NHC last year had its most accurate forecasting season EVER! To me that was based on 3 main factors. 1) Computer models are far better predicting motion of big storms. 2) We had 6 major (Cat. 3+) hurricanes to track and 3) Most of last year’s storms were “well behaved” making no loops or slowing down & changing directions. It’s hard to go against such past accuracy and when NHC says there is a 90% chance for development, it’s time to “book ‘em Danno, Alberto will be named this weekend. Today’s visible loop clearly shows a center of rotation inland over the Yucatan with very little movement. No T-Storms are around the exposed center as the upper wind shear remains strong. On Water Vapor, there is an upper low over the southern Gulf just north of the Yucatan making for a hostile environment in the short term (1-2 days). It’s hard to ignore most models developing this system, however, as I mentioned yesterday, whatever forms will be east side loaded meaning the heaviest rainfall will stay east of the track. The Canadian brings the center right up the river & over the city, the Euro takes if towards Gulfport/Biloxi with the GFS nearby. The VIPIR model keeps the track farther to our east near Pensacola which would be great for us. Bottom line, we have the chance for some heavy rainfall mainly Saturday night into Monday with the heaviest staying east of us. All of the beaches look like they’ll endure many rounds/squalls coming in off the Gulf with limited sunny breaks. RIGHT NOW, unless the track were to shift farther to the west, it appears the major impacts of rain, wind & waves will be from Gulfport eastward to Florida…and even then this will not be a major hurricane with all of the features (upper cold trough, strong wind shear, marginally warm water temps) working against it. What we should pay attention for is a slowing of the system as it approaches the coast with the potential for a westward motion that could place us into the heavy rain shield for Sunday night into Tuesday. But before any of you go into full panic mode, remember there is nothing there to track yet. A hurricane hunter is scheduled to go out Friday PM “if necessary” according to NHC. Stay tuned!
NOAA came out with their hurricane outlook and it basically is similar (10-16 named storms) to all the others.