Well, Invest 94 took its sweet time to get going, but once it got going…holy cow. Enter Gustav, which was Tropical Depression Seven at 11am and then blossomed quickly to a 60 MPH tropical storm by 5pm. Like Fay before it, Gustav is expected to rake Hispaniola and Cuba — though this time as a minimal hurricane — with more rain and wind. Thereafter, it gets questionable; some models take it south into the Yucatan, but others take it close to Florida (as if they need anything more) and eventually into the Gulf. The Hurricane Center, so far, favors the more northward trajectory, though there is significant model agreement about the southward trajectory. Like with Fay, time will tell, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the steering sets up later into the week. Unlike Fay, though, no models have pegged Charleston as a primary target of the storm, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t watch it. The models have been awfully funky with 94 and weren’t the most reliable with Fay, as we all witnessed.
Fay, Fay, Fay. During these storm cycles I write so much about a storm that I honestly get sick and tired of the name and hope to never hear it again for another six years. (Typically, that’s the case.) While we’re writing the last chapter on Fay here in Charleston, it’ll be around our friends on the Gulf Coast for quite a while it looks like, as it treks toward a record fourth Florida landfall enroute to stalling out and continuing to dump tons and tons of rain on an area that’s had enough.
Yesterday brought the Lowcountry a tornado watch. While most of the tornadic activity was concentrated in Georgia, where there was a steady stream of warnings, there was a short-lived rotation in Hampton and Jasper counties prompting a warning. There weren’t any reports of such weather in Charleston, though.
Rain’s the story here, as it is in most other places (but certainly not to the degree that it is in Florida, where they’re getting it in feet). NWS record-keeping indicates a new record for rainfall downtown yesterday, with 2.16″ of rain. The College of Charleston weather station indicates 2.03″ of rain, most of which came down in a squall between 11am and noon.
We’re still contending with some scattered showers from Fay, but since it’s actually starting to move away a little bit, this should actually come to an end by tonight. In fact, I’ve seen some sun for the first time in a few days…it’s a nice change.
As Fay leaves Charleston, there’s two more items of interest in the Atlantic. Invest 94 has been on the radar for about a week as having potential for development, but it hasn’t gotten it together. A look at the models and its position shows that it’s going to maintain a fairly southerly track, so I don’t anticipate this one would be much of an issue for us here at home. Invest 95 may be something to watch as time goes on, at least track-wise: It’s at a latitude that seems to foreshadow some threat to the U.S. in the next couple of weeks, though there’s some significant divergence toward the end on where it’d end up. A strike against 95 is that its satellite presentation, or near-lack thereof. It’s got a little bit of convection, but the circulation is not well defined and it would have a long way to go before it became anything significant. It’s still worth peeking at every now and again, though, as conditions are generally favorable for slow growth…and it is still the peak of hurricane season, after all.