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posted on 26 September 2017

Out to Sea after Quick Brush with Outer Banks - 26Sep2017

Written by Sig Silber

This Article has been updated. You can access the updated article at: Out to Sea to Meet Lee - 27Sep2015

5:15 PM EDT Sept 26, 2017: LATEST FROM NHC re Now Tropical Storm Maria: "...MARIA CONTINUES TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWARD..." "Reconnaissance aircraft have not found any SFMR winds higher than 60 kt for quite some time, so the initial intensity has been reduced to that value." 

Special Landing Graphic for Possible Hurricane Maria - Impacts Tuesday then out to sea?

 Outer edge of wind field this afternoon then further decline in intensity and redirect out to sea.

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This remains an active period in the tropics so we are starting with the overview of the situation in both the Pacific and the Atlantic even though right now only the Pacific presents major threats. 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 

And now the Pacific

Eastern Tropical Pacific

This graphic looks out a bit further into the future. It is an analysis of projected tropical hazards and benefits over an approximately two-week period.

Tropical Hazards

Notice in the forecast for September 27 through October 3 the area west of Central America and the potential for cyclone development. This forecast will update on Tuesday and Week 2 will become Week 1.

We start our Report with Hurricane Maria. The"M" Designation means a very powerful storm: Category 3 or higher.  Notice that Maria no longer categorized as "M".  In fact it has just been downgraded to Tropical Storm Designation.

Tropical Depression 15

Maria Wind Speed Probabilities

 Hurricane Lee was shown off to the right!  Is that the Fujiwhara Effect? Are they trying to merge?

Fujiwhara Effect


Experimental Wind Arrival Analysis

And the Discussion for Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Storm Maria Discussion Number 43 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 500 PM EDT Tue Sep 26 2017

There has been little change to Maria's cloud pattern since the previous advisory.  The center of the large circulation is located near the northwestern edge of the deep convection due to west-northwesterly shear and dry air intrusion.  Reconnaissance aircraft have not found any SFMR winds higher than 60 kt for quite some time, so the initial intensity has been reduced to that value.   Cool waters and moderate shear should cause some additional decrease in wind speed over the next day or so, but little change in strength is forecast later in the period as Maria accelerates east-northeastward over the north Atlantic.  Maria should complete extratropical transition in about 96 hours, and could merge with a large extratropical low [Editor’s Note: That would be currently Hurricane Lee] in about 5 days.

Maria is continuing its slow northward motion around the western side of a subtropical ridge.  The mid-latitude westerlies are forecast to dip southward as a large trough moves across eastern North America later this week.  This should cause Maria to turn east-northeastward by Thursday, and then accelerate ahead of the trough by late in the week.  The track guidance has trended slightly slower and the NHC forecast has been adjusted accordingly.  The new official forecast is near the middle of the tightly clustered guidance.


1. Maria is forecast to continue moving northward, paralleling the U.S. east coast for the next 36 hours, and will likely bring some direct impacts to portions of the North Carolina coast through Wednesday where a tropical storm warning is in effect.

2. Storm surge flooding, especially along the sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks, is expected, and a storm surge warning and watch are in effect for portions of eastern North Carolina.

3. Swells generated by Maria are affecting much of the east coast of the United States.  These swells are also affecting Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office for more information.


INIT  26/2100Z 34.1N  73.0W   60 KT  70 MPH

12H  27/0600Z 34.8N  73.0W   60 KT  70 MPH

24H  27/1800Z 35.5N  72.7W   55 KT  65 MPH

36H  28/0600Z 36.0N  71.9W   55 KT  65 MPH

48H  28/1800Z 36.3N  69.9W   55 KT  65 MPH

72H  29/1800Z 38.3N  60.6W   55 KT  65 MPH

 96H  30/1800Z 44.0N  44.5W   50 KT  60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

120H  01/1800Z 51.5N  25.0W   45 KT  50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

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. There is still a possibility that Maria and Lee will interact at least indirectly.

Some of the graphics below show the two storms of most interest.

Day 1 Forecast Map

Day 2 Forecast

This is a Day 2 Forecast.  You can see Maria. It is projected to be degraded to Tropical Storm status by this time.

Additional Graphics

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 very relevant as one can see both storms of most interest 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. Some of these impacts show up in the September 25 Report that was published Monday evening click here to read. You can see the current QPF for Maria. Separate from Maria, we see a concerning situation for Southwest Texas. It is also tropical moisture.

 Water Vapor Imagery

The water vapor imagery is a good guide to where precipitation is occurring. One sees TS Maria off shore. Texas is still being hit with heavy rains of tropical origin.

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

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