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.

Odd

Thursday, August, 8, 2019

We’ve had some crazy pretty forecasts this summer, especially before our weather turned dry over the past six weeks.  Meanwhile, the recent dry weather has  us hoping for some needed rainfall.  And,  the National Weather Service has given us some hope for tomorrow and tomorrow night.  I just have no idea where their forecast came from!

They’ve got a 50% chance for both time periods.  The models I’ve seen have dropped rain chances to less than 10%.  So, what’s up?  I have no idea.  I don’t see any rain tomorrow or tomorrow night.  But, I’d sure like to get a good, soaking rain.  I just don’t see it happening soon.

Remember back in May and early June how 50% forecasts brought us many heavy rain episodes?  Seems to me the forecast probabilities were too low then, and too high now.

 

 

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.

Barry “underperforms”

Tuesday, July 16, 2019  4 P.M.

Barry provides a wet night

Remember all the frightful forecasts about the flooding rains Barry would cause last weekend over Louisiana and surrounding states?  Well, the storm did produce the normal heavy rains that a tropical storm does, but the big weather story for the past couple of days has been Barry’s “underperformance.”  A huge part of the damage and destruction predicted never happened.  That’s the good news.  Here’s the bad news:  All the familiar meteorologists’s phrases popped up – “We dodged the bullet”, “We got lucky”, and “The storm underperformed”.  Ah!  The world we live in.  All the reasons given imply that the forecast was correct.  Thus, it was nature that blew it!

Note to fellow forecasters:  Nature does NOT make mistakes, but we do.  Isn’t it about time that forecasters actually own up to their mistakes and just admit them rather than trying to push the blame to “the weather”?

Barry’s moisture finally reaches us.

Barry’s remnants are being picked up by a weak upper air system over the midwest that will push eastward tonight and cross the lower Ohio Valley by midday tomorrow.  Ahead of this system we’ll see periods of rain and a few thunderstorms tonight.  There could be a few lingering light showers tomorrow, but the bulk of the rain will be overnight.  Current model trends are for the heaviest rains to occur over the western third of KY and over the eastern third of KY later tonight and tomorrow.  Both of those areas could see 1″-2″ rain totals with perhaps higher totals in the mountains.  Most of southern IN and central KY should receive up to an inch of rain with a few areas higher if thunderstorms develop.

Break in the heat coming?

For at least a month, the GFS model has been predicting a change in the upper air pattern over North America.  The forecast has always been for the shift/change to occur 10 days to two weeks ahead.  But “next week’s cooling” has never shown up…yet.

Late last week the forecast was for a transition to the cooler pattern to happen Sun/Mon (July 21-2).  Now we’re less than a week away and the forecast hasn’t changed.  Could it be “real” this time?  It sure looks like it.  So, a more comfortable weather pattern should set if next week.

Then, the question becomes whether the cooler pattern will persist for several weeks or just be  a minor “blip” in the summer heat.  Longer range models keep the cooler pattern in place for most of August.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Stuff:

There’s been a lot of news and celebration this week concerning the 50th anniversary of the Apollo II moon landing.  Here’s a tidbit I read this week…

The Apollo II computer system required about 145,000 lines of code.   (Today, Facebook runs about 62 million code lines while Google uses more than 2 billion lines!)

Severe weather close, but not likely here

Fri. June 20, 2019  5 P.M.

A strong line of strong to severe thunderstorms has moved into southwestern IN and western KY during the past hour.  Numerous reports of damaging winds have come from MO/IL.  What’s left of the squall line should pass through Jefferson County between 8 and 9 P.M.  The storms will be much weaker by that time because it’ll be moving into an area of significantly lower moisture.  The air over the western third of KY and extreme SW IN is very humid and primed for severe winds over the next few hours AND extremely heavy rains after midnight.  Meanwhile, the really rich moisture will not reach us so storm strength and rain totals will not be excessive.

Some of the lighter rain from this system could linger into the mid-morning hours tomorrow, however.

Derby Day update

3:15 P.M.

Radar indications are now projecting the heaviest period of rain at Churchill Downs should be between 3:45 and 6 P.M.  Rain should lighten, perhaps even end, by Race Time.  Either way, it looks like the track condition will be either sloppy or muddy.

Horse race reminder:

No one ever bets enough on a winning horse.

Derby Weather

Sat. May 4, 2019

Another rainy one!

Although it won’t be as bad as last year, we’ll still have our second wet Derby in a row.  After giving us a little hope yesterday, the models have settled back into a slower developing southern system.  That keeps us wet most of the afternoon into the evening.

Here’s how it shapes up:  cloudy this morning followed by periods of light rain most of the afternoon.  Then, the worst part of the forecast.  Expect a period of heavier rain (perhaps even some thunder/lightning) between roughly 5 to 7 P.M.  After the Derby, rain tapers off during the evening.  Temperatures remain in the 60’s all day.

In spite of the weather, I hope you have a Derby winner!