Category Archives: forecast

Really?!

Nit Picking

Noon Oct.9,2019

Just checked the afternoon forecast from the NWS.  Cloudy with a high in the upper 70’s.

Here we are sitting under cloudy skies, light NE winds at about 60 degrees.  How are we going to get almost 20 degrees of warming over the next 4-5 hours?  We’re not.  Even if the clouds cleared immediately, we’d be hard pressed to get that warm.  In reality, clouds should begin to thin by 3-4 P.M.  Even with thinning clouds, we’ll be lucky to reach the low 70’s.  Around 70 seems more likely.

What’s up?  Isn’t anyone paying attention?

Stuff

A little perspective…

Slashing and burning of the Amazon has been going on for decades.  All of a sudden this year, it became the “climate destruction gang’s” next big thing on the climate agenda.  But why now?  The  average amount of deforestation over the past five years has been only about 50% of what was occurring 20 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong on this, Amazon deforestation is (and has been) a big climate problem.  But, programs have been ongoing for years to reduce the burning.  Success has been modest, but this certainly is not a new problem.

Not much more to say about Dorian

Six P.M. Thursday, Sept 5, 2019

Dorian approaching North Carolina

Dorian is weakening but still poses a threat to  SE North Carolina. It’ll move along, perhaps touching, the coast tonight and exit off of Cape Hatteras around midday tomorrow.

So, we sit back and wait to see the results.  It certainly won’t be as bad as some of the projections issued earlier this week.  But, it still looks like beach erosion will be extensive.

Some of the video from the northern Bahamas look almost unbelievable.

The next 36 hours are going to be tough for the Carolinas

Wed, Sept 4, 2019  6 P.M.

Gulf Stream providing more fuel

Now that Dorian has cleared the Bahamas and moved over the warmer Gulf Stream waters, the storm’s winds and organization are picking.  Quite likely Dorian will move back to Cat 3 status, if it isn’t already there.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been focusing on the area between Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks of North Carolina as the most at risk from this storm.  That’s still the case.  The full force of the winds plus the wind-driven storm surge will hit the South Carolina coast tonight and move along the coast until leaving the Outer Banks Friday morning.

Forecast models are consistent that the storm path will hug the coastline.  In fact, there’s a growing consensus that Dorian will make landfall for at least a few hours in North Carolina.

Official forecasts predict at least a 7-8 foot storm surge over northern South Carolina and probably higher over North Carolina.  The highest storm surges will occur at the time of high tides.  These storm surges were based on Dorian when the storm was weaker.  Now that intensification is occurring,  the waves could be even higher.

Whether Dorian is a Cat 2 or Cat 3, the Carolina coast is going to take quite a pounding during the next 36 hours.

 

Weaker Dorian approaching the U.S.

Tuesday, Sept 4, 2019  4P.M.

Little change since yesterday.  Models in very close agreement.

Important to note:  Dorian has weakened and is nor longer capable of catastrophic damage.  Dorian’s energy to do work, or its force, is now only about 40% of what it was the past two days.

Thus, Florida as expected gets off easy – minor to moderate beach erosion.  The beaches of the Carolinas will not be so lucky.  Major to severe erosion is likely as Dorian rides RIGHT along the coast, or briefly inland, late tomorrow through early Friday.  The area from Myrtle Beach to the Outer Banks will be the worst hit.

Dorian has stopped, for now

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2019  5 P.M.

Northern Bahamas still getting blasted

Dorian has weakened a bit today, down to a Cat 4, but is still very potent.  The weakening trend should continue for awhile due to interaction with land.  More importantly, weakening may be even greater than expected because the storm has essentially stopped.  To simplify things, hurricanes grab a lot of their energy from the warm surface waters  beneath them.  But, when a tropical system stops, the warm surface water gets essentially “used up.”  In fact, cooler water from below the ocean’s surface rises to the surface.  When this happens, the hurricane becomes energy deprived and weakens.  The longer Dorian remains stalled, the better the prospects become for the southeast U.S. coast.

As you might suspect, the closer (in time) Dorian comes to possible landfall, the closer the forecast agreement gets.  But, there are still some very destructive scenarios to consider.

Florida and Georgia Coasts:  Neither the GFS nor the euro models expect landfall along these coasts.  The GFS, however, does nudge Dorian closer to the coast.  Either way keeps any major storm problems away from these coasts.

South and North Carolina coasts:  The GFS continues the northeast movement of Dorian.  As the storm parallels the coast, A very strong storm surge will produce moderate to major damage.  How much damage depends upon how much Dorian weakens by that time – late Tuesday into early Thursday.  Another thing to consider is that the current weakening should be temporary.  Dorian will be riding the Gulf Stream along the coast and that warm water favors reintensification.

Meanwhile, the euro has Dorian closer to the North Carolina coast, with a possible touching of land, over North Carolina.  This is a decidedly worse scenario than the GFS is offering.

So in summary, the Florida and Georgia coastal areas are likely to have strong winds and very heavy rains.  But, extreme conditions are not likely.  However, severe damage is still a possibility for the Carolina coasts, especially from Myrtle Beach northward.  But, things change.  Stay tuned.

Dorian now a Cat 5

Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019  6 P.M.

Northern Bahamas getting blasted

In the past couple of hours, winds are believed to have gusted to over 180 mph at Great Abaco.  The storm is down to a forward speed about 5 mph toward the west, so high danger will last for quite a while.

Meanwhile, the model forecasts are now very close together concerning the eventual path of Dorian.  In general, they expect the slow westward drift to continue until Tuesday.  Then, a turn to the north followed by turn to the northeast by midweek.  Also, a slow drop in the max winds is expected as the storm makes its poleward move.  But, Dorian should still remain a major hurricane until late in the week.

Little has changed in the projected path since yesterday.  Dorian is expected to parallel, BUT NOT CROSS  the east coast of Florida and Georgia.  There will be some high surf problems, but, overall, this is very good news compared what it looked like several days ago.

It gets a little trickier, however, as the storm parallels the South and North Carolina  coastline.  Due to coastal geography there, if Dorian is still a high Cat 3 or Cat 4, the storm surge will be very severe.  Major to catastrophic damage could be the result.  Luckily we will be about halfway between a new moon and a full moon, so natural tides will be lower.  That will lessen the impact of the storm surge.

Back to the “model battles”

The GFS predicts the scenario described above.  Dorian really hugs the east coast of the Carolinas.  That’s the bad news.  The euro continues to predict a path farther away from the coast.  Now, the difference looks to be about 200-300 miles.  Not much in the big picture but the situation predicted by the euro isn’t really a big deal whereas the GFS  forecast could create a very serious situation.

 

 

Latest model updates

Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019  4: 30 P.M.

Newest Euro:  Keeps Dorian several hundred miles east of Florida (only small  problems for the coast.  Then, it gets stays off the Carolina coasts and stays east of Cape Hatteras.  (more good news)

Newest GFS:  stays away from the Florida coast, but probably makes landfall along the North Caroiina coast.

More changes, this time it’s better news

Sat.  Aug. 31, 2019  3:30 P.M.

Much better news for Florida!

Over my 50+ years of trying to into harmony with nature, I repeated countless times, “Don’t trust any forecast beyond two days.”  We still miss forecasts in days 1 and 2, but that forecast is usually pretty accurate.  But when you get beyond 2 days, things change.

Hurricane Dorian forecasts this week have been  a prime example.  Early this week Dorian was projected to hit somewhere along the Florida east coast.  Where?  We have many different models looking at the storm (you’ve probably seen the “Spaghetti Diagrams” on tv), but the  U.S. showcase is the GFS and the top model in the world is referred as the EURO.  Let’s just track those two.

Early in the week, the GFS landfall was predicted to be along the FL/GA border.  The euro focused on southern FL.  Over the next day or two, the GFS gradually worked its landfall southward to close to the euro position.  Yesterday, the GFS still predicted a hit north of Miami then at least a two day journey northward over Florida.  That matches the horrific damage projection I mentioned Thursday.

But, yesterday’s morning euro changed!  It no longer predicted Dorian to hit Florida.  Instead, it would get within a 100 miles or so, then turn slowly northward along the coast and probably not hit land until about North Carolina.  That’s VERY important!  As far a potential damage goes, there’s a huge difference between a hit and a near miss.  Meanwhile, the GFS maintained it’s devastating forecast.

This morning, the GFS caught up to the euro  with the “close miss” scenario, but was still putting landfall along the area along the North/South Carolina border.  Today’s euro, however, has shifted the storm track farther east, possibly even missing the Outer Banks.

So, what’s going to happen?

Good question.  We’re still more than two days away from U.S. coastal interaction and “trends” sometimes do reverse.   So, no one from Florida to North Carolina is completely out of danger yet.   But, current trends are indicating a much better situation, especially for Florida.  As it stands now, Florida’s biggest threat will come from beach erosion.   But remember, things change!

GFS vs. euro

Remember earlier this summer when the National Weather Service made a big fuss over it’s introduction of its “new and better” GFS version?  The model was designed to oust the euro as world’s best.  Dorian has been the first big test for the new GFS.  So far, so bad.  But, things change.  Let’s see how it plays out.

Stuff

The director of the Internal Revenue Service during the mid 1940’s later went to jail for failing to pay his income taxes.

Models change

Thursday, August 29, 2019  6 P.M.

Models diverge from National Hurricane Center

First Dorian was forecast to make landfall along the Florida east coast late Saturday.  Then early Sunday.  Latest forecast is for about Midnight Monday morning.  The later it gets, the more problems it’ll create.

Latest GFS products and several other models slow it even more – with one model actually holding off landfall until Tuesday!  The delay will allow the storm to sit off the coast (probably SE Florida) for 2-3 days.  That could create almost unbelievable shore erosion  along the east coast of the northern two-thirds of the east coast of Florida as well as parts of Georgia’s  coast.

Hurricane Center is projecting max winds around 130 mph at landfall.  That may be a tad on the high side, but the extremely slow motion of the storm combined with the expected winds could wipe out many beaches due to the prolonged storm surge.

Hopefully, things will change over the next few days, but, if not, prepare for the worst for the northern 2/3 of Florida’s east coast.  If you have interests along the Gulf (west) Coast of Florida, no big deal.  Few, if any, problems there.

There’s still plenty of time for things to change, but right now it’s not looking good.

Not much rain

Tuesday, july 16, 2019

Barry’s remains continue to fall apart.  Now looks like we’ll see about 2-4 hours of rain (mostly) during the morning rush hour.  Amount of rain now looks as though it’ll be roughly 1/2″ or less.