Furious Florence And Future Kirk?

Hurricane Florence is getting ever so closer to the Southeastern US. Subtropical Storm Joyce recently formed in the Eastern Atlantic. We now have Florence, Helene, Isaac, and Joyce. Invest 95L could become Kirk. If Kirk forms, we would have five storms at once. Before I talk about the latest, ten years ago today, Hurricane Ike was getting closer to the Texas Coast as a large Category 2 hurricane. I will focus on Florence and Invest 95L as they are closest to land.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has Florence with 110 mph 96 knots 177 km/h winds with gusts as high as 138 mph 120 knots 222 km/h. It has central pressure of 957 millibars. Just because Florence is no longer a major hurricane does not make it any less dangerous. In some ways, it is more dangerous as it gets larger. People might think that Florence is no longer dangerous as it is no longer a major hurricane. It has hurricane force winds extending up to 80 miles 70 nautical miles 129 kilometers and tropical storm force winds extending up to 195 miles 170 nautical miles 314 kilometers. Hurricane that go further north, tend to get larger. I think Florence could have hurricane force winds extending up to 125 miles 109 nautical miles 201 kilometers and tropical storm force winds extending up to 250 miles 217 nautical miles 402 kilometers before landfall.

Here is the latest forecast track from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance for Florence and Invest 95L. It is a heat map using points within 300 mile/480 kilometers radius. I have included Ensemble Prediction Systems generated from a previous forecast cycle along with the latest.

The heat map for Florence is getting more circular, which is concerning. Florence could make landfall somewhere in South Carolina or North Carolina. It suggests that Florence is going to slow down after it makes landfall. It looks to linger over the area after landfall. As for landfall time, Florence is probably going to make landfall sometimes on Friday morning. The slower motion of Florence is lower confidence because forecast models cannot predict where Florence will go. In regards to Invest 95L, it looks to be making landfall on South Texas sometimes on Friday. Too early to tell for this one at this time. Since Florence is getting larger and forecasted to slow down, storm surge is going to be a serious problem.

Some areas could see easily 15 feet/4.6 meters storm surge. I would not be surprised if some areas see over 20 feet/6.1 meters storm surge. If anyone is in a storm surge area, they need to evacuate. Storm surge kills! Most people die from storm surge in hurricanes and tropical cyclones. The deadliest tropical cyclone known is the 1970 Bhola Cyclone, which claimed 1.1 million people in present day Bangladesh, then East Pakistan on November 12, 1970. The tropical cyclone produced up to 33 feet/10 meters storm surge on the Ganges Delta. Most of the death were from deadly storm surge and epidemic following the tropical cyclone. Proof that storm surge kills. It also does not have to be a strong major hurricane to produce deadly and monsterous storm surge. Ike and Sandy produce high storm surge despite not being major hurricanes. They produced deadly storm surge because they were large storms and the geography is more conducive to deadly storm surge, which is also the case for Coastal Bangladesh. As Florence getting closer and water rising, many are asking how strong will Florence be.

Most intensity forecast models for Florence show it will be maintaining Category 2. One has it re-intensifying into Category 3 hurricane. I would not be srurprised if Florence does intensify into a Category 3 before landfall. As for Invest 95L, a couple forecast models have it intensifying into a tropical storm. I would not be surprised if 95L becomes Kirk by Thursday.

Rainfall is another concern, especially for Florence. They are from EURO, GFS, Canadian, and German (ICON). The forecast models are from Weather.US. They are all seven day rainfall total forecast.

The EURO has nearly 40 inches/101.6 centimeters of rain. The GFS has 33 inches/83.8 centimeters of rain. The Canadian has nearly 22 inches/55.9 centimeters of rain. The ICON has 28 inches/71.2 centimeters of rain. The EURO has the heaviest rainfall forecast. Previously, the GFS had some high rainfall forecast totals as high as 77 inches/195.6 centimeters in 7 days! The National Hurricane Center forecasts rainfall on par with Mitch and Harvey. They forecasted over 40 inches/101.6 centimeters of rain. That is very chilling to read that. Not often you see that for sure. I would not be surprised if some areas get over 50 inches of rain once it is all over.

The rainfall forecast for Invest 95L is not as high as it has been previously. The EURO has 6 inches/15.2 centimeters of rain. The GFS has 5 inches/12.7 centimeters of rain. The Canadian has nearly 7 inches/17.8 centimeters of rain. The ICON has over 10 inches/25.4 centimeters of rain. The forecast models are all over the place for Invest 95L. The forecast models assume that 95L does not become Kirk. If it became Kirk, I suspect the forecast models are going to change.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Florence could intensify into a Category 3 hurricane.
-Florence is looking to affect South Carolina and North Carolina the most.
-Strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain will be the main problem from Florence.
-Main headline for Florence will likely be massive flooding.
-Invest 95L is likely to become Kirk by Thursday.

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Lane’s Wrath

Hurricane Lane is a strong Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph 109 knots 201 km/h winds. It has gusts as high as 150 mph 130 knots 241 km/h. The latest satellite image of Lane shows the hurricane is less intense as it is less organized than last night. It suggests that Lane is weakening, but that does not reduce the danger of Lane. Hawaii would have to deal with strong winds, high waves, storm surge, and heavy rain.

Most forecast models have Lane weakening to a Category 1 hurricane to tropical storm as it gets closer to Hawaii this weekend. As mentioned previously, satellite presentation does suggest Lane is weakening. The next question is is it possible that Lane could make landfall?

The heat map forecast from various forecast models from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance with radius of 300 miles. It is possible that Lane could make landfall somewhere on Hawaii. It could be Oahu, Moloka’i, and Lana’i. That would be very bad it Lane made landfall on Oahu, which is the most populated Hawaiian island. It looks to be lingering for the next several days as it is a slow moving hurricane. That would be a problem as slow moving tropical cyclones dump heavy rain. Case in point, Harvey. One huge concern is flooding from Lane, regardless of intensity.

The rainfall forecast models are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and ICON. They are all 7 day rainfall total forecast from Weather.US.

The rainfall amount forecast is all over the place. Let alone where the heavy rain falls. Most have 10 to 20 inches/25.4 to 50.8 centimeters of rain falling. ICON has the lowest with 13 inches/33 centimeters of rain, while EURO has nearly 36 inches/91.4 centimeters of rain, which is over Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The mountainous terrain is conducive to deadly mudslide and flooding. Also, mountainous areas have heavier rain. I would be more concerned about heavy rain and flooding from Lane than strong winds. Doppler radar out of NWS Hawaii shows heavy rain is already falling in parts of Hawaii as of 5:15 PM Hawaiian Time.

Doppler radar estimate out of Kohala show up to 15 inches/38.1 centimeters or higher has fallen already from Lane. There is no doubt that 36 inches/91.4 centimeters is likely to fall in Hawaii. I would not be surprised if some areas see up to 50 inches/127 centimeters of rain once it is all over. That is very concerning. The live camera from Waikiki Beach shows a calm beach despite Lane coming ever so closer. Come tomorrow and Saturday, it will be very different.

Here is my take.
-Oahu, Maui, and Kauai could be impacted by Lane as early as Friday.
-Strong winds, heavy rain, high waves, and storm surge will be a major problem.
-Flooding, not strong winds, will be the main problem.

Powerful Lane

Hurricane Lane was a powerful Category 5 hurricane with 160 mph 140 knots 257 km/h wind. It still remains a dangerous Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph 125 knots 233 km/h wind. It is 260 miles 226 nautical miles 418 km south of Kailua. The biggest question is where will Lane go.

Some of the forecast models have Lane going over Oahu, Moloka’i, and Lana’i. That could be really bad, especially for Oahu where Honolulu is located. They would be pelted by strong winds, heavy rain, high waves, and storm surge. If Lane was to make landfall as a hurricane on Hawaii, it would be the first for this century. The last time a hurricane made landfall on Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Iniki made landfall on Kauaʻi on September 11, 1992. It is the most intense hurricane recorded to make landfall on Hawaii as a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph 125 knots 233 km/h wind and central pressure of 938 millibars. It produced gust as high as 227 mph 197 knots 365 km/h! 1992 had three major hurricanes make landfall on American states and territories. First was Andrew that struck on August 24, 1992 on South Florida, Super Typhoom Omar on Guam on August 28, 1992, and Iniki on September 11, 1992 on Hawaii.

The next question is how strong will Lane be in the next couple of days.

Most intensity forecast models have Lane weakening to a Category 1 hurricane to tropical storm by the time it gets closer to Hawaii. Intensity forecast models are not reliable. I would not be surprised if Lane is still major hurricane by the time it is closer to Hawaii. Here is the most recent NWS Honolulu Doppler radar as of 5:26 PM Hawaii Standard Time.

Doppler radar is picking up the outer bands of Hurricane Lane. It is getting ever so closer to Hawaii. Here is a live camera from Waikiki Beach. It looks so peaceful and serene, yet a powerful hurricane is lurking and getting ever so closer to Hawaii. I can imagine in the next couple of days, it will look very different.

Here is my take.
-Lane is likely to be a hurricane as it approaches Hawaii, possibly a major hurricane.
-Oahu, Maui, and Kauai could be impacted by Lane.
-Strong winds, heavy rain, high waves, and storm surge will be a major problem.

The forecast model came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. Special thanks to all of them.

Volcano And Hurricane Lane

Powerful Hurricane Lane has 155 mph 135 knots 249 km/h with gusts approaching 190 mph 165 knots 306 km/h. It is about 400 miles 348 nautical miles 640 km south of Hawaii. This is from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. I would not be surprised if Lane is already a Category 5 hurricane. The UW-CIMSS Automated Satellite-Based-Dvorak Technique, which uses satellite to determine intensity suggests that Lane is a Category 5 hurricane with at least 160 mph 140 knots 257 km/h. I usually tend to weigh Dvorak Technique less because the intensity is not measured directly and is based on satellite presentation. It also does not handle pinhole eyes well. More about Dvorak Technique. Regardless, I think Lane is a Category 5 hurricane already.

The biggest question is where does Lane go? The most recent forecast model have Lane turning northward towards Hawaii.

Some of the forecast models have Lane going over the Big Island of Hawaii and some have it going over Oahu, where Honolulu is located. The Big Island has had to deal with volcanic eruption from Kīlauea. I would not be surprised if Lane does make landfall on the Big Island. From there, Lane is forecasted to head towards Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. The next question is how strong will Lane be by the time it gets close to Hawaii?

Lane is forecasted to be near the Big Island within a couple of days. The intensity forecast model has Lane as a Category 2 to 3 hurricane. That means the Big Island will have to deal with strong winds and heavy rain. This is on top of large waves and storm surge. Once it approaches the Big Island, Lane would weaken due to increased wind shear and interaction with Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Once Lane goes passed the Big Island and heads towards Oahu, the forecast models have Lane as a Category 1 or tropical storm strength. Intensity forecasting has a long way to go. Lane could still be a major hurricane by the time it heads towards Maui or Oahu.

Another concern is rainfall. Mountainous terrains tend to have higher rainfall totals, especially on the windward side. Waipa in the island of Kauai had nearly 50 inches/127 centimeters of rainfall on April 14-15, 2018. It happened in a 24 hour period! That eclipses Tropical Storm Claudette that dumped 43 inches/109 centimeters of rain near Alvin on July 25-26, 1979. Hurricane Harvey dumped that amount over a five day period. It was also over a more populated area with large area of heavy rain.

The rainfall forecast models are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and ICON. They are all 7 day rainfall total forecast.

The rainfall amount forecast is all over the place. Most have the Big Island and Kauai getting the heaviest rain from Lane. The amounts forecasted is generally 10 to 15 inches/25.4 to 381. centimeters of rain. The GFS has the highest with over 38 inches/96.5 centimeters of rain. It falls around Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Regardless of where the rain falls, flooding and mudslides will be the main problem. They can be dangerous and deadly!

Here is my take.
-Lane is likely a Category 5 hurricane.
-Big Island Of Hawaii will impact from Lane in a couple of days.
-Oahu, Maui, and Kauai could be impacted by Lane.

The forecast models came from Weather.US and NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. Special thanks to all of them.

First Major Hurricane Of 2018?

Hurricane Chris is now a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph 169 km/h 90 knots winds. It looks quite impressive on satellite from the National Hurricane Center. It looks almost like a major hurricane to me. Some of the intensity forecast models have Chris as the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Season.

Quite frankly, I would not be surprised if Chris becomes a Category 3 hurricane. It could very well be Category 3 by tomorrow morning. A major hurricane in July is rare, but not unheard of. The last time there was a major hurricane in July was Bertha in 2008. We also have two hurricanes so far, Beryl and Chris. The last time we had two hurricanes in July was 2005, which were Dennis and Emily. Emily is the earliest know Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. Both 2005 and 2008 were devastating seasons. Both affected Texas in the form of Rita in 2005 and Dolly and Ike in 2008.

The next question is where does Chris go?

The consensus is that Chris is moving away from the US coast and moving rapidly due to a cool front. Rough seas will be the main problem for the Eastern Seaboard. Some of the forecast models have it making landfall on Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada as an extratropical storm. That will be a major problem for them. Some have Chris making landfall on Iceland, United Kingdom, and Norway.

Subtropical Storm Alberto Is Here

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed earlier today, which was Invest 90L. It is clearly a subtropical storm based on satellite image.

A subtropical storm has thunderstorms away from the center, mostly to the east in the Northern Hemisphere or west in the Southern Hemisphere. They look more like extratropical cyclones than tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones have the most intense thunderstorms near the center.

Tropical storm force winds in Subtropical Storm Alberto are are up to 253 miles 407 kilometers 220 nautical miles across from northeast to southeast quadrant. The winds are east of the center. That is typical of a subtropical storm. The biggest question is where will Alberto go?

This is a heat map from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The heat map is within 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the center. The forecast models have a consensus that Alberto will go somewhere between Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida Panhandle. There is a small chance it go could deviate. The next question is how strong will Alberto be?

Most forecast model keeps Alberto as a tropical storm. However, one intensifies Alberto into a Category 1 to near Category 2 hurricane. I think Alberto will be a tropical storm at most. A hurricane is very remote at this time. I do not think Alberto will become a hurricane. It will more then likely become a full fledge tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. I would be more concerned of heavy rain and flooding from Alberto than wind.

Future Alberto Part 2?

The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on Invest 90L. They think in the next 5 days it has a high chance of developing into something tropical.

Interestingly, the intensity forecast keep Invest 90L as a tropical depression. One has it as a tropical storm in 36 hours.

This is not the latest intensity forecast model. It should come out later tonight. The biggest question is where does Invest 90L go?

This is a heat map from data from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The general consensus is it will linger over the Caribbean and possibly move into Mexico or Belize. From there, it goes north. The forecast models tend to congregate around Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. There is a small risk that Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas could get hit by Invest 90L. This is still a rather low confidence forecast of where future Alberto will probably go in the next 5 days.

I would not be surprised we see Tropical Storm Alberto this weekend. The question is where does it go. Everyone in the Gulf of Mexico should keep an eye on Invest 90L. It can go anywhere it wants.