Tag Archives: Hurricane Season

Hurricane season jolts back into gear; here’s how I’m watching it

In case you forgot, it’s hurricane season in the Atlantic. (Easy to do when there’s been nothing out there.)

Say hi to Ana and Bill. Ana’s got a shot at a South Florida landfall on Thursday, while Bill’s a bit too far out to call, though the early model guidance is encouraging for a recurvature before it hits the U.S. Time will tell — and these things are notorious for being unpredictable.

I’ll be doing periodic updates on the Charleston Weather blog as we learn more about the storms’ implications for our weather. TheDigitel’s hurricane page is a good place to monitor as well, and if you’re into maps and data and more maps and more data, I must recommend SCHurricane.com (@schurricane on Twitter) by the good guys at WCBD News 2. It’s pretty much every relevant map conveniently linked in one place.

So, stay tuned. It wasn’t going to stay docile out there forever.

Tonight’s Fay Briefing

Serious Business proper was preempted somewhat tonight by a briefing on Charleston Weather for Tropical Storm Fay. I’m planning on doing a few more videos as the storm gets closer; the interactive sessions on Ustream could be potentially useful as we continue to learn more about what Fay is going to do. Blog posts about Fay will continue and be tagged appropriately.

I recorded tonight’s briefing, and it’s now available online (though it may be outdated by tomorrow morning). Continue reading

92L Becomes Fay

Invest 92L has become Tropical Storm Fay, spinning right over Hispaniola right now tracking to the west at 40 MPH. The current track — which, given the history of this storm, has the potential to be incredibly variable — takes it over Hispaniola and into Cuba, and then out just south of the Keys in the next three days. If it stays over the islands, this is a good thing in terms of strengthening, because the mountains will generally tear the storm apart and prohibit it from becoming too incredibly strong. Indeed, the three-day forecast sees Fay maintaining tropical storm status.

The newest model runs are starting to come in, as well. Most of these, so far at least, agree on a track that recurves it northward into the Gulf of Mexico. This could still be problematic for us if Fay becomes a fairly significant storm; it could bring considerable rain.

However, it’s worth noting that the models just this morning had this thing tracking up the gut into Charleston; it’s still too early to tell. A lot depends on when the northward turn happens. The sooner the turn happens, the higher the probability of rapid strengthening, too. As I say a lot, much akin to a broken record, this is one to watch for the next several days.

Invest 92L: A tropical wave for us to watch closely

It’s fitting that as we approach the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season that we have a potential storm to contend with. Meet Invest 92, a tropical wave meandering northeast of the Leeward Islands chugging along to the west at 12 MPH. It’s really, really still too early to say, but we might be contending with this one in about a week and a half or so. Continue reading

Bye Bye, Bertha, Hello Dolly

It’s been a pretty busy July, wouldn’t you say? As the National Hurricane Center stopped advisories today on Bertha, which has been around since July 3, Tropical Storm Dolly sprouted up from a wave in the Caribbean. It skipped the depression phase and just went right to being a tropical storm, which is a bit unusual but it got itself together in a hurry. It’s going to run into the Yucatan and dump a bunch of rain before crossing into the Gulf of Mexico. Slow strengthening is expected…we’ll see what happens.

And as for Cristobal? While it stopped affecting Charleston late last night, it’s now dumping some rain on the Outer Banks. It’s lost a little intensity and isn’t expected to gain much more as it continues to move northeast. NHC is expecting it to accelerate away in the next day or so and lose tropical characteristics.

I definitely get the feeling this is going to be a busier year than we’ve seen in the last couple years. Just gotta stay vigilant…

Cristobal has formed

Tropical Storm Cristobal from Wilmington radar site

Tropical Depression Three has just been upgraded to Tropical Storm Cristobal with the 2:00 advisory. It’s moving northeast at 7 MPH and packing minimal tropical storm-force winds of 40 MPH.

The good news for us here in Charleston is that all tropical storm advisories were dropped in the 11am advisory. Tropical Storm Warnings are still up from South Santee River to the North Carolina/Virginia border, which means for a bit of a blustery, wet time for those of you on the Grand Strand and points northward in the next couple days.
Cristobal had been getting it together fairly quickly today over fairly warm water with decent conditions to strengthen, and it’s now pelting some pretty heavy rain on North Carolina (as you can see in the radar image above). Some gradual strengthening is expected, but Cristobal is probably not going to strengthen so rapidly that it becomes a hurricane; it will likely peak at about 55 MPH before being accelerated to the northeast and into unfavorable conditions.

Charleston and surrounding areas will continue to see some light rain on and off, but for this area, this event is quickly coming to a close…yielding to a very HOT day tomorrow, with upper 90s expected inland.

TD 3: Knocking on the door of Cristobal?

Here’s a radar fix on Tropical Depression Three as of about 9:30 this morning from the Early Branch NEXRAD site (KCLX). It’s fairly close to Charleston, about 65 miles or so southeast of here. Movement is quite slow; drifting north and northeast at an estimated 4, but the radar loop in the last couple hours hasn’t shown much at all. It’s close to tropical storm status with estimated maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

The depression will throw bands of rain onshore; a lot of the heavier rain will be north of here. Showers will continue to be intermittent and short-lived through the day, much as the last couple days have been.

TD 3 has been showing signs of slow, gradual strengthening and could become Tropical Storm Cristobal later today or tonight. We’re not expected to feel tropical-storm force winds in Charleston, though gusts that high are occasionally possible. Charleston is still under a tropical storm watch for this reason, though as the storm continues to drift north and then gradually pick up some steam (as it’s expected to do), those advisories will be lifted.

For more, keep an eye on Hurricane Local Statements as issued by National Weather Service field offices. Charleston’s field office is issuing reports specific to Charleston with each advisory.

Tropical Depression Three classified

Invest 96 has been classified as Tropical Depression Three as of 11:00. The center of the storm is roughly 65 miles from Charleston. The advisory classifying the tropical depression also initiated a tropical storm watch for the Charleston coastline (from Edisto to South Santee). A tropical storm warning was raised from South Santee up through the Grand Strand. While National Hurricane Center forecasters do not foresee rapid strengthening, this is a storm still worth watching considering where it is. The track currently takes the storm straddling the coast; however, in the absence of strong steering currents, there is a lot of uncertainty in this forecast right now.

While TD 3 won’t kick up too terribly much wind, it’s a good reminder to make sure you’re prepared in case something comes along that does kick up a lot of wind.

I’ll try to have more tomorrow morning in the form of another video blog on Charleston Weather. In the meantime, it’s time for bed…

Is 96 close to depression status? (Updated)

Note: This is an archived post about Invest 96 in July 2008. For current information about Invest 96 in the 2010 tropical season, please see Weather Underground.

Good ol’ Invest 96 is starting to tighten up and begin to show good convection around a reformed center, which means it’s pretty likely a depression could be getting its act together there in short order (say, within the next day or so). I just wrapped a quick webcast about 96’s current state and its future. (Excuse the technical difficulties; I need a camera operator!)

Update – The Hurricane Center just released this little ditty on 96 (more here):

SATELLITE IMAGES AND SURFACE REPORTS INDICATE THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OFF THE GEORGIA COAST IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION IS FORMING. IF PRESENT TRENDS CONTINUE…ADVISORIES ON A TROPICAL DEPRESSION WILL BE INITIATED AT 11 PM THIS EVENING.

As they say…”More at 11…”

A rough Invest 96 update

Based on some unscientific radar observation this morning, it seems that an elongated circulation is a bit stalled about 35 miles or so off the Georgia coast near the GA/FL border. It’s still throwing some brief spats of heavy rain at Charleston; with the combination of the onshore flow, a recent full moon, and the heavy rain, things are ripe for flooding…hence a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for today, especially along the coast. No word on any further tropical development from this, but it certainly bears watching. More later.