*** Soccer Mom w/5 Kids Summary ***
-We've got a system about to cut through the Bahamas tomorrow.
-It is currently a Category 1 storm with sustained winds at 75mph
-There is room for further intensification
-There are obstacles in the way to keep it under max potential, which works to our benefit
-2 main possible track solutions exist
-Inland would bring heavy, flooding rains and possible Tropical storm force winds to the coast
-"Coast Hugger" would bring moderate to major tidal flooding
-Impacting timing looks to be late Monday through Early Wednesday depending on track and speed.
Now that the basics are out of the way, allow me to expand on what we are looking at here. First and foremost, the Atlantic is starting to light up with activity. This is the first time in recorded history we've had nine named storms before August 1st. We will soon have a tenth I feel as we are watching tropical wave coming off the west coast of Africa that has potential. This season will make history, absolutely. I'm sure about that. LUCKILY we haven't seen any major storms yet. The Accumulated Cyclonic Energy (ACE) is much lower compared to our last hyper-active season, 2005. So that's good! Keep in mind though, we won't start to climb the mountain towards the peak of the season for another couple weeks... August and September are usually the most active months.
OK here are the current stats on Isaias:
Pressure has remained steady since the 2pm NHC update: 991mb
It's becoming a bit more organized, we can tell that by the looks of the satellite image.
The storm has encountered a lot to get to where it is now. Wind shear (change in wind direction with height) tore into it this morning and it's about to go through another area of shear off the Florida coast late tomorrow.
It has also encountered dry air / dust on its journey, it's being eaten at though on the northwest side. These factors taken into consideration should prevent Isaias from intensifying rapidly and becoming a major hurricane.
Now let's talk track. Forecast guidance has been ALL OVER THE PLACE over the past 3 days. Frustrating because simply put, our data isn't as good as it normally is with these events. Less air and boat traffic has really had an impact on forecasting overall. Here's the current National Hurricane Center Track:
I'm going to use the term "Cone of Concern" instead of "Cone of Uncertainty", a term used by my friend and colleague Mike from NBC in New York... I like it. It conveys a better message. We all KNOW this field is full of uncertainties and calculations, no need to add to it more. Anyway... it will take a couple days for it to ride up through the Florida coast. If you peg the center of the cone as the "most likely" track, it would put South Jersey square in the middle on Tuesday afternoon. That is IF the latest guidance is accurate. Hurricane Hunters went into the storm, so we do have that data.
Let's talk about the two different scenarios for track...
The Euro has been a proponent of this solution for a couple days now. It goes with the idea of a weaker storm making landfall in either Florida or the Carolinas and riding due north. This would happen if the ridge of high pressure was stronger and farther west... at the same time a trof of low pressure coming down into the lower 48 would be a little delayed further opening that window for the westerly track.
The benefit here for us? The impact would be greatly reduced. We'd still see 2-5" of rain with a period of tropical storm winds at the coast and a round or two of minor tidal flooding, but we'd avoid any major issues. The rain would move up the coast and into our area sometime Monday and be gone early Wednesday. Some stronger thunderstorms couldn't be ruled out.
If the ridge is weaker and farther east and the upper level system dipping down from the north gets in a little sooner, the chance of the storm staying closer to the coast is greater. Perhaps landfall in the Carolinas and then a second landfall in South Jersey? This would NOT be good for us as moderate, maybe even a round of major tidal flooding could be in the cards.
This far out with the flip flopping data, I can't commit to either one, but I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Law of averages. Will we escape impact? Probably not. I am not leaning towards a major impacting event, at least not at this time. There's still about 24 hours before we can solidify track and fine tune the details.
Here's what our current model situation looks like so you can peak through the window at what we look at. First, here are the hurricane models. Each line you see here is representative of a different model. There are 20+ to look at. The closer they are, the more agreement there is. Where they spread apart is where we have work to do.
I'd like to note that the spread may not be very much but the storm is SMALL. If it goes inland it will expand, but as a coast hugger it probably stays condensed. What that means is a difference of 50 miles could change the outcome significantly.
Current operational run of the GFS:
This is midnight Tuesday...
Holds back a little while. About 12 hours slower. Moisture trains up the coast and gives us rain before the storm itself even gets to us.
By Tuesday night the storm is just down to our southwest over Delmarva. Very similar look, EURO is a tad stronger. This would probably bring 55-60mph gusts at the coast, a round of high end minor or low end moderate flooding. All depends on timing.
TIDES TO WATCH:
Obviously the timing of the storm and how long we have an on-shore flow will determine what our flooding situation will look like. I'm expecting winds to start south, go southeast and then east. Better than northeast, for sure. Pressure drop will help with natural rise, plus amount of rain combined with full moon. Monday night 8pm, Tuesday Morning 9am and Tuesday night 9pm are all in play for flooding. I'll know more as we get into the weekend.
I hope this info helps. Download my app to stay ahead of it all!