Hurricane Arthur Is On The Move (CAT 2 Update)July 3rd, 2014 at 9:15 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
(update: The 11am update just came out from the National Hurricane Center. The current sustained wind speeds have increased to 90mph. It is moving NNE at 10mph. The forecast now has Arthur as a category 2 hurricane when it approaches the Hatteras area tomorrow morning. We’ll have a new blog out shortly after the midday show. Plus a full update on WAVY News 10 Midday).
Hurricane Arthur has gained size and strength. The winds increased to 80mph. Looking at the latest satellite/radar it looks like it is bigger than the state of Georgia.
The system clearly has an eye, but it already had an eye during its history as a tropical storm. There has been dry air to the north of the storm, but that has not stopped Arthur from strengthening. However, I have noticed that the eyewall has begun to open up a bit on the western side. There has been very little wind shear and the water temperatures are near 80 degrees. The pressure has dropped to 983 mb (millibars of pressure). That is about 29.03″ of mercury. For reference we are at 29.91″ of mercury right now at the station. Remember, the lower the pressure-the stronger the storm. Sustained winds have risen to 80mph already.
In the last few frames of the satellite/radar it appears that the storm is beginning to take a more northeast motion. That was indicated in the last update as it is moving NNE at 9mph. It’s possible that the upper level winds are beginning to influence the storm slightly, but there is still no wind shear. The wind shear will increase, but not soon enough.
The hurricane will move move northeast today and it will pick up speed. By late tonight it will be within 100-200 miles from Hatteras.
By 2am tomorrow morning the storm is expected to have 85mph winds sustained. According to the latest it will pass either right over or very close to the southern Outer Banks between 3 and 8am. By the afternoon the storm should have pushed well northeast of the region. We’ll see improving weather into the evening.
The main drivers of Arthur will be the upper level winds and a cold front moving in from the west.
The cold front will not stall out, but it will slow down. This will create the chance for heavy rain over the whole region as it interacts with the moisture from Arthur. Here is the latest forecast for rain totals from our Future Trak computer model.
With the front interaction, be prepared for the rain forecast to increase. Especially over Hampton Roads. With other models in mind I would say that the area could see 1-3 inches with higher amounts closer to the storm. (Most likely the Outer Banks).
The winds will be a major problem based off of the latest track. If it follows the current path, then we are looking at winds between 55 and 75mph over the Outer Banks. Especially near Hatteras. Winds over northeast North Carolina will be between 35 and 55mph. Gusts will be higher for both. Winds over Hampton Roads will run about 15-25mph with gusts up to 45mph. Winds will be northerly for most. Here are the forecast wind gusts tomorrow morning from Future Trak. Wow!
Currently, the tides are not expected to be too high for Hampton Roads. Along most of the Chesapeake Bay the tide is currently forecast to rise about 1-1.5 ft above normal. It helps that low tide will be tomorrow morning when the storm is closest. Along the Outer Banks, however, we will probably see moderate tidal flooding. That will be about 2-4ft above normal. 2-4ft surge could also affect the sounds of North Carolina. That would be Friday morning through Friday afternoon. Remember too, on top of that, waves will be about 10-15ft. Remember those waves will affect any homes that are right on the beaches. Waves could even be higher near a few beaches over the OBX. There may be flooding similar to hurricane Sandy over the Outer Banks. Even though Sandy was well offshore. Add to that, that the rain will be falling at the same time.
The forecast models are all in fair agreement of the track. They still aren’t in exact agreement, but there is a consensus for near the Hatteras area.
The GFS model takes it right over Hatteras. The European model has it just east of Hatteras by only a few miles early Friday morning. It has been one of the strongest and most consistent models with the storm so far. So basically there is a pretty high confidence in the southern Outer Banks taking a direct hit or a very close call.
Folks over the southern Outer Banks should evacuate. Hatteras, Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. The rest of the Outer Banks should prepare for strong damaging winds, power outages, and tidal flooding. Northeast North Carolina should also prepare for those strong winds. I’ve heard from a local farmer (Greg my weather watcher) that crops will take a hit with the strong winds expected. Let alone any damage to homes. Hampton Roads should also expect strong winds. I don’t expect widespread damage at this time, but we could easily see a few tree limbs down, heavy rain, and scattered power outages. It will be the equivalent of a strong afternoon Summer-time thunderstorm, but for a long period of time. If the storm wasn’t growing in size, then it wouldn’t be too bad, but the storm size has been increasing.
We’ll be updating again around midday. Maybe the storm can weaken a bit in the short-term. Stay tuned!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler