First Tropical System?

June 30th, 2014 at 9:04 am by under Weather

Locally we have pretty quiet weather today.  I’ll have more on that in just a moment. First, let’s talk about a developing area of low pressure in the tropics.  Near central Florida there is a weak area of low pressure that has been developing for the past couple of days. The computer models hinted at this system last week.  Now it has formed.

Area Of Low Pressure

Area Of Low Pressure

The low has been drifting to the south-southwest.  It is expected to move a little more southwest in the short-term.  It may even move over land today.  Heavy rain is expected over parts of Florida even if the center of the low sits offshore.  The computer models are tracking this system.  They generally curve it from southwest to west (briefly) to northeast.  So basically a button hook move.  There is some dry air to the north of the system.  This may impact its development.  The upper level winds are not too strong right now, but they are expected to increase a bit.  Water temperatures are plenty warm off the coast of Florida, but they are not as warm along the Carolinas.  The consensus of the computer models is for the low to move up along the coast over the next few days.  By Friday they bring it very close to our region.  This will be due to increasing upper level southwesterly winds ahead of a trough.

Forecast Track Models

Forecast Track Models

At the same time as the low moves up from the south, a cold front will will be approaching from the west.  The low/depression/tropical storm would likely ride northeast along the front.  It’s possible that the front may stall out.  If that were to happen or if it were to even just slow down, then the system could pass more inland/west.  Either way the upper level winds should push the system northeast.  If the front/trough were to speed up, then it could push the system more offshore.  I think there’s less of a chance for that at this point.  Fronts during the Summer tend to slow down over our region.  Anyway, the system is forecast to push out of here by Saturday and Sunday.  So our fireworks may be in jeopardy, but the weekend still looks good.  If the system comes in along with the front, then heavy rain will be a threat.  I don’t think we’ll see much tidal flooding unless the system really strengthens offshore and slows down.  If the system passes just offshore, then winds shouldn’t be too bad because we’ll be on the good side of the storm.  (Remember the worst winds are on the right side of the storm’s motion).  However, if it passes over Hatteras, then the southern Outer Banks could see some damaging winds.  Isolated tornadoes could also be a problem.  Again…it’s still early.  There’s even the low chance that the system doesn’t even form.  So stay tuned!

Locally we have an area of high pressure today.  We’ll see partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 80s.  Winds will be southeast at 5-10mph.  Humidity is increasing.  Tomorrow we’ll heat up.  We’ll see lows in the 70s and highs in the low 90s.  We’ll still be partly cloudy tomorrow, but rain chances will increase from Wednesday into Friday.  Highs are expected to rise into the mid 90s by Wednesday.  It will feel like 100 or higher with the heat index in many cities.  The cold front should cool us to the 80s again by Friday.

We’ll be updating you on that area of low pressure over the next couple of days.   Hopefully, we can get some of the rain without the wind.  Hopefully, not during the fireworks.  Too much to ask?

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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