About Tyler Eliasen

Tyler Eliasen joined the FOX 13 team as a meteorologist in July 2017. You can see him during weekend evening newscasts and filling in during the week.

Jose, Lee, And Maria In The Atlantic

As of Saturday evening, we now have 3 named storms to watch in the Atlantic…

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Jose:

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At 8pm Saturday, Jose had winds of 80 mph and was moving north at 6 mph. It will approach coastal New England by the middle of the week. While it’ll most likely stay offshore, it bears watching for folks in the Northeast.

Lee:

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At 8pm Saturday, Lee had winds of 40 mph and was moving west at 10 mph. Lee will meander in the general direction for the next few days, but should ultimately remain a ‘fish storm’ and stay out over the open Atlantic.

Maria:

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Maria will be of most interest over the next week as it approaches the Leeward Islands and ramps up in intensity. Unfortunately, tiny islands like Barbuda, Antigua, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands that were just hit so hard by Irma look to be in the path of Maria over the next few days. A Hurricane Watch is now in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Maria will be in the vicinity of Puerto Rico by mid-week, and at that point, what, if any, U.S. impacts will become a little more clear.

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Jose Set To Flirt With East Coast; Two Other Areas To Watch In Atlantic

As we close out the work week, Jose is back to hurricane status. As of Friday evening sustained winds were at 75 mph and it was moving NW at 10 mph. This system won’t have an impact on anyone through the weekend, other than kicking up the surf a bit from the east coast Florida up through the Carolinas. Looking ahead to next week, folks in coastal New England will be watching this closely as it moves up from the south.

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Elsewhere in the Atlantic we have two systems to watch, no surprise given the fact that we are only a few days past the peak of hurricane season. Invest 96-L and Tropical Depression 14 are likely to become Maria and Lee, respectively, over the next few days. TD 14 looks to stay over open ocean, but Invest 96 will need to be watched closely as it moves WNW over the next week. Tropical storm or hurricane watches are possible for portions of the Lesser Antilles over the weekend.

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Hurricane Irma On Florida’s Doorstep

On Saturday evening, Hurricane Irma was about 90 miles southeast of Key West and slowly moving WNW. Max sustained winds were at 125 mph, but we are expecting intensification as it moves across the Florida Straits. Irma is likely to be a category 4, perhaps category 5, as it first makes landfall in the Keys Sunday morning and again near Fort Myers Sunday evening. Expect the strongest winds for the Tampa Bay area to arrive late Sunday night and last through Monday morning.

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Up and down the west coast of Florida expect hurricane force winds and storm surge. For SW Florida, that surge will be on the order of 10-15’+, with decreasing amounts further north.

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Hurricane Irma Draws Closer To South Florida; Widespread Impacts Ahead

On Friday afternoon, Irma is located about 380 miles SE of Miami. It is currently a strong category 4 storm with max winds of 155 mph, but some fluctuations in intensity are expected over the next day or two.

Irma is a very large storm… roughly 450 miles wide. Hurricane force winds extend out up to 60 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds extend out up to 160 miles from the center. Irma is currently moving west at 14 mph and is expected to make landfall in the Florida Keys early Sunday morning before making its way north through the state. Preparations should be wrapped up today in South Florida, and no later than tomorrow afternoon for central and northern portions of the state.

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For the FOX 13 viewing area, expect tropical storm force winds to begin moving in from the south on Sunday morning. The worst of the weather will arrive Sunday night and last through Monday morning. During that time, you can expect hurricane force wind gusts (74+ mph) with winds out of the east-northeast. As the storm moves north on Monday morning, expect winds to become onshore. This will result in a storm surge of 2-4+ feet along the west-central Florida coast. Unfortunately, this will occur around high tide, resulting in a storm tide of up to 6 feet in spots. Also, expect total rainfall of 5-10″ and widespread power outages.

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Here is the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center…

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Sebastian Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Venice
* Florida Keys

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* North of Sebastian Inlet to Ponce Inlet

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach
* Florida Keys
* Lake Okeechobee
* Florida Bay
* Southeastern Bahamas
* Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, and Villa Clara
* Central Bahamas
* Northwestern Bahamas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* North of Jupiter Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia County Line
* North of Bonita Beach to Anclote River
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Matanzas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, and Las Tunas

—————-
STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water is expected to reach the following HEIGHTS ABOVE GROUND if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

SW Florida from Captiva to Cape Sable…6 to 12 ft
Jupiter Inlet to Cape Sable including the Florida Keys…5 to 10 ft
Ponce Inlet to Jupiter Inlet…3 to 6 ft
Venice to Captiva…3 to 6 ft

The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS by the following amounts within the hurricane warning area near and to the north of the center of Irma.  Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Turks and Caicos Islands…15 to 20 ft
Southeastern and central Bahamas…15 to 20 ft
Northwestern Bahamas…5 to 10 ft
Northern coast of Haiti and the Gulf of Gonave…1 to 3 ft
Northern coast of Cuba in the warning area…5 to 10 ft

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are still occurring in portions of the southeastern Bahamas and these conditions will continue to spread westward over the central Bahamas later today.  Hurricane conditions are expected to continue within the hurricane warning area along the north coast of Cuba through Saturday. Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwestern Bahamas tonight and Saturday, and in portions of southern Florida and the Florida Keys Saturday night or early Sunday.

Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area in Florida by Sunday, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Saturday.

RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Tuesday night:

Dominican Republic and Haiti…additional 1 to 4 inches.
Turks and Caicos…additional 2 to 4 inches.
Southern Bahamas and northern Cuba…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Southern Cuba…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Jamaica…1 to 2 inches.
The upper Florida Keys into southeast Florida…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Lower Florida Keys…4 to 8 inches.
Eastern Florida northward into coastal Georgia…8 to 12 inches, isolated 16 inches.
Western Florida peninsula…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Much of Georgia…South Carolina…and Western North Carolina…3 to 6 inches.

SURF:  Swells generated by Irma are affecting Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and should start affecting portions of the southeast coast of the United States later today and tonight.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office.

 

Irma Chugs Westward; Florida’s Threat Increasing

At 5pm Thursday, Irma is still a powerful category 5 hurricane with max sustained winds of 175 mph. This evening it is closing in on the Turks & Caicos as it continues to move WNW at 16 mph. Hurricane watches are currently in effect for South Florida and the Florida Keys. Those will likely be expanded north at some point in the next 12-18 hours.

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Model trends on Thursday afternoon have shown a slight shift to the west and the official track from the National Hurricane Center has followed suit with a slight bump westward. It’s important to remember that a shift of only 25-50 miles either way will have a big on local impacts. The exact track is not etched in stone and, as of now, all of the Florida Peninsula needs to be prepared for hurricane conditions Saturday night through Monday morning as this system moves north through the state.

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Irma Sliding North Of Hispanola; Hurricane Watches Now Up For South Florida

At 11AM Thursday, Irma remains a dangerous category 5 hurricane with winds of 175 mph. It’s moving WNW at 16 mph and is located about 120 miles SE of Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos. Irma is expected to continue this general WNW motion over the next couple of days before making a northward turn as it nears the state of Florida. Hurricane watches are now up for all of South Florida.

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The time of that right hand turn is critical in determining the range of impacts felt across the state. The worst of the weather will be felt on Irma’s northern and eastern sides. Areas directly in front of and east of the center of the storm can expect sustained hurricane force winds for a time. While winds on the western side of the eye will be decreasing the further west you go. It’s still too early to pinpoint the impacts for an exact location, as a shift in track of just 20-30 miles could dramatically change who sees what. As of now, the entire Florida peninsula is in the cone of uncertainty and should be preparing accordingly. Mandatory evacuations are now in effect for the Florida Keys, as well as coastal portions of Miami-Dade, Broward, Brevard, and Martin counties. Heed warnings of local authorities.

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Impacts across the northern Caribbean over the next couple of days will be quite extreme. Here is the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center…

STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water is expected to reach the following HEIGHTS ABOVE GROUND if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach, including Florida Keys…5 to 10 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.  Surge related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.

The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS by the following amounts within the hurricane warning area near and to the north of the center of Irma.  Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Turks and Caicos Islands…15 to 20 ft
Southeastern and central Bahamas…15 to 20 ft
Northwestern Bahamas…5 to 10 ft
Northern coast of the Dominican Republic…3 to 5 ft
Northern coast of Haiti and the Gulf of Gonave…1 to 3 ft
Northern coast of Cuba in the warning area…5 to 10 ft

Water levels around Puerto Rico should subside today.

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic and Haiti today. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin in the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands later today with tropical storm conditions expected within the next several hours.  These conditions will spread into the central Bahamas by tonight or early Friday.

Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Cuba by Friday.  Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin within the warning area in Cuba tonight. Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwestern Bahamas Friday night and Saturday.

RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Saturday evening:

Northeast Puerto Rico and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands… additional 2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches
Much of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos…8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches
Andros Island and Bimini, Bahamas…12 to 16 inches, isolated 25 inches
Northern Dominican Republic and northern Haiti…4 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches
Southern Dominican Republic and southern Haiti…2 to 5 inches
Eastern and central Cuba…4 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches
Southeast Florida and the upper Florida Keys…8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches
Lower Florida Keys…2 to 5 inches

In all areas this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

SURF:  Swells generated by Irma are affecting the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and should start affecting portions of the southeast coast of the United States later today and tonight.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach
* Florida Keys

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti
* Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas
* Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
* Central Bahamas
* Northwestern Bahamas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach
* Florida Keys
* Lake Okeechobee
* Florida Bay
* Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the southern border with Haiti
* Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince
* Cuba provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara.

 

 

Gulf Development Odds Trend Downward; Hurricane Irma Still One To Watch

Heading into the holiday weekend and the first week of September, the odds of tropical development in the western Gulf are trending downward. It still appears as though a weak Gulf low may form, but it will encounter quite a bit of wind shear and should ultimately get absorbed by a front moving across the Deep South and northern Gulf. It’s something to keep an eye on, but at this point isn’t much of a threat and that National Hurricane Center is no longer giving it any 5-day development odds.

The biggest story across the Atlantic basin right now is Hurricane Irma, which underwent rapid intensification on Thursday. Minimum central pressure dropped 30 millibars as Irma went from a tropical storm to a category 3 hurricane in just 12 hours. It is the 4th hurricane and 2nd major hurricane of the season. On average, those don’t form until September 21st and October 3rd respectively.

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As of 11am ET, Irma was a category 2 storm with winds of 110 mph and was moving WNW at 13 mph. As we explained in our post yesterday , it is still much too early to determine where will Irma will head down the road and whether or not it will have an impact on the United States. Models continue to have quite the spread of solutions for Irma and it’s tough to lend any credence to any one model at this time range. As Irma gets closer to the Lesser Antilles in other 3-4 days, we should have a pretty good idea of any possible U.S. impacts.

Possible Gulf Disturbance To Watch; Irma Now A Hurricane In The Atlantic

Harvey may be behind us, but the tropics remain very active as we head toward the statistical peak of hurricane season on September 10th. The number of named storms so far this year is running well above average – 9 named storms have formed through August 31st. In fact only 6 other seasons on record have had 9 or more storms form by this date and we only average 5 at this point in the year.

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There are two areas that we’re watching closely as we kick off the month of September. The first of which is an area in the western Gulf. There has been quite a bit of model support over the last few days suggesting that we see at least a weak area of low pressure form here late in the weekend or early next week, which may then move in a general NNE direction. If this system does develop it could very well bring additional heavy rains to already hard hit areas along the central and western Gulf coasts. However, there is still too much uncertainty in the forecast right now to talk about any specific impacts.

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The second system to watch is Irma, which is now our 4th hurricane of the season and continuing to intensify over the central Atlantic. There has been a lot of speculation over the last couple of days about whether or not Irma will have an impact on the United States. The answer right now is it’s too early to say, plain and simple. Irma is still over 3000 miles away from the U.S. and at least 9-10 out from any possible impacts for us. At that range, you really can’t lend any credence to any one model run.

Typically this far out, what we do look at is ensembles of our two main global models – the GFS and the ECMWF (Euro). An ensemble is essentially the average output of several different runs (ensemble members) of the same model with slightly tweaked variables. For the Euro, there are 51 ensemble members, but only 21 members for the GFS. These ensemble forecasts attempt to quantify the amount of uncertainty by generating an ensemble, or average, of the individual members. Got all that? J

As of Friday morning, the GFS and Euro ensembles (shown below) are still showing very different solutions for Irma, but as we go forward in time we’ll get a much better idea of where the system will ultimately head. Over the weekend into early next week is when we should have a pretty good idea.

Images below courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

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Harvey’s Heavy Rains Move East; New Areas To Watch In Gulf & Atlantic

Over the last 24 hours, Harvey moved far enough east for the heavy rains to finally cease across the Houston area. The flooding across southeastern Texas over the last few days is of epic proportions. It is now the most extreme rain event on record to affect any major city in the United States. As it stands now, the record book for 3-day precipitation in major U.S. cities looks like this:
1)   32.47”, Houston Hobby Airport, TX, Aug 26 – 28, 2017
2)   30.32”, Hilo, HI, Nov 1 – 3, 2000
3)   28.44”, Houston Intercontinental Airport, TX, Aug 26 – 28, 2017
 
The highest 4-day totals from Harvey topped 45” in several locations across the Houston area. 49.32” at Marys Creek is now the all-time record for continental U.S. rainfall from a tropical cyclone. The Houston area will unfortunately be dealing with the effects from Harvey for months, if not years.
 
49.32” Marys Creek at Winding Road
48.64” Cedar Bayou at FM 1942
47.20” Clear Creek at I-45
46.08”  Dayton (0.2 mi E)
45.02” Santa Fe (0.7 mi S)
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Harvey, still a Tropical Storm as of 11am ET Wednesday, is now bringing heavy rainfall to Louisiana and much of the Deep South. Rainfall totals have already topped 12” in parts of SW Louisiana and more rain is on the way for the region over the next 2-3 days.
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The last thing folks across Texas & Louisiana want to hear is more rain, but looking ahead, many models suggest a new storm may form in the SW Gulf late in the weekend or early next week. There isn’t much support for a particularly strong system, but one that would most certainly bring heavy rainfall if it tracked in north into Texas or Louisiana. We’ll be watching things closely over the next few days.
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Also, out in the far eastern Atlantic, we have newly formed Tropical Storm Irma a couple hundred miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. Irma will gradually intensify as moves WNW across the Atlantic over the next several days. It’s far too early to speculate whether or not this system will have any impacts on the U.S., but you can expect more updates as it nears the NE Caribbean and Lesser Antilles this weekend.
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Harvey Wreaks Havoc In Texas; New Storm To Watch Off Southeast Coast

All eyes have been on southeastern Texas and the devastating impacts from Harvey over the last few days. For more on that ongoing situation, check out our previous blog post – click here

We do have a new storm to watch just off the coast of Georgia. At 5pm Sunday evening, the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten. This system is forecast to become a weak Tropical Storm Irma by late tonight before skirting the coast of the Carolinas Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Tropical storm watches are currently in place from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina.

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Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area Monday night through Tuesday. This system is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches along the coast of the Carolinas and southeast Virginia, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches.