Wednesday September 5 2018
Hurricane Florence ha become the first major hurricane of the season for the Atlantic basin. Winds in the latest report have clocked 125 mph, making a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. It looks very impressive on the satellite loop shown below, but hurricane force winds only extend 15 miles from the center. As of now, it is a small storm. Florence as this has broken through many barriers this season including Saharan dust, wind sheer, and cooler water. The environment now supports this storm with warmer water and upper level steering to bring it towards the US next week.
Under normal conditions I would suggest this storm would curve away and stay in the open ocean. But the pattern suggests this storm might miss getting picked up and allow it to continue to the west for then next week. That would take it past Bermuda and off of the North Carolina Coast by next Friday. That is a lot of time to watch and plenty of room for adjustment. But, given the humid onshore flow we have had much of this summer, it is worth the concern.
NHC Forecast Track
11 AM AST Stats on Hurricane Florence
LOCATION...22.0N 45.7W ABOUT 1160 MI...1865 KM ENE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS ABOUT 1370 MI... ESE OF BERMUDA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...125 MPH...205 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...957 MB...28.26 INCHES
Computer Model Forecast Tracks
Sea Surface Temperatures given in ºC show the path of Hurricane Florence will be entering a zone that will provide more fuel to keep the storm strong.
This is the GFS Model that has had a lot of money invested into upgrading. This may be a true test for long range viability as it plots this storm off of the North Carolina coast as the end of next week. It is shown to stall and then drift north, with a possible impact on New England. That is worth watching to see if it holds or evolves differently over the next week. There is plenty of time to plan.
This is also worth watching for potential impact on the invisible stamp of Atmospheric Memory. There is a weakness off of the east coast already that will likely try to repeat itself in autumn and winter.
Potential to hug the east coast
Note the image here is for NEXT Friday, 228 hour forecast. A lot can change but this will be a reference point to plot any adjustments or trends.
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