I think that Bermuda can thank hurricane Michael for existing. After talking with colleague Mike Watkins just now about the latest GFS run, it is possible, certainly not official by any means, that Michael getting as strong as it has will erode the Atlantic ridge enough to draw Leslie more east than previously forecast. In fact, just looking at the 72 frame from the 00Z GFS, you can clearly see Leslie some 100 miles EAST of Bermuda at 96 hours. If this trend continues, then Bermuda may end up seeing very little in the way of effects from Leslie.
One possible reason, as I mentioned, is that Michael now reaches up to the 500 mb level of the atmosphere. This allows the trough over the eastern U.S. to push Leslie out sooner and thus it never reaches 64W longitude. We’ll have to see if the ECMWF has a similar solution on its 00Z run which will come out in a few more hours. If so, then I would expect the NHC forecast track to subsequently shift east at the 5am ET package.
Obviously, this would spell great news for Bermuda. I would also mean that I have no reason to be out there this weekend. If Leslie fades east soon enough, it might not even rain in Bermuda. That may be a stretch, and this run could be a fluke, but I doubt it. We’ve seen subtle but consistent shifts east in most of the major guidance all day and tonight’s run is really starting to look positive for Bermuda.
I’ll probably stay up for most of the night to monitor things and will have another blog post and even a video blog for our app as we near the 5am advisory package from the NHC. If they say that this model cycle was bogus for what ever reason, I still need to catch a plane at 8:30 am ET. I suspect though that I will be right here this weekend blogging about hurricanes that are over open water. We shall see.