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September 12 – Tropics are heating up again

We are just past the peak of hurricane season, and the global weather patterns are favorable for a burst of activity in the Atlantic Ocean. At least two tropical cyclones may form in the next 5 days, and both could make a run at the United States. The disturbance closest to the United States is in the southeast Bahamas and it has been fickle – to say the least

The National Hurricane Center has Florida as the most likely destination for the storm developing in the Bahamas, but it may well be the Southeast US coast again. The track is shifting east from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Yesterday, when it looked like the storm would cross Florida and head into the Gulf of Mexico there was a flurry of activity on weather-Twitter with posts about how there was a storm that “might actually hit Alabama” late this weekend.

Of course, these posts were largely in response to President Trump’s bizarre doctored hurricane map that he used to defend his Tweet that Alabama may be in the path of Dorian about 10 days ago. If you haven’t been following the story, I’m not going to lay it all out for you, but from Trump’s Tweet to the doctored hurricane map backing up his erroneous Tweet to the NWS Birmingham’s response to his Tweet to NOAA releasing a statement essentially supporting the President’s Tweet it’s been a weird ride. What else is new in 2019? Well, some of the meteorologists that were leading the charge against “Sharpie-gate” and the resulting fallout may be seeing the other side of the karma wheel as the projected storm track of this next system has quickly shifted away from Alabama to the east coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolina – just like Dorian. This abrupt shift in the storm’s track comes after all reliable guidance had the storm near Alabama yesterday. Weather forecasting has a way of humbling all of us.

Anyway, back to this forecast…as I said the disturbance has been difficult to pin down, but this morning’s trends have it staying in the Bahamas, possibly hitting Grand Bahama and Abaco again (terrible news) around Saturday and then threatening Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas late in the weekend and/or early next week. I do not want to put too much stock in one computer model run, but last night’s European computer model suite had most of the members staying offshore. It’s too early to get that specific with the forecast.

EPS model suite

Given where the disturbance is right now and it’s projected track through 48-72 hours, it bears watching all the way up to New England. It’s unlikely that there would be a direct hit from the system, but it could come close enough to bring some rain/wind if it’s perched off the Florida coast this weekend. The timing for any impact in Southern New England would likely be late in next week if that were to happen. Basically, if it were to happen, the storm would meander off the Southeast US coast for a few days before heading north.

Also watching a tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic Ocean

There is also another disturbance farther out in the Atlantic Ocean that bears watching. There is a reasonable chance that it become a tropical cyclone and it could follow on the heels of this first system (and Dorian for that matter). That one is way out there, but something for me to keep an eye on in the next week or so.

Closer to home, the disturbance coming through New England Thursday morning proved to be a little more robust than originally projected, and it brought beneficial rain to CT, RI and SE MA. September had been pretty dry to this point. The rain threat diminishes by late this afternoon. Friday looks cool and pleasant with some sun and highs in the 60s. The wind swings around to the south on Saturday ahead of a front. It will be a bit warmer, but there’s also a late-day shower/storm chance.

Expect relatively warm and mainly dry weather Sunday and Monday. The high temperature will not be far from 80 inland both days, and in the 70s. It will turn cooler, but likely stay dry in the middle of next week. We’ll see what happens with the potential tropical cyclone at the end of the week. The European model is still advertising relatively warm weather (on average) through mid-October.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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