It is peak time of the hurricane season and we have the activity to prove it, that’s for sure. Right now, we are tracking hurricane Jose which could pose a threat for some impacts to portions of the East Coast over the next few days.
We are also keeping tabs on activity in the east Pacific where hurricane Max is about to make landfall in SW Mexico, bringing with it the risk of heavy rain and related flooding concerns.
In addition, the NHC will begin issuing advisories on a new tropical storm, Norma, to the south of the Baja peninsula.
I cover all of these topics and more in today’s video discussion which is posted below.
To state the obvious, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has lived up to the predictions of being quite busy. We have had several high impact events in the United States and combined with other systems such as Bret, Don and Franklin, the landfall issues have been extensive.
Remember, the hurricane season run through the end of November which is of course a date on the calendar – there have been plenty of years when we saw “out of season” storms and hurricanes – which of course happened this year already with Arlene in April.
So what’s happening out there now? For the moment, we have hurricane Jose to keep track of over the next several days. It is not completely clear yet what will happen with Jose as steering currents look to become confused as we move through the next five to seven days.
I also noticed that pressures are forecast to lower quite significantly in the Caribbean Sea over the next two weeks or so which usually means the season is shifting from deep tropical Atlantic develop to more in-close type development; a pattern that is common to see as the season wears on in to September.
Add to this the developing La Nina which kind of developed while no one was watching (not really just an expression) and you have the ingredients in place for a very busy second half of the season.
I address all of this and more in the first of several video discussions that I plan to post today:
Now that hurricane Irma has been relegated to the history books it is time to focus on Jose which right now does not pose a direct threat to the southeast United States. However, we know that things can change and we should keep a close eye on it which is exactly what I intend to do.
Slowly Irma has weakened down to a minimal tropical storm and will likely be classified as a post-tropical cyclone very soon as it transitions into more of a frontal low. As of the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, winds are down to 50 mph and these winds are mainly confined to the coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina.
Now that the winds have subsided, the inland flooding is going to be the biggest threat within the next 24 hours across the Southeast United States, especially in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Winds will be gusty at times up to 50 mph which could cause some power outages but the wind threat is decreasing as the storm continues to weaken.
Storm surge has become a big problem today along the Northeast Florida and Carolina coastlines. As heavy rainfall falls inland, the water is having trouble draining towards the Gulf due to persistent southeasterly winds offshore which has piled up the water along the coast. This has led to numerous rivers going into record breaking flood, one of which is the St. Johns river that weaves through downtown Jacksonville. Since Irma is moving farther inland and north, winds are becoming more southwesterly off the Atlantic Coast which is relieving some of the high water levels.
The remainder of the tropics are quiet except for Hurricane Jose which has had a tough go of it as of late due to shear from Irma. Jose is barely hanging on as a hurricane but is expected to make a loop possibly directing the storm more west once Irma moves out of the picture. At this time there should be a period of strengthening as the storm moves just north of the Bahamas. It’s still way too early to talk about potential impacts along the East Coast as models diverge greatly once the storm makes the loop. For now, residents from Florida up the East Coast should monitor Jose closely but not worry too much as chances are higher it eventually gets nudged out to sea. Stay tuned!
Although Irma weakened to a tropical storm earlier this morning, the system continues to produce widespread flash flooding in addition to storm surge flooding along the East Coast.
From Northeast Florida up the coast to Georgia and South Carolina, onshore flow is leading to a tidal surge between 3-5 feet. This is creating problems as the heavy rainfall is not being allowed to drain properly leading to multiple rivers going into flood.
Very heavy rains associated with Irma fell overnight in the Jacksonville area where an onshore flow is pushing water up the St. Johns River. This has led to a Flash Flood Emergency in downtown Jacksonville where residents are being urged to evacuate due to rising water.
As of latest check, Irma has knocked out power to as many as 6 million people with that number expected to rise as the storm continues to track north.
For those in upstate Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, Irma is transitioning into a big rain producer with some embedded wind gusts that could cause minor damage.