Wild Tropical Season continues as Wilma takes aim at Florida and eventually the northeast. Our pleasant weather is going to be replaced by rainy conditions, then windy, then pretty cool. Long term I see a return to milder conditions, but some promising signs for winter. (See disclaimer at the end)
Summary: Wilma?s historic pressure of 882mb yesterday will be her strongest. Though I can see she will likely come ashore as a Category three storm in the Southwestern part of Florida, her next act will be a linking or partial phasing with a digging upper air low through the Midwest. This could do several things for us next week. Of immediate concern, there is the chance that areas could see some Thunderstorms today, and isolated Hail and or high winds will be something to watch. Back to Wilma.. She will race across Florida and then off shore up the eastern Seaboard. Her Linkage will spill energy into the trough mentioned above and induce bombogenesis off the east coast. This could mean some heavy rains in the northeast again, and we will be the edge of some of this. Upper Maryland and northward could really get soaked, but 1-3? rains may also hit our region. High winds could accompany this system and that could mean some tree damage and power outages. This being said, we will miss the worst effects that will be felt in New England. Similar to Hurricane Lilli in 1996 (See Weather America for same thoughts at http://weatheramerica.blogspot.com ). So we will have a breezy start to the week and then a cool down that could cause frost in some areas. This is perfectly normal and should be expected this time of year. Long term, there will be a return to milder air as the cold in the east looks to be transient. That being said, there are signs that the Upper level pattern may change and actually provide a better chance of Snow and colder air in Canada. This is VERY important to our winter outlook. I will keep watching!
Tropics: Wilma could be the last storm for a while in the Atlantic as the tropics appear to be headed for turbulent times. That being said, another storm or two would not surprise me! The next would be called Alpha. Wilma also is historic in that this season is the first in history to have had 3 Category five systems! What an amazing year.
Looking Out for Winter: This will be my new area to start on the Winter Outlook trail! This years major factors for winter continue to be Warm Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters, the lack of build up of Snow in Canada, and cold water off the Pacific NW coast. Current Snow cover in Canada is really low http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/SNOW/DATA/cursnow_usa.gif . My hope is to see some real reversals of this in the next week and a half. If not, I see real signs of a warmer winter coming true. Next, the warm waters in the Atlantic SHOULD help fuel systems as the come up the east coast, so, though we may have fewer snow storms, some could be huge! Last, the Pacific NW water temps have a real cold pool. This offsets the warm Atlantic waters a bit as storms will not be riding a favorable jet when they hit the west coast that would allow digging in the east. So far, this has not been an issue based on the last drought buster and Wilma?s linkage. But the changes to new patterns could show us a lot.. Will keep watching!
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