Wed Aug 19 2009 03:01 PM
Re: Bill a Category Four Hurricane, Likely No Threat to US

While it is still very likely to miss the U.S. directly, nobody in New England should be turning their back on Bill right now. The developing upper-level trough will act like a brick wall that will keep Bill from making it very far west, but the exact evolution of the trough is yet to be determined. The extent to which the trough deepens and the timing of shortwave troughs ejecting from the main trough will determine whether Bill gets tugged on more of a northerly path, making a closer approach to the U.S., or gets shoved off more to the northeast away from the coast. The recent tendency of the models to nudge the track further west is a little worrisome, though the reliable models still send Bill somewhere into the Canadian maritimes.

Cape Cod, Nantucket, and parts of the Maine coast are all in the 5-day NHC forecast cone, so people in those areas should have a plan and be ready to put it into effect on short notice. Bill has a large circulation, so even without a direct hit, a more westerly approach could cause tropical storm force winds to affect the New England coast. Keep in mind, though, that by the time Bill gets caught up in the trough and begins to accelerate, the west side of the system will be much weaker than the east side, which could spare New England some problems. A more westerly approach would also likely cause more of a significant direct hit somewhere in the Canadian maritimes, rather than a glancing blow in those areas.

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