Tropical Storm Joaquin To Be A Hurricane: Then Landfall?

Tropical Storm Joaquin To Be A Hurricane: Then Landfall?

Screen Shot2015-09-29 22_04_18These are just some quick notes about Tropical Storm Joaquin from Tuesday night before the National Hurricane Center update. This storm lingering well off of the coast has a lot of interest with various forecasts suggesting an impact on the US. The latest models show a scary similarity to the track of Isabel, and I don’t write that lightly. This could be a big deal. But, there is a tug of war going on making the forecast track questionable. But for starters, the storm is strengthening. There was a lot of wind sheer aloft pushing the high clouds well east of the center. Now the sheer is decreasing, so the storm is getting more stacked vertically allowing the intensity to increase close to hurricane status very soon.

The circulation is strong, and with the moist wrapping around the center, it should become a hurricane quickly. Air Force Reconnaissance earlier today did record a rapid pressure fall during their mission, so it is only a matter of time.

Below is the set up and look at the latest tropical models. I will be up early with more info to start your day.

Tug Of War: Atmospheric Push And Pull

There are four systems surrounding Joaquin all trying to influence the storm while it grows in a tiny areas in between. There is a High Pressure ‘ridge’ in the Caribbean and in the northern Atlantic. Those usually are the steering currents for tropical systems. But there is also the remains of Ida to the east, and the trough across the US digging in from the northwest.

JoaquinTueNight

The problem with tracking Joaquin through the weekend is based on:

  1. How strong will the storm become
  2. How slow or fast will it move.

The strength could carve out more room around the storm, but then the other systems will try to show their force. The speed, that is the main issue. The current drift towards the southwest is slow. It should bring the storm to have an impact on the Bahamas. But eventually the US trough will help to pull it north. When will determine if the storm stays close to the coast or pulled out to seas.

The scary thought has been the models that suggest Joaquin getting pulled (and pushed from the Atlantic High) into the US. Depending on the speed and timing, this could be from NC to MD, or NJ/NY.  But the European Model that had this thinking first, is now allowing Ida to pull Joaquin back out to sea, with no coastal impact.

A lot of ‘ifs’ huh?

Here is the Tuesday night tropical Spaghetti Plots

Scary thought: Many models still supper the track into the Mid Atlantic… looking like an Isabel Storm. Reminder that storm was stronger, but weakened upon landfall. This could be a Cat 2 or higher and arrive while strengthening.

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Intensity Forecast

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