We’re down to the wire, folks. Things are looking fairly stable at this point to landfall. The 11PM advisory did not change much at all from the 5PM and 8PM advisories. The track’s pretty much the same (save for the inevitable wobbling tropical systems do as they approach). There’s a chance the wind field may contract a little (see the NHC discussion for more); Hanna’s getting its tropical characteristics a bit more in order. (I’m still shocked it’s not being classified as subtropical, personally…)
The time for speculation is indeed over, though. Now, we wait and see and let Hanna do what she’s going to do.
I’ll start coverage on Charleston Weather at roughly 10:30 to 11:00 tomorrow morning after I catch up on a bit of sleep. Watch this space for blog recaps as conditions deteriorate, and pay close attention to the Charleston Weather Twitter account, as well as my own personal Twitter account. If I should lose power, I’ll still be able to update my Twitter accounts for as long as my BlackBerry has juice. I may charge some backup phones tonight as well, just in case. The chat room is always open for business, and I’ll try to stay in there as long as I can. Tomorrow promises to be interesting.
The 11PM advisory is out on Hanna. She’s holding steady at 80 MPH; pressure’s down a couple millibars to 978, and this storm is very, very stationary, causing a lot of problems on the Turks and Caicos with the potential for deadly mudslides due to the copious amounts of rain being dumped on the area.
The forecast track has shifted eastward and now predicts a landfall Friday afternoon around the Charleston metro or just a teeny bit north. I must reiterate that this scenario is very uncertain and could all change by the time we wake up tomorrow morning.
I’ve noticed this eastward trend progressing throughout the day; this morning, landfall was projected south of Savannah; at 5PM, landfall was shifted to the border with a hard turn right up through the gut of SC; now, another eastward shift takes it into Charleston. This is a curious development; I’ll get into that in a moment. First, here’s some explanation from the NHC discussion (links to models added by me, where appropriate):
AS HIGH PRESSURE DEVELOPS
OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC OVER THE NEXT 2 TO 3 DAYS…A
NORTHWESTWARD TRACK FOR HANNA IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP. WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF THE UKMET…THE MODEL GUIDANCE IS REMARKABLY WELL
CLUSTERED. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS ADJUSTED SLIGHTLY TO THE EAST
OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND IS ONLY SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT OF THE GFS…GFDL…AND HWRF.
Here are the latest spaghetti plots for those of you who are into meteorological pasta:
And a close-in view of the plots as they cross over Charleston:
I do find it interesting that they’re leaning on the GFS, GFDL, and HWRF so much; as the spaghetti indicates, there’s still plenty of support for the more leftward solution. It probably has to do with the reliability of GFDL lately, and the fact that GFS trended more leftward to match up with it; but this is still an interesting development. The morning runs will be good to watch to see if more things come into alignment with this rightward track. Again, the cone of uncertainty is quite wide, and it’s still important for everyone from Miami to Norfolk to keep close tabs on this one.
The National Weather Service in Charleston initiated local statements on Fay at about 7:00 tonight. Weather Underground is a good place to read these statements, as they do some processing to make them mixed case and thus a bit easier to read. The latest statement from NWS Charleston as of this writing came around 9:00 tonight. Continue reading →
The 11PM full advisory is in, with a heavily revised forecast track that takes Ernesto’s center much further from Charleston than predicted and shows a landfalling tropical storm in Myrtle Beach. Check out the map:
This is going to have a big impact, in a very positive way, on tides and the wind swath we can expect in Charleston. Local news is starting and I’m watching now to gather the reaction from the local meteorologists. I still expect flooding rains but this is a much improved prognosis. Let’s see if it holds overnight.
Ernesto is still a 35 MPH depression that’s just emerged off the Space Coast and is making its final trek northward.
The 11 PM advisory is in, and we see the first big shift in the track in the last 36 hours. The picture tells the story:
You will undoubtedly notice that Charleston is no longer ground zero for landfall. The projected landfall point has shifted quite northward to the Georgetown area. While the center of the storm will still pass extremely close to Charleston area, this latest track indicates that we will be on the weaker left side of the storm. This will dramatically lower the effects of high tide and other potential surge issues. Also, tornadoes will be far less likely with this new track.
It’s good news for Charleston, but not so much for about Georgetown northward. I and everyone in the Lowcountry certainly hope that the power of the fabled Hurricane Cookies continues to shift this projection more to the right.
Watches for our area have not changed just yet. I anticipate a tropical storm warning by 11am tomorrow as the storm continues to approach. I reiterate that hurricane tracking is an inexact science and this could just as easily shift back to here. I’m waiting for the Hurricane Center to post the latest forecast discussion so I can further analyze their thinking behind this.
Please continue to pay attention to the localmediaoutlets for more information about evacuations, etc.
The 11 PM advisory is coming in right now. The forecast track hasn’t changed much except for the following:
Intensity has weakened all around, and Ernesto is now expected to make landfall as a strong tropical storm, but not a Category 1 hurricane. (Update: Rob Fowler has fleshed out the intensity a little bit more — it’s going to be a 70 MPH tropical storm. Not quite hurricane status but 70 MPH winds are nothing to thumb your nose at. Also of note is that News 2’s VIPIR suggests a more westerly track than what the NHC is providing.)
Ernesto’s Charleston landfall has been pushed out just about six hours later, to just before 8PM on Thursday.
Here’s the new forecast track:
Ernesto is still a tropical storm with 40 MPH winds. It seems to be starting to emerge slightly now — we’ll see what happens. Tomorrow will be a very telling day, but for now, I must rest.