Good morning folks…my thoughts on the latest track

We’re getting close to the 8am intermediate advisory (for which I’ll have no comment as I’ll be in class and working at that time), but I wanted to share a few thoughts on the 5am track from the NHC:

5AM forecast track of Ernesto.  Courtesy NOAA

  • The timetable for the center’s arrival has fluctuated, but the timetable for the arrival of the effects has become more clear, and overnight Wednesday is likely when the “fun” will begin, if the speed of the track holds. With this in mind, expect tropical storm or hurricane watches to be posted for our coastline possibly as soon as 11am today.
  • Ernesto will have only about 24 hours over water — these are warm waters, but it will be closer to the coast than previously forecast, and that will mean a limit on how much energy it will gain before it makes landfall.
  • The Hurricane Center seems pretty confident Charleston will see the center of the storm, as this has been forecast pretty consistently over the last 12-24 hours. During the day on Thursday, probably around 2 (yes, it sped up a few hours), I think we can expect some pretty dramatic weather.
  • The Hurricane Center expects top sustained winds of about 65 mph at landfall in Charleston. This could cause scattered power outages, but certainly is an improvement from the 80 mph hurricane that was facing us yesterday.

Now is the time to get ready for the unexpected. With a landfall that is increasingly more likely to coincide with high tide, it’s important for Downtown and other coastal residents to be prepared for flash flooding. This is going to be a rainmaker that won’t go away for a day or two, so expect some massive rainfall amounts.