Hurricaneville is going to feature its own storm report from time to time on the latest storm in the Atlantic, or even perhaps the Eastern Pacific, if warranted. Due to my work schedule, I will not be able to update this feature every day, but I will try to update it as much as I can. You can also check out the Tracking the Tropics section of the blog for updated analysis and info on what's happening in the tropics. This is not designed to compete with the National Hurricane Center. They are the experts, and more importantly, the official word on tropical storms and hurricanes. Please go to their web site for their advisories, outlooks, and discussions, but feel free to use this as supplemental information.
Isaac's Remains Head Out To Sea; Leslie And Michael Now A Hurricane Duo
September 6, 2012 2:33 PM EDT
Good Thursday afternoon to everyone, especially all coastal residents from Maine to Texas. Sorry for the late report today, but after doing Tracking the Tropics this morning, I decided to take in a sunrise at a nearby overlook, and then had to run some errands. Hurricaneville continues to monitor things in the tropics, and you can see the latest overview in the Tracking the Tropics segment.
Isaac's remnants finally passed through on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Northwestern Middlesex County didn't see much in the way of any rain. From September 2nd to September 5th, there was only 0.50 inches of rain that fell. However, much more severe weather occurred south of the area with a Tornado reported in Cherry Hill, and between 8 and 12 inches of rain in parts of Ocean County. On Tuesday night, a Tornado Warning was also issued in Warren County.
Meanwhile, the latest Surf Zone forecast from the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly has a high risk for rip currents thanks to the long period swells generated by Leslie, which is slowly churning northward in the Atlantic. Leslie is now a minimal hurricane, and expected to strengthen. Rough surf is expected along the East Coast of the United States for the next several days at least. Meanwhile, the first major hurricane of the season emerged on Thursday morning as Michael rapidly intensified with a 47 millibar drop in 60 hours, and now has winds of Category Three strength. Let's take a closer look.
Remnants of Isaac
The verdict was a split one on Isaac's remains as they passed through the Garden State over the last 48 hours. Depending on where you were located in New Jersey, either you got very little or no rain, or too much rain. Places around Central Jersey such as South Plainfield only saw 0.50 inches. Further north in New York City, there was only 0.07 inches before skies began to clear.
While there was plenty of dark grey and threatening skies around the region, there was very little in the way of moisture that fell to the ground. However, down in South Jersey, there was a ton of wild weather. A tornado was reported and confirmed in Cherry Hill while places such as Little Egg Harbor in extreme Southern Ocean County had a ton of lightning. Other places in Ocean County received a ton of rain. It was the latest in a line of severe storms to hammer the South Jersey county since June.
Now, there is apparently another piece of Isaac's remnant low that broke off, and headed south into the Northern Gulf States again. Places such as Alabama and the Florida Panhandle have had a good deal of rain over the past few days. Shower and thunderstorm activity with this disturbed area is still disorganized, but with the southerly forward motion into the Gulf of Mexico, and marginally favorable upper level winds, there is a 40 percent chance that these remnants could regenerate. The last time this type of scenario happened with a landfalling hurricane was back in 2004 with Hurricane Ivan.
The NHC has been getting more and more interested in this disturbance, and actually generated an Invest for it. In addition, Hurricane Hunter aircraft was scheduled to fly into the system on Thursday, but it was postponed to Friday.
Tropical Storm Leslie
After days of struggle, Leslie strengthened to a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, but still remains ragged and a bit unsettled. The western side continues to show very little in the way of clouds and convection while the eastern side remains very robust. Hurricane Leslie is still a minimal hurricane with 75 mile per hour winds, and gusts in excess of 90 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure with the storm is 985 millibars, or 29.09 inches of Hg.
The storm may be tightening up a bit, which is a sign of strengthening. Hurricane force winds extend some 25 miles from the center while tropical storm force winds, which reached out some 230 miles yesterday, are now only reaching some 195 miles from the eye. The forecast track with Leslie has been going back and forth a bit over the past several days. In my last report on Tuesday, I had indicated that the model guidance had shifted to a more westerly track, and probably going to pass just to the west of Bermuda, which put the island in the path of the dangerous right front quadrant.
Since that time, things have changed again with the NHC model guidance shifting back to the right, and well to the east of Bermuda this weekend. The storm continues to move very slowly and is still dealing with a good deal of wind shear from the south and west thanks to a feature just off the Southeastern United States. This upper level low, showing up quite nicely in the water vapor imagery, is generating the southwesterly flow that is pushing dry air and wind shear into Leslie's western half. As a result, Leslie has not been able to organize a solid inner core to fit into its large cloud mass. The low is also making life difficult for a disturbance trying to form in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
The intensity forecast is still calling for Leslie to strengthen to a strong Category Two Hurricane by Sunday morning as it nears Bermuda. The storm should last at that intensity for another 24 hours before it reaches cooler waters and begins to weaken. Looking closely at the latest model runs, the GFDL has Leslie deepening to a 972 mb low, but heading north and then picking up speed to the northeast as it hooks up with a cold front pushing off the Northeastern United States over the next few days. The HWRF, on the other hand, disagrees. It has Leslie moving more slowly, not being picked up by the front, and beginning a loop a few hundred miles to the east of Bermuda in the Central Atlantic.
Finally, the GFS has Leslie carried out by the trough responsible for the cold front in the Northeastern United States. The storm brushes Newfoundland's southern coast by September 13th. The GFS does have another feature behind Leslie slams right into the Canadian Maritimes around September 21st.
Tropical Storm Michael
Michael has stolen much of Leslie's thunder over the past 24 to 36 hours. The storm was just a fledgling tropical storm when I last left it. It had strengthened some to 45 miles per hour, but not much was expected of Michael at that time. However, despite its small size, Michael has wound up quite nicely. Thanks to a rapid intensification phase that saw the storm drop some 47 millibars in 60 hours, Michael grew to not only become the season's seventh hurricane, but also the first major hurricane in the Atlantic this year with 115 mile per hour winds. Further strengthening is possible with possible for a short time before it starts to encounter cooler waters. The hurricane is expected to continue moving northward and then to the northwest over the next five days, and become post-tropical by the end of that period.
With Leslie and Michael becoming hurricanes over the past 48 hours, we've now had 13 depressions, 13 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and one major hurricane. The statistical peak of the season is just four days away, and more waves are coming off Africa. There is also a disturbance in the Gulf that is being watched by the National Hurricane Center, and has been given a 40 percent chance of tropical formation over the next 48 hours.