Peak Activity: The Tropical Atlantic Heats Up

September 19, 2019 – Category 1 Hurricane Jerry is the latest addition to the National Hurricane Center Tropical Weather Outlook this evening. The 90 mph storm is moving to the west-northwest and threatens the Leeward Islands, where Tropical Storm Watches are currently in effect, as well as Bermuda, which is still experiencing rough waters from the once Major Hurricane Humberto.

Hurricane Jerry 9 19 19.png
Hurricane Jerry, a relatively small storm as of the evening of September 19, poses a threat for the northern Leeward Islands as well as Bermuda over the next seven days.

Further to the west, the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda continues to wreak havoc in Texas – where upwards of 40″ of rain have now fallen to the east of Houston. Large swaths of southeastern Texas, which were also slammed by the historic rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, are under Flash Flood and Flood Warnings.

The Rest of the Atlantic

  • Now Category 2 Hurricane Humberto continues to move to the north and east away from Bermuda with winds in excess of 105 mph.
  • Two areas with low probability of development over the next five days are moving into and through the Caribbean Sea.
  • A disturbance moving off the Africa has a 50% chance at developing into a Tropical Depression over the next five days. The most immediate effects of this potential storm could be felt in the Cape Verde islands.

For more information regarding the impacts of Imelda, please visit http://www.weather.gov. For more information regarding the progress of Hurricanes Jerry and Humberto, as well as the three noted areas of potential development, please visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.

More updates both here and on our Facebook page as conditions warrant.

Stay safe!

Hurricane Dorian: What You Need to Know

Category 4 Major Hurricane Dorian is barreling towards the US East Coast.  The storm, which has rapidly intensified over the past several hours, is expected to reach the Bahamas by Sunday afternoon.

What you need to know:

The Saffir-Simpson Scale:
Category 5: 157+ mph - Catastrophic Damage
Category 4: 130-156 mph - Catastrophic Damage
Category 3: 111 - 129 mph - Devastating Damage
Category 2: 96 - 110 mph - Extensive Damage
Category 1: 74 - 95 mph - Some Damage

As of the evening of August 30, 2019, Hurricane Dorian is a category 4 major hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph and a central pressure of 950 millibars.

The current National Hurricane Center forecast cone keeps Florida in the cross-hairs. This afternoon, computer model guidance shifted the projected storm path eastward, placing locations from Miami to as far north as South Carolina under the threat of winds well in excess of 100 mph, excessive rainfall, and significant storm surge.

NHC Hurricane Dorian.png
The National Hurricane Center’s official track guidance as of 8 PM EDT on August 30, 2019. Hurricane Warnings (red) and Hurricane Watches (pink) have been issued for the Bahamas. This graphic depicts the potential storm center paths – not the potential extent of storm impacts.

The 8 PM EDT update from the National Hurricane Center has a category 4 storm making landfall near Port Saint Lucie, Florida. While there continues to exist uncertainty in the track of this storm, should this occur, storm surge well in excess of 7-11+ feet is possible on the coast of central eastern Florida, with top sustained winds potentially exceeding 130 – 140 mph in a radius reaching tens of miles from the center of the storm.

Who in the United States mainland will bear the brunt of this storm is still unknown. The storm will make a turn northward as it is picked up by a ridge of high pressure situated over the western Atlantic. When this storm makes its turn northward is still uncertain. 

It is vital that everyone on the US East Coast from Miami to South Carolina – and even further north – be prepared to act quickly ahead of this storm. 

Please prepare now and stay updated on local guidance and evacuation information from the National Hurricane Center (nhc.noaa.gov), the National Weather Service (weather.gov), and your local emergency management office.

Weather360 will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this storm both here and on our Facebook page.

Be prepared and stay safe!

2019 Hurricane Season Outlook

Colorado State University has recently released its 2019 Hurricane Season Outlook and is calling for a slightly below average hurricane season. The Colorado State University outlook for the Atlantic Hurricane Season has long been one of the staples used in the long-term forecasting of how violent or active a particular hurricane season will be.

This year, the CSU forecast (as of April) is calling for an expected total of 13 named tropical cyclones (the average is 12), 5 hurricanes (the average is 6), and 2 major hurricanes (the average is 3). This forecast is based on various points of data, including recent measurements indicating that the Tropical Atlantic is slightly cooler than average for this time of year. Check out the full report here.

CANSIPS shear estimate

CANSIPS shear estimate 2
Above are computer model forecasts, made available by TropicalTidbits.com, for this coming hurricane season. This particular model, the CanSIPS, is forecasting increased areas of wind shear (generally less favorable for hurricane development) across the lower Caribbean from August to November. This by does not rule out the presence or development of hurricanes or other cyclones in the Caribbean Sea.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and lasts until November 30, during which time, as with any year, there will most likely be several potentially life-threatening cyclones in the basin. Despite the slightly reduced risk for tropical cyclones, please remain vigilant throughout the late spring, summer, and fall for further developments.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tropical storms, now is the best time to get prepared. Ensure you have a proper emergency supplies kit and other essentials by visiting https://www.ready.gov.

Stay safe!

 

Catastrophic and Unprecedented Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall in Florida

The eye wall of the now 150 mph Hurricane Michael is making landfall near Panama City, Florida. This storm has rapidly increased in strength over the past 24, 48, and 72 hours to become a now unprecedented event in the history of the Florida Panhandle.

Hurricane Michael Image
Hurricane Michael, a strong Category 4 hurricane, making landfall several miles to the east of Panama City, Florida. (1:30 pm ET October 10, 2018)

The National Hurricane Center has forecasted storm surge to exceed 14 feet in some locations in the Big Bend region of northwestern Florida. The NHC has also extended Hurricane Warnings as far inland as southeastern Georgia, with Tropical Storm Warnings extending as far north as the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Weather.gov Hurricane Michael.png
Due to the fast-moving nature of Hurricane Michael, the storm will remain at tropical storm or hurricane strength as it traverses the Southeast United States. (Image Source: Weather.gov)

The National Weather Service has also extended Extreme Wind Warnings for locations from Panama City to Apalachicola as the eye wall continues to bring winds in excess of 130-150 mph onshore.

Hurricane Michael has made history, not only as being the first category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle, nor only with its being  the lowest pressure (919 millibars) recorded in the area, but also with its having formed and struck in the month of October.

For more information regarding Hurricane Michael and its effects, please consult the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov, or the National Weather Service at http://www.weather.gov.

Stay safe!

Massive Hurricane Florence to Slam the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence, now a major category 3 hurricane with winds in excess of 115 mph, is expected to restrengthen as it makes its way towards the coast. Storm Surge and Hurricane Warnings are in effect from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to the northern Outer Banks in North Carolina, with Hurricane Watches extending as far south as Charleston.

Florence NHC Track 09 12 18.png
Official NHC track and wind field assessment as of 8:00 PM ET on September 12, 2018.

Although the effects of Hurricane Florence will begin to impact the Carolinas starting tomorrow afternoon, strong winds and heavy rain will continue to lash the region until the end of the weekend due to the storm’s unusual path.

Florence NAM 3KM Future Radar 09 12 18.png
This is the  18z 9/12/18 run of the NAM 3km computer model depicting an extremely intense Hurricane Florence approaching the Wilmington, NC area.

For the past several days, computer model guidance has shifted to suggesting that Hurricane Florence will begin to slow down and proceed to parallel the coastline come Friday evening. The storm’s unusual path will force extremely dangerous winds and storm surge across a swath of land extending from the Outer Banks to South Carolina, placing millions under the threat of life-threatening conditions. Unfortunately, these conditions will only be compounded and exacerbated by the upwards of 3 feet of rain forecasted to fall in some areas.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting winds to exceed 120 mph upon Hurricane Florence’s arrival near the coastline, with a storm surge exceeding 9-13 feet in some locations, making this storm extremely dangerous for those in its path.

If you have been ordered or asked to evacuate, please heed these orders immediately before it becomes too late to do so. All preparations for this storm should be completed immediately.

For more information, please consult the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov or your local emergency management office.

Hybrid Storm Takes Aim on Northeast

Tropical Storm Philippe has merged with a cold front off the coast of Delaware. The new center of low pressure is rapidly intensifying and continuing to push tropical moisture northwards. The core of the storm, as forecasted by nearly all computer models over the past 24 hours, is developing rapidly and, once onshore, is expected to bring with it wind gusts that could reach hurricane force. Today also happens to be the five year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, and the six year anniversary of the Halloween Snowstorm of 2011. This storm, although not as strong as either of these two infamous events, shares multiple, peculiar characteristics with both storms, including but not limited to the ‘negative dip’ in the jet stream, an atmospheric condition responsible for Sandy’s ‘sharp left turn’ into the Mid-Atlantic, as well as its combining with another storm system to create a hybrid-superstorm.

Hybrid Storm 10 29 17 625 PM Radar Image.gif
Northeast US Radar as of 6:25 PM Eastern Time.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the entire NYC Metro Area, meaning that high winds will likely cause widespread power outages and will cause fallen items to block roadways. A flood warning is also in effect for the area, meaning that conditions are favorable for roadways and other low-lying locations to flood due to the excessive amount of rainfall. If travel is necessary, exercise extreme caution going into tonight and into tomorrow.

For more information, visit The National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.

 

Less Than Two Weeks After Irma, Maria Promises to Slam Caribbean as Monster Category 5

Hurricane Maria has intensified from a category 1 to a monster category 5 hurricane in under 48 hours. The now 160 mph storm is expected to strengthen further as it makes its first landfall in the eastern Caribbean before making a direct hit on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Maria possesses winds equivalent to that of an EF 3 to EF 4 tornado and is moving at less than 10 mph, meaning the worst of its winds will bear down on the same locations for up to 6 hours at a time (keep in mind that a tornado typically spends around 30 seconds to 2 minutes affecting one single location). The National Hurricane Center forecasts Hurricane Maria to make landfall in southeastern Puerto Rico as a category 5 storm with sustained winds of 160 mph. The already devastated US and British Virgin Islands can expect extreme winds and rain as well as storm surge over the next 48 hours. This will cause catastrophic damage across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as well.

Hurricane Maria.png
The National Hurricane Center’s cone of uncertainty regarding Maria’s potential track, the storm is also expected to expand as it approaches Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Following its landfall in Puerto Rico, Maria is expected to track into the eastern Bahamas as a category 3 or 4 storm as it continues to move northwestward, potentially impacting the US East Coast over the next week and a half. For further information, please consult the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov and the National Weather Service at http://www.weather.gov.

Harvey to Make Landfall in Texas as Major Hurricane

Tropical Storm Harvey is now expected to be the first major hurricane to make landfall in The United States in over 12 years. Up to 24+ inches of rain is possible across the Texas Gulf Coast due to the slow-moving nature of the storm. Sustained winds of 115 mph with gusts potentially approaching 140 mph are now expected across wide swaths of the Texas Gulf Coast.

cone graphic
The NHC 10 am CDT update depicting the potential path and intensity of Harvey over the next several days.

 

The 12 UTC NAM 3km computer model currently depicts a massive, dangerous storm making landfall in Texas tomorrow afternoon.

For more information, consult The National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov as well as The National Weather Service at http://www.weather.gov.

Hurricane Matthew Expected to Slam Florida

The category 3 Hurricane Matthew has prompted tropical storm watches, tropical storm warnings, hurricane watches, and hurricane warnings for nearly the entire state. Winds in excess of 100 mph may be expected across large swaths of the Southeast from southern Florida to South Carolina in the coming days.

[Image of probabilities of 34-kt winds]
NHC Tropical Storm Force Winds Probabilities for Hurricane Matthew.

Millions have been ordered to evacuate from the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The time is NOW to prepare for the storm. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE STORM STARTS TO PREPARE. Hurricane Matthew is an extremely dangerous and life threatening storm, and potential impacts to The US and The Bahamas may be comparable to that of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

*Hurricane Matthew is an extremely dangerous storm, it is highly recommended to prepare and evacuate as ordered by your local governments should they do so. Please consult The National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for more info.*

Hurricane Matthew Bears Down on Caribbean, Poses Threat to US

The monster  category 4 Hurricane Matthew is now beginning its path of destruction as it nears the northern Caribbean Islands. Up to over a foot of rain is expected over a wide swath of Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica, creating the possibility for mudslides and flash flooding.

The National Hurricane Center has forecasted the storm to barrel through The Caribbean and The Bahamas before potentially impacting the US.

Hurricane conditions can be expected across Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and all of Haiti over the next 48 hours, and hurricane conditions are increasingly likely for large swaths of the Bahamas as well as The Turks and Caicos.

After about 72 hours out, the forecast becomes a bit less certain, as it begins to be reliant on, multiple factors, for now, we’ll focus on two.

  • Factor 1: The low pressure system in the Pacific Northwest is weaker than expected, meaning that once it reaches Hurricane Matthew on the East Coast (if at all), it will not be able to slingshot the storm away from the coast as previously thought.
  • Factor 2: The high pressure system in the Atlantic is much more dominant than expected, indicating that it may act as a block in Matthew’s path, forcing it much, much closer to the coast, as reflected in last night’s shift in the spaghetti model plots.

*Hurricane Matthew is an extremely dangerous storm, it is highly recommended to prepare and evacuate as ordered by your local governments should they do so. Please consult The National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for more info.*