Florida and The East Coast are Bracing for Hurricane Hermine

Hurricane Hermine will make history tonight as it will be the first storm of its status to make landfall in Florida in over a decade. Over the past week, what is now Hurricane Hermine went from being an area of exposed low-level circulation to what is now an organized storm capable of producing winds of 75 MPH as well as a storm surge of up to 8 feet on the coast. After impacting Florida tonight, the storm is expected to skirt the Southeast coast with winds exceeding 50 MPH before  moving out over the waters off the Mid Atlantic coast. The following is an image from The NHC displaying the expected track of Hermine as well as current watches and warnings.

nhc hermine hurricane track 9116.gif
This image is provided by The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings on The East Coast stretch from Florida to the NJ/NY border. On The Gulf Coast, Hurricane Warnings are still in effect for The Big Bend region of Florida, and Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect for areas on The Panhandle as well as areas around Tampa.

This storm poses a serious threat to both life and property and has the potential to affect millions across The East Coast. Please consult the National Weather Service at weather.gov for your local watches, warnings, and advisories.

Tropical Depression Nine Expected to Become a Tropical Storm Today; Track Uncertainty Remains in the Long Term

Tropical Depression 9, the swirling mass of clouds just to the north of The Yucatan in the image to the left, is expected to intensify into a Tropical Storm sometime over the next several hours. The warm waters of The Gulf combined with little shear has finally allowed this storm to grow rapidly over the past couple of days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued Hurricane Watches as well as Tropical Storm Warnings for much of the Big Bend area of Florida north of Tampa. Although the storm is not currently expected to become a hurricane before landfall,  it will come close to doing so with sustained winds of about 65 MPH, so Hurricane Watches are still in effect for the area. Although a sort of model consensus has been reached regarding the short term for this storm, mayhem continues as some computer models have begun to indicate a shift to the west once it passes North Carolina. If this storm were to shift to the west as now indicated by some of the more trustworthy computer models, it would mean that impacts from this storm would be felt as far north as New England.  As of now, The NHC has put a 50% chance of a 3 to 5 foot storm surge occurring in The Long Island Sound, but until the computer models receive more information, it is unlikely we will know the exact track.  More updates will ne available here over the next several days, but please visit The National Hurricane Center at nhc.noaa.gov before making any decisions.

Remnants of Erika may redevelop, Tropical Storm Fred forms, Hurricane Ignacio may impact Hawaii

End of August Weather Overview: 2 PM EDT/AST, 8 AM HST August 30th 2015

Erika Redevelopment Recap

Over the past several days the weather world has been keeping a close eye on Erika, just about until yesterday, when it became a remnant low off the northern coast of Cuba.  After that point at 9:30 yesterday, almost all hope was lost for the redevelopment of Erika, but according to some short range computer models, the remnants moving northward across Central Florida, may redevelop a center of circulation soon off the Southeastern Coast.  So we’ll keep a close watch on this system over the upcoming several days.

Tropical Storm Fred Overview

Tropical Storm Fred formed yesterday off the coast of the Cape Verde Islands and is expected to become a hurricane while moving further northwest towards the central Atlantic.  Fred will thereafter weaken to a Tropical Storm once more and move quite quickly through the central Atlantic, the eventual destination is still at this point unknown.

Hawaii Hurricane Threat

Hurricane Ignacio is now a Category Four storm with winds upwards of 140 MPH, this storm is barreling to the northwest and is expected to graze the northern sides of the islands of Maui and the Big Island.  At the moment, Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for locations within The Big Island and all of Maui County.  For those with interests in the islands potentially affected by the storm, please continue to monitor the progress of this storm over the upcoming few days.

Weather 360 will continue to keep you updated on all of these threats over the coming days.

Tonight crucial in any future development of Tropical Storm Erika

As of 5:30 PM EDT/AST

With the newest NHC track and intensity update of Tropical Storm Erika rolling out, it is time to really stop and think, what is the single most important factor in Erika’s development, what is most crucial in the short term?  The answer is for the most part clear, and cloudy, but it is Hispaniola at the moment…

Hispaniola and the Storm Shredder’s

Sounds like a band, right?  Anyways, the mountains spread across central and southern portions of the two-nation island do inhibit development of tropical cyclones by ripping to shreds their center of circulation in the lower levels.  The mountains of Hispaniola are anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 feet, tall enough to disrupt the centers and  other clouds at the lower levels.  So really it all comes down to the mountains over the next 12 to 18 hours, and if Erika is strong enough to at the least reemerge after its encounter with the land masses.

Official Alerts:

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the entire length of the coasts of The Dominican Republic and Haiti, along with The Turks and Caicos along with most of The Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for northeastern parts of Cuba and for locations in the northwestern portions of The Bahamas.

Weather 360 will continue to monitor the progress of Erika over the next several days.

Tropical Storm Erika may impact Southeast Coast, but will it make it there?

As of 11:30 AM EDT/AST

Tropical Storm Erika has sustained winds of about 50 MPH with gusts upwards of 60 MPH.  The storm is moving west-northwestward at the moment over the Dominican Republic.  Tropical Storm Warnings are still in effect for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, parts of The Turks and Caicos along with The Bahamas, and all of Hispaniola.  Hurricane Hunter Aircraft are in the storm.

The Track

This image is made public by the South Florida Water Management District (.gov)

The track seems to be locking in and narrowing down, well, at least compared to yesterday at this time, but nonetheless, the expected track and intensity are still at a state of ‘low confidence’ as mentioned by the NHC in their latest Tropical Forecast Discussion.  The general trend though, is that the storm will pass over Hispaniola over the next day, then turn northward toward Florida, then possibly re curving, to go back over the Atlantic and to head up the East Coast.  For those in Florida or along the Southeast Coast of the United States, please continue to monitor the situation, as the cone of uncertainty continues to include the possibility of a major storm impacting the Eastern Seaboard.

Intensity, Will She Survive?

Who knows, Erika is seeming to have a mind of her own as she has not followed the official NHC track whatsoever over the last several days.  Although this is true, over the past hour or two Erika has seemed to finally get her act together (or the NHC for that matter) in determining the track, because Erika’s center of circulation along with her discombobulated thunderstorms have seemingly begun to shift to the northwest.  Erika is expected to strengthen at least to a higher-grade Tropical Storm by the NHC, and by a very consistent computer model, the GFDL, a major Category Four storm off of the Southeast Coast.  But what is the driving force behind its intensity?  Mountains…

Believe it or not, the only difference in the computer models is if Erika will be torn up enough by the mountains for it not to reform to a well-defined system.  According to the NHC, Erika will be so torn up by Hispaniola’s mountains, that it will not be able to strengthen too significantly before potential impact with Florida.  This whereas the GFDL computer model along with some others, suggest a less torn-up version of Erika and strengthen her rapidly, causing her to not impact Florida for too long and move her up the US East Coast quickly as a large Major Hurricane (as of 6 UTC.)

Official Alerts:

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for The Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, all of Hispaniola, The Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for parts of Cuba, and the northwest portions of The Bahamas.

Weather 360 3.A.S.: Tropical Storm Warning areas are under a Level I Emergency,  Locations under Tropical Storm Watches are under a Level II Alert, and a Level III, Be Aware, statement is for the Entire East Coast from Florida to Massachussetts.

Weather 360 will continue to keep you updated on the progress of Erika.

Tropical Storm Erika may pose threat to entire East Coast if models hold through

BREAKING WEATHER NEWS: 3:45 PM EDT/AST

It is now almost 4 o’clock across the Eastern Seaboard of the US and with the latest run of the computer model runs, some fairly intriguing information has come out as well.

What’s happening?

As of the 12 UTC update, several computer models that do bring Erika up the East Coast, also bring Erika to Category 4 and Category 5 status while nearing the Outer Banks.  This could, if true, mean that a potential catastrophic disaster could be felt anywhere from Florida, to New England, with that in mind, we do remind you that some computer models do still bring a weaker system into Florida, which would avert a potential catastrophe.  For anyone from Florida to New England, we do advise to at least be thinking about preparation for this potential storm.

For those in the Caribbean Islands, including Hispaniola, The Turks and Caicos, and The Bahamas, we recommend immediate action, as we expect a slight shift in the track by the NHC over the next hour.

Bottom Line:  BE PREPARED, Don’t let a storm catch you off guard.

We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of Erika.

Tropical Storm Erika bears down on Caribbean, and may hit the East Coast soon

As of 7:00 AM EDT/AST

Tropical Storm Erika now has winds sustained at 45 knots (50 MPH), and a pressure of about 1003 millibars.  The storm will likely continue to west-northwestward track at about 15 mph and impact Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, parts of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, and The Bahamas over the next few days.

Let’s Talk Track

Overnight, the main computer models along with many spaghetti models seem to have locked in on their track for Tropical Storm Erika, the newest main track calls for a turn to the north, as expected, while over the Bahamas, leaving most of the state of Florida likely in the clear.  Over the next few days, Tropical Storm Erika will ride over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, skim northeastern parts of Hispaniola, do a direct hit on the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, and skim the Eastern Florida coastline.

The Computer Models, What’s New?

As said before, the spaghetti models along with all the global computer models have seemed to lock in their newest projection for Erika’s track to at least parts of the East Coast, but what about intensity?  Of course, along with track, the intensity must change as well, and believe us when we say change.  One may not think the following change is any more than moderately significant, but in truth, even a difference of about 10 MPH in wind speed can mean the difference between little and major damage.  At the same time yesterday, the spaghetti intensity models where still all over the place, but as of last night,  more and more computer models became more grouped together, leaving us with two main possibilities, either this storm will strengthen rapidly over the Bahamas, or Erika will strengthen over the next several days slowly.  Both of these possibilities do say there would be a hurricane either of above Category Three status, or mid-grade Category One status in about 5 days.

Most Global Computer Models such as the GFS and the ECMWF, will became a bit more infrequently used in the immediate track, meaning that over the next few days, the shorter range and more accurate computer models will be given a bigger shot at Tropical Storm Erika.

Official Alerts:  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the northern Leeward Islands, The Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Tropical Storm Watches remain in effect for southern parts of the Leeward Islands, northern portions of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, and the southern parts of the Bahamas.

Weather 360 3.A.S.:  Level I Emergency for locations under Tropical Storm Warnings,  Level II Alert for locations under Tropical Storm Watches, and a  Level III, be aware statement, for locations from Miami to The Outer Banks along with the entirety of the Eastern Seaboard.

Weather 360 will continue to keep you updated on the progress of Tropical Storm Erika, stay safe!

Tropical Storm Erika takes aim on Caribbean Islands, but then what?

As of 7:00 AM EDT/AST

Tropical Storm Erika has sustained Winds of about 45 MPH, with gusts from 50 to 60 MPH.  The storm is moving to the west-northwest at 20 mph towards the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas.

The Track

Tropical Storm Erika is expected to keep a track trough the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Already due to this threat, Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for parts of the Leeward Islands.  After skimming parts of Hispaniola with its southern side, Erika will begin to move towards the Bahamas, but it is after here where things get interesting.

Let’s talk computer models

For a start, the European Computer Model (ECMWF or Euro) suggests that Erika will stall just north of the Bahamas due to a somewhat aggravating high pressure, this would happen likely until the high pressure moves to the east, then Erika would be allowed to trek the East Coast as a potentially monster-like storm.  Of course, we still have several days to go until we know exactly the final destination for Erika, which is officially expected to become a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

Let’s bring in some of our spaghetti models now… Let’s start with some of the intensity computer models.  At the moment, the majority of the computer models seem to bring Erika to hurricane strength in about 3-5 days, and continue it on a strengthening path after that.  So there is limited disagreement between the current intensity models, but the spaghetti computer track models do have some disagreement on whether Erika will trek into the Gulf, or track up the coast at least to some degree.

Official Alerts: Tropical Storm Watches in effect for the Leeward Islands.

Weather 360 3.A.S.: Level III Alert, be aware that the potential for hazardous weather over the next two weeks may be felt along the US Southeast Coastline due to Tropical Storm Erika.

We here at Weather 360 will continue to keep you updated.

INVEST 90L FORMS NEAR FLORIDA, MODELS HAVE THIS HEADING NORTH

The computer models in a way have shifted overnight, instead of a track more into South Carolina, the majority of the computer models are suggesting that  this storm will likely impact northern parts of South Carolina, and mostly coastal areas in North Carolina.

What is this talk about Invest 90L heading northwards?

The computer models are beginning to suggest that Invest 90L has the potential to become a Tropical Storm before landfall, but also some of the models are also beginning to suggest that this storm could impact the Outer Banks, then move further northward as a weak Tropical Depression and merge with an incoming system to bring more rain to the Northeast United States.

Weather 360 urges anyone living on or near the coast in areas that may be impacted by this storm later on this week to at least think about potentially evacuating due to storm surge and flooding or having an emergency hurricane kit, which is shown in an example on the side of this page.  Please though, BEFORE you make any decisions, consult the NHC’s website, nhc.noaa.gov, to see what plan is best for you.

Tropical disturbance in the Atlantic could cause some serious problems to the East Coast

Have a look at the 12 UTC run of the CMC computer model.

potential tropical cyclone

What your seeing is the 12 UTC run from the CMC model, which, if you focus into the Southeastern Coast, you will see a simulated infrared image that depicts a well-developed cyclone with what appears to be an eye to the storm (meaning that this could be near/ at hurricane status soon.)

Due to this storm’s likelihood of being torn apart at the upper levels by a dip in the Jet Stream, it will likely originate as a Sub-Tropical system, with the potential to gain some tropical characteristics before its possible landfall there soon after.  Although the CMC model is predicting a strong system to appear, most of the computer models are keeping this likely at or slightly below Tropical Storm stage.  Still, at the moment, the forecasts are all over the place.

For anyone living on or near the Southeastern Coast, stay tuned to any possible announcements from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) regarding this system.  You can also visit our Hurricanes 360 page for a view at our highlighted areas that may be at risk, be we do stress to always consult with the NHC before doing anything.

Stay safe, and stay tuned.