Quote: I am starting to suspect the US has run out of luck. If the models hold up, Irma will be pretty brutal if and when it makes landfall.
What are your thoughts on landfall?
I've been really hesitant to make much in the way of forecasts recently, I haven't really had the time and energy to follow the dynamics. And with the storm this far out. it's very possible for the models to miss something that will impact the final path of Irma. Given that. at 120 hours, there is a strong system over the great lakes, with a positive trough axis, unfortunately that system appears to lift out after that, and it looks like some weak steering currents in place, and a strong high pressure to the north and east of the system. I would imagine that would tend for a slowing system that is moving more north than west. but unable to move back east. I think that's why the models are showing landfall along the Florida through Carolina coast.
My current guess is that the trough that could pull Irma away from the US won't dig far enough south and will be lifting out leaving weak flow over the south east coast. I really don't want to pick a spot, there's just too much uncertainty. But right now I think the highest risk is between Jacksonville and the outer banks.
If there is any specific thing to watch, I think it's going to be the evolution of the trough over the eastern US. I think that'll let us know the ultimate fate of Irma.
-------------------- M. S. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Tech - May 2018.
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