Tropics I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

UPDATE - Lee Departs, COOLER air on the Way

Chief Meteorologist Mike McCall looks at the departure of the rough weather from Lee

Tropical Storm Lee in Lee, FL

Monday Evening Update -

Good old Lee sure made for a tropical feel to our Labor Day Monday, with lots of wind, and unfortunately a few severe thunderstorms that produced damaging winds. Lots and lots of reports were received of tree limbs down as well as some larger trees - causing some damage - and a few power lines throughout the area.

The good news is that the end of Lee (or for you Prince fans, the storm formerly known as Lee) is in sight! What's even better is that YES - there is COOLER and drier air coming around the back side of its circulation. It's a nice reward for all the wind and rain we endured during our holiday weekend. (Actually - I hated seeing those damaging winds, but loved the rainfall and would still like to see a lot more.) ANYway - it looks pretty dry by Tuesday afternoon through the rest of the week - BUT - the morning lows Wednesday through Friday will average in the LOW TO MID 60s! (We may even see a few low-lying inland areas touch the UPPER 50s!) Daytime highs will be warm - but not hot (mid 80s to near 90). SO - enjoy your little taste of Fall. You've earned it.

Mike

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Tropical Storm Lee was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday evening, and no more advisories will be issued by the National Hurricane Center. However, it will still be the big weathermaker for a couple more days in the south. Our biggest concern in South Georgia and North Florida will be if any long north-south bands of rain set up shop over part of the area. They are fairly common with these types of slow-moving systems. The problem is that the rain can "train" along the line, leading to some hefty rainfall totals, and thus a flooding risk. The other issue is that these bands can be rather narrow (in the grand scheme of things) - maybe 15-20 miles wide, or about the width of a typical south Georgia county. Rainfall amounts a few miles to either side of such bands are much lower than in the middle, so just keep an eye out for any of those bands setting up on Monday . We'll have a full set of regularly scheduled newscasts except for the 5pm and 5:30pm shows due to U.S. Open tennis coverage. In between shows, check our multiple radar views at wctv.tv/weather , and keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter (links are on that same WCTV weather page).

WCTV viewer "sandy" sent in this video with the caption, "lightning show, filmed at St. Joe Beach Fl over the Ocean last night around 11:30 pm."

Back to the weather now - In addition to the risk of a narrow band of heavy rain, we still can't rule out a possible strong or severe thunderstorm, but the overall severe risk is still very low. Lee (or rather - the remnants of Lee) will have been inland for more than 24 hours by sunrise Tuesday, but still have just enough leftover energy that we can't completely dismiss the chance of a storm coming in from the gulf with some rotation and continuing inland. Is it possible? Yes, but again the chances are very slim.
Interesting though is the fact that while the remnants of Lee slowly weaken, the winds near its center will too, BUT the winds well away from the center will still be rather strong and gusty at times. In fact, our winds locally will surely be higher Monday than they were Sunday. Expect a very breezy Monday with winds from the south or southwest at 15-20 mph and gusty throughout the morning and afternoon, then slacking off a bit by Monday evening.

Even on Tuesday, I expect it to be a little bit breezy, and still have a chance of lingering scattered showers, but the overall wind and rain will continue to decrease.

Now for the change AFTER Lee slowly departs. There are now signs that drier and COOLER air will be lurking behind Lee's remnants. Some of the computer models are now forecasting low 60s and even a few upper 50s by Wednesday and Thursday mornings! I want to caution you that Lee so far hasn't exactly followed everyone's plan of action, and it needs to move out of the way for this to happen, but it's looking promising to perhaps capture a teensy preview of Fall later this week.

I am not technically scheduled to "labor" on Labor Day, but I still may work if need be. Regardless, I'll update this "story" if the forecast locks in even more - especially the "taste of Fall" part!

Enjoy the holiday!

Mike

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