Monday, September 4, 2017

Irma Midday Update...

Last night I indicated models were “trending” farther & farther to the west increasing the likelihood that Irma will threaten the U.S.  This morning’s runs have continued that trend and I will be doing 2-3 daily updates until we know for sure where Irma will go.  RIGHT NOW, the projected track is VERY similar to Donna back in 1960 which turned the storm northward over Florida keeping her no threat to us.  It appears Florida is the current bullseye, but there is still the chance that 1) Irma could turn sooner and just miss Florida to the east or 2) not make the turn and keep going farther to the west into the Gulf before making a turn to the north.   The second scenario would be bad for us, but that is still a week away.   IF we are to get impacted by Irma (still very low chance), it would arrive next Tuesday & Wednesday as this is a slow moving hurricane.  OK, so what’s in our favor?   The Fall’s first real cold front will arrive here on Wednesday and push down into the Gulf. The front should 1) act as a block shifting the storm well to our east and 2) act as a weakness that should facilitate the turn to the north away from us.   So who should be nervous in the U.S.?  RIGHT NOW, from Florida to north of the Carolinas need to be on full alert.   I have a niece working at Disneyworld …far different than being on the coast near water.  She should only have to deal with winds (power outages) & heavy rains and not storm surge.   Other coastal locations need to know their property elevation and whether they are in a flood zone or not.   Evacuations are very likely for coastal residents depending on the final track of Irma.  IF Irma avoids any interactions with Puerto Rico, Hispaniola & Cuba (high mountains), she should become a powerful Cat. 4 or 5 storm.   I fear a strike along the “Gold Coast” of south Florida would be extremely damaging & likely deadly as hundreds of thousands of new residents have never experienced the impacts of a Cat. 6 hurricane.    This is a storm that I’ll be following closely, for as you remember, Katrina was supposed to make the turn and not impact us.  We have plenty of time to watch her progress and see if the models are on to something (the turn).  I have mentioned before, models do very well with big, well defined, intense storms.  Irma is one of those.  Stay tuned!


The visible loop shows a circulation over the western Bay of Campeche near Tampico.  IF this develops into our next named storm (Jose), it will be blocked by the cold front coming down from the north and likely just move west into Mexico.  The other system (94L) will struggle to develop behind Irma moving over cooler waters churned up by Irma.  The focus must remain fully on Irma for the next 5-7 days.  Next update later this evening.

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