I want to address the “Tropical Threat” that Hurricane Irma could pose to the east coast.
FIRST – We are around 10 days from it possibly getting close to the United States and what forecasters see on weather models is unlikely to be the final story for the storm.
SECOND – I do recommend people have disaster plans! http://ready.gov has a lot of resources. Take the time to read and create some kind of plan and then hope you never have to use it!
THIRD – OK, so the pattern this time around for the Atlantic Ocean is a bit anomalous, and, if the patterns are close to what models show now, it DOES lead me to believe that Irma will be a close call or a hit somewhere from the Gulf of Mexico to New England! YA.. that is as specific as it gets!
BUT THIS IS ALL CONJECTURE and conclusions from forecast models which really drop off in accuracy after 5 days! We will see and know a lot more over the next week and all you can do is think of some obvious items that could help! Like, clean gutters and drainage areas, consider having some water on hand if you lose power and would need it. MAYBE, in the next few days take the generator out and start it..just do some simple things and then listen to see if more actions are needed. Let us seriously hope we have NO MORE tropical systems hit land this year! But take some time to think of what you may do in the midst of a natural disaster. Write it down, share with the family since we are in a calm but more aware time knowing what can happen due to Harvey. It will help to talk it out and maybe provide some peace to your family since Harvey was unique in what it did! Then do the few practical things like what I mentioned because they do not require any urgent action. WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAPPEN is something does become urgent and you have not thought it out, have no way to get supplies, and start to panic. You can stay calmer with a plan!
I will do a quick blurb daily on what I think of Irma – but they will be brief until I think we need more detail because she would affect us! She currently has 115 mph winds and is 1600+ miles east of the Leeward Islands.. WAY OUT THERE! Still way closer to Africa than the United States! She is moving west, Thi is about all we know at this point! She is forecast to strengthen some and is forecasted to become a Category 4 storm in the next few days.
STILL Monitor the weather as there are many things that can change! Models are showing a more easterly component to the Hurricane!
So Joaquin is super strong! Could be a Category 4 at the moment based on the latest Hurricane Hunter readings! That strength does make him a force to be watched, but also systems this this do not get as easily grabbed by troughs.. and I think we see this. The European Model has been insistent that this system stays east of the East Coast and I am starting to believe it! Other models are ALSO seeing this now and you can see the National Hurricane Center’s shift to the east! This is really good news! We did not want to have something like this on the coast. Pray for people in the Bahamas as the storm is really powerful. UNTIL this system does get kicked out to sea, we have to monitor as the cone of uncertainty still has landfall possible. THE EXACT TRACK IS STILL UNDETERMINED, SO STAY POSTED!
A phenomena that has been hard to pinpoint in this upcoming system is something called a PER. This is a “tongue” of moisture (it is more complex than that, but just for simplicity sake) that is aided by a tropical system that can combine with other systems and drop large amounts of rain. You can see that the placement of this moisture has shifted all the way down to South Carolina. They could see 8 to 12 inches of rain. Drought conditions will be or have been wiped out by all of the rains! Due to the upper-level system and a low pressure developing along it, rains for Virginia will be the southern half with 3 to 6 inches of rain. Then NC could see 4 to 7 inches. Flooding concerns remain high and pockets of areas, especially western parts of these states could see 10 inches or more.
THINGS COULD CHANGE – but this is best I can read at this time.
Please be careful, do not drive through flooded regions, and pay attention to OFFICIAL NEWS and Weather outlets for the latest watches and warning!
Small updates after noon forecast model runs!
Special props to DT @Wxrisk for seeing this model trend a while back.
The low on the east coast is slowly creeping north and the northeast over the weekend. The persistent easterly flow will cause a continuation of rain that has already accumulated between two and as much as five and six inches in some areas. As of now the places with the most rain have been the higher terrain of Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina as well as coastal areas. Rain has been very slow to make it in the north due to the dry air that has been filtered down from the north due to a strong high pressure. As this high to the north start lifting to the northeast, we should see more moisture slowly spread north overnight and into Sunday. This will mean areas of Northern Virginia and even Maryland will see some rain. The rain will not be very heavy in Maryland or Northern Virginia except in the higher terrain of the area to the west and southwest. In those regions may be up to an inch of rain will occur. The rain will start to depart on Monday from the northern areas painting clouds will slowly disappear for a cool season of all week. As we look towards the next weekend another low pressure could be coming from the golf as well as an upper level system which will combine for a possible scenario for at least the southern mid-Atlantic. In the very long range there are definite signs that a change in the weather will occur in cooler conditions will be more likely that that may not come until late in October. The pattern is definitely going through some changes and this will mean that there are more possibilities 4 low pressure systems and rain chances.
Of note, the persistent flow on the east coast is going to cause moderate to even major flooding on the coastal areas of southeastern Virginia so please be alert and do not drive through flood waters.
As my friend @ianlivinston pointed out, saying the coastal low is going to be strong was an overstatement. The gradient between the high pressure to the north and the Low forming and slowly moving north will cause copious rains for North Carolina and upstate South Carolina! Higher elevations will see 3 to 6 inches of rain from the upslope help and persistent flow off the ocean and that amount could reach into southwest VA as well. The coastal areas could also see amounts approach 6 inches. The southern half of Virginia should do well with moderate rains reaching just north of Richmond and points east to west below this. Rains become heavier towards Southeastern VA and along the NC/VA Border. The Nothern and Northwestern VA and most of Marland west of the bay may only see rains in the quarter to as much as half of an inch or even stay drier.. the further north you are, the less you will get. THERE ARE STILL some model challenges going on and the northern extent of moderate rain is still in question. Honestly, it could go drier in the northern half of Virginia with moderate and heavy rain may be further south. *IT COULD* come further north as well, but I have less confidence in this at the current time.
Cloudy and cool conditions for the weekend, with wetter conditions the closer you get to North Carolina! They need the rain! I added the Drought Monitor for the region and North Carolina is in bad shape so this will be helpful!
If I were to grade my forecast I would have to give it a D – It was close to a failure everywhere, but a few folks had enough to make it not a total bust – unless you live in Northern VA and MD! Then we have the other side where more snow hit NW NC a bit further south than I thought!
That may be it too folks! Snow looks almost impossible in the long range as a return to milder conditions with above or much above normal temps are forecast!
So we have a mild week and it gets really mild! Highs today are in the mid and upper 40s. Tomorrow – upper 40s to low and even mid 50s. Then Mid 50s to mid 60s Wednesday! 60s to mid a possible 70 in the south Thursday and Friday. Then the temps cool to the 40s to mid 50s for the weekend.
FOR REAL – If you live in the Leesburg, Ashburn, or Sterling area it is time to get the grab grass preventer out! Let my friend at Lawn Design help get you started on a very green summer lawn! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. He has kept his same prices 3 years in a row and is very reasonable!