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posted on 19 September 2017

Maria Hits Dominica and Continues - 19Sep2017

Written by Sig Silber


This Article has been updated. To access the updated article click on Maria Threatens Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico - 19Sep2017


1:45 AM EDT Sept 19, 2017: Maria moved over Dominica (see map in body of article) at about 11PM EDT Monday evening. More interactions with land can be expected as per the NHC:  "Maria is expected to remain a Category 4 or 5 hurricane when it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, however some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next 24 to 36 h due to eyewall cycles."

Special Landing Graphic for Possible Hurricane Maria - LANDFALL

BULLETIN Hurricane Maria Advisory Number 12 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1100 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017: ...EYE OF CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE MARIA MOVING OVER DOMINICA...


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This is an active period in the tropics so we are starting with the overview of the situation in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. Those potentially impacted by any of these storms should consult their local sources of information. The Public Advisories and other information that is available from the NOAA National Hurricane Center can be found here. Information from the Weather Prediction Center can be found here.

First the Atlantic

Eastern Tropical Pacific 

More Detail

Antilles

Map Source: Kmusser

And now the Pacific

Eastern Tropical Pacific

We start our Report with currently Tropical Storm Maria. The"M" Designation means a very powerful storm: Category 3 or higher.  

Tropical Depression 15

And the Discussion

Hurricane Maria Discussion Number 12 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1100 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

The Air Force Hurricane Hunters were able to fly a single pass from northwest to southeast through the eye of Maria just prior to 0000 UTC.  The aircraft found a peak SFMR wind of 139 kt in the northwest eyewall, i.e. category 5 intensity.  Raw objective T-numbers from UW/CIMSS reached as high as T7.3 just before the center moved over land.  Based on these data, the initial wind speed was increased to 140 kt on the earlier special advisory, and that intensity is maintained for this advisory, although some slight weakening may have occurred as the small core of the hurricane passed over Dominica.  Since the center has moved over land, the aircraft has not been able to make a second pass through the eye. The aircraft will be in the storm a few more hours and should be able to provide additional center fixes once the eye moves west of Dominica.

Maria is forecast to remain within an environment of low wind shear and over warm water during the next couple of days.  Given these favorable atmospheric and oceanic conditions, Maria is expected to remain a Category 4 or 5 hurricane when it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, however some fluctuations in intensity are possible due during the next 24 to 36 h due to eyewall cycles.  Land interaction and a slight increase in shear are likely to cause some gradual weakening after Maria moves over the southwestern Atlantic in 3 to 4 days.

Maria is moving west-northwestward or 300/8 kt.  A weak ridge located over the western Atlantic is expected to steer the hurricane west-northwestward through 48 hours, and on this track the center of Maria is forecast to pass near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.  After that time, the western portion of the ridge is forecast to weaken, which should allow Maria to turn northwestward, then north-northwestward by day 5.  The track guidance is in good agreement and little change was required to the NHC track forecast through 72 hours.  At days 4 and 5, the global model envelope has shifted slightly eastward and the NHC forecast was adjusted accordingly to be in better agreement with the HFIP correct consensus and ECMWF model.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria will affect portions of the Leeward Islands and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands as an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days, and hurricane warnings are in effect for many of these islands.

2. Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane warning is in effect for that island.  Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

3. The potential for a life-threatening storm surge, accompanied by large and destructive waves, has increased for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

4. Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  19/0300Z 15.5N  61.4W  140 KT 160 MPH

 12H  19/1200Z 16.1N  62.6W  140 KT 160 MPH

 24H  20/0000Z 17.0N  64.0W  140 KT 160 MPH

 36H  20/1200Z 17.9N  65.4W  135 KT 155 MPH

 48H  21/0000Z 18.7N  66.9W  125 KT 145 MPH

 72H  22/0000Z 20.5N  69.6W  120 KT 140 MPH

 96H  23/0000Z 22.8N  71.5W  110 KT 125 MPH

120H  24/0000Z 25.5N  72.5W  100 KT 115 MPH

HURRICANE MARIA FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER  12 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 0300 UTC TUE SEP 19 2017

CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* GUADELOUPE

* DOMINICA

* ST. KITTS... NEVIS... AND MONTSERRAT

* U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

* BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

* PUERTO RICO... CULEBRA... AND VIEQUES

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

* SABA AND ST. EUSTATIUS

* ST. MAARTEN

* ANGUILLA

* ST. LUCIA

* MARTINIQUE

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* SABA AND ST. EUSTATIUS

* ST. MAARTEN

* ST. MARTIN AND ST. BARTHELEMY

* ANGUILLA

* ISLA SAONA TO PUERTO PLATA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

* WEST OF PUERTO PLATA TO THE NORTHERN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-HAITI

BORDER

Here is the current Track Map for Jose. 

Tropical Storm Jose

Notice Jose is projected to go out to sea. Could it do a second Loop de Loop and return? Probably not but take a look.

Jose Discussion

Hurricane Jose Discussion Number 55 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1100 PM EDT Mon Sep 18 2017

Aircraft data indicate that the peak winds of Jose haven't changed much since the last flight, with similar pressure values and flight-level winds.  The wind speed will remain 65 kt in accordance with the flight-level winds, but this could be generous as the SFMR was a bit lower.

Satellite images show that Jose has become a little less tropical, with an elongated cloud pattern suggesting that the cyclone has some hybrid characteristics.  Jose should eventually weaken in a day or so as it moves north of the north wall of the Gulf Stream into a more stable environment. Little change was made to the previous forecast, which is similar to much of the guidance, and Jose should become post-tropical in a few days. The long range forecast intensity depends on how far south the system moves, but since the predicted track is still over cool waters, slow weakening is anticipated.

The center of Jose took a north-northwest turn earlier tonight due to a convective burst, but it now appears it is back to moving toward the north. A continued northward motion at about the same forward speed is expected during the next day or so while the hurricane remains on the west side of a mid-level ridge over the western Atlantic.  All of the guidance keep the center of Jose offshore of southern New England, but close enough to cause tropical-storm-force winds for a portion of the area. Thereafter, a trough currently over central Canada is expected to cause Jose to turn eastward in the 2 to 3 day time frame.  The trough is then expected to lift out, leaving Jose drifting to the south and southwest under a blocking ridge forming over the northeastern United States. Little change was made to the previous NHC track forecast, and this one lies near the various consensus aids.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. While the center of Jose is currently forecast to remain offshore of the U.S. coast, the large cyclone is expected to cause some direct impacts in portions of New England, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Rhode Island and a part of the Massachusetts coast, including Cape Cod.  Any deviation to the left of the NHC forecast track would increase the likelihood and magnitude of impacts elsewhere along the U.S. east coast from Delaware to southern New England.

2. Minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible from Delaware to southern New England during the next several days.  Please see products issued by local National Weather Service forecast offices.

3. Swells generated by Jose are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, and much of the U.S. east coast. These swells are likely to cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions for the next several days  in these areas.

4. Jose will produce heavy rain over a small part of southern New England and eastern Long Island as it passes offshore of these locations on Tuesday and Wednesday. Total accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are expected over eastern Long Island, southeast Connecticut, southern Rhode Island, and southeast Massachusetts, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. This rainfall could cause isolate flooding. Elsewhere Jose is expected to produce light rainfall with little risk of flooding over the majority of the mid-Atlantic coast and the northeast states.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  19/0300Z 35.2N  71.3W   65 KT  75 MPH

12H  19/1200Z 36.2N  71.2W   65 KT  75 MPH

24H  20/0000Z 37.8N  70.8W   65 KT  75 MPH

36H  20/1200Z 39.1N  69.7W   60 KT  70 MPH

48H  21/0000Z 39.8N  68.2W   55 KT  65 MPH

72H  22/0000Z 39.4N  67.0W   45 KT  50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL

96H  23/0000Z 38.5N  67.3W   40 KT  45 MPH...POST-TROPICAL

120H  24/0000Z 38.0N  68.0W   35 KT  40 MPH...POST-TROPICAL

HURRICANE JOSE FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER  55 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 0300 UTC TUE SEP 19 2017

CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* WATCH HILL TO HULL

* BLOCK ISLAND

* MARTHA'S VINEYARD

* NANTUCKET

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* THE COAST OF LONG ISLAND FROM FIRE ISLAND INLET TO PORT JEFFERSON

* NEW HAVEN TO WATCH HILL

General Weather Situation

We believe that it is easier to understand what is going on with individual storms if they are put into the context of the overall weather situation.

Three day

The graphic above is particularly useful as it shows the forecasted conditions that might determine the future of a storm beyond the predictions of where the storm might be on Day 3. This graphic is updated frequently. The High north of Jose appears to have moved out of position to have much impact.

Some of the graphics below show the two storms of most interest. Other graphics will be more relevant for Jose as it moves north and comes into view.

Day 1 Forecast Map

Day 2 Forecast

This is a Day 2 Forecast.

Additional Graphics

More explanation on Atmospheric Rivers can be found by clicking here or if you want more theoretical information by clicking here.

Atmospheric Rivers

This is a national animation of weather fronts and precipitation forecasts with four 6-hour projections of the conditions that will apply covering the next 24 hours and a second day of two 12-hour projections the second of which is the forecast for 48 hours out and to the extent it applies for 12 hours, this animation is intended to provide coverage out to 60 hours. This graphic is now very relevant  as one can see three storms in this graphic. .

current highs and lows

The explanation for the coding used in these maps, i.e. the full legend, can be found here although it includes some symbols that are no longer shown in the graphic because they are implemented by color coding.

Precipitation Forecast

You can see the forecast for seven days of cumulative precipitation. It is important to keep in mind that these are forecasts going forward. Precipitation that has already occurred does not show up in these forecasts but will show up in the 30 day maps we show in our weekly Weather and Climate Report. That did not show up in our September 11 Report but did show up in the September 18 Report that was issued this evening click here to read. You can already see a preliminary precipitation QPF for Jose. It is mostly offshore now except for Cape Cod.

 Water Vapor Imagery

The water vapor imagery is a good guide to where precipitation is occurring. You can now see Jose and Norma. One might even conclude that they see water vapor from Norma impacting Texas but not to a significant extent as it is right now further south. Norma appears to be moving west. Jose seem to be impacting Long Island right now.

Click here for a list of Sig Silber's Weather Posts

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