30 August 2016

Storms headed for Florida and North Carolina

Tropical Depressions 8 and 9 are still taking aim at the U.S. -- TD8 will affect North Carolina, and TD9 will affect Florida.  Both could become tropical storms and get named later today.

TD8 is centered just 70 miles from Cape Hatteras and drifting toward the north-northwest.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Outer Banks from Cape Lookout up to the Oregon Inlet.  The bulk of the wind and rain from this system should remain offshore, so the biggest risk is for mariners.  It is forecast to strengthen slightly as it heads northeast away from the coast.  The worst weather for North Carolina will be today... conditions will improve by tomorrow.

TD9 is still moving toward the west... it has not made a turn toward the north yet.  It is centered 340 miles west of Key West and is nearly a tropical storm; peak winds are 35 mph.  The vertical wind shear has relaxed noticeably, but there is quite a bit of mid-level dry air to its west and north.

A tropical storm watch is not in effect yet, but will likely be issued later today for the Big Bend area of Florida.  Tropical storm conditions include heavy rain with rainfall totals over one foot in some places, sustained winds up to around 60-65 mph, isolated tornadoes, and moderate storm surge flooding to the right of the storm's center.

Elsewhere across the basin, Gaston is still spinning out there, 700 miles east of Bermuda, as a Category 2 hurricane.  It is expected to weaken as it heads eastward, possibly affecting the Azores by Saturday.

And finally, the easterly wave I mentioned yesterday is now officially over water and is still favored by models to develop.  In the near future, it will be surrounded by dry Saharan air, so I wouldn't expect any significant development in the next few days.  Identified as Invest 92L for now, it has not even reached Cabo Verde yet.  The earliest it would reach the Lesser Antilles is around September 5.

Again, the next few names on the list are Hermine, Ian, and Julia.  We could actually get Hermine AND Ian today (I'm not sure who wins the H name if they're both upgraded at the same time!).

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