Tropical Depression ONE Has Formed

June 30th, 2014 at 9:18 pm by under Weather

11 PM Update:

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded this disturbance to a Tropical Depression with maximum sustained winds of 35mph. Here is the official track from the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Depression ONE is forecast to become Arthur tomorrow. Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler will have another update on WAVY News 10 starting at 4:30 AM and another blog tomorrow morning on wavy.com. Stay tuned!

Tropical Depression ONE

Tropical Depression ONE

 

We are still tracking the area of low pressure spinning off the coast of Florida. This low is bringing heavy rain to parts of Florida and the Bahamas. The Hurricane Hunters flew into this disturbance today and found this well defined low to be just under the threshold to be called a tropical depression because it’s lacking thunderstorm activity on the north side of the storm. Some dry air is located on the north side of the system inhibiting thunderstorm formation. They found peak sustained winds to range between 30-35mph. The low will be moving into an area with warmer water and lower wind shear, so any increase in thunderstorm activity would prompt the National Hurricane Center to upgrade this disturbance to a tropical depression. The National Hurricane Center is giving this disturbance an 80% chance of developing into a tropical system over the next 48 hours. If this low strengthens and becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Tropical Storm Arthur.

Low Spinning off the Coast of Florida

Low Spinning off the Coast of Florida

The computer models are in good agreement that this low is going to meander near Florida until Wednesday. Then it will turn more northerly and track along the East Coast.

Computer Models

Computer Models

There is high confidence that this disturbance will track close to Hampton Roads.  How close will it get and how strong will it become are the two big questions right now. If the low takes one of the more western tracks, then we could see heavy rain and gusty winds. If the low takes a more easterly track, then the heaviest rain will miss Hampton Roads, but we will still see rain thanks to a cold front moving through on Friday. Expect rough surf Thursday and Friday at the beaches. I don’t think tidal flooding will be a big problem because winds will only be out of the northeast for a few hours on Friday before switching back to the northwest as the system gets kicked out to sea by the cold front. However, flash flooding is not out of the question, especially if we see heavy rain over the same areas for a long period of time.

Strangely enough, this low pressure area is forecast to take a similar track to Tropical Storm Arthur back in June of 1996. Tropical Storm Arthur made landfall across Cape Lookout, North Carolina and brought heavy rain to eastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical Storm Arthur – June 1996

I know a lot of folks are traveling or planning outdoor activities for the Fourth of July. Now is the time to start thinking of a back-up plan in case Friday ends up being a washout. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. At least the weekend is looking warm and dry!

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 

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