Winter storm coverage in North Carolina begins today

I mentioned at the end of last hurricane season that I would like to begin reporting from and studying winter storms. Good timing. This season has featured numerous such storms for the eastern United States and this latest one looks to be quite potent.

My plan is similar to that of a hurricane field mission: get to an area, set up equipment, report from that area using live streaming video. As such, my plan is to head to the North Carolina piedmont/foothills area – specifically Statesville. In fact, I will be set up where I-40 and I-77 intersect, a major traffic corridor. I feel this is an important area to report from due to the interstate system there coming east-west via I-40 and north-south via I-77. I will report on snow depth, air temperature and wind speed using our fantastic new “everywhere cam” on our Ustream channel. In addition, I will set up a “SnowCam” somewhere in the area to monitor conditions via one of our remotely operated cameras normally used to monitor hurricane storm surge. I’ll determine the best place for that cam when I get there later today. Both of these live feeds will be available free for anyone to watch or share.

I will also push video updates to our iOS/Android app – Hurricane Impact. If you have it, now is a great time to check out the video section under field missions. I can post video clips anytime, anywhere and they show up in the app within a minute or two. This is a great way to test that feature of the app and I plan to post at least two dozen video reports throughout the event.

Tune in periodically to check on conditions as I travel from Wilmington, NC via I-40 to Statesville. I will have the cam running 24 hours a day and it will literally go everywhere I do. I think you will be very pleased with the results of this incredible technology and I hope to provide some useful information about this very serious winter storm. Any questions? Email me: mailroom@hurricanetrack.com or follow on Twitter: @hurricanetrack

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Coverage of Southeast winter storm begins Tuesday

My route for covering the winter storm

My route for covering the winter storm

A rare and powerful, disruptive winter storm is about to affect portions of the Southeast with ice, snow and wind that could cause major travel issues and power outages. Sounds like the perfect time to test out some equipment that we normally use during hurricane events.

As such, I will be starting out in the Wilmington, NC area Tuesday morning. From there, I will head north to New Bern and then to points north and west from there (see the map). I feel as if interior areas away from the ocean will see the highest snow amounts. As long as I can travel safely, I will track the snow bands and stream the entire adventure live on our public Ustream channel.

Along the way, I will post frequent video blogs to our app – Hurricane Impact. This is a very cool feature that we use for hurricanes but have not had much use these past couple of years (good news, right?). So if you have the app, check it every so often, at least once per hour, for a new video post from the road. I think you’ll find the coverage to be very thorough and informative. I will have temperature and wind readings straight from the Tahoe’s weather station, adding more value to the video blogs. If you don’t have the app, now’s a great time to get it and follow along. Search Hurricane Impact in the App Store or on Google Play. You’ll be glad you did.

In addition to the video posts, I have a live weather station running from my home office in Wilmington complete with wind, pressure and a live web cam shot from my yard. How often will ever get to do this? Again, if you have the app, check out the weather data page – the info updates dynamically every minute or so.

Obviously this event will help us to be ready for the upcoming hurricane season but the reality is that this storm is going to have serious effects for the people it is going to impact. Cold temps, snow, sleet and ice, combined with strong winds, will make for a miserable couple of days. Please be careful if you need to be out and about. I will do the same driving around the eastern part of the state and if it gets too rough, I’ll duck in somewhere and get a hotel room. Common sense should prevail and all will be well.

To follow the live Tahoe cam (we actually call it our ‘everywhere cam’) click here

I’ll be up and running by sun up. Hope you can follow along and interact via social media or our subscription site’s live chat board. If you’re in the path of this storm, stay warm and above all else, stay safe! I’ll see you from somewhere out in the storm!

M. Sudduth 11:05 pm ET Jan 27

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Coastal storm bringing rain, wind and rough seas to Mid-Atlantic

Potent coastal storm situated just off the North Carolina coast this afternoon

Potent coastal storm situated just off the North Carolina coast this afternoon

The left over energy from Karen has made its way in to a potent coastal storm that is giving portions of the Mid-Atlantic states quite an unpleasant few days. Unfortunately, it is going to take another day or two before things change significantly.

Right now the surface low appears to be just off the North Carolina coast south of Cape Lookout. Since this is not a tropical cyclone, the highest concentration of energy, and in this case that means wind, is spread out well away from the low center. Winds will be in the 30 to 40 mph range across a wide area from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to parts of Delaware and Maryland. This will cause some minor coastal flooding, especially near each high tide cycle.

Rain is also a major issue with several inches falling from this storm system. Obviously, the result will be some flooding of typical low lying areas and other poorly drained streets. Use caution when driving in this mess. The worst of it will move in within the next day or two and finally clear the pattern by later in the weekend, bringing very nice fall weather back to the East Coast.

Elsewhere in the tropics, we are watching invest 98L way out in the deep tropics. It has a shot at becoming a tropical storm over the next several days but conditions in the central Atlantic are not that ideal right now so don’t expect much to come out of this. What ever does manage to develop will not affect land areas.

In the east Pacific, a new area of concern has developed off the coast of Mexico – invest area 94-E. It is forecast by what model guidance there is to move away from Mexico at first, followed by a sharp turn to the north and then northeast ahead of a strong trough of low pressure off the west coast of the U.S. Interest in Mexico should closely monitor this system. It has some potential to become a hurricane over the still quite warm waters of the east Pacific.

In the longer term, the global models show nothing of any significance developing in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. We are getting closer to the point where development chances really begin to go down but are not quite there yet. It’s been a remarkable season in that no hurricanes have even come close to affecting the United States. We may just make it until November 30 with that record intact. Time will tell but it’s looking good so far.

I’ll have more here tomorrow, especially concerning the east Pacific system.

M. Sudduth 1:05 PM ET Oct 9

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Carolinas get ready for wind and rain as Sandy turns your way

Latest GFS forecast showing Sandy in 48 hours off the Southeast coast

Latest GFS forecast showing Sandy in 48 hours off the Southeast coast

I wanted to post an update about the next 48 hours and what the GFS model is showing with Sandy.

As the hurricane turns more to the north after leaving the Bahamas, it looks as though a large area of heavy rain will develop along the western side. This could bring several inches of rain for portions of coastal Georgia, South Carolina and especially eastern North Carolina.

In addition, the wind will pick up to tropical storm force as the overall wind field of Sandy continues to expand. It looks as though all of eastern North Carolina, from around I-95 and points east, will feel the strong winds. And, any heavy convection that develops will help to bring even stronger winds down to the surface.

As Sandy passes North Carolina to the east, the wind will shift to the north and drive the Pamlico Sound southward. This places a good deal of Downeast North Carolina under the threat of storm surge flooding. People who live in the area know the risks already as they have dealt with this type of event many times in recent years. However, Sandy’s wind field will be so large that the duration of these near-storm force winds (50 mph or higher) mean that with each high tide, water levels will increase. Please consult your local NWS site, weather.gov, input your ZIP Code, and read any/all local warnings and statements. These are written by real people who live in your community! They will provide much more specific information as to the impacts expected from Sandy. This holds true for any area that is in the path of the hurricane.

I will post another update later tonight and will begin to address the potential issues for storm surge for the Northeast.

Note: I am adding another video blog to our iPhone right now. It should be in the app within the next 30 minutes. Don’t have our app? Search “hurricanetrack” in the App Store. It will provide you with our blog posts as well as our field mission videos and live data.

 

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Beryl dropping a lot of rain over portions of the Southeast

TD Beryl continues to exert its influence over parts of the Southeast today with continued heavy rainfall. Northern Florida and southeast Georgia are receiving the most abundant rains and with the slow movement of the depression, this will continue to be the case throughout the next day or two.

Beryl is forecast to move in to South Carolina and then off in to the Atlantic near Charleston. At that point, the depression could strengthen back in to a tropical storm as it passes south of Wilmington and eventually, Cape Hatteras. I doubt that Beryl will be able to regain much intensity but it is possible that tropical storm conditions will be felt along the Carolina coast tomorrow and Thursday.

Flood watches have been posted for a wide swath of the southeast coast since the tropical rains are persisting long enough to create a flooding risk. Luckily, Beryl will move out of the picture this week and the heavy rains will go with it. The good news out of all of this is that the rain is badly needed. Beryl may have ruined the Memorial Day weekend for some folks but its longer term benefit of providing much needed moisture will outweigh most of the negatives associated with the pre-season storm.

I do not see any additional areas to be concerned about as we enter the official start to the hurricane season this Friday. The east Pacific is also nice and quiet after two recent tropical cyclones, one of which became a major hurricane.

Note: I will be posting a blog about our successful testing our weather balloon in Texas and the remote cam at the NOAA Sentinel in Mississippi last week. I’ll post pictures, video and the data that we recorded from the balloon payload later this week.

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