• Talking the Tropics With Mike: Nestor landfall near Panama City with impacts for Jacksonville

    By: Michael Buresh

    Updated:

    Oct. 19, 2019 - The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Survival Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.  

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    **  "Nestor" was upgraded over the Gulf of Mexico Fri. afternoon moving to the Fl. Panhandle early Saturday then into Ga. Saturday afternoon. Bands of heavy rain & possibly isolated tornadoes along with gusty winds & rough seas & surf from near Panama City Beach to near Jacksonville & much of Florida northward into Ga. & the Carolina's **

    Specifically for Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.:

    * on - & - off heavy rain bands & a few t'storms Saturday

    * heavy rain at times with amounts averaging 1 - 2", locally 3"+

    * isolated tornadoes Saturday... remember WATCH: conditions favorable for severe weather; WARNING: severe weather imminent (covers a short period of time)

    * gusty winds on the order of 15-30 mph sustained but gusts of 40+ mph

    * rough seas & surf - a high rip current risk at area beaches

    * rapidly improving weather Sat. night into Sunday

    South Fl. Water Management District:

    Nestor is moving swiftly northeast making landfall early Sat. over the Central Fl. Panhandle not too far from Panama City then moving inland through Georgia midday through late afternoon Sat.  This will be a fast mover which will help in terms of how strong the system becomes (less time over water).... & will keep rainfall amounts lower - but still heavy - than might typically occur with a landfalling tropical cyclone.

    Nestor remains lopsided with virtually all the heavy rain & wind (convection) over the northern & especially eastern portion of the circulation. The system will continue to be hampered by strong shear out of the west/southwest at more than 30-40 mph (7th image below).  However, the tropical storm will be moving east/northeast in tandem with the shear - in addition to upper level divergence (splitting of the winds) which should allow for a moderately strong tropical storm despite the more subtropical (hybrid) appearance on satellite data.  The shear will maintain a heavily weighted system on the north & east side.  In other words, the heavy rain & strongest winds will be in the top (north) & right (east) quadrants.  Hurricane hunter aircraft has found tropical storm force winds as far as 160 miles east & northeast of the center over the Gulf.

    Whether purely tropical vs. subtropical is just semantics & either way the impacts will be the same & very typical of landfalling tropical cyclones. Damage &/or power outages do not look to be significant or widespread for any affected areas as heavy rain, wind & any storm surge (Big Bend) will be short-lived.  However, storm surge of 3-5 feet is forecast for the Big Bend, possibly higher in spots.  When combined with wave action, some pretty serious flooding will occur in some parts of the Big Bend & nearby coastal areas.

    Sea surface temps. (8th image below) & atmospheric moisture (10th image) are more than adequate for tropical development.  But dry air is wrapping in from the west which - in combination with the strong shear - should keep this system "in check" with a subtropical appearance followed by rapid clearing as the center of Nestor marches steadily northeast then east/northeast.

    Anyone living in - or traveling through - Florida.... the I-10 corridor from Pensacola to Jacksonville north through Ga. through Saturday & as far north as parts of the Carolina's into Sunday morning should expect impacts from "Nestor".

    A narrow cone means a high confidence track forecast:

    A storm surge WARNING is in effect for the Big Bend of Fl. (as much as 3-5+ feet of surge + wave action) to as far south as just north of Tampa in addition to a tropical storm WARNING....

    Shear (red lines indicate "strong" shear):

    Sea surface temps. (red = warm [well into the 80s]):

    Water vapor image shows dry air invading from the west.  Sure

    Rainfall forecast through the weekend shows the Gulf disturbance bringing heavy rain northeast all the way to the Gulf Coast:

     

     

    Atlantic dust:

    2019 names..... "Olga" is next on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael last year) & Dorian is almost certain to be next:

     

    East Atlantic:

    Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear of which there is plenty across the Atlantic at the moment:

    The Atlantic Basin:

    Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

    Deep oceanic heat content is extreme over the NW Caribbean:

    Sea surface temp. anomalies show a warm Gulf of Mexico, Central & Northwest Atlantic while the "Main Development Region" (MDR) remain cooler than avg.  A pocket of cool water temps. has expanded over the SW Atlantic including the Bahamas:

    While parts of the Atlantic are cooler than avg., it's important to realize the water is still warm enough to support tropical systems....

    SE U.S. surface map:

    Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

    Surface analysis of the Gulf:

    Caribbean:

     

    Global tropical activity:

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