Sept. 15, 2017 — The Atlantic remains active with "Jose" east of the Bahamas... tropical depression #14 (soon "Lee") over the E. Atlantic... & another wave destined to develop in-between.....
.... became a "major" hurricane last week & is feeling the effects of southwesterly shear... but is finally out of its loop. Movement now will be to the northwest with a gradual trend to the north likely intensifying during this time (through Mon.).
I do not see "Jose" moving into Fl.. Indications are that "Jose" will turn northward far to the east of Florida missing the Southeast U.S. coast but the upper east coast is not necessarily out of the woods yet. An approaching upper level trough of low pressure will at least try to draw "Jose" a little bit northwest by the early to middle part of next week as the system transitions to an extratropical low while flirting with the coast of New England.
LOCALLY - for NE Fl./SE Ga: Jose's closest approach will be Sat. night/Sunday BUT 500+ miles to the east. An easterly swell will reach Northeast Fl./SE Ga. beaches through the weekend with an enhanced rip current risk. Onshore northeast winds will develop because of "Jose" to the east & high pressure to the north, but the gradient does not look all that strong so winds will only be breezy at the coast & relatively light inland. The onshore flow out of the east will keep some flood water trapped a little longer along the shores of NE Fl/SE Ga. as well as along the St. Johns River & inland tributataries.
The upper level (500mb) chart below for early Sat. shows the "stream"/troughing that will help pull "Jose" northward before letting go. Then the approach of a strong upper level trough from the west will have something to say about the long term movement - next week - of Jose. The mid & upper U.S. east coast could be in for at least some kind of threat from Jose whether tropical or subtropical. At the very least, rough seas & surf & strong winds will develop from Chesapeake Bay to Maine next week.
NOAA WaveWatch III below predicated on GFS model - will change & update - hit refresh for latest + loop:
Very warm ocean water persists:
Deep oceanic heat content is still very evident - especially over the Caribbean & Gulf. We will have more tropical troubles before the season is over.
Tropical depression #14 has formed over the far E. Atlantic & will likely become tropical storm "Lee". Steady strengthening in the short term will be arrested by strong shear early next week. It remains to be seen if the tropical cyclone can survive next week's shear in what should be a turn more northward in the long run.
The Gulf & Caribbean remain quiet. There are indications of a general lowering of surface pressures across this area for late month which might be a hint pointing to tropical "mischief". In fact, an area of "disturbed" weather at a rather low latitude hundreds of miles east of the Lesser Antilles & just west of t.d. #14 will move west/northwest & should eventually consolidate & develop. Long range forecast models have - at times - painted an ominous picture for parts of Fl. & the U.S. coast BUT it's still very, very early on things might play out.
Spaghetti plots for tropical wave ('96L'):
East Atlantic IR satellite:
Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS) shows the strong shear ahead for t.d. #14:
The main development region (MDR) remains above avg. temps. - in fact - only 2005 & 2010 were warmer. The deep warm ocean water can "energize" tropical cyclones:
SE U.S. surface map - cold front is part of the equation for where Irma goes....
Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:
Surface analysis of the Gulf:
Irma is still "spinning its wheels" over the middle of the U.S. absorbed by a large but relatively weak upper level low. The system is now a post-tropical low pressure area & will continue to weaken, but the circualtion is still very evident on satellite imagery.
Hurricane Irma made the turn to the northwest & now north after ravaging the Keys. Ft. Myers & much of Florida. this is the first "major" Fl. hurricane landfall since Cat. 3 "Wilma" in Oct., 2005 (Twitter did not yet exist!)...
The last advisory by the NHC on "Irma" was issued Tue. morning as the storm has become post tropical. The low pressure area will continue to spin itself out over the Tennessee Valley. Overall conditions will continue to improve for NE Fl./SE Ga. as each high tide cycle gradually gets lower for the rest of the week. But some flooding at high tide + residual standing water will continue to be a concern. 'First Alert'! at area beaches where a high risk of rip currents will continue.
SUNRISE: ~7:10 AM .... SUNSET: ~7:35 PM
IRMA BY THE NUMBERS:
- 185 mph winds (Cat. 5) for 37 hours is a record for any tropical cylcone on earth
- a hurricane for 12 days with first NHC advisory Aug. 30th & last one on Sept. 12th
- a Cat. 3 or stronger for 8.5 days - 2nd longest on record (Ivan, 2004 - also hit Fl. [Panhandle])
- 1st Cat. 5 to hit the Bahamas since 1992 (Andrew) - 3rd straight year that a Cat. 3 or stronger hurricane has it the Bahamas
- Strongest hurricane ever to hit any part of the Leeward Islands
- most severe flood on the St. Johns River, Jacksonville since at least 1854
- 1st Cat. 5 to hit Cuba since 1924
- 10th lowest pressure (914mb) on record
Preliminarily highest water levels from NOAA. Further ground verification will follow & result in some higher numbers ultimately (probably) - especially for the Keys & S. Florida. What pops out is the highest so far is the I-295 Bridge (Buckman)!.... then the southerly wind on the east side of Irma pushed all that water north to downtown resulting in the massive once in a generation flood for Riverside & San Marco. Initial post storm analysis is showing salinity of the St. Johns River at the peak of the "Great Flood" to not be as great as during the peak of flooding during/immediately after Matthew last year.
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