Busy In The Tropics…August 21st, 2012 at 8:26 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Let’s kick off this ole blog by talking about the tropics. Gordon is no longer a tropical system. It is just a remnant low now. It had really fallen apart on the satellite, and that was predicted well by the National Hurricane Center. Now we have tropical depression 9 in the central Atlantic. Looking at the latest satellite I would bet that it becomes tropical storm Isaac by later this morning.
It has winds of 35mph, and remember the threshold for a tropical storm is 39mph. It has a minimum pressure of 1007 mb (millibars), and it is moving west at 20mph. It is going to move over an area of warmer water and lower wind shear. So strengthening is likely. In fact it is forecast to become a hurricane over the next couple of days as it rides along the southern edge of a subtropical ridge (area of higher pressure). There is a high confidence that it will keep heading west in the next 48 hours. The official forecast then has it heading more to the northwest after that.
Now from what I’ve observed in the last 2 years, it seems that the National Hurricane Center puts a lot of stock in the European computer model. It did a great job last year with most of the systems, and I vaguely remember it doing well 2 years ago as well. The latest update of that model had the system moving pretty much due west and then into the Gulf of Mexico as a strong hurricane. However, the GFS model has it moving up into Florida by next Tuesday. There are some other models like the BAM Deep (Beta and Advection Model) which keeps it much farther east and even heads it towards Bermuda. So we’ll have to watch this system carefully to see which way the models trend.
Notice there are several models which bring it up through the Bahamas. It would be great for the local surfers if we could get it south of Bermuda, but well east of us in the next 3-4 days as that would bring in some decent waves by maybe Sunday. For now though that is not the consensus, nor the official forecast. It is possible that it could head in our direction by early next week. I’d say the odds are better though, that it would come across land it if did. Probably up from Florida or Georgia. It’s still very early in its life cycle. So for now it’s best to see the model trends. There is another cluster of storms that is farther east in the Atlantic. That could become Joyce down the road. NHC has it at a 50% chance for development within the next 2 days.
As far as local weather goes….we are pretty much stuck in this blah weather pattern. We’ll see lots of clouds again today. We have light northeast winds at the surface, and southerly mid level winds pulling up the moisture from the south. So there will be some showers over the Outer Banks today, and we could see a few showers over Hampton Roads. I don’t think we’ll see too much from the Peninsula northward this afternoon.
For the chances I’d say a 10% chance for north of the metro, 20% Peninsula, 30% southside, 40-50% northeast North Carolina, and 60% Outer Banks. Not much change in the pattern tomorrow, but the rain may shift a little farther north. We’ll also see a few showers and storms on Thursday. High pressure is supposed to build in for the weekend giving us more sunshine and highs in the mid 80s. I wouldn’t mind that at all.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler