Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Watching the Tropics Closely

The tropics are starting to really heat up and Hurricane Felix made landfall with the northern coast of Nicaragua as a Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, gusting well over 200 mph. The storm has since weakened as it has moved over land, but the mountainous terrain will make sure the storm slows down and dumps as much rainfall as possible on the small central American villages. Mudslides will be a major threat with this as up to 2 feet of rainfall could fall in the next couple of days. Closer to home, there is an area of disturbed weather north of the Bahamas and east of the southern Florida coast that has been sitting and spinning for a couple of days. More about this later in the post.

For the short term, expect a very chilly night tonight, especially in northern New England, as much of the northern part of the six state region is under a Frost Advisory for scattered frost will lows dipping into the lower to middle 30's tonight in many areas up North. Closer here, lows will likely dip into the low 40's in the normally coldest suburbs of Boston with the city likely staying in the mid 50's. This will lead to a perfect fallish day Wednesday as many school districts open up for the first day of classes. Highs should get into the lower to middle 70's. This will lead to another cold night as many spots could very well fall into the 40's, even Boston will fall to around 52-54 degrees. I wouldn't be surprised if Norwood fell to 38 degrees. Thursday will be sunny with highs in the upper 70's.

Then it is back to the steam heat for Friday through Sunday with temperatures getting back into the mid and upper 80's each day with rising humidity. This will open up the doors for us for a possible tropical cyclone threat. I have below a projection of Invest 99 currently and how the computer models are tracking it at the current time.

As you can see, the computer models are all over the place with the track of this storm, but many are strengthening it into a tropical cyclone of some magnitude during the timeframe. One model, the GFDL is developing the storm rapidly as a Tropical Storm and eventually a Hurricane before slowly meandering its way up the eastern seaboard, where ocean water temperatures are up to 80 degrees just south of the Jersey Shore.

The GFDL's track is outlined in the blue line and as you can see, it is showing a coastal hugger with strong winds, a Cat 1-3 Hurricane, and heavy rainfall. Waves and high surf will be another major player in this situation as well, no matter how strong this storm develops. The GFS model is usually very good at depicting tropical cyclone tracks and you can see it is delivering this storm very close to the New England coast in the pink track. This would take the brunt of the storm offshore, but it would still be a major concern for much of southern New England.

As you can see, this is a fluid situation and one that will need to be watched very closely during the next couple of days. There is not even a tropical depression out there yet, just something to keep an eye on. I will have more updates on Invest 99 later should anything develop later today or be upgraded, I will be the first to post it.

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