Thursday, August 6, 2020

Disturbing New Hurricane Forecast...

Colorado State University issued their August update yesterday and the numbers are concerning.  Dr. Phil Klotzbach, who studied under and took over for the late Dr. Bill Gray, increased the # of named storms to 24, the # of Hurricanes to 12 and the # of major (Cat 3+) Hurricanes to 5 !!!  These are the highest forecast numbers ever put out by CSU.    Since we have already 9 named storms, they're predicting another 15 names to come.  Of those 15 storms, 10 will become Hurricanes with 5 being major. Whew! If correct, that means a very active 2nd half of August into October.

You can see several tropical waves over Africa moving to the west spaced about 3 days apart.  The same goes for the Tropical Atlantic, but none show signs of development.  That's because the MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) is currently in the unfavorable (sinking air motion) in our part of the world and is expected to remain there for another 7-10 days.   To me that is the real wild card question in these hurricane forecasts, because if the MJO is not in the favorable (rising air) phase, then we won't have an explosion of storms.  All the experts believe it will flip,and with all the other indicators favoring a positive number of storms, we'll see an explosion in the Tropics.  I don't know what the MJO will do and neither do they.  Let's hope that sinking motion over the Atlantic & Caribbean continues.

Satellite views show a typical August afternoon with a smattering of storms bubbling up during daytime heating.  But wait, do you see the dry slot from Illinois down to Louisiana?   That's brought down by an unusually deep (for August) upper trough and the lack of clouds and storms is stunning.  

It doesn't show up on the surface weather map, but temperatures certainly are less hot and note the lower dew points to our north.   That should make it feel nice tonight once the sun goes down.  Only a few coastal showers are around and that should be the case again on Friday.   I expect we'll go back to a more humid & typical August pattern over the weekend with a return of our daily PM storms.  For now, enjoy the quiet pattern over the Tropics and perhaps spent this weekend getting some basic hurricane supplies so you don't fight the crowds when the big one comes. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

So Close Yet So Far...

The dew point at MSY (Kenner Airport) finally dropped to 69 at 3 PM.  I had been hoping that we could see more of that drier air push south of Lake P., but no cigar.  Note Memphis DP is 57!

We're still plenty hot, but the lower dew points should make morning lows feel better tomorrow and Friday, especially North Shore and away from Lake P.   It's another rare August afternoon of a few showers all the way over to the Florida beaches.

This mostly dry pattern will linger for another 2-3 days.   It's a basic summertime afternoon for much of the Southeast as the Tropics have gone quiet.

There is a weak circulation far east of Florida that NHC gives only a 10% chance to develop over the next 5 day.    It should be noted that the American (GFS) long range model is developing what appears to be a hurricane in the central Gulf around August 20th.  That's still over 2 weeks away.

RIGHT NOW, there are no significant waves coming off of Africa, but we have arrived at the time of the year when that's often where the long track storms have their birth.  The Euro does not see anything so we'll just have to keep checking/watching/waiting to see if the GFS is on to something.  For now, no worries.  Stay tuned!