the evolving synoptic pattern favors a hurricane strike on the west coast of florida at the end of next week, is what everything boils down to right now. a semblance of the subtropical ridge should build in and strengthen to the east, while the heights fall to the northwest and north by later in the week... this general pattern should produce a recurvature over western cuba and the florida peninsula. i'm not buying into western solutions that take it over the yucatan or perhaps to the panhandle for now as they imply a more robust ridge and either a very small or sharp, lagging ridge. the eastern cmc solution would be best for everybody but it doesn't see any ridge, which doesn't look right for now. based on the normal phenology of such storms over warm water/upper anticyclonic circulation i'd expect wilma to get named and slowly spin up until later tomorrow or tuesday, then start deepening like crazy as the inner core becomes well-defined. around wednesday/thursday the storm should bottom out.. probably as a category 4 or so. as it begins to move northward, interacts with cuba, and crosses over the slightly less warm waters of the gulf, and begins to feel the westerlies.. i'd expect it to weaken to a category 2 or 3 level storm. if i had to put money that's where it would be. as far as impact location the peninsula ought to consider themselves threatened, but especially the southwest and west-central coasts... the keys to cedar key region more or less. the tampa bay area, sarasota, fort myers, and the i-4 corridor need to worry about this one. depending on how sharp the trough is and how robust the ridge to the east is... the storm may stay close enough to the east coast to continue creating troubles. baroclinic energy sources can keep a system ahead of one of these mid-latitude troughs quite strong... from the outer banks to new england there may be a secondary impact zone if the storm is to try phasing in to the westerlies as tip mentioned. aside from what florida would have to deal with, this would be the worst case scenario... a hurricane following up the flooding already ongoing in the northeast would likely cause the worst flooding new england has seen in decades. i'll just toss out that there's a weak low in a sheared environment with that former invest in the eastern atlantic near 20/35 right now.. which may find itself under better upper air conditions in another couple of days. with strongly positive SOI and zonal ridging in the atlantic even an unlikely system like that would need to be watched for some development potential. the fact that positive SOI is here favoring zonal ridging, and negative NAO is here favoring blocking and troughiness in the eastern u.s... in tandem, suggests that the storm will be near the dividing line of the potential spheres of influence of either teleconnection. it'll be interesting to see whether the zonal ridging tendency of SOI+ or the phasing/amplified tendency of NAO- wins out with this storm. HF 1747z16october
worth noting that a typhoon is recurving past japan and should pass by in 3-4 days. that would favor a trough in the east roughly 6-7 days later... which is beyond the timeframe that wilma should be threatening... i guess that's modestly encouraging because a few troughs have bypassed typhoon kirogi south of japan, letting it wiggle around for days. maybe wilma will buzz by florida and leave the rest of the coast alone. -HF
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