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Beyond The Forecast: With two months left in hurricane season, what’s next?

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Happy Monday! We’re counting down the days until the end of a historic hurricane season in the Atlantic basin. While tropical activity typically slows down over the final two months of the season, strong storms can still occur. In fact, in the last ten years, there have been some significant storms in October, including Sandy, Matthew and Michael.

Speaking of Michael, it won’t be soon forgotten in our area as it dumped a whole lot of rain here two years ago, especially in Southside where reports of 5-10″ of rain were recorded. Most of our area saw at least two inches of rain as Michael interacted with a cold front to the west to enhance the soaking.

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We saw some historic river levels in the aftermath of that storm. The Dan River at Danville rose to its highest mark on record, around 30 feet. Rivers in Radford and Roanoke were also extremely high after all the rain.

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We also saw scattered to numerous power outages during and after Michael due to strong winds bringing trees down.

So now that I’ve refreshed your memory about Michael, you know that we have to stay vigilant even though the peak of hurricane season has passed. We’ve been blessed with a break from tropical activity since Teddy and Beta dissipated, but now, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has their eye on the western Caribbean Sea. You may remember that’s the exact area that Michael formed in October 2018.

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The NHC expects a broad area of low pressure to develop in the orange polygon and conditions could be favorable for the development of a tropical depression late this week or weekend.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (it is 2020 after all), you know that we’ve blown through all 21 names on this year’s hurricane list already. That means we’re on Greek names and Gamma is up next.

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We’ll let you know if that storm develops and if there’s anything else to keep an eye on over the next few weeks. Hurricane season ends November 30.

Switching gears to your local forecast, we’re tracking not one, but two cold fronts this week. One will give us a big soaking on Tuesday, the second will send in fall air for Friday and the weekend. Your Local Weather Authority meteorologist Chris Michaels has everything you need to know in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Southside, the New River Valley or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

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-- Justin McKee


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