Archive for August 3rd, 2012
Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to team west over the Caribbean, moving at a pretty good clip. It will spend the next 24 hours tracking south of Hispaniola and will be south of Jamaica by tomorrow afternoon.
It looks a little better on satellite photos this evening, which makes sense because it is moving into an area of lessening shear.
It is increasingly moving into an area that is more favorable for intensification and the system will become a hurricane at some point as it moves into the western Caribbean. By Wednesday, it should make landfall on the Yucatan. The big question then will be the weakness over the southeastern United States. Will it be strong enough to turn the hurricane more northward? That appears to be a real possibility.
There is not good agreement among the models as to whether the storm will take a track toward northern Mexico or extreme South Texas, or take a more northwesterly track toward the Central Texas Coast. The picture should become clearer as we head through the weekend.
Many folks who have vacations planned this coming week are understandably concerned. There is no reason to cancel any plans at this time, but everyone will want to pay attention to updated forecasts in coming days. A track into the Central Gulf would of course cause increasingly rough conditions along the coast.
FLORENCE? A tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic has a well developed low pressure system with it. It has just been designated Tropical Depression Six. This system has a chance to become Tropical Storm Florence in the near future. The good news is that the models tend to all agree that it will take a west northwesterly track carrying it north of the islands later this week and may not even survive that long as it faces some conditions that are hostile for development.
GORDON/HELENE: And the GFS predicts that we may see another couple of named storms in the next ten days over the eastern Atlantic. Hopefully, the East Coast trough will remain and protect the U.S.
We started tracking a tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic with a well developed low pressure system today.
It has just been designated Tropical Depression Six. This system has a chance to become Tropical Storm Florence in the near future.
The good news is that the models tend to all agree that it will take a west northwesterly track carrying it north of the islands later this week and may not even survive that long as it faces some conditions that are hostile for development.
We will have more information on Tropical Storm Ernesto in just a few minutes.
An isolated strong storm has been moving slowly across Jefferson County for the past 90 minutes or so.
It now extends from Woodlawn to Irondale out to Leeds and Trussville.
Lots of lightning and loud shaking thunder, as well as brief heavy rain and gusty winds, but it is not severe.
Moderate showers cover parts of West central Alabama at this hour, with heavier showers over northern Tuscaloosa, southern Walker and southeastern Fayette Counties.
The NWS has canceled the severe thunderstorm watch for Bibb, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa Counties.
According to the NWS, they canceled the watch for the western half of the counties due to that area already being worked over by earlier storms.
They continue the watch for Autauga, Chilton, Coosa, Elmore, Jefferson, Lowndes, Montgomery and Shelby Counties till 7:00 PM CDT.
They also say: Really the best threat for any severe activity will be Lowdnes, Montgomery, Elmore, and Coosa. May see this develop northward along the outflow moving east. In Coosa we may see a boundary collision soon and may increase the convection there as well. Will likely reduce the watch a few more counties after the top of the hour.
Showers and storms are increasing in coverage and intensity over West Central Alabama this afternoon.
They are heaviest from southern Pickens through Sumter and Greene into Hale and northern Marengo Counties.
They are producing lots of lightning and torrential rains. Greene and Hale Counties just went under an areal flood advisory. There could also be wind gusts to about 50 mph. Not seeing much indication of hail yet.
All of this activity should continue to slowly intensify as it pushes east southeast slowly.
Storms continue back into eastern Mississippi where we note one severe thunderstorm warning at this hour.
Other storms over South Alabama are building south of I-65.
Severe thunderstorm watch continues until 7 p.m. for much of Central Alabama.
Lots of interest in the future track of our tropical storm which is now in the Caribbean.
Here is the spaghetti plot of the various model tracks.
There has been good agreement that the storm will get into the northwestern Caribbean. The official track forecast takes it to the Yucatan early Wednesday. That is the end of the official 5 day forecast from the NHC.
Thunderstorm activity seems to be increasing today. The center is well defined. It appears to be surviving in the rather hostile environment over the eastern Caribbean, so one would think when the shear relaxes in a couple of days that it will strengthen. The official forecast has it strengthening to a hurricane by early Monday.
Looking at the morning run of the GFS, it has the storm taking a more southerly track over the western Caribbean which leads to interaction with land. It moves it over the Yucatan at a lower latitude and moves it slowly across the land mass, emerging over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico next Friday before crossing into southern Mexico.
The morning run of the Canadian has come into line with this thinking. It carries it into southern Mexico.
Still have not seen the morning run of the European.
The morning run of the HWRF definitely takes it into the southern Gulf of Mexico but apparently on a bearing for the middle Texas coast.
Bottom line, there is lots of uncertainty in the long range portion of the forecast for Ernesto after it gets into the western Caribbean. Hopefully, things will become clearer as we head through the weekend.
It certainly would not make me change any plans along the Gulf Coast for next week. But everyone with interests along the Gulf Coast will want to pay attention to Ernesto.
Interestingly, there is another system behind Ernesto that shows potential for development.