Archive for November, 2009

THE HISTORIC NOR’EASTER WILL SLOWLY WIND DOWN ON FRIDAY… THE SUN MAY MAKE AN APPEARANCE ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY SHOULD BE MUCH NICER…

The low pressure system that has caused the high winds, heavy rain and coastal flooding is slowly weakening and moving away. However, the key word here is slowly. It is still a very formidable storm and is still close by. On Thursday evening, Oceana Air Station in VA Beach reported a wind gust of 75 MPH!!! There was about an hour of incredibly strong winds across Hampton Roads which resulted in many of the power outages across our area. I could see flashes in the sky which was not lightning. It was power lines and trasnformers being affected by the strong winds. The tides will slowly come down as the winds subside today and tomorrow. Howver, the damage has already been done. Downtown Norfolk was hit very hard with flooding. Many neighborhoods are under water including many roads. The Outer Banks were hit hard and several houses have been damaged or destroyed. The interesting thing about this storm is that it is not moving northeastward away from our area. It is  moving very slowly so conditions will only slowly improve.  We still have  plenty of wind to come but the winds shouldn’t be as strong as they were on Thursday. Remember, the low is over the Gulf Stream which is still very warm so it the storm is still able to tap into the energy and moisture. I’m watching on the radar a large area of rain moving westward towards the coastline and I’m wondering if it will make it here. Estimates are that we received between 9 and 13 inches of rain so far. My gauge, which has a capacity of 5 inches, overflowed so I don’t know exactly what fell in my backyard. So, although the worst is over, we still have plenty of storminess to go today. I’ll have an update on Saturday morning.

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FORECASTERS ARE PREDICTING A VERY SIGNIFICANT NOR’EASTER FOR HAMPTON ROADS WHICH COULD LAST THROUGH FRIDAY… SEVERAL WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE NOW IN EFFECT… IMPROVEMENT IS EXPECTED OVER THE WEEKEND

As a low pressure system takes shape off of the Southeast Coast, our winds are expected to slowly increase throughout Wednesday. Rainfall rates are also expected to increase. The increasing northeasterly winds will result in coastal flooding at times of high tides. It is expected that each high tide will be higher than the last so as we get into Thursday and Friday, significant coastal flooding is expected. A High Wind Warning has been issued for most of the counties on the water with Wind Advisory further inland. A Flash Flood Watch has also been issued for most of our counties. How bad will it get and how will it compare to other notable nor’easters that have impacted Hampton Roads? Right now, forecasters believe that although it probably will not be the worst we’ve ever seen, conditions will be quite severe. If your neighborhood normally floods in storms that produce high tides, odds are that you will see flooding from this event. It is really impossible to say exactly how bad it will get. As the winds increase later today, power outages are a distinct possibility. The reason for the high winds is the pressure gradient between the developing low pressure system (which has some of the energy and moisture from once Hurricane Ida) and a high pressure system to our north. This “squeeze play” will produce strong NE winds, especially along the coast and offshore. A Storm Warning has been issued for our coastal waters. The Outer Banks will be an area that will have to be closely watched. There are some homes that are vulnerable to high seas and some dunes may be destroyed or weakened. All in all, it’s going to be a very stormy couple of days for SE VA and NE NC so please stay tuned to the local media for updates.

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AS IDA WEAKENS AS A TROPICAL SYSTEM, HER ENERGY WILL WILL BE TRANSFERED INTO A MAJOR STORM SYSTEM OFF THE SE COAST… THIS STORM MAY CAUSE HUGE PROBLEMS FOR OUR COASTAL AREAS

As Ida pushes ashore along the central Gulf Coast, a transformation is about to take place which could cause major problems for coastal residents along the Southern Mid-Atlantic Coast. Here’s the scenario. Ida loses its tropical characteristics as it moves over land. The rain however will be significant in Northern Alabama, GA. Western N.C. and the surrounding areas. Meanwhile a cold front is about to move through our region. The front will stall and then a low pressure system is expected to develop off the Southeast Coast. This low will entrain the energy from Ida and should become a potent storm system. The pressure gradient between this low and a high building to our north will create very strong NE winds, especially along the coast. The persistent NE winds will raise tides and may cause moderate coastal flooding. This may last for several high tide cycles. Rainfall is expected to be quite heavy and current forecasts call for between 2 and 4 inches of rain here in SE VA. The Outer Banks may get hit especially hard. Winds may gust past 50 MPH along the coast! This may last for a few days so please take precautions if you live along the coast. A high wind watch may be posted and coastal flood watch has already been issued. Tuesday may be the last decent day we have for quite a while. Please monitor your local media for updates. I’ll have an update on Wednesday morning.

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IDA BECOMES A HURRICANE AS IT ENTERS THE GULF OF MEXICO… WHAT WILL ITS IMPACT BE ON THE U.S. GULF COAST?… WILL WE (HAMPTON ROADS) SEE ANY EFFECTS FROM THIS LATE SEASON HURRICANE OR ITS REMNANTS?

I commented yesterday (Saturday) on how precipitation-free the weather map was across the U.S. Although that still holds true today, it may change quite a bit as we head into the work week. A very complicated situation is about to unfold and I don’t think that the models have a good handle on exactly what is going to happen. Some of the questions that have to be answered are: 1) How long can Ida (now a 90 MPH hurricane) survive as it moves north into the Gulf of Mexico into a more hostile environment? 2) How does the storm interact with another developing low pressure system over the Gulf? 3) Once the storm makes landfall, where does all that moisture go? A landfall of a hurricane anywhere in the U.S. in November is very rare and it will be very interesting to see how this unfolds. Could it turn into a major nor’easter type storm here in the Mid-Atlantic region? That is a possibility although it is not a huge one now. As far as our weather is concerned, we will have a beautiful Sunday and Monday with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. Winds should be on the light side for the most part. On Tuesday, things become more uncertain as the moisture from the Gulf slowly approaches.  Monitor the TPC site to see what happens with Ida over the next few days. This should be very interesting!

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THE WEATHER MAP SEEMS QUITE BENIGN WITH VERY LITTLE PRECIPITATION TO BE FOUND NATIONWIDE… TROPICAL STORM IDA CHURNS SLOWLY NORTHWARD TOWARDS THE GOM

One of the most striking things about today’s weather map is the lack of precipitation nationwide. This typically happens most frequently during late October and early November. The basic reason is that the dry and cool air masses that begin to spread southward from Canada help to scour out most of the moisture creating a very benign weather situation. However, as the seasons progresses, the jet stream will become stronger and it will soon begin to undulate and become more amplified in nature. This will cause more of a difference in air masses across the continent which will result in more stormy conditions. However, in the meantime, let’s enjoy the beautiful autumn weather while it lasts.  Tropical Storm Ida is back over the water and is holding its own now despite some shear. It is expected to slowly move northward towards the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to become extra-tropical before any potential impacts can be felt in the U.S. I’ll have an update on Sunday.

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