See…Don’t Write Off The TropicsOctober 22nd, 2012 at 9:20 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
I mentioned in a previous blog that usually by this time of year we can write off the tropics as it pertains to our viewing area. At least as far as a direct hit. We usually have plenty of cold/dry air moving through that bounces the systems back out to sea. This is the general scenario for later this week, but there is a possible system that may get fairly close to our region. For now this feature is just a cluster of thunderstorms south of Jamaica.
By the way, the National Hurricane Center increased the chance for development to 90% since I made that graphic this morning. The models differ on many things about this system. The track is anywhere from about 100-200 miles offshore from the Outer Banks to all the way east of Bermuda. So there is a lot of uncertainty. That is to be expected though as A. The system hasn’t even officially formed yet, and B. There are several land masses that the system will probably cross before it heads to the north.
The computer models do detect this system. Here is a look at some of the model forecast tracks:
The GFS model (red line) has been trending more and more offshore since yesterday. It actually has a pretty rosy scenario for us. The European actually has it closer to the Canadian model (scary yellow line). The bulk of the models are well offshore, but remember the European carries a lot of weight. If this system does develop and heads closer to Bermuda, then we would only expect some high waves around here. It would be great for the surfers until the cold front moves through next weekend. However, if it takes the European route…(dramatic pause), then there will be some problems. We would see heavy rain, strong northeast winds, probably some tidal flooding along the coast. In that scenario it could be like an Earl (2010) type storm.
Some of the overall weather pattern ties in to this system. For now we have a big area of high pressure over our heads. We have dry cool conditions expected today. Winds will be light and northerly with lots of sunshine.
By tomorrow the high will shift offshore allowing for more southerly winds. Highs will be in the upper 70s (nice!) with more sunshine. Aloft (up high) the atmosphere will begin ridging big time. This is similar to the upper level winds moving in an arch rather than a dip. This will allow for warming into the 80s for a couple of days. At least for Wednesday and Thursday….Possibly Friday as well. It’s this ridging that will allow the storm/tropical storm/hurricane to move northward later this week.
Ahead of the Midwest cold front, the upper level winds will start to pick up from the southwest. This ideally will push the tropical system to the northeast. However, it is the timing of the upper level winds that will be key to the forecast. This is assuming that the storm makes it past Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas as predicted. Remember, those land masses could chew up the system. Either way the big ole’ cold front will make it through here next weekend. The timing of that could also determine whether or not we get some heavy rain regardless of whether or not a tropical system is nearby. There are lots of pieces on this chess board, and it is very early in the game. But we need to stay on it, so that there are no surprises. We’ll do just that, so stay tuned!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler