Sally

Visible Satellite Loop

Look closely and you might see the tilted circulation. The clouds aloft are to the northeast of the surface spin.  This is showing the ragged sign of the storm weakening and moving to the Northeast.

National Hurricane Center SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT 
LOCATION...30.9N 87.1W



National Hurricane Center Maps (auto updating)



The GFS Model shows rain from Sally reaching Maryland during Thursday afternoon.

September 16 weather rain Hurricane Sally Thursday


Smoke Forecast Thursday Morning

The HRRR Model shows moderate to high levels of smoke particles aloft Thursday morning. If this is at a lower level, there is greater chance any rain could drop them down.  Even at the higher altitude, mixing in the air could bring that into the rain drop formation level and drop down to the surface.

September 16 weather smoke forecast Thursday


Radar Simulation —> slider

The NAM 3 Km model is the most aggressive with drizzle early and rain spreading in during the afternoon and evening.

If this verified, it could bring some smoke particles within the drops down the the surface. That would allow the smell of smoke to reach us as well. But it will be helping to cleans the air in the process.

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