Dr. Athena Masson

Tropical Disturbance Could Bring Unsettled Weather to Pee Dee Region Thursday and Friday

By Dr. Athena Masson

d8c86c78-dd64-43fc-aa64-0d0116093a58A low pressure system that might gradually acquire tropical characteristics as it approaches the Carolinas later this week could bring unsettled weather to coastal areas of the Palmetto State. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have noted that shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the system remained disorganized, and chances of tropical development remain low at this time. However, an onshore flow is expected to continue through Friday as the system approaches, which will increase the potential for showers and thunderstorms across the eastern third of South Carolina,...

Isaias Spares Charleston, but Damages Parts of the Pee Dee Region

By Dr. Athena Masson

c3fe0581-0aa0-42f9-b060-ad9532b0de73The city of Charleston may have been spared, but many residents of Myrtle Beach area are beginning cleanup efforts from Hurricane Isaias, which came ashore late Tuesday night near the border of North Carolina. Isaias began its journey to the east of the Lesser Antilles on July 28 before crossing the island chain and exiting into the Caribbean Sea where it gained Tropical Storm status late July 29th. Isaias, maintaining tropical storm strength, crossed the Dominican Republic delivering heavy rainfall and strong winds to Hispaniola and the neighboring island of Puerto Rico on July 30th...

Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings Issued for the South Carolina Coastline Ahead of Isaías

By Dr. Athena Masson

Tropical Storm Isaias TrackUpdate as of 9:30 AM Sunday Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from South Santee River southward, including Charleston, Beaufort, and Hilton Head Island ahead of the likely arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias. Tropical Storm Watches are now posted for the Grand Strand. Isaias is now a tropical storm and has top sustained winds of 65 mph as of the mid-morning Sunday advisory. The center of the storm is forecast to be near the Lowcountry coast late Monday afternoon, and near the Grand Strand coast late Monday evening. It is possible the storm may come ashore anywhere along the South Carolina...

The Tropics are Coming Alive, but There are No Curent Threats to South Carolina

By Dr. Athena Masson

8fa09e78-3898-4e2f-b257-62c387defe61The National Hurricane Center is monitoring two tropical waves for potential development, but neither are a significant or direct threat to Florida over the next five days. One tropical wave, referred to as Invest 99 by meteorologists, has rapidly organized over the past 24 hours. This system, as of Tuesday morning, was located about midway between the west coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development as Invest 99 approaches the Lesser Antilles in the next couple of days, and the National Hurricane Center has noted that if...

Heavy Rain, Possible Flooding This Week in Upstate and Midlands Regions

By Dr. Athena Masson

3f9f723e-a363-4a8c-affe-c4754291cbd0Update Tuesday May 19, 2020: Round after round of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flooding threat across the Upstate and northern Midlands through Thursday. Showers and thunderstorms have already produced 2 to 4 inches of rain since Monday morning for parts of the Upstate. Rain accumulations are setting the stage for flooding to develop through at least midweek. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Thursday morning for upstate South Carolina where several waves of showers and thunderstorms will result in additional rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches by Thursday morning...

Chances Increasing that a Subtropical Storm Will Develop Near Bahamas This Weekend

By Dr. Athena Masson

7872a5af-e5e8-425f-a158-0fdd009c9cf3WEDNESDAY MIDDAY UPDATE: There is now a “high” chance of subtropical development near or north of the Bahamas this weekend, according to the 8 am outlook from the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters place the probability that a depression or storm will form at 70 percent, which is an increase from 50 percent on Tuesday. Regardless of development, the system is not expected to be a significant threat to the United States. However, rain showers and gusty winds are becoming more likely across portions of South Florida Friday and Saturday as moisture from the developing system grazes by. There...

Wind Damage, Tornado Risk Returns Sunday Night

By Dr. Athena Masson

Weather RiskDamaging winds, isolated tornadoes, and heavy rain are likely across portions of the Palmetto State beginning Sunday evening, lasting into Monday morning. Locations at greatest risk for the destructive storms are the Lowcountry, PeeDee and Grand Strand regions. A warm front is expected to lift north through the southern half of South Carolina overnight, followed by a strong storm system and cold front approaching from the west on Monday. The warm front will separate a cool, stable air mass to the north from an increasingly warm and humid one farther south. Both of these boundaries will be the...

Strong Storms Return to the Palmetto State Sunday Night and Monday

By Dr. Athena Masson

Possible Strong StormsDamaging winds, isolated tornadoes, and heavy rain are likely across the Palmetto State beginning Sunday evening, and lasting into Monday morning. A low pressure system is forecast to develop over the Southern Plains Sunday and move into the lower Tennessee Valley Sunday night. Ahead of the low, an increasingly warm, humid, and unstable air mass is expected to lift into Georgia and South Carolina Sunday night. Forecast models suggest strong winds blowing at different directions with height are likely to create an environment favorable for severe storms. The most unstable air is likely to...

Early Signs Point to an Active Hurricane Season Ahead

By Dr. Athena Masson

Hurricane ForecastScientists say this year’s Atlantic hurricane season could be more active than normal, but stress the role uncertainty plays 60 days out. The Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project team, led by Dr. Phil Klotzbach, is predicting 16 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four to reach major hurricane strength with winds 111 mph or greater. A normal season usually consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Phil’s team points to the increasing chances that a La Niña will develop in the Eastern Pacific this summer and the already above normal sea...

Does Climate Have a Role in the Spread of COVID-19?

By Dr. Athena Masson

Covid-19 StudySCEIN — COVID-19 could be more infectious and deadly than the flu, but only time will tell if the contagion is seasonal. The rapid spread of the virus has created an urgent need for researchers to find links to its spread. One possible factor is the climate. Uncertainty on climate’s role The first case of the virus was detected and reported to the World Health Organization’s China office on Dec. 31, 2019. A region’s climate could play a role in the spread of COVID-19, but there are less than three months of data for scientists to work with. Links between temperature, humidity and the spread...