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Talking the Tropics With Mike: Not done yet: Ian headed for the Carolinas

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LOCAL - NORTHEAST FLORIDA/SOUTHEAST GEORGIA - POTENTIAL IMPACTS FROM IAN *BASED ON THE CURRENT FORECAST PATH*:

*** With so much rain & ocean water in the “system”, higher than avg. tides will continue through at least next week for the intracoastal, St. Johns River & its tributaries. Nuisance type flooding & ponding will occur with each high tide cycle ***

Ian is moving away from Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. The rain is over... winds will continue to decrease... & seas & surf will subside though a high rip current risk will remain through Fri. night.

Ian:

Tropical wave - ‘98-L’ that moved off of Africa last week is moving over the Southern Caribbean & Central Caribbean & was upgraded to tropical depression #9 Friday .... to tropical storm “Ian” Fri. evening... then to a hurricane early Mon. with a landfall over Western Cuba early Tue. as a Cat. 3 hurricane & made landfall southwest of - & near - Ft. Myers Wed. afternoon as an intense Cat. 4 hurricane - the 4th “major” hurricane to hit Florida since 2000 (Charley in ‘04 on the SW coast... Irma in ‘17 in the Keys... Michael in ‘18 in the Panhandle). Ian formed from a classic from a tropical wave that formed from a complex of intense storms over Africa... encountered hostile conditions (shear & dry air) for days before finding more favorable conditions. Virtually all ingredients were in place for maintaining Ian’s intensity over the SE Gulf. Unfortunately an eyewall replacement cycle was completed overnight resulting in a rapidly intensifying hurricane Wed. upon approach to the southwest coast of Florida. Due to the hurricane’s size & nearly 2 days as a major hurricane, impacts in the area south of Tampa were even more severe than damage than Cat. 4 Charley caused in the same general area in 2004. Imagery below from CIMMS integrated microwave imagery shows Ian’s strong convection is mostly over the north & northwest portions of the circulation:

Friction from land & increasing shear & dry air weakened Ian Thu. while the storm was “sniffing” out the ocean again to the east. In classic tropical cyclone fashion, the dry continental air “eating away” on the underside of Ian which is quickly looking more extra-tropical (with frontal features) vs. purely tropical. As Ian managed to make it back over the water of the far Western Atlantic, the storm morphed into more of a hybrid type low pressure area with the strongest winds & heaviest rain shifting to the north & west portions of the circulation. Heavy rain & surge will still likely be significant for N. & S. Carolina as Ian makes its 3rd landfall Fri. afternoon a little north of Charleston & a little south of Myrtle Beach. From there Ian will slow & drift northward while weakening & eventually finally dissipating.

NHC interactive inundation forecast * here *

Wilmington, NC radar:

Charleston, SC radar:

Lots of shear across Ian has helped start an extra-tropical transition:

A disturbance over the Eastern Caribbean is being strongly sheared & is not expected to develop.

Comparison of tracks between Cat. 4 Charley in 2004, Cat. 4 Irma in 2017 & Ian:

Elsewhere....

We’ll need to watch the Caribbean over the next 1-2 weeks for *possible* tropical development. It’s still way too early to get into any details but indications are that a tropical system may try to slowly develop then move northward. Plenty of time to try to figure out the details.

A tropical wave is moving off of Africa & may try to organize some while moving west to west/northwest, but it doesn’t appear the wave will be able to make it all the way across the Atlantic:

Water vapor loop shows plenty of mid & upper level moisture (white & green areas) across a good part of the Atlantic Basin:

September origins:

Averages below based on climatology for the Atlantic Basin through September. This season so far is well below avg.:

Wind shear:


Saharan dust spreads west each year from Africa by the prevailing winds (from east to west over the Atlantic). Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink. Widespread dust is indicative of dry air that can impede the development of tropical cyclones. However, sometimes “wanna’ be” waves will just wait until they get to the other side of - or away from - the plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, way too much is made about the presence of Saharan dust & how it relates to tropical cyclones. In any case, we’ve had several large dust plumes spread west to the Caribbean & Gulf with the peak of Saharan dust typically in June & July.

2022 names..... “Julia” is the next name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years). Historic storms are retired [Florence & Michael in ’18... Dorian in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20 & Ida in ‘21]). In fact, this year’s list of names is rather infamous with “Charley”, “Frances”, “Jeanne” & “Ivan” retired from the ‘04 list (all hit Fl.) & “Matthew” was retired in 2016. The WMO decided - beginning last year - that the Greek alphabet will be no longer used & instead there will be a supplemental list of names if the first list is exhausted (has only happened three times - 2005, 2020 & 2021). The naming of tropical cyclones began on a consistent basis in 1953. More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content over the Gulf, Caribbean & deep tropical Atlantic:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:

Caribbean:

GFS wave forecast at 48 & 72 hours (2 & 3 days):

Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:

Updated Atlantic seasonal forecast from early Aug. - NOAA & CSU:

The East Pacific:

Tropical storm “Orlene” has formed west of Mexico & will take a sharp turn north while intensifying into a hurricane but then weaken as it moves northeast well east of the Baja by early next week with a landfall on the upper west coast of Mexico late Mon./Tue.:

West Pacific:

Global tropical activity:


“Roke” over the W. Pacific will stay east of Japan while turning northeast: