Loc: Orlando, FL
Hurricane Warnings Up Cape Fear to VA/NC State Line
Tue Sep 16 2003 10:33 PM
Evacuations are up along the coast of NC, and now the official Hurricane Warnings are up. Tomorrow is the last day for preparations in the area. If you are in an evacuation zone and are reading this, you shouldn't be.
Mike asked me to throw in a few thoughts, so here goes...
I have no real quarrel with the NHC forecast plot, except for the latter part of the track, so the first comment has to deal with safety and common sense. I've been looking at the upper air data, both current and forecast, as well as the slowdown of the front which is barely offshore along the entire east coast (except for Florida where we are getting some convergence showers). I still lean toward a track just a little more to the right, clipping eastern North Carolina and moving right up the coast - or just offshore of it - and then curling across Long Island and Cape Cod as the movement becomes northeasterly at that time. If you are in eastern North Carolina/coastal Virginia, its time to put your personal hurricane action plans into high gear.
The front has slowed down considerably and I'm sure that the circulation on the northern portion of Isabel has contributed to that. The upper level winds - just offshore - are expected to be southerly and increasing north of the NC/VA line, so I'm not yet convinced of the gradual curve more to the northwest later in the forecast period. For this reason, everyone along the coast all the way up to southern New England should be ready to act if the forecast track is adjusted slightly to the right.
Isabel is crawling northward at 10mph - sometimes north northwest and sometimes due north and I'm sure that the current advisory position is an extension of the last couple of recon vortex fixes. At this point it doesn't matter - its close enough.
Although the hurricane has expanded quite a bit and has suffered from some dry air intrusion to the southwest, the CDO still has ample time to consolidate and intensity could reach 100 knots as Isabel approaches eastern North Carolina. Even if the storm should stay offshore after that, as she heads north with an increase in forward motion, her vertical structure will skew and the intensity should drop off slowly.
Remember that this is a big storm with a large area of strong winds in the northern semicircle - don't just concentrate on where the center is.
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NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division Forecast Track of Active Systems (Good Forecast Track Graphic and Satellite Photos)
Current Aircraft Recon Info
More discussion on the storm on our Storm Forum.
NASA GHCC Interactive Satellite images at:
North Atlantic Visible (Daytime Only), Infrared, Water Vapor
Some forecast models:
NGM, AVN, MRF, ETA ECMWF
DoD Weather Models (NOGAPS, AVN, MRF)
AVN, ECMWF, GFDL, MM5, NOGAPS, UKMET
Multi-model plots from WREL
Other commentary at Mike Anderson's East Coast Tropical Weather Center, Robert Lightbown/Crown Weather Tropical Update Accuweather's Joe Bastardi (now subcriber only unfortunately), Cyclomax (Rich B.), Hurricane City , mpittweather , Tropical Weather Watchers.Com (JasonM) Gary Gray's Millennium Weather, Barometer Bob's Hurricane Hollow, Snonut,
Even more on the links page.
Edited by MikeC (Tue Sep 16 2003 11:57 PM)