Every year or so, we get a reminder of just how unpredictable tropical systems can be. Tropical Storm Fay is proving to be that storm. It’s done very little to plan at this point; it surged more westward than expected; came onshore weaker than expected, and now it’s done what is usually unthinkable — it’s strengthened over land.
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I recorded tonight’s briefing, and it’s now available online (though it may be outdated by tomorrow morning).
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.
The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Hunter aircraft are currently investigating Invest 92. NHC’s boosted the chances of development in that area of disturbed weather to over 50%. Despite its disorganization, I’ve seen lesser storms classified as tropical depressions, and I think this one will be classified before the day is out. More later.
The morning models are basically unanimous now on recurving Invest 92 northward. Roughly half the models are split on where it recurves; half of them are recurving it before the Bahamas, and half of them are recurving it afterward (with a couple stragglers taking it into the Gulf of Mexico; I’m counting this as an anomaly and not paying much attention to them right now). If it recurves it after the Bahamas, we definitely have a much better chance of feeling the effects in Charleston.
It’s still early yet, but it’s been interesting to see how this situation has been developing. If you look at the different frames on the Colorado State model site, you can see the earlier runs and the progression…pretty neat.
Continue to keep an eye out…
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.