Monday, September 20, 2004

THE FEARSOME FOURSOME WREAK HAVOC WITH TROPICAL FORECASTERS

There is a lot going on in your life, in my life, and the lives of tropical cyclones. So let's get right to it, shall we?

MID-ATLANTIC: Blue skies, nothin' but blue skies.
Great weather all week long, maybe some showers by the weekend, temps popping again near 80 to give all the flooded-out folks in PA, NJ, NY and northern MD a chance to dry out.

FLORIDA and TEXAS: Ivan is strivin' for a revivin'
The upper level remnants of Ivan are, believe it or not, slamming into the northeast Florida coast. Winds of 25 mph and widespread rain accompanied this brief onslaught. Why? The big high parked over the Mid-Atlantic simply shoved what was left of Ivan southwestward. And the influence of the big ridge over the middle of the country will push that piece of energy into the southern and western Gulf. Accuweather believes that by Wednesday or Thursday, this Ivan remnant will, believe it or not, redevelop and become a new named system. If that forecast holds true, the Texas coast may be dealing with a landfalling tropical storm by Friday morning.
Waters in the western gulf have remained undisturbed all summer... so you heard it here first. It is not entirely improbable that son of Ivan becomes a hurricane shortly before landfall

SOUTHEAST: Mean Jeanne the dancing wind and rain machine
The same high that pushed Ivan's leftovers into Florida is blocking Jeanne from going much of anywhere. And Karl is to her east, blocking movement that way. So what ends up happening is a loop dance around the Bahamas and Bermuda. Bad forecast for the cruise industry. By Friday or Saturday, Jeanne should have completed her loop, and be staring the Carolinas in the face again. It is a tough call, but the logical progression of these systems would favor the high moving offshore, and the return flow nudging Jeanne TOWARD the Carolinas by late in the weekend.

So yes, I think it is possible we will see TWO landfalling systems within a day of each other in the United States. Son of Ivan reaching the Texas coast by Friday, and Jeanne chasing after Charleston by Saturday or Sunday. It is also possible that Jeanne could head for Category 3 status, but shear will probably keep her at Cat 2. Folks from Savannah to Hatteras should keep a close eye on this, as they had their share of surprise hurricanes already this season.

ACTION IN THE ATLANTIC: King Karl curving north, Little Lisa lingers.
Karl has taken an awfully long time to do this northwest to northerly turn. The NHC has been predicting this curve to begin since Friday, and only today has it finally begun. The longer this system moves any bit westward, the greater a risk that this storm ends up impacting Nova Scotia or even Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy rain. Karl is the dominant feature in the Altantic, but there is apparently enough tropical moisture and undisturbed warm water to allow Little Lisa to get her act together.

Let me allay fears on the Mid-Atlantic coast of Little Lisa imitating Isabel. All the major weather players in North America over the next 5-10 days are going to prevent Lisa from getting anywhere near the East Coast. First, Karl and Jeanne are in the way. Second, the big eastern high is in the way, and they don't leave easily. Third, all these storms will have stirred up the waters so much that Lisa does not stand a chance to become a major hurricane...

Unless she follows Ivan's path... into the southern Caribbean. Then, we would have a major problem. As we head into October, that part of the Atlantic basin becomes the hot spot for tropical development. For example, deadly Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, that washed Nicaragua and Costa Rica back to the medieval era. Or Hazel in 1954, that started in the southern Carib, and then charged north, slamming into South Carolina as a Cat 3.

So yes, there is some reason to be concerned about Lisa, but that is days and days away. You can expect that your own personal team of experienced meteorologists here at Foot's Forecast will keep a close eye on all the fearsome foursome the next many days.

By Wednesday, we will have THREE HURRICANES going at once, and one tropical storm. By Friday, we may very well have FOUR.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for winter storm season. That's easy stuff... just snow, ice and rain.

If the baby sleeps through the night and I can get up early enough, I'll attempt a morning update on the fearsome foursome. If not, expect a full roundup by Tuesday night.

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