First named storm of the season possible off the Southeast coast

Invest area 91L off the Southeast with limited track model data showing quite a range of possibilities over the coming days

Invest area 91L off the Southeast with limited track model data showing quite a range of possibilities over the coming days

The NHC has made mention of the possibility of development off the Southeast coast later this weekend for a few days now. A low pressure area, non-tropical in origin, moved across the landmass of the Southeast and has now emerged over the very warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

It is a small area of weak low pressure now with disorganized convection, as seen in recent satellite imagery. However, the potential is there for this to become a tropical depression and eventually a tropical storm. If it becomes a storm, the name will be Arthur.

The steering pattern is interesting as it looks like, for now, the low will move southward as high pressure in the middle layer of the atmosphere keeps the system blocked from moving north or northeast. There is a chance that the low will even turn to the southwest and may make it to the Georgia or Florida coast early next week.

Sea surface temps are very warm off the Southeast coast

Sea surface temps are very warm off the Southeast coast

Water temps are very warm across the western Atlantic, right up to the coast. There is plenty of fuel for development but upper level winds are not ideal right now. My concern is that this is a small feature and computer models typically do not handle small systems very well. It is possible that this quickly develops, taking advantage of the window of opportunity even though, generally speaking, conditions across the Atlantic Basin are hostile and have been that way since the beginning of the season.

It is important for boating interests all along the Southeast coast to keep an eye on this developing weather situation. At the very least, locally rough seas, due to showers and thunderstorms, can be expected. It is not out of the question that a tropical storm forms which can complicate matters significantly.

The NHC has tasked a series of recon flights in to the area beginning on Monday. We’ll know a lot more then when their data is available. It will be interesting to see how quickly, if at all, this system develops and then what path it takes. With a busy 4th of July week ahead, the last thing we need is a tropical cyclone near the coast of the Southeast U.S.

I will post another update early this evening and an in-depth look at the system in my daily video blog which is posted to our iOS and Android app, Hurricane Impact. Don’t have it? Search Hurricane Impact in the App Store and on Google Play.

M. Sudduth 9:47 AM ET June 28

NHC close to issuing advisories again on Dorian

Water vapor satellite photo of ex-Dorian trying to organize enough to beome a tropical storm again

Water vapor satellite photo of ex-Dorian trying to organize enough to become a tropical storm again

It looks like what was once tropical storm Dorian may be tropical storm Dorian again. The small system is getting better organized in the waters just off the east coast of Florida. Convection has increased and radar imagery indicates that the circulation is becoming better defined. It won’t take much to allow ex-Dorian to become TS Dorian.

Fortunately, the compact system is going to track to the north and stay just offshore of Florida – keeping most of the rain and wind with it. Even the Bahamas should escape the brunt of Dorian’s attempt at a comeback.

Upper level winds are about to become very strong out of the northeast as well which will help to shear Dorian apart. This alone should put a lid on strengthening but don’t be surprised to see it peak out as a decent tropical storm over the warm Gulf Stream.

Farther up the coast, folks in South and North Carolina need not worry that this will be a repeat of Alex in 2004. Steering currents should keep Dorian well off the coast and whisk it out to sea early next week.

I’ll have more on this developing situation later in the day on Saturday.

M. Sudduth 1:40am ET August 3

Watching ex-Dorian very closely while Flossie nears Hawaii with heavy rain

Visible satellite photo of 91L (Dorian)

Visible satellite photo of 91L (Dorian)

The remnants of Dorian, labeled as 91L, are flaring up again today with quite a bit of deep convection noted in satellite imagery. However, surface pressures in the area are very high, near 1015-1016 mb and are not falling apparently. I think what we have is a vigorous tropical wave with perhaps a mid-level circulation. While it’s possible for the system to make enough of a comeback to be designated a tropical storm again, I think the odds are against it. Upper level winds are not going to let up enough and the background pressures are just too high.

With that being said, the wave of low pressure will bring showers and gusty winds to portions of the southern Bahamas, Cuba and south Florida over the next few days.

Looking at Flossie today, most of the deep convection has fizzled out which means the threat of heavy rain and strong winds is diminishing. There will still be periods of torrential rain as the bands from the storm move across the islands of Hawaii today and tonight. Any increase in deep thunderstorms will also bring some gusty winds down to the surface but I do not see any widespread issues with this system as it encounters cooler waters and less favorable conditions overall. Flossie will be out of the region by later tomorrow.

Elsewhere in the east Pacific, another area of disturbed weather has developed well to the southwest of Mexico. It will probably go on to develop in to a tropical storm over the next few days as it heads generally westward over the open Pacific.

Tomorrow, I will be working with Mike Watkins of Hurricane Analytics and our long-time friend and colleague to test much of our equipment that we’ll be using this season. He is flying to Wilmington, NC today from Florida to assist with the testing. We plan to set up and test our Surge Cams and a weather station for at least 24 hours. We’ll do the testing along the NC Outer Banks where the wind is nearly constant. It’s also a good area to simulate field mission conditions and to make sure things are running smoothly in an area that may be impacted later this season – you never know.

We’ll stream the entire event live on our public Ustream channel. In fact, I will change the homepage here tomorrow morning to the one we use during our field missions. It will have a live Ustream player console for both the live Tahoe cam and our live Surge Cam during the testing. As I stated back in March, we are dedicating one of our live streaming Surge Cams to public access this season. The other three will be reserved for our subscribers but we felt it was important to share with the public as much as we can at no cost. With the support we have from our members, we are able to do that this season and thus provide access, at no cost, to one of our live streaming Surge Cams.

In addition to the live video that we’ll be testing, we’ll also test the Surge Cam for our Hurricane Impact app. This cam is separate from our live edition. It is the same equipment but instead of live video, users see a live web cam image every 60 seconds. We will be setting up the Surge Cam for the app on this trip so anyone who has Hurricane Impact on their iOS device should check it out. We’ll also have the GPS tracking enabled so you can see precisely where we placed the cam.

Last but not least, for our app users, we will also test out one complete weather station along the Outer Banks. You’ll be able to monitor wind, pressure and a live web cam image within the app under the weather data section.

So if you’re bored tomorrow, join in and take a ride with us on our Ustream channel or right on the homepage of the site as Mike and I head out to the Outer Banks for this important round of testing. We’ll be live beginning around 10am ET and go through until late tomorrow night. We’ll pick up again Wednesday morning right on through late Weds night once our testing is complete.

I’ll have another blog post late tonight to update things on Dorian’s remnants and Flossie in the Pacific.

M. Sudduth

Is Dorian poised to make a comeback?

Satellite view of ex-Dorian as it tries to make a comeback. Note the fanning out of the clouds now, indicating a more favorable upper level wind pattern.

Satellite view of ex-Dorian as it tries to make a comeback. Note the fanning out of the clouds now, indicating a more favorable upper level wind pattern.

All of a sudden, the remnants of Dorian have flared back up and in dramatic fashion. What looked like a disorganized mess this time yesterday is now exhibiting characteristics of a developing storm.

Fortunately, the Hurricane Hunters are flying through the system now and this gives us on-site info that is very important. So far, they have not been able to find a well defined low level center and until this forms, Dorian will remain a tropical wave.

The satellite presentation is quite impressive this afternoon as you can clearly see in the photo attached to this blog. What was once a pattern of upper level winds shearing across Dorian is now one that looks like upper level outflow developing. The fanning out of the clouds in a clock-wise fashion is a key indicator of more favorable upper level winds.

It is interesting to note that several of the statistical hurricane intensity models now bring Dorian to hurricane strength over the next several days. The track models show a general WNW movement towards the Bahamas and eventually northern Cuba and/or south Florida. I think it is obvious that people need to pay attention to the progress of this system quite closely. Rarely do we ever have a storm blow up out of nowhere and surprise us, but it’s not impossible. Interests in the southeast Bahamas and points west, including south Florida and Cuba need to be prepared for the possibility that Dorian makes a comeback and brings adverse weather to those areas as the week unfolds.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Flossie is closing in on Hawaii where tropical storm conditions are forecast by later tomorrow and through Tuesday. It looks as though Flossie will maintain moderate tropical storm intensity with winds possibly near 50 mph as it passes through the islands. The threat of heavy rain is, I believe, the biggest impact, especially for the mountains where flash flooding could be a real concern. An increase in swells along east facing beaches will be an additional hazard for swimmers to deal with. People in Hawaii need to take this seriously and not think of it as “just a tropical storm”. The torrential rain is probably going to be the biggest issue but do not be surprised to see some wind damage, especially at higher elevations. Conditions will rapidly improve once Flossie moves past by later on Tuesday and in to Wednesday.

I will post another update on both of these systems later this evening.

M. Sudduth

Wet days ahead for portions of the Southeast as 91L gets better organized

Heavy rains associated with 91L will spread across Florida and parts of the Southeast

Heavy rains associated with 91L will spread across Florida and parts of the Southeast

I hope that umbrellas as not in short supply for portions of the Southeast over the next few days – they are going to be needed. It looks as though a lot of moisture from invest area 91L in the Gulf of Mexico will track northeast across Florida and then in to Georgia and the Carolinas. This means a lot of rain is coming between now and the weekend.

There is currently a fairly substantial burst of deep convection or thunderstorm activity accociated with the weak low pressure area. However, this is due more to interaction with very dry air punching in from the west rather than a sign that true tropical development is now underway. This will continue to result in a lop-sided storm system with almost all of the heavy showers and thunderstorms displaced to the north and east of any low level center.

Most of the reliable computer guidance indicates that the low and its assoicated inclement weather will track northeast out of the Gulf over the next few days and bring a lot of moisture in to the Southeast. Some areas could see as much as five inches of rain. This will impact travel and obviously outdoor activities. There may be some flooding concerns as well for the locally heavier downpours in typical low-lying areas and communities with poor drainage.

Wind will not be a major issue since the energy is spread out over a larger area and not concentrated around a well defined center. However, there will be a steady increase in winds and seas along the west coast of Florida so small craft should be careful when venturing out in to the Gulf.

The rest of the tropics are of no concern right now and this continues to include the east Pacific. I’ll post more here tomorrow morning, sooner if conditions warrant. You may also follow along in our app, Hurricane Impact, which features a daily video blog that is posted each afternoon with analysis of the current goings on in the tropics.

M. Sudduth