09.02.19

Hurricane Dorian—More Thoughts

Posted in Commentary, GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 3:14 pm by gmachos

On this early Tuesday afternoon, Dorian has basically grinded to a halt in its forward motion while its winds have decreased some 35 miles per hour from its peak on Sunday afternoon. The storm is still a high end Category Four Hurricane with 150 mph winds and a minimum central pressure of 938 millibars, or 27.70 inches of Hg.

The Northwestern Bahamas have been absolutely pounded as the storm as slowed and its eye crawls across the backbone of Grand Bahama Island towards Freeport. There are outer rain bands currently affecting Eastern Florida. All 67 counties in the Sunshine State are under a State of Emergency while portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are under a State of Emergency as well.

Some 10 million people are under some form of tropical advisory at this time. At this point, the storm is still forecasted to eventually turn north, but Florida is still not out of the woods yet since that turn has not yet started to happen, and it is very possible that Dorian will be much closer to Florida’s East Coast before it does turn northward. It is located about 83 miles from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and about 108 miles from Fort Lauderdale.

Hurricane Dorian is currently going through an eyewall replacement cycle, which is when an outer eyewall forms and replaces the current inner eyewall. This phase is mostly responsible for the storm’s weakening along with the long interaction with Grand Bahama Island as well as some upwelling of colder water. The eyewall replacement cycle usually results with a larger wind field as a result of the conservation of angular momentum.

While the storm is some 500 miles away from the Jersey Shore, the surf has picked up considerably in the past 12 to 18 hours at places like Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island. The surf is much rougher, and more stirred up while the wave frequency and height has increased. There is video proof of this on the GWCHurricaneville Facebook page and twitter feed. Rip tide or rip current advisories are currently in effect for the Jersey Shore through Monday night. Expect the surf and wave action to continue picking up as the storm moves further north and makes its closest approach to the Garden State.

Right now, Southern Jersey is not in the forecast track, but had been in the cone of uncertainty as of Sunday night. Places such as Long Beach Island, Atlantic City, and Cape May could still feel some impacts from Dorian as it heads further north later this week, but areas that are in more immediate danger are along the Southeast Coast from the East Coast of Florida to Southeastern Virginia. Now, let’s discuss some of the things that have been discussed over the last couple of days.

First, there was the talk about the discrepancy regarding the storm when recon detected Category 5 Hurricane winds on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, but was still listed as a Category Four. Here’s the thing: If you have an 18 wheel tractor trailer coming at you, does it really matter how fast it is going at this point? It could be going 50, 65, 70, or 100 mph, it is not really going to matter because if you get in the way of it, it is likely not going to end up well. Then, there is the heavy surf and waves here in Ocean County from Dorian.

Many will say, how is that possible? Simple. It is a ripple effect from the storm. Much like when you drop a stone in a pond. Ripples of water propagate out from where the stone is dropped. So, if you dropped a 200 pound boulder into the middle of a lake, you pretty much have what’s going on in the Atlantic as the result of Hurricane Dorian’s strength, size, and power. I will try to post another blog entry on Tuesday or so. Unfortunately, I am not able to do as much work on the blog and site due to personal commitments such as my work schedule, and other obligations.

09.01.19

Some Thoughts on Hurricane Dorian

Posted in Commentary, Model Forecasts, Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 10:40 pm by gmachos

Monster Storm Slamming the Northwest Bahamas

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been monitoring Facebook and Twitter posts, and one of the things I saw not only then, but for much of the season, was the fact that many people were again already giving up on the season as if the statistical peak of September 10th had already passed.

This mindset was similar not too long ago. In about August 2017, I had seen a post from someone on Facebook that indicated that the Atlantic Hurricane Season was a bust, and there were no signs of anything significant occurring. Within about a month, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria became Category Five Storms in the Caribbean, and eventually pounded Florida and Puerto Rico.

The same thing happened a year later in the Summer of 2018, and then there was Michael, the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle, and the fourth Category Five Hurricane to make landfall in the Continental United States. The thing that amazes me is that people just don’t seem to realize how the hurricane season does not end in June and July. Rather, it is only the beginning.

Now, there are some years such as 2005 when you have storms in June and July. In that historic season, there were two Category Five Storms in just the month of July alone, Dennis and Emily. Of course, there would be several more to go in Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. But 2005 was a record shattering season. Not every big year is going to end up like that, but it also doesn’t mean that it won’t be a big season.

More importantly though, many get too caught up with the number of storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes that are projected in the various seasonal forecasts issued by the likes of Colorado State, NOAA, The Weather Channel, etc. Remember, it only takes one. I always say how Hurricane Andrew in 1992 is a classic example of that. Andrew was the first storm of that season, and it did not really come along until the middle of August that season.

Yet, Andrew defied many odds to become the 2nd Category Five Hurricane to make landfall in the Continental United States although originally it was classified as a Category Four Hurricane when it hit Homestead, Florida. The 1992 season ended up being a below average year in terms of activity although it would later contribute to The Perfect Storm in October that year when Hurricane Grace, a Category One storm unlike the Category Five featured in the movie based on the Sebastian Junger book that came out in 2000.

Another example is the storm that Dorian is now being compared to in terms of wind power, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Again this storm occurred in a season that was below average according to the data collected as of this time. Yet, the storm devastated the Florida Keys and the Overseas Railroad that linked mainland Florida with the Keys. It also left many World War I Veterans that were working on the railroad, dead. Several years later, another powerful storm came along in a below average season.

The Long Island Express of 1938 came along during another year of below average activity, but is perhaps the most powerful storm to strike Long Island and New England. It left some 600 people dead. Dorian has generated more tropical activity than the entire 1983 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but there still was Hurricane Alicia, a major hurricane that threatened the Houston and Galveston area that year. A few years earlier, there was Hurricane Allen, which had 190 mile per hour winds in the Caribbean before coming ashore in South Texas in August 1980.

The moral of all of the stories and examples of past hurricanes, is again, my important credo, “It only takes one storm to make a season regardless of how many storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes are predicted.” There are some years, when there are a number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes, but not many of them make an impact in the United States. There are others such as 2004 and 2005 with numerous storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes that do come ashore. Some of those big years like 1969, 1998, and 2004 start off very slow, and then come on very strong.

A couple weeks ago, many commemorated the 50th Anniversary of Hurricane Camille. This storm was only the third named storm of the season, and it impacted the Gulf Coast of Mississippi near Pass Christian with 180 mph winds and a 24 foot storm surge. The 1969 season would then end up with 18 named storms and 12 hurricanes. The only seasons that had more storms were 1933 and 1995, and the only season with more hurricanes was 2005.

Speaking of Camille, there is another thing that I find troubling about some of the discussions I see on social media. Many critique the forecasting of Dorian not only in terms of track, but also in terms of intensity as well. For example, there was a criticism that Dorian was named a hurricane too soon when it was about to make impacts in the Virgin Islands. Even if it was not a hurricane, it was still capable of producing torrential rains resulting in flash flooding and mudslides in the mountainous terrain of these islands.

Going back to Camille, the storm was one of the first systems that was observed with a new tool for forecasters called satellite. Forecasters such as John Hope, who later worked at the Weather Channel, Neil Frank, a future director at the National Hurricane Center, and Bob Sheets, another future director as well as Robert Simpson, the NHC director at the time, did not think Camille was that strong according to the satellite imagery that they had of it at the time. When Hurricane Hunter aircraft got into the storm, they realized that the storm was much worse than thought.

The moral of this story? Is that forecasters can only do the best they can with the tools they have available. True forecasters today have tons of tools, data, and computer power at their disposal. Never in the brief history of meteorology, which has only been around for about a little more than 100 years, have forecasters had such an abundance of information and technology available to them. Yet, there are still issues. Some models don’t work as well as others. Social media is a great way of sharing information, but it can also lead to confusion and misinformation. The public is also more informed as well due to the computer, mobile phone, and internet, and can be prone to second guess the forecaster.

Forecasting the track has improved, but only gradually on a linear scale while population growth, especially in places such as Florida, has grown exponentially. The result, a lot of people in the Sunshine State that have perhaps never really experienced a hurricane before. There was a sense of panic that I observed in Florida this week courtesy of Jim Williams live broadcast at Hurricane City on Friday night that was reminiscent of the chaos that ensued when Hurricane Floyd was off the East Coast of Florida, and lashing the Bahamas with 150 mile per hour winds in September 1999.

There was also the debate over the fact that Dorian had winds measured at Category Five intensity from reconnaissance aircraft measurements late Saturday night, and yet the advisories up and until 8:00 AM on Sunday still had the storm at a Category Four. A Category Five storm is rarified air for a tropical system, and it is also very difficult for such a system to maintain that intensity for a long period of time. Most Cat Five storms stay at that intensity for 24 hours or so, but some have lasted as long as 30 to 36 hours, or even longer. What does that mean? Perhaps the forecasters were trying to see whether the Cat Five intensity would persist. A key factor with tropical systems is their persistence.

So the forecasters might have delayed to make sure that this was a trend, and not something that just happened for a few hours, and then stopped. The NHC waited roughly about 12 hours before upgrading Dorian to a Category Five Hurricane. Then, there is the debate over the forecast track. Originally, Florida was expected to get some sort of impact from this system, especially after the system reorganized north of Puerto Rico, and did not go through the Mona Passage as originally predicted. Then, Friday into Saturday the official forecast appeared to put Florida in the clear as Dorian headed more north toward the Northwestern Bahamas.

Again, Dorian has defied many odds against it to this point. In a way, the storm is somewhat similar to Andrew in terms of surviving many obstacles only to rapidly intensify into this Category Five monster. While some did indicate that Dorian had a good chance to be a Category Four or Five storm, nobody imagined that the hurricane would become this powerful, and the strongest storm to affect the Northwestern Bahamas. It also had a minimum central pressure of 909 millibars, which was just a bit stronger than Hurricane Ivan in 2004 (910 millibars). Storms like these can make an environment of their own, and sometimes go where they want to instead of being pushed by other environmental forces. Forecasters can not always predict that.

Obviously, there is a lot of angst and concern all along the East Coast of Florida, but the Northwestern Bahamas have never seen a storm of this intensity and fury before ever on record. According to sources familiar with the Bahamas, approximately 70 percent of Abaco Islands have homes either destroyed or damaged. Grand Bahama Island including Freeport has never been hit by a Category Five Hurricane. Both of these islands have highest elevations that are only 10 to 15 feet above mean sea level, and the forecasted storm surge for those areas was supposed to be between 18 and 23 feet above normal. In addition, there are also damaging waves on top of the surge.

On top of this, the steering currents around Hurricane Dorian have broken down, or cancelled each other out, which has caused the storm to slow down. The slow motion has prolonged the devastating and catastrophic effects of the hurricane over the Northwestern Bahamas. At the same time, it does give residents along Florida’s East Coast time to prepare if the hurricane pushes further westward, and threatens to make landfall there. Dorian is expected to make a turn to the north by Tuesday, and could then threaten Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina as well as Florida.

States of Emergency have been declared for portions of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The storm is expected to head north and then northeast eventually. South Jersey could feel the effects of the storm by Thursday and Friday. Forecasts for places like Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island are calling for temperatures in the low 70s with rain and wind on both of those days. Residents along Florida’s East Coast need to finalize preparations, and perhaps move westward and even south towards Miami and Dade County to stay out of the western eyewall. Dorian appears to have begun an eyewall replacement cycle, which will cause it to weaken, but also increase its wind field to conserve angular momentum.

Residents in Georgia and Carolinas need to closely monitor this dangerous situation, and get prepared if they haven’t already. Again, the slow forward speed of the storm due to breakdown in upper level steering currents does provide additional time to prepare, and get things in order in the event that evacuation orders are given. Further up the East Coast in the Mid-Atlantic and New England should periodically monitor the progress of the situation.

09.10.18

Florence Becoming a Growing Concern for Mid-Atlantic

Posted in GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 11:02 pm by gmachos

Jersey Shore to Begin Feeling the Effects from Cat 4 Storm Over Next Couple Days

The clouds, rain, and wind around the Garden State on Monday was courtesy of the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, which came ashore west of the Alabama-Mississippi border last week. Gordon’s remains are just the hors d’oeuvre for what is yet to come later this week. Florence is still out there, and it has rapidly grown to a monster major hurricane.

Over the last 72 hours, Florence has undergone rapid intensification. Late Friday night, the storm was a moderate tropical storm with 60 mile per hour winds, and a minimum central pressure of 999 millibars, or 29.50 inches of Hg. Since that time, the barometer has dropped significantly within the storm. Pressure has fallen some 60 millibars, and its maximum sustained winds have increased 80 miles per hour.

Just in the last 36 hours, Hurricane Florence has grown significantly. Winds have increased some 65 miles per hour while pressure has dropped some 45 millibars, or approximately 1.33 inches of Hg (Mercury). The now Category Four Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale has increased in diameter from 260 miles across to about 380 miles across. Wind gusts are estimated to be about 145 knots, or around 165 miles per hour.

On top of all that, Hurricane Florence doesn’t appear to have anything in front of it to impede its development other than itself. Sea surface temperatures in that portion of the Western Atlantic are supportive for further development while upper level winds remain light. The only problem that Florence could have is an eyewall replacement cycle that may put the storm through a weakening phase as it tries to reorganize.

There has been some discussion on where Hurricane Florence stands with respect to other storms that were in that portion of the Atlantic Basin. Some have indicated that it could be as powerful a storm to hit the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coast since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Here’s the issue with that: Hugo was a storm that weakened to only a 105 mph hurricane before it hit the Gulf Stream, and re-energized to a Category Four storm prior to crashing ashore in Charleston, South Carolina.

Florence has yet to enter the Gulf Stream, and it is already at 140 miles per hour. It was also as weak as a moderate tropical storm on Friday night. The storm could be comparable to say Hurricane Floyd of 1999, or Hurricane Gloria in 1985. Both storms moved between the Caribbean and Bermuda, and eventually made landfall over the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Floyd was a slow mover, which Florence is forecast to become as it moves close to landfall on Thursday evening.

Floyd caused devastating flooding to areas in Eastern North Carolina along the Tar and Neuse rivers. Florence has the potential to do the same. Gloria had some similarity of the Long Island Express of 1938 in the sense that it moved quite rapidly up the Eastern Seaboard as it moved over Cape Hatteras, and eventually made a second landfall over Long Island, New York. Not as rapidly as the 1938 storm though, which raced from Hatteras to Long Island within 6 hours of time. Gloria only moved at a pace of about 45 miles per hour.

Regardless of the comparisons, and aside from the historical analogies, Florence has the potential to cause a myriad of problems not only for the Carolinas, but also for Virginia, Maryland, and even further up the Mid-Atlantic into places such as Delaware and here in the Garden State of New Jersey. As of right now, four states are under a State of Emergency in anticipation for this storm: South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Rough surf is expected to begin impacting the East Coast from Georgia and South Carolina up into the Jersey Shore and Long Island.

Currently, as of the 11:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is located some 465 miles South-Southeast of Bermuda, or about 1,085 miles to the East-Southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds remain at 140 miles per hour, but the minimum central pressure in the eye of the storm has increased slightly to 944 millibars, or 27.88 inches of Hg. The hurricane is presently moving to the West-Northwest at 13 miles per hour. Interests in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic need to closely watch the progress of this storm.

Hurricane and Storm Surge watches are likely to be issued on Tuesday as the storm is currently forecast to make landfall along the Carolina coast sometime on Thursday evening. The future direction of the storm appears to look like a continuation of its current westward track since a ridge of high pressure will remain to the north and pushing it along with its clockwise flow. As Florence gets to the periphery of the high, it should slow down, and begin a turn to the north. When it does that is not really known.

The latest NHC forecast discussion indicates that Florence will continue to intensify at least for the next 36 hours. Intensity forecasts call for the major hurricane to reach 155 mile per hour winds by Wednesday morning. Category Five strength is not out of the realm of possibility either. Winds could climb to near 160 miles per hour during this period. Everything depends on how long and how well the storm will reorganize during that anticipated eyewall replacement cycle.

Residents of New Jersey, particularly the Jersey Shore, and flood prone areas such as Bound Brook and Manville in Central Jersey need to closely follow the progress of this dangerous storm. While Florence is likely to be a much weaker storm when it moves up into the Garden State area, the forecasted slower forward speed, the abundance of tropical moisture, and the fact that there has already been a good deal of rain in the area over the past several days, brings the potential of significant flooding to the area.

Back in September 1999, Floyd reached New Jersey as a tropical storm, but still produced a great deal of flooding with nearly 12 inches of rain in spots. Here at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, there was approximately 11.67 inches of rain, and that was after a dry period prior to the storm. Seven years ago in late August 2011, Hurricane Irene produced significant flooding, but it was essentially the straw that broke the camel’s back as some areas in New Jersey already had 15 to 20 inches of rain prior to the storm’s arrival. GWC received 5.33 inches of rain from that storm.

Stay tuned to your local radio and television outlets as well as this blog, the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Center for updates on this developing storm.

09.24.17

Watches Issued for North Carolina Coast for Maria

Posted in GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Model Forecasts, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 8:54 pm by gmachos

Storm Still at Category Two Strength; Pressure down to 941 Millibars

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season continues to chug along, and it is reaching historic heights. According to Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University, the season’s Accumlated Cyclone Energy, or ACE, is now up 180, which as of right now is the third highest for this date behind that of the 1933 (220) and 2004 (207).

Those two seasons were memorable ones. The 1933 Atlantic Hurricane Season was the benchmark in terms of the total number of storms with 21 before 2005, and the 2004 season had the terrible four for Florida with Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. It is even higher than that of the 2005 season as of this date even though that season by this point, had four Category Five Hurricanes.

Thirteen years after that memorable 2004 season, which was the last time a Category Four Hurricane made landfall in the United States before Harvey and Irma did this season, we have ourselves the most active and devastating hurricane season since 2005. The latest monster storm, Hurricane Maria, which destroyed Dominica, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico last week, is now moving up the Eastern Seaboard.

Maria, which has weakened to a Category Two Hurricane with 105 mile per hour winds, had the lowest barometric pressure at 941 millibars with that kind of wind speed in the Atlantic since Hurricane or Superstorm Sandy. Ironically, the storm is moving up the East Coast like Sandy did. The question is, will it affect New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic like Sandy did. Already Watches are up along the North Carolina coast.

As of the 8:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Maria was located approximately 410 miles to the South-Southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds with the storm remain at Category Two strength at 105 mph with gusts in upwards of 125 mph. The barometric pressure has risen a bit to 947 millibars, or about 27.96 inches of Hg (Mercury). The storm continues to move to the north at a meager 9 miles per hour.

Like Irma before it, Maria is a vast storm system with hurricane force winds extend some 60 miles from the center while tropical storm force winds reach out some 230 miles from the center, or a total diameter of 580 miles. A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for north of Surf City, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. In addition, a Storm Surge Watch is now in effect along the North Carolina coast from Cape Lookout to Duck. Meanwhile, High Surf and Rip Current Advisories are in effect for the Mid-Atlantic including New Jersey, Delaware, and Long Island.

Could we be looking at a situation similar to Hurricane Irene or Sandy? It is possible. The National Hurricane Center has urged residents along the Mid-Atlantic, which includes New Jersey to continue to monitor the situation with this large storm. The most recent forecast discussion from the NHC at 5:00 PM on Sunday afternoon, Maria is expected to remain a Category Two Hurricane for the next 24 hours, and then weaken to a strong Category One Hurricane through 72 hours. The storm is expected to stay a hurricane through the five day forecast period.

Looking at the latest forecast track from the NHC, the hurricane is expected to continue heading mostly in a northward direction over the next 48 to 60 hours and be parallel to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina sometime between Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday morning. Then, Maria is expected to make a right turn out to sea, and stay away from the Mid-Atlantic coastline of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Nevertheless, the storm is still expected to create rough surf, waves, and rip currents along the Mid-Atlantic coastline including the Jersey Shore and the South Shore of Long Island.

The models are showing a general turn to the east after four or five days. Both the Euro (ECMWF) and CMC (Canadian) global models have the storm staying close to the North Carolina and Virginia coast before turning to the east by Friday afternoon. The GFS has the storm clearing out much faster. The EPS and HWRF show a similar trend to the GFS. Looking at these tracks, the storm is more or less expected to take a track similar to Hurricane Emily did in August 1993. Get very close to Hatteras before turning away out to sea.

We will just have to wait and see. Things can change. Remember, the five day NHC forecast has an average error of 160 nautical miles so far in 2017. And, model forecasts can be wrong. Residents along the Jersey Shore, Delaware Beaches, Long Island, and the Maryland and Virginia coastline should continue to monitor the progress of the storm while those in North Carolina should be prepared for at least some tropical storm force winds.

09.21.17

Maria Lashes Northern Portion of Dominican Republic

Posted in GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Model Forecasts, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 10:32 pm by gmachos

Storm Re-Strengthens to Have Winds of 125 MPH: Still Potential Problem for East Coast

After pounding Dominica, St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico with Category 4 and 5 intensity winds between 140 and 160 miles per hour, Hurricane Maria had some of the starch taken out of her by the mountains of Puerto Rico, which only go up to 4,000 feet. Winds had decreased to below major hurricane status this time Wednesday night.

However, on Thursday, despite lashing the northern coast of the Dominican Republic including the majestic beach locale of Punta Cana with gusty winds and torrential rains, Maria intensified back to major hurricane status as its winds gradually grew throughout the day to 115, 120, and then 125 miles per hour. Wind gusts are now back up to 150 mph. Barometric pressure has fallen off to 955 millibars, or 28.20 inches of Hg as of 8:00 PM EDT on Thursday night.

Now, the hurricane is setting its sights on the Turks and Caicos Islands near the Southeastern Bahamas. Hurricane Hunter aircraft have found a flight level wind of 126 knots, or about 145 mph. The eye, which a couple days ago was very small and narrow at 11 miles, has grown very large to be about 34 miles after being as wide as 36 nautical miles in diameter. Irma’s eye had been as wide as 23 to 25 nautical miles in diameter.

Hurricane Maria has slowed some over the past 24 hours to just Northwest at 9 miles per hour. The storm is presently located about 85 miles North-Northeast of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, or about 80 miles East-Southeast of Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Looking at the latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Maria is expected to move to the Northwest and North-Northwest, and stay east of the Bahamas over the next 48 to 60 hours.

By the end of the five day forecast period, or about 8:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, the NHC projects Maria to be several hundred miles east of the Carolina coastline. Keep in mind though that the NHC’s five day forecast has had an average error of about 160 miles so far this season. There is also still a great deal of uncertainty of what the storm will do beyond the five day forecast point. Earlier today, CNN depicted the GFS (American) and ECMWF (Euro) as keeping Maria offshore from New Jersey, New York City, and the Mid-Atlantic by this time next week.

However, yesterday (Wednesday), CNN indicated that both of the models had Hurricane Maria very close to New York City, New Jersey, and Long Island. Taking a peek at other models, the CMC or Canadian model has Hurricane Maria as a 980 millibar low right over Cape Hatteras by next Tuesday morning. The storm will then go further inland into Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Chesapeake Bay by next Wednesday morning. The NAVGEM has Maria a couple hundred miles off the North Carolina coast by next Wednesday morning. Then a couple hundred miles off Cape Hatteras as a 960 millibar low by next Wednesday afternoon.

The EPS ensemble model has Maria staying offshore through Wednesday and Thursday of next week much like the GFS and ECMWF. The HWRF hurricane model keeps the storm offshore by the end of the five day forecast period. Reading the latest forecast discussion from the NHC at 5:00 PM EDT on Thursday, have Maria remaining a major hurricane for 36 hours, and weakening to a Category Two storm by 48 hours, and a Category One Hurricane by the end of five days.

Currently, the NHC has a Hurricane Warning in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Warning in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from west of Puerto Plata to the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Central Bahamas.

Residents in the Bahamas and the East Coast of the United States should monitor the progress of this still dangerous storm over the next several days. Hurricaneville will continue to monitor this storm, and provide daily updates.

09.20.17

Hurricane Maria Slams Puerto Rico After Becoming Strongest Storm of 2017

Posted in GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Hurricane Records, Model Forecasts, Storm Aftermath, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 10:10 pm by gmachos

While Jose meandered its way up the Eastern Seaboard this week, and created rough surf and dangerous rip currents along the Jersey Shore, Maria exploded from being a tropical depression to a monster Category Five Hurricane within a span of just 56 hours. During that time, the pressure in the tropical system dropped some 83 millibars, or approximately 2.49 inches of Hg (Mercury).

Maria was not only a classic case of a Cape Verde storm, but also a perfect study in the phenomenon known as rapid intensification. This kind of development in tropical systems is usually where a fledging tropical cyclone such as a depression, or a weak tropical storm gets into an area very favorable for development with an abundance of warm water, and very little in the way of wind shear, which stifles thunderstorm formation that is essential for intensification.

What Maria did was essentially “bomb out”. The storm dropped approximately 1.5 millibars per hour. This is the kind of scenario that many people following weather closely in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut usually see during the winter with a major snowstorm, blizzard, or nor’easter. For example, the powerful storm that paralyzed the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on March 14th of this year. It ultimately had a barometric pressure of 29.15 inches, or 987 millibars, or equivalent to a Category One Hurricane.

This particular winter storm bombed out. The pressure drop with the powerful March 14th snowstorm was approximately 38 millibars in about 18 hours, which was classic bombogenesis. Maria as well as Irma and Jose did much of the same thing in the Central and Western Atlantic before they all moved into the Northeastern Caribbean. Harvey also did much of the same thing in the Gulf of Mexico before it made landfall as a Category Four Hurricane over Rockport, Texas. Katrina, Rita, and Wilma did much of the same thing in 2005.

Many of the classic powerful Cape Verde storms that reach Category Four and Category Five strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale experience this explosive development. The hurricane has the classic buzzsaw look with the well defined outflow and banding along with a well defined eye. With Maria, the eye feature was very small. While Irma’s eye ranged from 23 to 25 nautical miles wide in diameter, Maria’s was only about half of that at 11 nautical miles. Storms with smaller eyes, usually are much more powerful.

Like I had mentioned in a previous post to the blog, the eye of a hurricane and the actual storm itself is like a figure skater, conserving angular momentum. The tighter the eye, the faster the air is rotating counterclockwise around it. Hurricanes and even extratropical systems have two kinds of motion, rotational and translational. As a result of the rotation, or spin, these storms develop angular momentum, which like kinetic momentum, needs to be conserved. Smaller storms such as Hurricane Andrew (1992), Hurricane Camille (1969), and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, were classic cases of small, but potent storms. All of them would end up being the only landfalling Category Five storms in the United States.

Maria devastated the island of Dominica as a Category Five storm with 160 mph winds. Then, as the storm headed toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Maria intensified more to become the most powerful hurricane yet in 2017 in terms of pressure by dropping to 909 millibars, which was four millibars lower than Irma was at her peak (913 millibars). Winds grew to 175 miles per hour, but never increased to the point where they were as high as Irma’s were. The hurricane crushed the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, and then became the most powerful storm to strike Puerto Rico since 1932 even though it had weakened to just below the Category Five threshold on Wednesday.

The mountains of Puerto Rico, which go up to about 4,000 feet in places, and are not as high as those in Hispaniola (7,000 feet) and Cuba (10,000 feet), still managed to weaken Maria with orographic lifting to 140 miles per hour, and then 110 miles per hour. Hurricane Maria now is taking aim at the Dominican Republic, and threatens the beaches such as Punta Cana on its Northern Coast. Both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic did take some hits from Irma, but not a direct hit like Puerto Rico did with Maria earlier on Wednesday. The storm completely knocked out power on Puerto Rico.

Looking at the model ensembles earlier today, there is agreement that the storm will move north and near the Outer Banks of North Carolina within the next five days. By next Thursday, the storm is projected by both the GFS and Euro to be in the area of New York City although these two solutions slightly differ. Keep in mind that the model projections for Maria to be in the area of New York City by this time next week is premature, but it is something for residents of the Mid-Atlantic to keep in the back of their minds. Even the NHC’s five day forecast is off an average by about 160 miles, which is about the difference between a storm coming ashore in Cape May, New Jersey, or in New York City. Residents along the East Coast of the United States should closely monitor the progress of this still dangerous storm.

As of the 8:00 PM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Maria was located some 55 miles to the East-Northeast of Punta Cana on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Maria is moving steadily to the Northwest at 12 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds remain at 110 miles per hour, which is just below Category Three or major hurricane status. Wind gusts continue to be at 130 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has risen to 958 millibars, or 28.29 inches. Hurricane force winds extend some 60 miles from the center while tropical storm force winds reach out some 150 miles. The eye’s diameter expanded to 36 nautical miles.

Reading the most recent NHC forecast discussion from about 5:00 PM EDT indicates that Maria will re-strengthen to a major hurricane within 24 hours, and should remain at Category Three strength through 72 hours. From there, Hurricane Maria is anticipated to wind down to a Category One Hurricane by the end of five days. Hurricaneville will continue to monitor this storm, and post updates to both its Facebook and twitter feeds, and try to provide a daily update to the blog.

09.19.17

Hurricane Jose Moving Towards Long Island and New England

Posted in GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Hurricane Records, Model Forecasts, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 10:03 pm by gmachos

Storm Continues to Be a Minimal Hurricane Offshore in Mid-Atlantic

Sorry for the lack of posts to the blog over the past 8 or 9 days. Unfortunately, I started a new job last Monday, and I’ve been very focused on getting settled there. I just haven’t had the energy to post something in the blog. Instead, I have only been able to post something to Facebook and Twitter.

However, that hasn’t met that I’ve been completely dead. I’ve continued to watch the tropics with great interest. This is perhaps the most significant season since the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Some may disagree, but think about it. When was the last time, you had more than one Category Five Hurricane storm in the same year? Well, you could argue, 2007 with Dean and Felix, but were they as strong as Irma and Maria? Did they make landfall in the United States?

Here are some things to consider about this season in the Atlantic. First, we had our first major hurricane landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. This season also has done something that the 2005 season with all of its mammoth numbers didn’t do, have two Category Four storms make landfall somewhere along the United States. In addition, two of the strongest storms ever to impact the Northeastern Caribbean in Irma and Maria.

Jose was also in the mix to be one of these powerful storms, and for a while, it appeared to also be on the verge of becoming a Category Five Hurricane. The storm just fell short of that mark. Jose peaked at borderline Category Four and Five strength with 155 mile per hour winds, gusts in upwards of 185 miles per hour, an eye that was 15 miles in diameter, and minimum central pressure that bottomed out to 938 millibars, or 27.70 inches of Hg. Fortunately for the islands of the Northeastern Caribbean that had just been devastated by Hurricane Irma, two things would happen with Jose.

First, the storm’s eye steered just north of the Northern Leeward Islands, which mercifully gave a break to those areas hard hit by Hurricane Irma. Second, following a similar path to Irma, Jose ran into waters that may have been a bit cooler due to upwelling generated by Irma’s vast circulation as it moved through the region just days earlier. In addition, Jose’s circulation began to encounter a northerly shear, which also contributed to its weakening. Jose weakened to a Tropical Storm by the evening of September 14th, or six days after reaching its peak intensity.

Hurricane Jose would regain some strength, and re-intensify in the Western Atlantic to have winds of strong Category One strength at 90 miles per hour, but gradually weakened to just be a minimal hurricane as it approached New York, New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic. Jose has managed to remain a minimal hurricane strength despite moving into relatively cooler waters off the Mid-Atlantic shoreline. New Jersey’s Shore had been under a Tropical Storm Watch, but that was discontinued late Monday afternoon.

As of the 8:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Jose lurks several hundred miles off the Jersey Shore, or approximately 265 miles to the South-Southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Maximum sustained winds remain at 75 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 90 miles per hour, and a minimum central pressure of 973 millibars, or 28.73 inches of Hg. Hurricane force winds extend some 60 miles from the eye while tropical storm force winds reach out some 310 miles.

Jose is a very massive storm that is about 740 miles in diameter. This is one of the reasons why, New Jersey is still experiencing some clouds, breezy conditions, some rain, and some humidity. A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for Woods Hole for Sagamore Beach including to Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coast of Long Island from Fire Island to Port Jefferson. Jersey Shore has a Coastal Flood Warning in effect until 1:00 AM on Wednesday morning.

During the course of the day on Tuesday, there have been bands of rain pinwheeling there way on shore in New Jersey. Conditions at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ have been breezy, humid, and damp throughout much of the day, especially since nightfall. Looking at the latest forecast track from the NHC, Jose is expected to loop around the Mid-Atlantic and New England waters until at least Saturday afternoon. The forecast discussion also indicates that Jose will weaken to a tropical storm within 36 hours, and become extratropical within 72 hours.

09.11.17

Hurricane Irma Batters All of Florida

Posted in Commentary, GWC News, Hurricane Anomalie, Hurricane Intensit, Hurricane Records, Model Forecasts, Storm Aftermath, Storm Facts, Storm Footage, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 10:10 pm by gmachos

Historic and Powerful Storm Covered Entire Sunshine State with Rough Weather

To begin my blog post this evening, I will talk about another monster storm from years past to put some perspective in what has just occurred throughout the entire state of Florida over the past 24 to 36 hours. It was around this time in September 1988, I was preparing to leave for college at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and there was another monster storm I was tracking at the time.

The storm was Hurricane GilbertCategory Five Hurricanes during the relatively inactive period from 1970 to 1992. At one point, the storm even surpassed the pressure mark by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. However, it was re-evaluated, and it was found that its lowest pressure was 888 millibars before it made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula.

During Gilbert’s trek through the Caribbean, which included a thrashing of the Windward Islands, and then a hammering of the island of Jamaica as a Category Four Hurricane with 140 mile per hour winds, the storm grew in size much like Hurricane Irma did. Gilbert was the first storm since 1953 to have its eye cross the entire island of Jamaica. It then proceeded to head westward toward Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula, where it then became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere at that time.

Gilbert then crossed the elevated plateau of the Yucatan, which is about 5,000 feet above sea level. Winds at landfall were gusting to near 200 miles per hour, and the storm surge was between 20 to 25 feet above normal. After going across the Yucatan, Gilbert re-emerged in the Gulf, and was expected to become a monster as it headed toward the Texas coast. It did happen though because Gilbert just couldn’t get its act together after that despite the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The storm eventually hit just south of Brownsville, Texas near Matamoros, Mexico as a Category Three storm.

Forecasters and reporters made many comparisons about the storm just like they did with Irma. One comparison that comes to mind when thinking about Hurricane Irma’s assault on Florida during the day and night on Sunday was the fact that if Hurricane Gilbert had made landfall in Florida, the entire Sunshine State would have been completely covered in hurricane force winds. Perhaps, Gilbert finally came to Florida on Sunday in the form of Irma. The once monster Category Five Hurricane, which has obliterated the Northern Leeward Islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Thomas, and St. Martin, made three landfalls across Florida, but brought devastating effects to just about every corner of the state.

Watching CNN when I came home Monday afternoon, I saw how the storm has left the Florida Keys “devastated” according to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Then, I heard a report that the Mayor of Miami indicated that 72 percent of the city is without power. As a matter of fact, over 6 million Florida residents are without power in the wake of the storm, which is approximately a quarter of the population there. The city of Naples, which received the third landfall from the hurricane, is a battered community as well. Nearby Marco Island also took the brunt of the hurricane’s Category Four fury during the second landfall.

Originally thought to be a threat to Miami, and Southeastern Florida, the track of the storm went further west, which left many that had evacuated Miami, Homestead, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, and West Palm Beach, caught by surprise as the storm headed to their new locations in Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota, Bradenton, and even more inland locations such as Orlando and Ocala. The storm not only struck further west, but then turned more eastward and eventually affected Daytona, Orlando, Ocala, and Jacksonville, where the Northeastern Florida city experienced record flooding.

Irma has broken all kinds of records, and that hasn’t stopped even though the storm has gone further inland, weakened to a minimal tropical storm, and taken on more of an extratropical storm. The tropical storm even generated the first ever Tropical Storm Warning for the City of Atlanta. Places like Charleston, South Carolina are experiencing memorable surge. At about 9 feet above normal, Irma’s surge, even in a more dilapidated state, still ranks third all-time there behind Hugo (1989) at 18.4, and Matthew (2016). Even New Jersey was seeing some of the clouds from the storm.

Looking outside after work, I could see that there were some high cirrus clouds in the late afternoon sky. When, I got home, and saw the satelllite of Irma at about 6:00 PM Monday, you could see the northern edge of the storm’s remnants were fanning out toward the Mid-Atlantic. Let’s also keep in mind that Hurricane Jose is still out in the Atlantic as well although it has been downgraded to a Category Two Hurricane with just 100 mile per hour winds as it moves into the Sargasso Sea. Many models are showing Jose reinvigorating itself before coming up the East Coast of the United States.

Hurricane Irma Batters All of Florida

Posted in Commentary, GWC News, Hurricane Anomalie, Hurricane Intensit, Hurricane Records, Model Forecasts, Storm Aftermath, Storm Facts, Storm Footage, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 10:10 pm by gmachos

Historic and Powerful Storm Covered Entire Sunshine State with Rough Weather

To begin my blog post this evening, I will talk about another monster storm from years past to put some perspective in what has just occurred throughout the entire state of Florida over the past 24 to 36 hours. It was around this time in September 1988, I was preparing to leave for college at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and there was another monster storm I was tracking at the time.

The storm was Hurricane GilbertCategory Five Hurricanes during the relatively inactive period from 1970 to 1992. At one point, the storm even surpassed the pressure mark by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. However, it was re-evaluated, and it was found that its lowest pressure was 888 millibars before it made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula.

During Gilbert’s trek through the Caribbean, which included a thrashing of the Windward Islands, and then a hammering of the island of Jamaica as a Category Four Hurricane with 140 mile per hour winds, the storm grew in size much like Hurricane Irma did. Gilbert was the first storm since 1953 to have its eye cross the entire island of Jamaica. It then proceeded to head westward toward Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula, where it then became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere at that time.

Gilbert then crossed the elevated plateau of the Yucatan, which is about 5,000 feet above sea level. Winds at landfall were gusting to near 200 miles per hour, and the storm surge was between 20 to 25 feet above normal. After going across the Yucatan, Gilbert re-emerged in the Gulf, and was expected to become a monster as it headed toward the Texas coast. It did happen though because Gilbert just couldn’t get its act together after that despite the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The storm eventually hit just south of Brownsville, Texas near Matamoros, Mexico as a Category Three storm.

Forecasters and reporters made many comparisons about the storm just like they did with Irma. One comparison that comes to mind when thinking about Hurricane Irma’s assault on Florida during the day and night on Sunday was the fact that if Hurricane Gilbert had made landfall in Florida, the entire Sunshine State would have been completely covered in hurricane force winds. Perhaps, Gilbert finally came to Florida on Sunday in the form of Irma. The once monster Category Five Hurricane, which has obliterated the Northern Leeward Islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Thomas, and St. Martin, made three landfalls across Florida, but brought devastating effects to just about every corner of the state.

Watching CNN when I came home Monday afternoon, I saw how the storm has left the Florida Keys “devastated” according to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Then, I heard a report that the Mayor of Miami indicated that 72 percent of the city is without power. As a matter of fact, over 6 million Florida residents are without power in the wake of the storm, which is approximately a quarter of the population there. The city of Naples, which received the third landfall from the hurricane, is a battered community as well. Nearby Marco Island also took the brunt of the hurricane’s Category Four fury during the second landfall.

Originally thought to be a threat to Miami, and Southeastern Florida, the track of the storm went further west, which left many that had evacuated Miami, Homestead, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, and West Palm Beach, caught by surprise as the storm headed to their new locations in Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota, Bradenton, and even more inland locations such as Orlando and Ocala. The storm not only struck further west, but then turned more eastward and eventually affected Daytona, Orlando, Ocala, and Jacksonville, where the Northeastern Florida city experienced record flooding.

Irma has broken all kinds of records, and that hasn’t stopped even though the storm has gone further inland, weakened to a minimal tropical storm, and taken on more of an extratropical storm. The tropical storm even generated the first ever Tropical Storm Warning for the City of Atlanta. Places like Charleston, South Carolina are experiencing memorable surge. At about 9 feet above normal, Irma’s surge, even in a more dilapidated state, still ranks third all-time there behind Hugo (1989) at 18.4, and Matthew (2016). Even New Jersey was seeing some of the clouds from the storm.

Looking outside after work, I could see that there were some high cirrus clouds in the late afternoon sky. When, I got home, and saw the satelllite of Irma at about 6:00 PM Monday, you could see the northern edge of the storm’s remnants were fanning out toward the Mid-Atlantic. Let’s also keep in mind that Hurricane Jose is still out in the Atlantic as well although it has been downgraded to a Category Two Hurricane with just 100 mile per hour winds as it moves into the Sargasso Sea. Many models are showing Jose reinvigorating itself before coming up the East Coast of the United States.

09.10.17

Hurricane Irma Begins Her Assault on Florida

Posted in Commentary, GWC News, Hurricane Intensit, Hurricane Records, Model Forecasts, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropi at 11:42 am by gmachos

Category Four Storm Makes Landfall in Florida Keys

Infrared Satellite Imagery of Hurricane Irma.
Water vapor satellite imagery depicts Hurricane Irma, which is still a powerful and large Category Four storm as it makes landfall in the Florida Keys and moves north toward Tampa, Florida on Sunday morning. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

If you are in South Florida and the Florida Keys, Hurricane Irma is here. The storm made the first of what is likely to be multiple landfalls along the Florida coastline when it came ashore in Cudjoe Key in the middle Florida Keys at about 9:10 AM on Sunday morning. The storm did re-intensify a little with winds increasing to 130 miles per hour to make it a Category Four Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale prior to landfall.

The fact that Irma is only a minimal Category Four storm is of little consolation to those trying to ride it out as well as the media covering it. CNN has been providing live coverage all morning for the most part, and the conditions even on the eastern coast of the Florida Peninsula have been rough. Reporters Brian Todd, Kyung Lah, Derek Van Dam, and John Berman of CNN have been dealing with hurricane conditions with winds gusting to as high as 100 miles per hour in Miami Beach.

The Miami Herald is reporting that Key West is under water. Bill Weir, another CNN reporter has been dealing with very intense weather conditions in Key Largo. At 10:36 AM, Berman reported that there is a crane that has cracked in downtown Miami as a result of the high winds being funneled through the skyscrapers in the city. So, basically put, the entire area of South Florida from the Florida Keys eastward to Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce, and Fort Lauderdale, are all feeling hurricane conditions.

Naples is forecast to see a storm surge between 10 to 15 feet above normal according to the National Hurricane Center, and residents there may be wondering why that hasn’t happened yet. It is because that surge won’t come in until the storm passes, and the surge comes in on the backside of the system later today. Tampa is in the crosshairs of this storm. Although the forecast pinpoints the storm a few miles to the west of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, that track puts the worst elements of the right front quadrant of the hurricane into this metropolitan area that hasn’t been directly impacted by a major hurricane since 1921.

Currently, as of the 11:00 AM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Irma was located approximately 80 miles South-Southeast of Florida, or about 115 miles South-Southeast of Fort Myers, Florida. Maximum sustained winds remain at 130 miles per hour with gusts up to 160 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is still steady at 933 millibars, or about 27.55 inches of Hg (Mercury). The eye of the storm is about 16 nautical miles wide. Hurricane force winds extend some 80 miles from the eye while tropical storm force winds reach out some 220 miles. The storm has become even larger.

Looking at the Watches and Warnings, a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for South Santee River southward to Jupiter Inlet, North Miami Beach southward around the Florida to the Ocholockonee River, Florida Keys, and Tampa Bay. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Fernandina Beach southward around the Florida Peninsula to Indian Pass, Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, Cuban provinces of Matanzas and La Habana. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for North of Fernandina Beach to Edisto Beach. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for West of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line, and North of Fernandina Beach to South Santee River. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Bimini and Grand Bahama in the Bahamas.

If it hasn’t already, Hurricane Irma will be moving out over the Florida Bay, which is a very warm body of water near the extreme Southeastern corner of the Gulf of Mexico. Irma should remain out over water for a few hours so further intensification is possible although there has been no significant drop in pressure and the satellite imagery of the storm suggests no significant strengthening for now. It should weaken slightly to a Category Three Hurricane over the next 12 hours, and only weaken to about 125 mile per hour winds. The storm will then move northward and feel the effects of the interaction with the Florida coast as well as increasing shear from the southwest.

By this time on Monday morning, Hurricane Irma is forecast to be a strong Category One Hurricane with 90 mile per hour winds. Then the storm will move inland over the Big Bend area of Florida, and head northward into Southern Georgia, where it should rapidly weaken to a tropical storm and then a depression before becoming post tropical in about three days from now. The storm is expected, however, to leave behind tremendous problems in its wake. FEMA director, Brock Long told CNN on Saturday, that the storm could leave 3 to 4 million people across Florida without power for up to several weeks. There are also concerns about U.S. Highway 1 out of the Florida Keys, which could be damaged, and leave the residents there isolated from the mainland for some time.

Recalling the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the storm was a much smaller, but more potent storm as it came through the Keys. You could probably classify that storm as one like Hurricane Andrew or Hurricane Camille, also both powerful, but small Category Five Hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. The 1935 Hurricane, which had been the standard bearer in terms of power for many decades in the Atlantic and Western Hemisphere until the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, brought 200 mile per hour winds that basically destroyed the Overseas Railroad built by Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway in 1912.

As mentioned earlier, there are also issues with cranes in the downtown area of Miami. There has been a lot of development there, and that has resulted in a lot of cranes being used in many of the high rise buildings being put up there. It was a huge concern for officials and residents there, and that concern has become reality with the one crane suffering a crack earlier on Sunday morning. The brunt of the hurricane is still to come for much of Florida. Also, keep in mind that we still have Jose to deal with in the Atlantic as well. Hurricane Jose is a Category Four storm as well, and could be another problem down the road. In addition, there is another formidable tropical wave in the Eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands that might develop over the next five days.

Today, September 10th, is the statistical peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season historically. September is always a big month for hurricanes, especially the classic Cape Verde storms that are usually the ones like Harvey and Irma that make the headlines in the news. A few weeks ago, there were some that thought that this season might be a bust after all, but now nobody is thinking about that at all. Perhaps, the thought may be that this season could be at least the worst season we’ve seen in the Atlantic since the historic 2005 season.

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