Weather

Hurricane Arthur Is On The Move (CAT 2 Update)

July 3rd, 2014 at 9:15 am by 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.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

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.

Track Of Arthur

Track Of Arthur

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.

Tomorrow Morning

Tomorrow Morning

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.

Forecast Rain Totals

Forecast Rain Totals

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!

Forecast Wind Gusts

Forecast Wind Gusts

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.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

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


Wednesday Evening Update On Arthur

July 2nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm by under Weather

The 5pm update has been issued by the National Hurricane Center. Here is the latest forecast track:

Forecast Track

Forecast Track

You can see the current information box on the graphic above. This storm has 70mph winds, remember winds at 74mph is the threshold for being a category 1 hurricane. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for more counties than what was issued earlier today. There were the areas added: Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach. Go HERE to see the current warnings.

Future Trak @ 1am Friday

Future Trak @ 1am Friday

Impacts

OBX Impacts

VA Impacts

VA Impacts

Overwash is a highly possible along Hwy 12 especially south of the Oregon Inlet. The northern half of the Outer Banks will also see significant surf with waves around 10ft.

The computer models have been trending a path just slightly to the west of the NHC’s forecast line putting the center of the storm over Cape Hatteras around 2am. If the storm makes a westerly track the wind speeds will be higher for the OBX cities. For the Hampton Road’s cities wind speeds will be 20-30mph with gusts around 40mph. Flooding doesn’t look to be an issue as the storm surge will be less than 1 foot.

As new models come up we will let you know, keep an eye on the warnings page and WAVY TV 10 for any further updates.

*Helpful Links*

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

 

 


Arthur Maintains Strength…Heads North

July 2nd, 2014 at 9:16 am by under Weather

*See below for the 2pm update.

There’s a lot to cover in this weather blog.  Besides Arthur there is also a a chance for thunderstorms today and the heat index will be near 100.  I’ll cover Arthur first and then talk a little more about our local weather.

Arthur is currently a tropical storm.  Even though it seems to want to form an eye feature on the satellite/radar.

Arthur On Satellite/Radar

Arthur On Satellite/Radar

This has been noted by the National Hurricane Center.  There is dry air to the north of the system, but it has had little effect on the storm up to this point.  The water temperatures are plenty warm in that region.  The wind shear is very weak.  So the sustained winds have increased to 60mph.  It was moving north at 6mph.  The pressure had dropped to 996mb, but then it came up to 998mb.  The storm is forecast to move northward today as it strengthens.  Then it is forecast to start turning northeast by Thursday.

Track Of Arthur

Track Of Arthur

It is also forecast to reach hurricane strength by Thursday.  The hurricane will move towards the southern Outer Banks from Thursday night into early Friday morning. It will move rather quickly at about 25mph.  I’ve mentioned in past blogs that typically this will weaken a hurricane, but it seems that Arthur will be unique.  At least according to the models.  By Friday evening the storm will move away from our region.  It will be well to our northeast, and the winds will subside.  Many folks will probably still be able to go to a fireworks show.  A cold front will move into the region at about the same time, and the upper level winds ahead of it should steer Arthur quickly to the northeast.

The models are in fair agreement for the track, but they have yet to close-in on an exact solution.  The consensus  (grey line) is just a bit offshore from Hatteras.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

Notice that there are a couple of models which bring the hurricane just (west) of Hatteras.  The GFS Model has it going pretty much right over Hatteras.  The European model has the hurricane passing about 50-90 miles to the southeast of Hatteras.  As you can see there are a couple of models that swing the storm way offshore.  One of them is the Canadian model (yellow line).  There is a low confidence in that solution.

So basically there are two scenarios that we are looking at.  The first scenario is less likely, but more threatening.  If the hurricane passes just west of Hatteras and more inland, then the wind threat will increase.

Inland Track

Inland Track

Then we could see hurricane force winds over the southern Outer Banks and mainland Dare county.  At least in the gusts.  Tropical storm force winds (39mph or greater) would be able to make it well into Hampton Roads and to the Eastern Shore.  Gusts 25-35mph would be possible west of the yellow area.  Heavy rain would be able to fall in the yellow and orange area.  Moderate to major tidal flooding would be possible around Hatteras with moderate tidal flooding across the Outer Banks and some minor tidal flooding in Hampton Roads and the lower/middle Chesapeake Bay.  This is preliminary, but it is the general idea.

If the hurricane were to follow the more likely scenario of just offshore, then the worst conditions would be very localized.

Just Offshore Track

Just Offshore Track

The hurricane force gusts would be confined to the Hatteras area and some of the southern Outer Banks.  There is a hurricane watch for Mainland Dare county and the Outer Banks Dare county down to Hatteras.  The tropical storm force winds would be confined to the Outer Banks and parts of northeast North Carolina.  Possibly up to Virginia Beach.  Winds west of the line could get up to 25-30mph.  There would will be moderate (maybe major) tidal flooding down towards Hatteras, but it would probably be minor up to Virginia Beach.  The Bay might see a little water rise, but not too bad.  Heavy rain would be confined to along the coast and mostly northeast North Carolina.

Either way there will be a high threat for rip currents on Friday.  Even if the storm moves far offshore, there would be high waves and a high threat for rip currents into the weekend.

So those are the basics of Arthur.

Locally we will have a hot/humid day.  Highs will be in the mid 90s.  The heat index will be near 100 degrees.  We’ll pop-up some scattered showers and storms this afternoon. We already had a couple spots of heavy rain this morning.  Tomorrow we’ll see a cold front approach from the west.  We’ll have scattered showers and storm out ahead of it.  Both today and tomorrow there could be some heavy rain, but storms are more likely tomorrow.  The front will move through late Thursday into early Friday.  This should help to push Arthur offshore.  If the timing of the front changes, then the speed and track of Arthur could also change.  The upper level winds (trough) will be the main steering current though.

Folks in Hatteras may have to evacuate.  Residents along the southern Outer Banks may have to as well.  I would start making preparations down there.  I don’t see evacuations elsewhere at this time.  We still have some time to refine the exact track.

**2:30pm Update**

The National Hurricane Center still has the storm on a similar forecast track. At this point wind speeds are at 60mph sustained with a movement to the north at 7mph.

2pm Update

2pm Update

You can see the Hampton Roads cities is not in the forecast cone, so the strongest parts of the storm will remain out to sea by Friday morning. The OBX is still in the storm’s path. I will be writing another blog following the NHC’s 5pm update, stay tuned.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson & Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Arthur A Little Stronger Tonight

July 1st, 2014 at 9:26 pm by under Weather

Tropical Storm Arthur continues to strengthen over the warm waters near Florida. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 50mph and the latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center has Arthur becoming a category 1 hurricane as early as Thursday afternoon. That is a little bit earlier than the previous update.

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical Storm Arthur

The latest forecast models have trended a little bit more east with their solutions. Now most of the spaghetti plots are just east of Hatteras. The farther east this storm goes, the less of an impact it will have on us. We will have to see if this trends holds. Sometimes these spaghetti plots go back and forth.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

Here are the possible tracks and impacts with Arthur. If Arthur tracks west of Hatteras, then we will see more of an impact, especially along the Outer Banks.

Arthur Takes a Western Track

Arthur Takes a Western Track

Notice the areas highlighted in yellow and orange. This is where the heaviest rain and strongest winds will be located. The Outer Banks, parts of Northeastern North Carolina and coastal areas of Virginia could see heavy rain and tropical storm force winds. If Arthur does become a hurricane, then we could see hurricane force winds (74mph and higher) along the Outer Banks.  Inland sections of Virgina and North Carolina will still see rain and wind, but wind speeds will likely be less than tropical storm force strength.

If Arthur tracks east of Hatteras, then the worst of the storm will stay out to sea.

Arthur Takes Eastern Track

Arthur Takes Eastern Track

The yellow area shows the heaviest rain and strongest winds staying offshore. We will still see rain and gusty winds, but winds will likely stay below 40mph.
We are still 3 days out, so the track will shift. Right now, you should have a hurricane kit ready to go. Find out what to put in your hurricane kit here. If you plan on traveling, it may be a good idea to leave early if possible, to beat the worst of the weather Thursday night into Friday morning. Have a back-up plan in place for any outdoor activities that are planned. Folks along the Outer Banks need to prepare for possible evacuations just in case this storm takes a more western route.

11 PM Update: The National Hurricane Center has shifted the track slightly to the east.

11 PM Update on Tropical Storm Arthur

11 PM Update on Tropical Storm Arthur

Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler will have another update on WAVY News 10 starting at 4:30 tomorrow morning.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tropical Storm Arthur

July 1st, 2014 at 1:15 pm by under Weather

This is a midday update to the tropical forecast.  I did a longer blog about the overall forecast earlier this morning.  Arthur is now a tropical storm with winds of 40mph.  It hasn’t moved much since this morning.  So it is still about 95  miles southeast of Cape Canaveral Florida.  It is moving northwest, but only at 2mph.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

The forecast has been adjusted upward, but the track hasn’t changed too much.  The National Hurricane Center has increased Arthur’s sustained winds to 80 mph just south of Hatteras by early Friday morning.

Forecast Of Arthur

Forecast Of Arthur

If this forecast verifies, then it will put down some damaging winds over the southern Outer Banks.  Possibly some gusty winds for Hampton Roads, but with less strength.  NHC has the most likely track as passing just offshore from Hatteras by around 8am.  There is some pretty good agreement in the models on this scenario. Keep in mind that the possible path (yellow cone) does include some coastal areas just west of the coastline.  The hurricane/storm would then likely push away from us.  We would see some gusty winds behind it for a bit, but then the winds would probably subside by Friday evening.

Meteorologist Tiffany Savona will have an updated track and forecast at 5pm this evening.  I don’t anticipate any huge changes, but I’m hoping that the models will either trend down in strength or farther east.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


Tropics…Here We Go!

July 1st, 2014 at 9:10 am by under Weather

Well the Atlantic Hurricane season has just revved up, and the timing couldn’t be better (heavy sarcasm).  Just in time for the 4th of July we have a tropical system that could potentially become a hurricane and affect part of our region.  At the moment the system is a tropical depression. It is off the coast of Florida about 90 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral.  The pressure was 1007 mb (millibars of pressure).  The depression was drifting west at 2mph, but then it stopped its motion.  It is expected to start heading north by later today.

Satellite/Radar

Satellite/Radar

It may brush land or move over land briefly, but then it is expected to move back over the water.  By tomorrow morning winds are expected to increase to 45mph.  Winds are forecast to reach 60mph by Thursday morning.  At that point it is forecast to be about 300-400 miles east of Savannah, GA.  Then the system will begin to move northeast as it interacts with the upper level winds.  At that point the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has it reaching hurricane strength.  This would be sometime between late Thursday night into early Friday morning.

Forecast Track

Forecast Track

The latest forecast and most of the models have it moving out of the region by either Friday afternoon or Friday evening.  This could allow for some of the fireworks and festivities to resume Friday evening.  Of course it may be tough to celebrate if there is wind damage near your city.  We’ll see.  Also, even though the system will push away, the winds on the back side may be too breezy for fireworks.  For now I’m optimistic about that part of the forecast.  By Saturday morning the system should be long gone.  Then we’ll have a nice weekend following.

Now let’s talk about some of the more complex issues with this tropical system.  At the same time that this will be near our latitude, a cold front will be heading in from the west/northwest.

Day 3 Fronts and Pressures

The forecast map is from the Weather Prediction Center.  It was made before the NHC forecast increased the intensity of the tropical system, but it shows the position of the front as well as Arthur Friday morning.  Along with the cold front a large trough will move-in in the upper levels. The upper level winds will increase and pick up from the southwest.  This should help to move the system quickly to the northeast.  Therefore it could be jetting to the northeast at about 20-25mph between Thursday night and Friday morning.  The models have been trending a bit more offshore.  The most likely path (center line below) from NHC has the storm just offshore from Hatteras at its closest point, but the possible path (yellow cone) does extend over parts of the coast.

Forecast Track

Forecast Track

Some of the models weaken the system a bit as it moves north over the next 36 hours.  There is some dry air just north of the system.  Also upper level winds may increase a bit in the short-term.  The European model has it staying the most organized through the entire forecast period.  The models do strengthen it as it starts its northeast motion, but upper level winds will strengthen at that point.  The forecast models were tightly clustered over the coast yesterday.  However, today there is a bit more of a spread, and they are generally farther east.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

The European model and the GFS both take it fairly close to Hatteras.  The European is the strongest so far.  The GFS has the system more as a tropical storm near our region.  Despite increasing upper level winds, the storm looks to maintain strength as it moves farther out to sea.

So here’s my general thoughts on this system…  It is weak right now, but it is predicted to strengthen greatly within 2-3 days.  The water temperatures are warm down towards Florida and South Carolina, but they are a little cooler off our coasts.  Also, the wind shear is forecast to increase as the storm moves northward.  So while I don’t disagree with the strengthening, I am a little dubious about it becoming a hurricane.  It will be coming from the southwest.  Typically systems that come from that direction don’t create big impacts on our region.  Tropical storms Hanna and Cristobal (2008) come to mind.  They can however, bring a threat for tornadoes if they move right over us.  For reference…Isabel (2003) came from the southeast.  I don’t expect anything like Isabel from Arthur.  If the system were to move along the coast, then the Outer Banks could see damaging winds, heavy rain, and some tidal flooding.  However, I don’t think it would be that bad for Hampton Roads.  If it were to move more inland, then Hampton Roads could see some problems with heavy rain and strong winds, but the system would likely be weaker.  Therefore the tidal flooding probably wouldn’t be that bad along the Chesapeake Bay.  We are close to new moon, so we will have to monitor.   It’s interesting that the BAM-shallow takes the storm more west while the BAM-deep takes it much farther east.  With it’s current strength forecast, I could see the storm moving due north or even northwest for a bit, then taking a strong turn to the ENE by late Thursday night.  So folks along the southern Outer Banks should monitor the forecast carefully.  You may want to think about a possible evacuation if you live around Hatteras.  Keep in mind that it is still early, and the forecast is very apt to change.  Especially considering the interaction with the cold front.  Folks in Hampton Roads should just monitor for now.  I’ll have another update out around midday.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler


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

 


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


Tracking the Storm Off the Florida Coast

June 29th, 2014 at 8:48 pm by under Weather

After a quiet weather weekend in Hampton Roads, our attention shifts toward an area of low pressure spinning off the coast of Florida. Showers and storms continue to develop around this low.

Low Pressure East of Florida

Low Pressure East of Florida

This low is slowly moving to the southwest due to weak steering currents in the atmosphere. The National Hurricane Center is giving it a 60% chance of developing into a tropical system over the next 48 hours and an 80% chance over the next 5 days.  This low will be moving into a more favorable environment over the next few days (warmer water, lower wind shear), so development is expected. If this disturbance becomes our first named storm of the 2014 season, it will be named Arthur. Here is a look at a number of forecast models over the next 5 days.

Forecast Models

Forecast Models

Notice that all of the computer models have the low moving southwest tomorrow. Then it starts to make that northerly turn Tuesday and Wednesday. I put the text Wednesday on the graphic to show that the storm will not be impacting us over the next few days. However, that changes as we move closer to Friday. Most of the computer models keep this low as a weak system that stays offshore. Keep in mind that there is a chance this disturbance may not strengthen and may just end up as a weak area of low pressure. But there are a few models that have this storm strengthening and making landfall in North Carolina. The European model has one of the more westerly tracks with the storm staying just east of the Outer Banks. The most recent update of the GFS model has come in with a more westerly track too, but a much weaker system compared to the European. Either way, it looks like there is a possibility this storm could impact Hampton Roads and North Carolina on Friday (Fourth of July) if it does indeed develop. The closer the storm tracks to Hampton Roads, the more rain and wind we will see. A weak cold front will be moving into Hampton Roads on Friday as well, so any addition of tropical moisture would just increase the potential for heavy rain. This cold front and associated upper level trough should push this disturbance out to sea at some point this weekend. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate this disturbance tomorrow. Once they find more information, that data will get put into the computer models, so the models can have a better handle on the storm.

Besides this area of low pressure spinning off the coast of Florida, our local weather has been quiet and will remain quiet over the next few days. More heat and humidity are in the forecast though. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s tomorrow with more 90s in the forecast starting on Tuesday. High pressure breaks down by Tuesday and then it’s back to a typical summer pattern with pop-up showers and storms possible Wednesday afternoon. Rain chances stay in the forecast on Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned! I will have another update coming up on WAVY News 10 at 11.

-Meteorologist Tiffany Savona


Watching A Storm To Our South

June 29th, 2014 at 9:08 am by under Weather

An area of low pressure has moved offshore from S. Carolina in the last 24 hours. The National Hurricane Center has that area with a 40% chance of development in the next 48 hours. That storm has an even higher chance of development in the next 5 days. This is what it looks like this morning.

Satellite

Satellite

The intense yellows and oranges that you see are a sign of thunderstorm development in the clouds. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly out to analyze the storm this afternoon. As with any storm system tracking and forecast it is the biggest challenge. Lets break the forecast in to two parts.

Forecast (The next 2 Days)

Forecast (The next 2 Days)

It is safe to assume that over the next 48 hours this storm will move towards Florida. It may strengthen slightly as it has access to warn ocean water thanks to the gulf stream.

Possible Paths

Possible Paths

Stretching out the forecast our further always adds “noise” or widely varying forecasts. I drew in two specific paths though. Both tracks are labeled where they will be by midday Friday and midday Saturday. Models like the European keep the storm offshore and stronger. Other models like the GFS and the DGEX sweep the storm closer to the coast and eventually inland. We could see this becoming the first named storm of 2014. (The name would be Arthur). Remember Friday is July 4th, so the Holiday weekend could be impacted by this storm. Tiffany Savona and Jeremy Wheeler will be tracking this storm over the coming week. Stay tuned for more updates.

 

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson