The Best Fall Foliage Train Trips to Take This Year”

“Living in a world of pristine beaches and towering castles, it’s easy to forget that people from halfway around the world travel to our backyard to see the views we often take for granted. Some of the best foliage is right here in the U.S., and the autumnal scenery that photographers capture for postcards is something we can see on a leisurely drive just a few hours outside the city. Taking a weekend trip to see the fall leaves can yield some of the best sights you’ll see all year. If you’d like to actually enjoy the views, instead of squinting at Google Maps in the driver’s seat, taking a foliage train trip could be the perfect solution. Whether you’re on a solo leaf-peeping excursion or have your children in tow, the train does all the work for you. The train is your chauffeur, your tour guide, and your GPS. You don’t have to plan a route, keep your eyes on the road, or even remember to pack snacks. All you have to do is sip on your to-go cup of steaming hot cider or pumpkin spice coffee, sit back, and enjoy the ride.”

See more from Travel and Leisure HERE:


“How does the weather affect our mental health?”

“There’s a difference between SAD and simply feeling ‘groggy’ when summer ends. After temperatures in the late 30s were reached around the UK in July and August, the beginning of September has seen greyer skies, rain and conditions resuming to the cooler high teens and early 20s. But can the end of summer cause a change in mood? Below, we explore the relationship between the weather and how it makes us feel. The link between extreme weather, stress and mental health. According to Dr Paul McLaren, the medical director at the Priory’s Hayes Grove Hospital, collective melancholy is not an isolated phenomenon. Some patients with existing mental health conditions sometimes report their symptoms either worsening or improving because of the climate. This is likely to be because extremes of weather can be very stressful and “stress can trigger mental illness”, Dr McLaren explains. “It is much more stressful travelling home from work in an underground train when the temperature is 36 degrees than 16 degrees,” for example. Stress is also understood to exacerbate a whole host of existing mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.”

See more from Country Living HERE:


What’s in the Night Sky?

According to this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:

“It’s one of the neatest tricks in all the heavens … Orion’s Belt points to Sirius in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. Sirius is the brightest star in the nighttime sky. It’s up before dawn now but will be shifting into the evening sky as the months pass. Orion is found in the predawn morning sky every September. Sirius is Dog Star and brightest star. Yes, you can find Orion. If you go outside and look south to southeast before dawn now, you’ll notice Orion’s Belt, which consists of a short, straight row of medium-bright stars. Just draw a line through Orion’s Belt and extend that line toward the horizon. You’ll easily spot Sirius, the sky’s brightest star. Sirius is in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. It’s often called the Dog Star. Three planets (Venus, Mars and Jupiter) shine more brilliantly than Sirius but it’s not likely that you’ll mistake any planet for Sirius in the September 2018 morning sky. At northerly latitudes, all these planets set before Sirius even rises. In the Southern Hemisphere, Mars sets after Sirius rises, but the two are in completely different places on the sky’s dome. Once again, use Orion’s Belt to locate Sirius in the southeast sky.”


Praedictix BriefingSunday morning, September 16th, 2018

  • Florence has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression as of Sunday morning, containing sustained winds of 35 mph. The good news is that this system has picked up some forward momentum, now moving to west at 8 mph. Even though Florence has weakened into a tropical depression, it still poses an extreme heavy rain and flood threat across the Mid-Atlantic over the next couple days.
  • Over 30” of rain has fallen in parts of North Carolina, leading to numerous reports of flash flooding. It is likely that the North Carolina tropical system rainfall record (set back in Hurricane Floyd) has been shattered.
  • Due to high water over 500 people have been rescued in New Bern and Jacksonville, NC. Meanwhile, sadly, at least 11 people have died due to Florence.
  • Numerous roads across the Carolinas are closed due to flooding this morning. This includes I-95 from north of Fayetteville to U.S. 64 and I-40 between Wilmington and I-95.
  • Florence will gain additional forward speed today while turning to the northwest, eventually accelerating north and northeast early in the week.
  • However, the extreme rain and flash flood threat will continue to impact the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic through early in the week. By the time the rain ends across parts of eastern North Carolina some areas could see up to 40” of rain.
  • This rain is leading to major to extreme river flooding, and some areas could see record flooding.

Florence As Of Sunday Morning. Florence has weakened into a Tropical Depression as of Sundaymorning across South Carolina, but the system will remain a major flooding issue over the next several days. The good news is that it is gaining some forward speed this morning. As of the 5 AM ET update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Florence was moving to the west at 8 mph, sitting 20 miles southwest of Columbia, SC. Florence had sustained winds of 35 mph.

Slow Moving System. This graphic shows the position of Florence at each NHC update over the past several days. Florence has only moved approximately 230 miles from where it made landfall Fridaymorning to where it is this morning. This is why we have multiple rounds of heavy rain impacting the same areas, leading to extensive flooding across the region.

Over Two And A Half Feet Of Rain. Once of the most concerning aspects of Florence was the heavy rain threat. Florence has dumped over two feet of rain on parts of the Carolinas since Thursday, leading to the high impact event that is ongoing. Here’s a list of top rainfall totals so far from Florence:

SWANSBORO 1.4 N                      30.59
HOFMANN RAWS                         25.87
EMERALD ISLE 0.2 ENE                 23.66
CROATAN RAWS                         20.98
ELIZABETHTOWN 6.2 NW                 20.17
TRENTON                              19.71
CEDAR POINT 0.9 WSW                  19.25         !
MAYSVILL 3.4 SSW                     18.50
MT. OLIVE 0.4 NW                     16.80
JACKSONVILLE 1 WNW                   16.13
KINSTON 6 SW                         16.01
SANDY RUN RAWS                       15.83
TRENT WOODS 1.3 SSE                  15.57
PINK HILL 2.5 NE                     14.18
WILMINGTON WFO                &n! bsp;&nbsp! ;     13.82
BURGAW 5.1 SE                        12.10
STONEWALL 3 SSE                      11.90
WALLACE 3 E                          11.87
GOLDSBORO 5 NW                       11.86
HAWS RUN 3N                          10.86
SUPPLY 4 NNW                         10.26

CONWAY W6KRP                          9.90
CONWAY HADS                           8.38
BUCK CREEK NEAR LONGS 1 NE            8.36
MYRTLE BEACH CWOP                     7.61
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH (KCRE)             6.89
JAMESTOWN                             3.50
LIMERICK 1 NNW RAWS                   3.45           &nb! sp;
MCBEE                                 3.01
JEFFERSON 6 E                         2.99
SOUTH SANTEE 3 ESE                    2.99

If any of the top three rainfall reports from North Carolina verifies, Florence would hold the record for most rainfall from a tropical system for the state. That currently is held by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 which brought 24.06” near Southport.


 Tropical Climatology

This is neat map from NOAA’s NHC, which shows where we typically see tropical cyclones develop during the middle part of September. Keep in mind that September 10th is the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, so this is typically the most active time for the Atlantic.


Average Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season

According to NOAA, the average peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is on September 10th. Note that on average, things are still pretty active through the 2nd half of September into October.


2018 Lightning Fatalities – EIGHTEEN

Did you know that lightning ranks as one of the top weather related killers in the U.S.? An average of nearly 50 people are killed each year in the United States and so far this year, 18 people have died from lightning; 14 have been males and only 4 have been females. Interestingly, from 2008-2017, 234 males have died, while only 65 females have died.

See Lightning Safety Tips From NOAA HERE:


PRELIMINARY Tornado Count This Year

According to NOAAs SPC, the PRELIMINARY tornado count across the US this year stands at 813 (through September 15th). Note that this is less than the last couple of years, but more than what we had in 2013. Keep in mind that the short-term average (2005-2015) suggests an average of more than 1,212 tornadoes.


Average Tornadoes in August By State

Here’s the average number of tornadoes during the month of September by state. Florida sees the most with 8, while Minnesota averages only 2 tornadoes.

3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.) Heavy rain across portions of the Central Plains, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Northern Plains, Wed-Thu, Sep 19-Sep 20.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Northeast, the Central Appalachians, the Mid-Atlantic, the Southern Appalachians, the Southeast, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Mon-Tue, Sep 17-Sep 18.
3.) Flooding possible across portions of the Central Appalachians, the Tennessee Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, the Southern Appalachians, the Southeast, and the Southern Plains.
4.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Southern Plains, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Southeast, and the Great Lakes.
5.) Flooding likely across portions of the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic.
6.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Northern Plains, Sat-Sun, Sep 22-Sep 23.
7.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Southeast, the Lower Mississippi Valley, and the Southern Plains, Sat-Mon, Sep 22-Sep 24.
8.) Severe Drought across the Central Plains, the Central Rockies, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Southern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Great Basin, the Southern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Northeast, California, the Northern Rockies, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest.


 Temperature Anomaly on Sunday

The temperature anomaly across North America on Sunday showed well above average temps across much of the nation and especially across the northern tier of the nation. However, cooler than average temps were found across the West Coast and much of Canada.

Temperature Trend

Here’s the temperature anomaly as we into the 3rd week of September suggests much warmer than average temps hanging on across the Central US. However, cooler than average temps will start sliding into the High Plains.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA’s CPC, September 24th – 30th will be warmer than average across much of the nation, while, slightly cooler than average temps will be found in the Northern tier of the nation and the West Coast.


Weather Outlook Ahead

The weather loop below looks still very active in the Eastern US with the remnants of Florence moving through. Areas of heavy rain will continue through Tuesday before finally subsiding. Meanwhile, Areas of heavy rain will start moving into the Midwest and the Great Lakes over the next several days, which could lead to areas of flooding.


7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA’s WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of very heavy rain finally subsiding by Wednesday across the Eastern US. However, remnants of Florence will still be responsible for several inches of rain from the Carolinas to the Northeast. Meanwhile, several inches of rain will fall across the Upper Midwest and into the Great Lakes over the week ahead as several waves of rain move through.

US Drought Outlook

Here is the national drought map from September 4th, which shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions across much of the Four-Corners region and for a few areas in the Central and Southern Plains. The good news is that several locations in the Central and Southern US have had some fairly good rains over the recent days/week and there is more on the way so some improvement is being seen there.


“How to Track Hurricanes Like a True Weather Geek”

“Hurricane season is in full swing, and the Atlantic is raging. If you live on the coast, you owe it to yourself to pay attention to what storms are out there, where they’re headed, and what the impacts could be. Whether you’re new to hurricane watching or a weather geek, Earther has you covered. These are the definitive sources and handy tools to have at your disposal to know what’s going on when the tropics get roaring, as well as where to find the most jaw-dropping images of nature’s cyclonic terrors. National Hurricane Center The National Hurricane Center is the gold standard one-stop shop for information on specific storms, from when they have a chance of forming up to where they’ll come ashore. There are maps, there are words, there are technical discussions, there are lay people discussions. There is A Lot, but it’s all relevant if you’re in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm, so bookmark it.”

See more from Earther HERE:

__________________________________________________________________________“How meteorologists predict the next big hurricane”

“Hurricane Florence is heading toward the U.S. coast, right at the height of hurricane season. Hurricanes can cause immense damage due to the winds, waves and rain, not to mention the chaos as the general population prepares for severe weather. The latter is getting more relevant, as the monetary damage from disasters is trending up. The growing coastal population and infrastructure, as well as rising sea level, likely contribute to this increase in costs of damage. This makes it all the more imperative to get early and accurate forecasts out to the public, something researchers like us are actively contributing to. Making predictions Hurricane forecasts have traditionally focused on predicting a storm’s track and intensity. The track and size of the storm determine which areas may be hit. To do so, forecasters use models – essentially software programs, often run on large computers.”

See more from The Conversation HERE:


“Why hurricanes are doing more damage: It’s not the storms. It’s us.”

“Three catastrophic hurricanes made U.S. landfall within 30 days of each other last year, causing more than $250 billion in losses.  By the time the winds died down and the floodwaters receded, Harvey, Irma and Maria were three of the five most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history – and 2017 was the costliest hurricane season ever. But despite that exceptional cluster of storms, it’s not that hurricanes are getting stronger or more frequent that’s making them more expensive. It’s that there’s more in the way for the storms to destroy. As Hurricane Florence takes aim at the Carolinas this week, emergency management officials, meteorologists and insurance companies are looking as much at what’s in its path as they are the strength of the storm itself. “The damage trend is obviously through-the-roof up, but most of that trend is due to population growth along the coastline,” said Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University. “There’s just more people in harm’s way, unfortunately. And not only are there more people, but we’re more affluent than our parents were.”

See more from USA Today HERE:

_______________________________________________________________________“Why some people never evacuate during a hurricane, according to a psychologist”

“The dire forecast for Hurricane Florence has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for more than a million people. Yet some will ignore the orders. Hurricane Florence is a powerful storm that’s expected to lash the Carolinas for days, bringing coastal flooding, high winds, and, most concerning of all, an extraordinary amount of rain. “It cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend,” the National Hurricane Center warned Friday morning. Floodwaters are already rising throughout the region, and as more rain comes, they’ll only get higher. Due to the severity of the forecast, more than 1.4 million people were told they must evacuate from the shorelines of North and South Carolina, as well as parts of Virginia. “This is not a storm that you need to try to ride out,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters Tuesday. “It’s historic and maybe once in a lifetime.” But it was inevitable: Some people have refused to leave, even people who have been issued mandatory evacuation orders. Though the evacuations are “mandatory,” it doesn’t mean police will be going door to door forcing people out.”

See more from Vox HERE:

_____________________________________________________________________________“Here’s Why You Should Always Close the Interior Doors in Your Home Before a Hurricane”

“This tip could ensure that your roof stays intact. There’s no such thing as being overly prepared when you know a natural disaster is headed your way. Especially when a hurricane is quickly approaching, preparedness is key to staying safe. Whether you evacuate or decide to wait it out at home, there’s an important way to protect your home from damage during a hurricane that you may not know about. After rigorous wind testing, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety is recommending that homeowners make sure to close all interior doors, as well as all windows and exterior doors. This may sound like simple advice, but when a storm like Hurricane Irma brings strong winds, homes are under extreme pressure. When wind enters through any open door or window, it can create even more pressure on the roof. Essentially, the pressure in your home builds like the air in a balloon, which can eventually cause your roof to cave in and allow water into your house, according to IBHS.”

See more from Town & Country Mag HERE:


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