Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Morning Tropical Update: Her Name is Joaquin and She Will Pack a Punch this Weekend

Good morning. We finally are getting some model agreement on what is now Tropical Storm Joaquin. This storm will continue to intensify and become a hurricane in the very near future. Earlier in the week we did not know where this storm would go let alone how much it would intensify if at all. Now we know it is rapidly intensifying and there is strong model agreement it will continue to do so. This mean we need to take this threat seriously. In terms of its track, lets start off by going to the latest guidance from the National Hurricane Center..

You can see above they expect this to intensify to a hurricane and move somewhere between the Carolina's and southern New England. 

Here is the latest Satellite image. The darker colors represent high clouds, which represents thunderstorms clustering. This could form an eye very soon.

Let me now take you though some of the models and give you my initial take on what is going to happen this weekend. 

Above is a projection of all the major models. Take a close look at where each of them projects this storm to go. You can click image to make bigger. From left to right, top to bottom: GFS, Canadian, UKMET, Euro,HWRF, GFDL.

Notice any consistency? I do, and it screams that we could have a east coast landing Hurricane this weekend. At this time the biggest impact zone looks to be somewhere between the Outer Banks and the Delmarva region. This is the region that can see hurricane conditions. Folks in those areas should start preparing now. Notice the European model on the bottom left has the storm way out in the ocean. Could this be correct? Maybe BUT its ensembles do not agree. As a reminder an ensemble is taking a core weather model and tweaking the inputs to adjust for potential error. They do this over 50 times for the European and get 50 different outcomes. Below is an average low pressure placement for those outcomes. Looks similar to the above image.

What does this tell me? It tells me the European operational model might be wrong due to its ensembles not agreeing with it. 

Worst case scenario? Check out the projected radar from the updated HWRF hurricane model hot off the press. This would not be a scenario to get excited about, the Outer Banks would get very beat up with a potential Cat 3 hurricane as this model shows below..

To sum everything up, these are latest tracks of all models..

As you can see, there is big convergence near the Outer Banks with a land falling Hurricane. I have a hunch this might shift a little more north over next two days which brings Delmarva and potentially further north into play. We will see. 

In terms of timing on rainfall and storm impacts for the NY Metro area into South Jersey here is what I expect at this time..

  • Rain picks up again tomorrow from energy along coastal front and continues into Saturday morning
    • Expect another 2+ inches of Rain
  • Hurricane Joaquin should make landfall sometime Sunday between Delmarva and the Outer banks
    • This track can still change more north or south.
  • As storm hits, expect very heavy rain Sunday afternoon lasting through early Monday.
    • Another several inches of rain should fall.
  • Wind gusts along the coastal areas can reach up to 60 MPH
    • This can cause beach erosion and downed power lines
  • Inland there will be winds but not as intense.

For you guys who are more into the weather, check out this upper level chart showing the storm getting captured by the trough digging into the east..

This is a rare occurrence and any slight change in these variables can change the track more north or south. 

What will today's updated models show? Will the track shift? 

Video update tonight at 8pm!


  1. I'm biting my nails for that 12Z Euro run later today. The 6Z GFS ensembles mostly veer towards Virginia, but a handful of the runs cluster around more Euro-like solutions, i.e. out to sea or hitting Nova Scotia. I gather that a Virginia Beach or Delmar hit is gonna be a bit rough on us here in metro NJ, given that we'd get the north side rains and winds coming off the ocean. OK, so where is that gasoline can that I bought after Sandy? Well, I'll save the panic for tomorrow. Thanks again for the great coverage, see ya later. Oh but one slightly sour note for you snow people. Recall that in the 2 most recent years when we had autumn tropical storm hits, we had relatively mild winters. Jim G

    1. So yeah Jim looks like the Outer Banks is the median right now for impact. We got room for a more northern trend tho in my opinion. We will learn alot in tonight's model runs. And yes trust me I remember haha the Fall of 2011 was active and the winter was so mild. One of the worst winters for snow ever!