Atlantic Trying to Heat Up Again as Statistical Peak of Season Approaches
Labor Day is usually the unofficial end of the summer season in the United States. Meteorological fall already began on Thursday. The statistical peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is just five days away, and the Tropical Atlantic is trying to pick up again after a busy week last week with three tropical systems.
One of those systems, Hermine is still churning as a post-tropical cyclone off the Mid-Atlantic coast while two disturbances are trying to spin up. Invest 92L, which formed over the weekend, has now moved into the Eastern Caribbean, but is still struggling to develop while another tropical wave has just moved off the coast of Africa. Let’s take a closer look around.
Let’s take a closer look around the tropics this morning:
Gulf of Mexico
Conditions are mostly quiet in the Gulf this afternoon. There are some clouds and showers along the Central Gulf Coast, but almost all of it is over land. No development is expected over the next 24 hours.
Invest 92L is the only show in town in the Caribbean for the most part. The disturbance, which is a tropical wave, does have winds associated with it going up to tropical storm force, but the shower and thunderstorm activity remains disorganized, and hostile environmental conditions in the form of dry air and upper level wind shear are making things difficult for development.
More details on Invest 92L in the blog. Elsewhere, in the Caribbean, conditions are mostly tranquil with the exception of some clouds in the Southwestern portion of the region near Nicaragua. No development is expected over the next 48 hours.
Hermine is the main feature in the basin right now. Although the system is post-tropical, it possesses near hurricane force winds at 70 miles per hour with gusts over hurricane force. The storm is expected to meander off the coast of Eastern Long Island over the next couple of days before moving out toward the Canadian Maritimes later in the week.
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Long Island and Southern New England. More details in the blog. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, a new tropical wave has come off the coast of Africa some several hundred miles to the West-Southwest of Africa. Low pressure is expected to form with this wave later this week, and environmental conditions are forecast to be favorable for gradual development later this week in the Central Atlantic. Development not expected over the next 24 hours.
The latest satellite imagery of the continent shows a lot of shower and thunderstorm activity stretching across the Sahel, or Sub-Saharan Africa from Mali, Mauritania, and Sierra Leone to Nigeria to Chad and the Central African Republic. These showers and storms continue to move westward toward the Atlantic Ocean, and will be the next group of waves to watch in the coming weeks.
Disturbance Struggling to Develop As Forecast
Despite most of the focus in the Tropical Atlantic being on Hermine, there is still another disturbance in the basin that is being watched. Invest 92L, which formed over the weekend, remains disorganized, and will likely not develop for most of this week according to the National Hurricane Center.
Although the disturbance has tropical storm force winds associated with it, the shower and thunderstorm activity associated with it is still disorganized. The tropical wave continues to battle dry air and upper level winds. Nevertheless, Invest 92L, which is currently located in the Eastern Caribbean, is still expected to produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds over portions of the Lesser Antilles on Monday.
Then, the disturbance is expected to move toward Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on Tuesday. Upper level dynamics could become a bit more favorable towards development later in the week as the wave approaches the Yucatan Peninsula. Currently, the odds of tropical formation within the next 48 hours are nil while development is only 20 percent possible over the next five days.
Tropical Storm Warnings Discontinued for the Garden State
Hermine continued to move further to the east on Sunday and while the surf along New Jersey beaches remained treacherous, the more significant threat of tropical storm force winds and rain diminished. The Tropical Storm Warning for the Jersey Shore was discontinued on Sunday night, but a Coastal Flood Warning remained in effect.
On Sunday afternoon, GWC and Hurricaneville took another trip down to South Amboy’s Waterfront Park along Raritan Bay to check conditions there. We arrived there just after low tide and the easterly fetch wasn’t as significant as it was in the morning or on Saturday. Winds had also eased up somewhat. Skies were sunny with the exception of cirrus clouds overhead and cirrocumulus clouds to the south and east.
During the evening and overnight hours, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine strengthened somewhat with shower and thunderstorm activity increasing. The storm also moved a little bit more to the west on radar. These thunderstorms were far away from the Jersey Shore though. Nevertheless, there are more clouds over GWC in South Plainfield on this Labor Day morning.
Cirrus clouds could be seen to the north and west of GWC while altostratus clouds developed to the south and east. The radar imagery courtesy of the Weather Channel showed some clouds spreading over the Garden State while bands of showers and storms are still holding together further to the east over the open waters of the Atlantic and to the north and west to the center of circulation.
Looking at the latest with Hermine, the storm is currently located some 295 miles to the Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island. Maximum sustained winds remain at 70 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 85 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has dropped slightly to 997 millibars, or about 29.44 inches of Hg (Mercury). Tropical storm force winds extend some 230 miles from the center as Hermine grew in size over the past 24 hours.
Hermine is expected to continue to meander slowly off the Mid-Atlantic coast for the next couple days. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center indicates that the storm will make its closest approach to the Jersey Shore on Tuesday before turning more northward and northeastward on Wednesday and heading out to the vicinity of the Canadian Maritimes on Thursday and Friday. Hermine will begin to gradually weaken over the next 24 hours, and is forecast to dissipate in five days.
Change in Storm Path Leaves Only Coastal Areas With Any Impacts
This morning, Greg’s Weather Center and Hurricaneville took a trip out to several locations along the Northern portion of the Jersey Shore. From South Amboy and Laurence Harbor in Middlesex County to Cliffwood Beach down to Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, we checked both the weather and surf conditions from Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine offshore.
Prior to leaving though, we noticed that the barometric pressure was running quite high at 30.19 inches of Hg (Mercury), and still rising. With such high pressure, one could only surmise that good weather was on tap. News reports indicated that Hermine had gone further east than expected, which took much of the clouds, wind, and waves away from the shoreline.
Sky conditions at all the locations we visited on this Sunday morning where mostly sunny with some cirrocumulus clouds. It was hard to believe that a powerful storm was just a few hundred miles offshore. Only when we got down to Keyport’s Waterfront Park did we begin to notice that the winds had picked up a bit. Further down the Bayshore in Union Beach, the water levels increased and the wave action picked up a bit.
Spray and some sea water was coming over the barrier at Union Beach to create some overwash on the walkway near Fireman’s Park. Talking to some of the people there, we learned that one of the creeks was beginning to fill up from the increased surf and wakes piling up. Waves crashed along the pier at Bayshore Waterfront Park in Port Monmouth as well. The most significant wave action would be at Sandy Hook, where nobody was allowed to go in the water.
The waves were large, numerous, and frequent, which turned the ocean into a more foamy grey color. Winds were actually lighter at Sandy Hook, but the surf was still rough. Clouds were also on the increase with more cirrocumulus clouds along with some small cumulus clouds. There are some photos and video from some of the heavy surf along the coast during our trip on the GWC and Hurricaneville Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Returning to GWC in South Plainfield, we noticed that the light winds returned, but the barometric pressure was still high at 30.20 inches of Hg, and the humidity levels were considerably lower. The dew point was only in the mid 50s. So, the combination of rising pressure and falling humidity only signified that the storm was pulling away from New Jersey. Nevertheless, the post-tropical cyclone is expected to make a turn back toward the coast, but it won’t get as close as previously forecast.
The Jersey Shore will be were most if not all of the action from this storm will be. The main threat will be the coastal flooding from the significant wave action and heavy surf, especially during high tide on Sunday night and Monday morning. Tides are expected to between 3 and 5 feet above normal from Sandy Hook to Cape May. There will be some winds up to tropical storm force along with a little bit of rain according to Meteorologist Joe Cioffi.
Currently, Post-Tropical Storm Hermine remains offshore about 300 miles to the South-Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island, or about 325 miles to the East-Southeast of Ocean City, Maryland. The storm is now moving slowly to the East-Northeast at 6 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds have now increased again to 70 miles per hour with gusts up to 85 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure with Hermine has risen slightly to 999 millibars, or 29.50 inches of Hg (Mercury).
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect from Cape Charles Light, Virginia on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula to just west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island including Delaware Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch continues to be in effect from Watch Hill, Rhode Island eastward to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Know your watches and warnings. Coastal residents in these warned areas should be prepared for dangerous storm surge.
As mentioned earlier in this post, Hermine tracked further to the east so everything has shifted over somewhat in terms of the forecast track. Hermine is expected to move more to the north over the next 24 to 36 hours, and then turn towards the east again. However, Hermine is still expected to be several hundred miles off the coast of Eastern Long Island and Southern New England on Wednesday morning. Hermine’s strength during the next five days is expected to peak at 75 miles per hour within the next 36 to 48 hours.
Models Having Tough Time With Storm Now That It Is Non-Tropical
Greg’s Weather Center and Hurricaneville continue to watch what is now Non-Tropical Cyclone Hermine as it meanders off the Mid-Atlantic coast less than 250 miles from Atlantic City, New Jersey. All of the coastal counties in New Jersey remain under a Tropical Storm Warning and could still see significant coastal flooding from this storm.
Currently, Post-Tropical Storm Hermine is located some 240 miles to the East-Southeast of Ocean City, Maryland, or about 275 miles East of Norfolk, Virginia so the center of circulation is still to the south of New Jersey. The storm is still moving pretty good to the East-Northeast at 13 miles per hour, but expect that motion to slow down during the day on Sunday as it begins to loop back toward the coast. Maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to 65 miles per hour with gusts over hurricane force. Pressure is at 998 millibars or 29.47 inches of Hg.
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for the East Coast of the United States from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina including Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point southward and also Delaware Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch also remains in effect from east of Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Middlesex County, New Jersey, the home of GWC and Hurricaneville is under a Tropical Storm Warning.
There has been a lot of variability or differences in the forecast model tracks for Hermine. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that Hermine is now a non-tropical system. You may wonder what does that mean. Well, what it means is that the storm is now a cold core system with cold air at the center of the low. Cold core lows are basically what we all see during the fall and winter months, i.e. Coastal lows or Nor’easters.
If you recall earlier last weekend and earlier this week, the models struggled with the track and intensity of what eventually became Hermine because they tend to have problems with developing systems. They also have similar issues with storms that transition from tropical to non-tropical systems. So, in a nutshell, the models are all over the place when it comes to Hermine’s track , and what type of storm it will be over the next few days.
One good thing that has happened with Hermine during the late afternoon and evening hours is that the storm went a little further to the east than expected, and that is good news for those further inland. Hermine is expected to loop back to the west, but because it jogged a bit more to the east, it is unlikely at this point that the storm will come ashore along the Jersey coast. However, let’s not let our guard down, and be prepared for anything since again the models are struggling with this system.
According to Meteorologist Joe Cioffi, the coastal areas are still going to receive the brunt of the impacts from the storm. Most significant impact will be coastal flooding. The National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly indicates that anywhere in New Jersey east of the Garden State Parkway will see significant coastal flooding from a storm surge anywhere from 3 to 5 feet above normal. In addition, as the storm makes its closest approach to New Jersey on Sunday evening into Labor Day morning there will be an increase in rain and wind.
Rainfall amounts along the coast will be anywhere between one to two inches east of the I-95 corridor with winds increasing to tropical storm force by Sunday afternoon. Some isolated areas could see as much as 2 to 3 inches according to the NWS. The greatest threat for all of this seems to be more confined to the further south that you go along the Jersey Shore toward Atlantic City and Cape May into Delaware. However, we could see tropical storm force winds as far north as coastal areas in Middlesex County such as South Amboy and Old Bridge.
On Saturday, I was out at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park along Raritan Bay, and there was a very good easterly to northeasterly fetch off the ocean. Water levels were higher than usual, and it wasn’t even high tide yet. Winds were much stronger too. Here at GWC in South Plainfield, there was more of a breeze, but not as significant as it was near the water in South Amboy. Again all of this is due to the fact that Hermine is a good ways from the coast right now.
Remember, Hermine is still a very large and vast system with tropical storm force winds extending some 205 miles from the center. The storm’s size is more along the lines of Hurricane Irene (2011) as supposed to Hurricane Sandy (2012). Like Irene and Sandy, the large circulation of Hermine will push a good deal of water toward the coast and bring significant wind and rain to areas far away from the center.
All residents along the coast from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Cape Cod, Massachusetts need to pay close attention to the whereabouts of this system since the models are giving different possibilities with this system. Do not let your guard down. The most recent forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center did indicate that Hermine could re-intensify to have hurricane force winds sustained over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Upper Level Conditions Will Make Things Difficult For Now
On this early Sunday morning, our primary focus is on Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine, which is expected to meander off the Mid-Atlantic coast through Labor Day, and perhaps into the middle of next week. However, we do have another tropical entity, Invest 92L, that may be a threat in the coming days.
Presently, the disturbance is located about 250 miles to the east of the Lesser Antilles, and it has a good deal of shower and thunderstorm activity associated with it along with winds up to tropical storm force. However, upper level atmospheric conditions are going to make things difficult for the disturbance to develop any further for at least the next five days.
The disturbance is also moving at a pretty fast pace between 15 and 20 miles per hour. Currently, the forecast track models have Invest 92L going through the Windward islands into the Central Caribbean, but the actual forecast track is a bit to the north of that and curving more northward with time toward Puerto RIco, Florida, and the East Coast of the United States.
Chances for development with this disturbance within the next 48 hours are currently low at 20 percent, and only at 30 percent over the next five days. There is plenty of time to worry about this feature. However, we need to keep in mind that we are in the heart of hurricane season with the statistical peak taking place on September 10th. So, we will need to eventually keep an eye on this.
Last Advisory Issued Early Saturday Morning
While the focus shifted completely over to the more immediate threat of now Post-Tropical Storm Hermine, Gaston was wrapping up in the Northeastern Atlantic. Early Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory on the storm system. The post-tropical cyclone was beginning to pull away from the Azores.
As of the last advisory from the NHC at 5:00 AM AST (EDT) on Saturday morning, Gaston was located some 160 miles to the Northeast of Faial Island in the Central Azores or about 120 miles due north of Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Maximum sustained winds were down to depression strength at 35 miles per hour with gusts of minimal tropical storm force.
Post-Tropical Cyclone Gaston was moving briskly to the East-Northeast at 17 miles per hour. Barometric pressure has risen to 1006 millibars or 29.71 inches of Hg (Mercury). While the storm has weakened, the once major hurricane is still generating swells that are producing heavy surf and dangerous rip currents through parts of the Azores on Saturday.
Further weakening is likely with Gaston now that it is over cooler waters and encountering hostile atmospheric conditions. The post-cyclone is expected to dissipate on Sunday. Gaston became the first major hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season with maximum sustained winds peaking at 120 miles per hour earlier in the week.
Warnings Extended to New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, Long Island Sound, and parts of Rhode Island
The Garden State including Middlesex County and GWC here in South Plainfield are now in the crosshairs of Tropical Storm Hermine, which has now become post-tropical. Tropical Storm Warnings have now been extended to the Jersey Shore including Sandy Hook, Long Island to New York City, and west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island including the South Shore of Connecticut.
A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect from east of Watch Hill to Sagamore Beach in Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket in Massachusetts. Make sure that you know your watches and warnings. Presently, Hermine is located 35 miles to the East-Southeast of Duck, North Carolina, or 80 miles to the Southeast of Norfolk, Virginia.
Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine is moving to the East-Northeast at 15 miles per hour, but that is expected to change as the storm is expected to slow down. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 65 miles per hour with gusts up to 75 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure in Hermine is at 995 millibars, or 29.38 inches of Hg. Hermine is a vast system now with tropical storm force winds extending some 205 miles from the center of circulation.
A Dangerous Storm Surge event is possible along the coastline from Virginia to New Jersey. The reason for that is what had been mentioned before about Hermine slowing down. This could be a prolonged storm surge or coastal flooding event that is also coinciding with astronomical high tide because of the full moon. Moral of the story is that we could be seeing a situation very similar to the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 where the storm lingers offshore during several high tide cycles, which would cause significant damage to many coastal areas.
Looking at the satellite imagery in Joe Cioffi’s live Facebook broadcast this morning, it was no surprise that Hermine was classified as post-tropical. The storm’s structure had taken on a more non-tropical or extratropical cyclone look with the classic comma shaped signature. Despite the change in classification of the storm, it still remains a very potent and dangerous system. In addition, the changeover from a tropical to non-tropical cyclone also results in energy transfer, which in turn invigorates the storm and intensifies it.
The latest forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Hermine will actually strengthen some more with maximum sustained winds increasing to minimal hurricane force at 75 miles per hour within 36 hours, and remain at that strength for another day and a half before weakening a little. Even at four days, winds are expected to be at 70 miles per hour, and 60 miles per hour at the end of the five day forecast period.
Taking a gander at the forecast track, the storm is expected to remain offshore according to the NHC’s consensus guidance. However, coastal New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are in the Cone of Uncertainty right now. The storm is expected to linger off the coastline of New England and the Mid-Atlantic through Thursday morning. The reason for this is not only because of Hermine’s interaction with an upper level shortwave, but also because of ridges of high pressure to the north and to the west preventing it from going out to sea.
All coastal residents in the Mid-Atlantic and New England need to make final preparations for the storm and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. This is a very serious and dangerous situation developing for the Northeast. So, please follow your local news, radio, and favorite weather app for the latest information on Hermine.
Anywhere from North Carolina to Virginia Border to Bridgeport, Connecticut Under Threat from Possible Surge
The story of now Tropical Storm Hermine is beginning to take another twist, and that twist could affect people in the Mid-Atlantic States including New Jersey, New York, Long Island, and Connecticut. The latest forecast track for Hermine shows that the storm could linger off the Mid-Atlantic coast from the Delmarva Peninsula to the Central Jersey coast through Wednesday morning.
During that time of extended presence, Hermine will be in the Gulf Stream, and could have hurricane force winds as late as Monday morning. The bottom line is that it is very important that all coastal residents from the Outer Banks of North Carolina up to Long Island and Connecticut should be getting ready to make the necessary preparations for a prolonged surf and surge event that could in the very least cause a good deal of beach erosion.
As of the 2:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Hermine was located approximately 30 miles North-Northwest of Savannah, Georgia or 80 miles to the West-Southwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm is moving to the Northeast at 18 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are currently at 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is up to 993 millibars or 29.32 inches of Hg (Mercury).
Looking at the satellite imagery of Hermine, you can see that the storm covers a fairly vast area. Right now tropical storm force winds extend some 175 miles from the center of circulation. An example of the size and coverage of the storm is the fact that locations such as Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and St. Simon’s Island in Georgia are feeling winds of minimal tropical storm force with gusts in upwards up 55 to 60 miles per hour.
Besides the possibility of prolonged surge, another major concern will be the rainfall. With the storm slowing down over the next several days, rainfall amounts will be on the increase. The reason for that is because the slower the storm moves, the longer the tropical moisture from it will stay in the same general locations. The result will be rainfall amounts between 5 to 10 inches with isolated amounts of 15 inches in Southeastern states such as Georgia and South Carolina into the Mid-Atlantic states such as Virginia.
Reading the most recent forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center, the reason for the forecast track having Hermine slowing down is because the storm is expected to interact with a potent upper level shortwave feature off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Not only will this cause the storm to slow down to a near stop, but it will invigorate the system, which will cause it to re-intensify somewhat to have winds of hurricane force by Monday morning.
At this moment, there are Tropical Storm Warnings in effect from Nassau Sound to Fenwick Island, Pamlico and Albermarle Sound, Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point southward, Tidal Potomac to Cobb Island eastward. A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for Fenwick Island west of Watch Hill and Southern Delaware Bay. Interests in the Mid-Atlantic from the Delmarva Penninsula into New Jersey, New York, Long Island, and Connecticut should pay close attention to developments with this storm.
First Hurricane to Make Landfall in Sunshine State in 11 Years; New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic Under Tropical Storm Watch
After much struggle over the course of the past 10 days or so, what had been Invest 99L finally got itself going and not only became a depression, but eventually emerged as the eighth named storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the season’s fourth hurricane. Hermine came ashore early this morning in Florida near St. Mark’s in the Big Bend region of the Sunshine State.
Hermine, which has since weakened to a tropical storm, became the first hurricane since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 to make landfall in the Sunshine State. The storm broke a period of incredible luck for a state that is often affected by tropical storms and hurricanes. The storm isn’t done yet either. While it has taken a hit, Hermine again is still a tropical storm, and is expected to move out over water again soon.
The threat from the tropical storm has now extended northward with even the home state of Greg’s Weather Center under a Tropical Storm Watch. New Jersey as well as the rest of the Mid-Atlantic could feel the effects from the storm as early as late Saturday night, and they could linger into Labor Day. So, if you have any plans to head to the beach, you might want to keep your eyes peeled to various weather media outlets or any weather app on your smartphone to keep you apprised of the situation.
Currently, Tropical Storm Hermine is located some 35 miles Northeast of Valdosta, Georgia. The system is moving at a somewhat brisk pace to the North-Northeast at 14 miles per hour. Again the storm has weakened with maximum sustained winds decreasing to 60 miles per hour and wind gusts dropping to only 85 miles per hour, but these winds can still pack a punch. Minimum central pressure with the storm has risen to 987 millibars, or 29.21 inches of Hg (Mercury).
The storm has grown to a decent size with tropical storm force winds extending some 175 miles from the center. As of 8:00 AM, a wind gust from Hermine of 46 miles per hour was reported as far away as Brunswick, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida a good deal away from the center. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Englewood, Florida to the Ochlockonee River, Flagler/Volusia County line on the Florida/Georgia border to Duck in North Carolina including Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for North of Duck in North Carolina to Sandy Hook here in New Jersey, Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward, and Southern Delaware Bay. Interests in the Northeast should closely monitor developments with Tropical Storm Hermine. The storm’s intensity forecast indicates that Hermine will continue to weaken with time since it will be over land. Hermine will remain tropical over the next 48 hours before transitioning to a post-tropical storm on Sunday.
The forecast track of Hermine shows that the storm will be hugging the coast from Georgia into South Carolina and North Carolina before emerging over the water again near the North Carolina/Virginia border on Saturday evening. The storm will be several hundred miles southeast of the Jersey Shore on Monday morning, and could actually linger offshore for much of Sunday and Monday.
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