Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Westward Trend Continues...

As I await the 10 pm update from NHC, here’s what I’m seeing.  TD # 16 is in no hurry to move northward probably drifting less than 10 mph to the NNW.    Satellite loops still show the lack of storms around the rotating center so I’ll be surprised if NHC increases this to Nate.  Make no mistake, this will become Nate sooner or later.  Right now there is nothing to prevent that from happening.  There still is an upper low just to the west of Key West drifting WSW.  How will that affect Nate’s future path?  How will that affect Nate’s intensity?  Will it have any affect?   I suspect there will be many forecast changes to where Nate makes landfall during the next 3-4 days.  It will be important to follow the centerline position to see if the westward shifting trend continues.  It will make a HUGE difference on which side of the storm you are.  We want Nate to stay well to our east, but there is no approaching cold front coming this weekend to block him from us.  Watching TWC (The Weather Channel) tonight and Dr. Knabb made it sound like Nate could become a strong  Cat.2 or even a Cat. 3.  Could that happen, after all it’s October.   But it’s early October and there still is a warm eddy in the Gulf, one like back in 2005 with Katrina.  The fuel is there for strengthening.  Will the upper steering/shear back off to allow that to happen?  As you can see, we have many questions that we can’t answer tonight.  If Nate starts to get stronger on Thursday, that should allow the models to get a better handle on future track & intensity.  For now, I would not cancel any weekend plans since the uncertainty of the track remains large.  Let’s give it another 24 hours.


Here it is…NHC latest thinking.   TD # 16 is still not Nate as winds remain at 35 mph.  Forward speed has slowed to only 6 mph.  The model disagreements continue with NHC slightly shifting the center line westward by a smidge, now over Pensacola (it had been Destin).  The cone of error now places all of SE LA/MS in it.    It appears they believe the interaction of TD # 16 with a small system near south Florida & the upper low described above will determine future track.   Bottom-line?  We really don’t have a better feeling right now whether Nate will be our storm.   NHC did say they believe the intensity of Nate will be limited by shear and cooler shelf water along the northern Gulf.  This should mean Nate will stay either a strong tropical Storm or a Cat. 1 hurricane.   That means it would not be an evacuation type storm.   Regardless, we must pay attention for the next 2-3 days.  The slower movement will provide more time for us to react, if we have to.  I’ll be updating again in the morning & afternoon on Thursday.  Stay tuned!

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