Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting is the hardest part

As we continue to see what the wave near the Leeward Islands decides to do, everyone across that region as well as the Bahamas and South Florida, is anxiously waiting. We've been on standby mode for what seems days and days.  At times the wave seems to be getting its act together and at others not so much.  As of Wednesday morning, it looks like its on its way to becoming either a depression or tropical storm. If it becomes a storm it will be called "Hermine" (pronounced her-MEAN).

So lets look at this wave:
As of late Tuesday night, the wave had developed a broad area of low pressure, the first step in becoming a depression. As of Wednesday morning, its acquiring more and more thunderstorms. This is yet another sign of growth, but it doesn't have the main feature, and thats a well defined center of circulation.  The satellite shows dark reds and oranges, these are the areas where we are detecting the downpours… but no spin yet. Regardless, NHC is upping its chances for development over 5 days to 80%.

A recon plane is set to check out the wave this morning. If it finds that elusive well formed center, then we'll have a tropical system on our hands.

This will finally give the models a good fix and starting point for their forecast tracks. It will finally give us a good idea of where it is headed.

As of Wednesday morning, its surroundings are not allowing it to organize as strong upper winds keep it in check. That could change at any time, specially if the upper winds relax. The broad low is moving west at around 15 mph.

Even if it doesn't develop, it will dump plenty of rain across the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

In the long haul, the Bahamas and even Florida could see heavy rain.

Puerto Rico is already under a flood advisory.

The radar out Martinique shows plenty of rain moving over the Butterfly islands and heading northwest.

If it does develop, where is it going?:

More and more models are coming in line suggesting a path towards the Bahamas and then near or on Florida. Until we actually get a center, these remain an educated guess.  How strong it may be while it nears us is still unknown. The European model places a storm, maybe even a Cat 1 at our doorstep by the weekend. Again even if it doesn't organize its capable of heavy rain. We don't need a hurricane for torrential downpours and flooding. Just look at the low that impacted Louisiana a few weeks back causing widespread damages.

What should we prepare for?:
The waiting is indeed the hardest part ( a la Tom Petty).

What I am doing to ease my anxiety is to double check my hurricane plan. I suggest you do the same. If nothing happens, it was just be a drill. If something aims for us then you are prepared.  I'll keep you posted.

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