The second to last month of the 2017 Atlantic season winds down. On Saturday there are no areas of interest and no tropical cyclone development is expected over the next 5 days. A tropical wave in the western Caribbean stirs up convection near Central America. Pressure will stay general slow in this area for the next several days.
Long-range computer models have been back and forth on possible development in the western Caribbean at the end of October or early November. The 0Z Euro shows no signs of an organized area of low pressure in the southwest Caribbean through Thursday October 26th. The 06Z GFS also shows no sign of tropical depression development.
We’ll keep an eye on this region over the next 5-10 days. Looking ahead to November, tropical cyclone development is less likely, but not unheard of. Five percent of named storms form in the last month of the Atlantic season. November Climatology shows any activity typically forms in the western Caribbean and drifts northeast.
Time ran out for Invest 92L east of the Bahamas. Wind shear is on the rise Tuesday as a cold front approaches. Upper level winds are not conducive for tropical development in the days ahead as this feature merges with a frontal boundary.
No tropical development is expected for the next 5-7 days. The ECMWF shows no areas of concern through next Sunday. The long-range GFS hints that the western Caribbean is worth watching next week. It’s a ways off, but this makes with climatology.
Former Hurricane Ophelia brought heavy rain, gusty winds, and coastal flooding to Ireland Monday. It is the strongest storm of its kind to hit Ireland since Debby in 1961. The core of the non tropical low moved ashore in southwest Ireland Monday morning EDT. According to the Irish Meteorological Society a gust of 97 mph was reported in Roches Point Co. Cork. Fastnet Rock, about 4 miles offshore of the coast, saw a gust of 109 mph. The remnants of Ophelia will brush the western United Kingdom late Monday EDT.
Closer to home Invest 92L shows some signs of life early Monday. The area of low pressure east of the Bahamas is broad in nature, but it is producing wind gusts near tropical storm force. Convection increases early Monday under moderate westerly shear. Upper level winds become even less conducive for development mid-week as Invest 92L lifts northward and merges with a frontal boundary. This energy may pass near Bermuda late Tuesday. If this feature gains tropical characteristics it will called Philippe.
Upper level winds become less favorable for organization of Invest 92L Tuesday and Wednesday. Notice all the red indicating high shear around the southeast U.S.. These hostile upper level winds shift east into the western Atlantic mid-week. The graphic below is courtesy NOAA/The University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Ophelia became the 10th consecutive hurricane of the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season mid-week over the north Atlantic. It is rare for hurricanes to form this far east. On Saturday morning Ophelia is the furthest east Atlantic major hurricane in history. This is according Dr. Phil Klotzback of Colorado State University. Ophelia is the sixth major hurricane of the season. As 11 AM EST Saturday max sustained winds are at 115 mph. The core of the storm will pass south of the Azores Saturday evening and early Sunday, but squalls will reach the Southeast Azores. Ophelia will transition to a non tropical system over cooler waters as it approaches Ireland Monday. While it will be an extra tropical system during this time, it will still bring tropical impacts. Hurricane force wind gusts and heavy rainfall are likely Monday and early Tuesday EST.
We’re also watching a broad area of low pressure near the Leeward Islands. Upper level winds are hostile in the short-term. As of Saturday morning there is a 40% chance this becomes a tropical depression/Tropical Storm Philippe over the next 5 days. It may pass near Bermuda this work week, but is no threat to the U.S..
Tropical Storm Ophelia continues to get organized and will soon become our 10th hurricane of 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Sea-surface temperatures in this part of the Atlantic Ocean aren’t incredibly warm, but upper-level winds are favorable for slow intensification.
Ophelia will head east-northeast over the next few days and eventually make more of a northward turn through the weekend. It is currently forecast to stay west of Portugal this weekend, before bringing gusty winds and rain to Ireland early next week.
It has been a season for the record books so far. Through today, October 11th, we’ve had 15 named storms – 9 of which have been hurricanes, and 5 of those 9 became major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). On average through this date, we only have 9 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.
To add to that, the 9 hurricanes we’ve had this season have been consecutive – Franklin to Nate. The last time we had 9 or more back to back hurricanes was 1893!
This season has been remarkable in so many ways and there’s still another 50 days to go before it’s over. Let’s hope it stays quiet until then.
Nate become the 4th hurricane of the hyperactive 2017 season to strike the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) this weekend. The last season with four or more U.S. landfalling hurricanes was 2005. It made two landfalls.The first near the mouth of the Mississippi River Saturday evening, the second near Biloxi Mississippi at 1:30 AM EDT Sunday as a category 1 hurricane with 85 mph.winds. The heaviest rain, strongest wind, and greatest storm surge was felt near and just east of the center.
Nate will be remembered for its coastal flooding, a threat often underestimated with tropical system. A storm surge of 6.3 feet was recorded in Pascagoula Mississippi. Social media was blasted with photos and video of flooding in the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi. Mobile Alabama was also hit hard with coastal flooding. A storm surge of 5.4 feet was recorded there. The graphic shows the rise in water in Pascagoula, Mississippi courtesy NOAA.
Nate weakens rapidly Sunday morning over land. As of 11 AM it is a tropical depression. Max sustained winds are at 35 mph as it races north-northeast at 24 mph. It will weaken to a tropical depression Sunday. Nate is big rainmaker for portions, of the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and eventually the Northeast U.S through Monday.
Here is the 11 AM forecast track from the NHC. Nate will quickly lose tropical characteristics over the next 24-36 hours.
3-6 inches of rainfall, with isolated high amounts are expected from central Gulf coast up through the southern Appalachians. The Weather Prediction Centers estimates 7-8″+ are possible in spots. This train of moisture brings heavy rain the Tennessee Valley and the Northeast U.S. too. Here are rainfall estimates from the Weather Prediction Center through Tuesday morning.
Nate became the 9th consecutive hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season Friday night. According to Dr. Klotzbach of Colorado State University this is the most consecutive hurricanes in the Atlantic since 1893. Nate continues to intensify over the warm Gulf of Mexico with a defined central dense overcast. An eye may be forming Saturday morning. Upper level winds favor further intensification too, and Nate is now projected to make landfall in southern Mississippi late Saturday evening as a category 2 hurricane. As of 11 AM, max sustained winds are at 90 mph as Nate races north-northwest at 26 mph. The only saving grace for Nate is that there is not much time left before landfall for long-term further strengthening. Hurricane Hunters are out there non stop. Data shows the strongest winds are felt east of its center. Hurricane force winds only extend out 25 miles from the center. This spares New Orleans from the worst wind. Spin up tornadoes are likely through Sunday morning in the right northeast quadrant. Tropical storm conditions will reach the Tennessee Valley by Sunday night. Nate will become a depression by Monday and bring a stream of steady rain through the Northeast through early Tuesday.
Nate will bring life threatening storm surge to the central Gulf coast. The greatest storm surge will be near landfall and to areas just east. This includes coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle. Here is a breakdown of the significant storm surge threat as of the 11 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center:
Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Mississippi/Alabama border-7
to 11 feet
Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border, including
Mobile Bay-6 to 9 feet
Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Mississippi River-4 to
Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line-4 to 6
Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass, Florida-2 to 4 feet
Indian Pass to Crystal River, Florida-1 to 3 feet
Gulfport and Biloxi are especially vulnerable to coastal flooding. A storm surge of 12-15 feet is possible here.These areas are no stranger to big coastal flooding events from hurricanes, including Katrina in 2005 and Camile in 1969.
Nate will also bring freshwater flooding to the U.S. It is a fast mover, though. While southeast Louisiana will see 1-4″+, southern Alabama could pick up 6-10 inches of rain. The potential for heavy rain moves through the Tennessee Valley Sunday and the Northeast Monday. The graphic below is courtesy NOAA. It shows possible rainfall totals through Tuesday morning.
Tropical Storm Nate has been back out over open water today and slowly getting better organized. At 8pm Friday, the storm was located about 90 miles NE of Cozumel and racing NNW at 22 mph. It will slide past the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and into the southern Gulf tonight.
The storm still lacks an inner core, but there is still plenty of time for one to develop. If and when that happens, the environment is favorable for rapid intensification to occur – which the National Hurricane Center made note of in their afternoon discussion. As of now, the NHC is expecting Nate to become a hurricane before making landfall on the LA/MS coast late Saturday night.
Nate will bring with it the full gamut of impacts that you would expect with a land-falling tropical system.
Nate is a rather fast-moving system, so freshwater flooding is likely to be less of an issue than coastal flooding due to storm surge along the Gulf Coast. 3-6″ with isolated amounts of 10 inches is possible from the central Gulf Coast states into the eastern Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians through this weekend. This may result in flash flooding in some areas.
Life-threatening storm surge flooding is likely along portions of
the northern Gulf Coast. The hardest hit areas will depend on the exact track of Nate as it comes ashore, but right now the highest storm surge numbers are projected to be in coastal Mississippi. Places like Gulfport and Biloxi are all too familiar with devastating storm surge thanks to benchmark storms like Katrina (2005) and Camille (1969). Current projections have 10-12’+ of storm surge in these areas. A storm surge of even 4-6′ may stretch as far east as Pensacola, FL.
Land-falling tropical systems are notorious for quick-moving, weak tornadoes and Nate will be no different. Tornadoes in tropical systems are most often found in the northeastern quadrant of the storm, so in the case of Nate, that puts areas from extreme SE Mississippi through the Florida Panhandle and much of south Alabama at highest risk.
We’ll be monitoring the progress of Nate through the weekend, so be sure to check back here for updates.
As of 8pm Thursday, Tropical Storm Nate was located near the coast of Honduras. Sustained winds were at 40 mph. The system has been battling some wind shear today, as well as land interaction with Central America, but it will once again move into open water in the western Caribbean late tonight. Further organization is strengthening is likely over the next 24 hours.
Heavy rains have fallen across parts of Nicaragua and Honduras. Flash flooding and mud slides remain a possibility in these areas over the next day or so.
Up next is the Yucatan Peninsula. Nate is forecast to be near hurricane intensity when it approaches the Yucatan late Friday, bringing direct
impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall. A tropical storm
warning and a hurricane watch are in effect for a portion of this
Over the last 24 hours models have come into much better agreement regarding Nate’s track into the U.S. this weekend. The 12Z Euro run today actually fell more into line with the GFS, which all along has indicated a weaker storm tracking further west into Louisiana. While there are still some questions in regard to intensity, the National Hurricane Center is still expecting Nate to become a hurricane in the Gulf before making landfall along the central Gulf coast late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Those along the Louisiana coast, eastward into the Florida Panhandle, should monitor the progress of Nate closely as we head into the weekend.
Other than churned up seas along Florida’s west coast and breezy SSE winds, Nate will have no direct impacts across the Florida Peninsula. However, scattered showers and storms are in the forecast through the weekend.
At 5pm Wednesday, Tropical Depression 16 was located just off the coast of Nicaragua in the western Caribbean and was moving NW at 7 mph. This system is expected to become Tropical Storm Nate within the next 24 hours.
Through the end of the work week, Nate will head north, past the Yucatan Peninsula, and into the southern Gulf by early Saturday. Other than some land interaction with Central America, there isn’t a lot working against this system in the short-term. Water temperatures are in the mid 80s and upper-level winds are favorable for further strengthening over the next 2-3 days. Nate is currently forecast to become a hurricane by Saturday afternoon and move into the Panhandle on Sunday.
There has been a pretty wide-spread between our two most reliable models, the GFS and Euro so far. The GFS currently favors a faster moving, weaker system, tracking further west into Louisiana. The Euro has been insisting on a stronger storm, tracking further east into the Florida Panhandle. The differences between the two are understandable, given the fact that this is still a fairly weak system. Over the next day or two, we can expect to see better agreement between the two as the storm develops further.
A track further west would greatly reduce impacts in the Tampa bay area, while a track further east would bring storm surge, heavy rain and the possibility of tornadoes. Stay with us over the next few days as we fine tune the forecast over the next few days.