Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Night Check In: All Clear

Enjoy your weekend guys!..Hurricane Joaquin has departed land and now will move out to sea where it will eventually die. Don't get me wrong, the storm is currently still a monster (Cat 3 winds 125 mph) but its damage is done and luckily we were spared. The less skillful outlier models have finally shifted to come in line with other major modeling today. 

In terms of our current storm system rain will continue into tomorrow morning will it will then taper off to showers tomorrow. Remember this rain is not a hurricane. This is the result of a stalled frontal boundary with a tropical connection of moisture. You can see current radar below. The epicenter of this rain is down in SC. They are expected to get over 5". You can see the intense rainfall down there in yellow. 

I hope you all enjoyed my coverage this week. Trust me there will be a lot more to come in the weeks and months ahead as we head into the cold season. And don't forget WINTER OUTLOOK 2016 OUT ON MONDAY OCTOBER 19TH!

Friday Morning Storm Check Up: On Track

Good morning. My thoughts discussed last night are on track. Hurricane Joaquin has begun to slowly take its turn northeast and it should avoid any interaction with the trough that is over the United States. Mostly all major models are in this camp now. I will mention there are a few outliers, but the models that are outliers are the worst skill scoring models such as the Canadian below..

For some reason those outlier models still want to capture this hurricane from the digging southeast trough..

You can see overall however the updated model spread below showing the strong signal out to sea..

Since last night the National Hurricane Center has also adjusted their track east..

So it now looks like as difficult as this forecast was everything is now consolidating around the out to sea scenario. Regardless tho, this storm is a still monster right now..

Given that there still are a few models showing the landfall scenario we really want to wait for this storm to move out of the "capture zone" today before giving the 100% all clear signal. Regardless, the chances of this turning in to shore are less that 20%. 

On another note, rain and wind are currently battering most areas of the east coast from our frontal system that is stalled over the area..

This is an issue in its own right right where some areas are looking at multiple inches of rain. Notice however the sharp cutoff to the north. That is due to strong high pressure pressing on the front. This rain will continue for most areas into tomorrow morning. 

Moving into the longer range pattern which I will cover sometime this week, we are looking at seasonable conditions along the east coast over next two weeks with the chance  at a few cold shots. 

Thanks for checking in. As I said it looks like we are all clear but we want to observe this hurricane completely move out of the "capture zone" before striking up the band.

Quick update later and thanks for reading. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday Night Tropical Update: Game, Set, Match!

Thanks for checking in again everyone. Well I hinted at this in the morning and now I can tell you that it is likely Hurricane Joaquin will sleep with the fishes. Literally, after it ravages the Bahamas (not a good situation) this storm will track east and out to sea. For those of you who read my morning post this is Scenario 3 playing out.  I will put it to you this way, if this was a football game and I was a betting man, I would give the models that still have this storm hitting the coast a 15 point spread vs European model.  So yes there is a chance this still can hit the coast but I now have enough information to now tell you guys it is highly unlikely.

In terms of model performance, this image literally sums it up below:

It now appears the European weather model will score an epic victory against all other model guidance which are now folding into its camp.

I cut a quick video below (under 3 min) explaining the situation and ALSO what could still bring this back to land (unlikely). Enjoy and thanks again for all the site visits!

To be certain, please check in tomorrow morning. I will have a quick update in case there are any drastic changes. If this does change then so be it, I will take it on the chin but we are at a point now where I want to give you guys an actual forecast that's more than a day out. 


730pm update on tap

Thursday Morning Storm Update: A Fork in the Road

Good morning once again everyone. Oh did the plot thicken in the last 8 hours and this forecast did not get any easier. This pretty much sums up the model spread currently..

I would even go as far as saying not only is Joaquin approaching this, but it might have its right turn signal on.

To review here where the 3 scenarios I have been discussing.

  • Scenario 1: Storm hits around Outer Banks area as a Hurricane
  • Scenario 2: Storm trends north which would take the Delmarva region and northern Mid-Atlantic into the main impact zone
  • Scenario 3: European model is correct and it is out to sea

After last nights runs we have to assign a 25% probability to scenario 1, 35% to scenario 2 and 40% to scenario 3. This means the European model's stock is going up because now the other models are trending towards it, not the other way around. 

Here is updated model spread, hence the fork in the road..

Who wants to figure this one out? Good luck!

National Hurricane Centers official forecast..

In all seriousness, this is becoming extremely difficult. On last nights 12 am run of the GFS model we had this doomsday scenario with a Jersey Shore landfall...

Just to switch to this below 6 hours later which is its most updated run now..

Everyone should be happy about this. If the first image verifies then we got big problems. The good news is, that is not likely.

Remember on last nights video the GFS ensemble (tests model for potential error). Well that looks like this now below..

Again, huge spread of outcomes.

So where do we go from here? Well we cannot forget about the European model that from the beginning was insisting the storm takes the right end of the fork out to sea. Last night, it stayed consistent..

Meanwhile we still got a whole suite of models showing the complete opposite with a NC landing hurricane !

This is now where I think we have to weight these models by their historical skill set. The European model is the best forecasting tool in the world in my opinion. It looked yesterday like it was about to swing and miss BUT now that I am seeing a trend towards its solution  not away from it, it raises my attention. The model might be understanding the steering currents and pressure interactions of the atmosphere better. 

As a reminder this storm is getting steered by a low pressure trough to the east, high pressure in the north Atlantic,low pressure to its east, and high pressure again to its southeast. They are battling to pull the storm in different directions. You can see those currents below (I labeled them). Think of the storm as a leaf in a stream. What ever model is handling the interaction of all these currents the best is the model that wins...

The only thing to do now is wait. I can't try to be a hero and make a bold forecast because the stakes are too high with a monster Cat 3 hurricane that currently looks like this (storm has strengthened significantly in last 12 hours). It is different in the winter when impacts from snow don't compare to a hurricane. 

I will say this....IF the the European model holds its ground today AND the other models continue their trend towards it, it is game set and match in my opinion-we will not have this massive storm hit the east coast. However if this spread continues then the middle ground of scenario 2 might start to gain more merit. 

By the way here is update for Friday's rainfall amounts..

Notice the sharp northern cut off. That is due to strong high pressure. It looks like rain can clear out by mid morning Saturday prior to arrival of potential main storm Sunday into Monday. 

Thanks for following guys, and I will do my best to keep everyone updated on this evolving difficult forecast situation. I will try to nail this down soon but given the model spread I need to wait a little longer. 

What will today's model runs bring? Will we get more clarity towards one of these 3 scenarios? Find out tonight in my evening update!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Night Tropical Update: All Signs Still Point to Landfall

Hurricane Joaquin is currently strengthening and all eyes are now on where this storm will make landfall (if it makes landfall). In the video below I give you my latest perspective on what the potential outcomes are. 

Many images provided by 

As a note the ensemble map I used in video actually was an old map by mistake, regardless the new ensemble map below still shows my concern of this storm making a slight shift more north than modeled.

Here is the bottom line as of tonight:

  • All signs point to a land falling hurricane Sunday
    • Right now most likely spot is the Outer Banks into southern Va
    • Winds over 70 mph with beach erosion and torrential rain within 70 miles of the storm center
    • To the north over NJ, NYC, heavy rain, gale force wind gusts (coast), and extremely rough ocean surf Sunday into Monday
  • There are two other scenarios they are:
    • Storm goes out to sea (European model)
    • Storm drifts more north than modeled (my concern)
  • At this time I think a 60% blend of the GFS model and a 35% blend of European makes sense in nailing down this track
    • This would mean a landfall just to the north of the Outer Banks
  • Prior to the main storm impact, Friday will feature rain and wind from tropical energy currently along a stalled front. 
  • When it is all said and done at the very least I am thinking we see another 2-5" of rain through Monday
More tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Wednesday Morning Tropical Update: Her Name is Joaquin and She Will Pack a Punch this Weekend

Good morning. We finally are getting some model agreement on what is now Tropical Storm Joaquin. This storm will continue to intensify and become a hurricane in the very near future. Earlier in the week we did not know where this storm would go let alone how much it would intensify if at all. Now we know it is rapidly intensifying and there is strong model agreement it will continue to do so. This mean we need to take this threat seriously. In terms of its track, lets start off by going to the latest guidance from the National Hurricane Center..

You can see above they expect this to intensify to a hurricane and move somewhere between the Carolina's and southern New England. 

Here is the latest Satellite image. The darker colors represent high clouds, which represents thunderstorms clustering. This could form an eye very soon.

Let me now take you though some of the models and give you my initial take on what is going to happen this weekend. 

Above is a projection of all the major models. Take a close look at where each of them projects this storm to go. You can click image to make bigger. From left to right, top to bottom: GFS, Canadian, UKMET, Euro,HWRF, GFDL.

Notice any consistency? I do, and it screams that we could have a east coast landing Hurricane this weekend. At this time the biggest impact zone looks to be somewhere between the Outer Banks and the Delmarva region. This is the region that can see hurricane conditions. Folks in those areas should start preparing now. Notice the European model on the bottom left has the storm way out in the ocean. Could this be correct? Maybe BUT its ensembles do not agree. As a reminder an ensemble is taking a core weather model and tweaking the inputs to adjust for potential error. They do this over 50 times for the European and get 50 different outcomes. Below is an average low pressure placement for those outcomes. Looks similar to the above image.

What does this tell me? It tells me the European operational model might be wrong due to its ensembles not agreeing with it. 

Worst case scenario? Check out the projected radar from the updated HWRF hurricane model hot off the press. This would not be a scenario to get excited about, the Outer Banks would get very beat up with a potential Cat 3 hurricane as this model shows below..

To sum everything up, these are latest tracks of all models..

As you can see, there is big convergence near the Outer Banks with a land falling Hurricane. I have a hunch this might shift a little more north over next two days which brings Delmarva and potentially further north into play. We will see. 

In terms of timing on rainfall and storm impacts for the NY Metro area into South Jersey here is what I expect at this time..

  • Rain picks up again tomorrow from energy along coastal front and continues into Saturday morning
    • Expect another 2+ inches of Rain
  • Hurricane Joaquin should make landfall sometime Sunday between Delmarva and the Outer banks
    • This track can still change more north or south.
  • As storm hits, expect very heavy rain Sunday afternoon lasting through early Monday.
    • Another several inches of rain should fall.
  • Wind gusts along the coastal areas can reach up to 60 MPH
    • This can cause beach erosion and downed power lines
  • Inland there will be winds but not as intense.

For you guys who are more into the weather, check out this upper level chart showing the storm getting captured by the trough digging into the east..

This is a rare occurrence and any slight change in these variables can change the track more north or south. 

What will today's updated models show? Will the track shift? 

Video update tonight at 8pm!