Season not over yet

NHC outlook map with hurricane Nicole still churning away in the north Atlantic while we watch an area of disturbed weather near the southeast Bahamas

NHC outlook map with hurricane Nicole still churning away in the north Atlantic while we watch an area of disturbed weather near the southeast Bahamas

Here we are getting close to late October and the Atlantic hurricane season is still going strong. Believe it or not, we still have Nicole on the map and yes, it is still a hurricane. In fact, the surface wind energy is being translated in to the North Atlantic enough so that large swells are radiating out from Nicole are reaching the Caribbean Sea and the East Coast of the U.S. Nicole is likely to remain a hurricane for another day or so before finally encountering water that is cold enough to strip it of its warm-core tropical characteristics.

In the meantime, an area of disturbed weather has developed in the vicinity of the southeast Bahamas and has some potential for further organization over the next few days. Right now, upper level winds are just too strong to allow much to happen but the system will bring periods of showers and occasional gusty winds to portions of the Bahamas as it drifts slowly eastward.

Later in the week, computer models suggest that upper level winds could relax some and allow for slow development of a weak low pressure area somewhere over the southwest Atlantic. Water temps are still warm enough to support development but we’re getting to the time of year when we can expect to see more of a hybrid look to storms like this where the winds are spread out over a larger area instead of the classic tropical storm look. We’ll see what happens but so far, there are no indications that this system would pose a direct threat to the Southeast coast outside of additional swells and rough seas that it may kick up.

Beyond that, the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are free and clear of any organized disturbances that bear watching for now. However, there are indications that towards the end of the month and in to early November we may see an enhancement of the Madden-Julian Oscillation or MJO. This is a period of favorable upward motion that allows the air in the upper levels of the atmosphere to spread out or diverge, allowing thunderstorms to blossom underneath. With the very warm western Caribbean waters still waiting to be tapped, it is possible that we will see yet another area of interest pop up sometime beyond the next week to ten days. It is not that uncommon to see late season development in the western Caribbean and with a possible favorable MJO pattern, this year may be slightly more active than we’ve seen as of late once we get in to late month and early November.

I will go over everything in more detail during my video discussion which will be posted later this afternoon.

M. Sudduth 8:40 AM ET Oct 17

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River flooding continues in NC, Nicole likely to pass close to Bermuda and western Caribbean becomes area of interest soon

We are getting close to mid-October and the tropics are still very much a major topic of conversation. The aftermath of Matthew from Haiti and Cuba through the Bahamas and in to the Southeast U.S. is the top story outside of the political craziness that has dominated the news cycles for most of the year.

Right now, the clean up process has begun and unfortunately, so have the plans for saying goodbye to those killed in the hurricane. Last I heard from news sources, at least 23 people have died in the United States with hundreds more lives lost in Haiti. This saddens me but it also underscores the need for better hurricane preparedness across the Western Hemisphere. We have so much technology, so much information, yet we still lose people in ways that should not ever happen. I will re-visit this grim topic at a later date and offer some suggestions for doing better in the future.

Hydrograph for Kinstron, NC along the Neuse River showing the slow rise of the river to near record flood stage by Friday.

Hydrograph for Kinstron, NC along the Neuse River showing the slow rise of the river to near record flood stage by Friday.

In eastern North Carolina, the river flood situation continues. Parts of I-40 and I-95 remain closed as flood waters are slow to recede. In places such as Kinston, along highway 70, the flood has only just begun and will not peak until Friday. Other locations are also experiencing record to near-record flooding even as skies are clear and temps are finally fall-like.

I am going to head to Kinston on Thursday to place one or two unmanned cams to monitor the rising water in real time. I will share the link here and on social media so that residents who need to evacuate can still see what is going on in their town. I’ll have more on this tomorrow.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Nicole is slowly gathering strength south of Bermuda and is expected to become a hurricane again before passing very close to the island on Thursday. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning has been posted for Bermuda in anticipation of this event. It looks as though Nicole could be nearing category two intensity and as such, residents in Bermuda need to be ready for yet another hurricane over the coming days.

GFS model at day-5 showing the first signs of weak vorticity or spin in the lower levels of the atmosphere over the western Caribbea Sea.

GFS model at day-5 showing the first signs of weak vorticity or spin in the lower levels of the atmosphere over the western Caribbean Sea.

Once Nicole clears the pattern later this week, we will need to begin watching the western Caribbean for one last development cycle. All of the major global models are suggesting a large, sprawling area of low pressure will develop between days five and ten. Different models have different solutions for what happens after that so it’s best to just wait and see. For now, know that the western Caribbean is favored this time of year and, perhaps more importantly, the water temps in the region are as warm is it gets right now. Upper ocean heat content is nearly off the chart warm – so any disturbance that gets going in the region will more than enough fuel to become a powerful hurricane. This is an area we will need to monitor very closely as we get in to the weekend and early next week.

I will have my daily video discussion posted later this afternoon covering the latest river flooding info for eastern NC, Nicole and the western Caribbean potential for next week.

M. Sudduth 9:10 AM ET Oct 11

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Matthew moving along the North Carolina coast – once it exits, the freshwater flooding event begins and could be dangerous

Updated: 6:45 PM ET Oct 8

I am back in my office and home from a grueling but successful trip to Florida to intercept hurricane Matthew. I will go over the data collected etc. at a later time. Right now, the focus is shfiting to the threat of record inland flooding from excessive rain fall as a result of Matthew interacting with a trough of low pressure. Please watch the video discussion below and for interests in the eastern North Carolina region and parts of NE South Carolina, you need to be ready for this flooding. It will happen over the next few days and has potential to exceed the record set by Floyd in 1999. I will have another video update early tomorrow afternoon.

M. Sudduth 6:45 PM ET Oct 8

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Live cams set up for Matthew in SC

Update: 4:15 AM Eastern time October 8

I have relocated the two live camera stream is from Florida to South Carolina for the arrival of hurricane Matthew today. The links to the two cameras, one of them in Charleston, one of them in Murrells Inlet,  can be found below. Feel free to share these links with anyone you wish.

Charleston SC (the Battery)

Murrells Inlet SC (near Wicked Tuna)

I will have a complete discussion concerning Matthew and what to expect of the next 36 hours around noon Eastern time.

M Sudduth

 

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Matthew about to move out of the Bahamas and blast Florida

UPDATED: 6:45 PM ET Oct 6

There’s really not much else I can say as far as what people should be doing along the Florida East Coast tonight as Matthew approaches. Preparations should have been done hopefully commonsense prevails and everyone will get through the next 12 to 18 hours.

As has been the case lately, I have posted a video discussion which more thoroughly explains how I feel about things then I can write and a blog. Please check it out if you haven’t seen it via the link below.

Also, I have two unmanned cameras running in the New Smyrna Beach area.  You may view those here:

Cam 1- New Smyrna Beach #1

Cam 2- New Smyrna Beach #2

Mark Sudduth 6:45 pm ET Oct 6

 

 

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