Archive for October 1, 2016

HURRICANE MATTHEW IS A CATEGORY 4 STORM WITH SUSTAINED WINDS OF 155 MPH AS OF THIS WRITING… CUBA, JAMAICA, AND HAITI ARE THE IMMEDIATE CONCERNS… AFTER THAT, THE BAHAMAS AND POSSIBLY THE U.S. SOUTHEAST COASTAL STATES… UNSETTLED WEATHER CONTINUES HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS ON SATURDAY BUT SOME SUNSHINE IS EXPECTED WITH LOWERING RAIN CHANCES THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

Well, it is now October and as we close the books on September, I will tell you that it is probably one of the wettest months I’ve ever seen since moving to Virginia Beach in 1998. Over 18 inches of rain fell in my backyard! There may have been much more but my rain gauge overflowed! (I had to empty it 3 times during that storm that occurred from September 20 -22!). First we had Tropical Storm Hermine early in the month, and then we had that stalled low pressure system, which included the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia that dumped an incredible amount of rain. Additional rain fell this past week as we entered a period of unsettled weather with a very slow moving frontal system and moist flow aloft from the south caused by a persistent upper-level low to our west. It rained heavily this morning in my neighborhood as the moist flow continues. Rain chances are expected to slowly decrease as we head through the weekend. The frontal system will slowly move offshore.  Drier weather is expected early next week but a return of moisture associated with a developing onshore flow may bring showers back into the forecast by mid-week. Then, we have to watch what Hurricane Matthew is going to do. It’s still too early to make any type of definitive forecast, especially since the models disagree as to what the storm will do beyond 4 or 5 days. The category 4 storm is moving westward right now in the central Caribbean Sea. It is expected to turn northward due to a weakness in the high pressure ridge to the storm’s north which has been keeping it on the westerly track the past several days. Exactly when and where this turn north occurs is crucial. Right now, the forecast track takes the major hurricane over Eastern Cuba . Jamaica may get impacted and also Western Haiti. The interaction with land and high mountainous terrain should weaken the storm as it will interfere with the storm’s structure and it will lose it’s energy source, warm ocean water. However, this will only be temporary, since once it moves back over open ocean in the southwestern Atlantic, it may regain some of its intensity. Once the storm moves north of Cuba, the forecast track diverges greatly with each model. The GFS moves the storm closer to the Southeastern Coast of the U.S. and the European model takes it out to sea. So, there is much uncertainty in the forecast track and I strongly advise you to monitor the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and local media forecasts. You should also check out Hurricanetrack.com, which is excellent source of information regarding the tropics. If the tropical cyclone does impact our area, it probably won’t be until later next week. Marine areas will most likely be impacted with high waves, rip tides, beach erosion, etc. Of course, the exact track and intensity of the storm once it gets to our latitude will determine how badly the coastline is impacted.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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