A quiet weather day her in the KC region, with no threat of storms for the rest of the afternoon through this evening so get out and enjoy one of the last summer time weekend afternoons we have left. We're just a couple of weeks away from the unofficial end of summertime in these parts as Labor Day is approaching so with highs this afternoon in the seasonable 80s, get outside. Granted it's seasonably humid but really in the big scheme of things not too bad.
We'll talk about our additional rain chances in a bit, but the subject and item of discussion for the week will be the future of what is now Irene in the NE Caribbean now. Irene continues to look better on the satellite images compared to yesterday, although at this point it's not strengthening that much. It quickly was upgraded directly from a disturbance, past depression status, to tropical storm status yesterday evening, and 24 hours later it's packing winds of 50-60 MPH. Our computer forecasts for days have speculated that IF anything were to form from the original disturbance out int he central Atlantic, that it wold be a player int he FL/SE part of the country's weather by the end of the week...and that hasn't changed...good job on the models for picking that potential out from so far away.
The devil obviously is in the details, because the track of Irene, which is still organizing, and seeing it's center relocate farther northwards with time, is one that favors many hours over the islands and mountains of the land masses down there. Of all the tracks for a storm that needs to be over the warm waters to intensify, the next 72 hours forecast track is probably the least favorable for a storm to take...here is the afternoon NHC forecast...
Sadly it looks like Haiti/Dominican Republic will be getting lots of rainfall and gusty winds out of this, if nothing else. Also Puerto Rico, which is pretty water logged as is, will see an additional 4-12" of tropical rainfall out of this as well as the potential for 50-70 MPH winds depending on how much she wants to strengthen between now and tomorrow AM. The track though of the storm over Hispaniola is through the core of the highest terrain. Tropical systems hate mountains and there are some rather big ones there. Here is a relief map from wikipedia showing what I'm talking about...
With Irene's forecast through that area over the course of MON AM through TUE AM a long one, that will certainly rip/weaken the storm quite a bit tomorrow afternoon...then the storm comes back offshore TUE PM just to end up quickly interacting with the eastern part of Cuba, which while pretty flat, will not allow the storms engine to suck in the vast about of warm water vapor it needs from the ocean to start humming again. it's not until sometime THU when the storm gets out towards the FL Straits or the Bahama Island chain that it will once again start to get it's act back together again. By this time there is no telling what kind of shape it'll be in. I've seen many cases where these Caribbean islands really do a number on the circulation of the storm and it just doesn't have enough time to really organize again before it makes US landfall.
With the center of the storm reforming farther and farther northwards my suspicion is that the risk of landfall may shift farther eastwards, perhaps more away from S FL and more towards the SE coastline. basic geography indicates that IF the storm is moving more towards the NW or NNW, with the shape of the E FL coastline that it's VERY possible that the worst of the storm, should it indeed move farther east than what NHC thinks, may stay across the offshore FL waters, then perhaps be more of a threat for GA/SC. It's actually pretty rare for the GA coastline to be hit by a landfalling storm. Some of the latest modelling is indeed farther east with the storms path compared to the NHC 5 day track from early this afternoon...I think it makes sense at this point. The GFS and Canadian bring the storm finally ashore from near Savannah (GFS) to the outer banks of NC (Canadian). Here is a quick look at there longer range forecasts which WILL NOT be correct...the errors are rather large in these things from 24 hours out, let alone close to 5 days out. By the way, the latest EURO is almost a carbon copy of the path of the Canadian...I'm expecting that the "official" track will be adjusted towards the east with the new advisory later this afternoon based on the available data...
Of course there are the intensity issues that have been briefly talked about, and with a track farther eastwards, this will bring a couple of things into play should the storm be able to tap into the vast reserves of energy that will be available. 1) would be the longer period of time the storm is in the warm waters off the SE coastline...and 2 would be the even warmer conveyor belt waters of the gulf stream which could potentially act as premium gas for the tropical cyclone engine.
Still a lot of time to figure this out...again I'm favoring a farther east track than what the Hurricane Center thinks at this point. NO I wouldn't cancel my FL trip yet but yes IF you're heading towards the Carolina's I would be somewhat concerned...
Our rain chances are somewhat muddled as weak disturbances caught int he flow will try to ignite storms tomorrow and Tuesday. There are some indications that we could get pretty darn hot on WED, especially towards the south of the I-70 corridor...something in the 95-100 range as a weak front pushes towards the area...SW flow has the potential to really heat it up, and again remember that temperatures to the south of here have been easily into the 90s and 100s lately again...need to watch that for a sneaky 100 day in some areas. I do wonder though with ALL the rain we've seen if that will take the edge off the highs by a few degrees. There is a lot of moisture that needs to get baked out of the soil again. I'm forecasting highs near 92...I may bump that up a couple of more degrees this afternoon.
Have a great week!
Irene & Our Rain
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