1:00 PM CDT | September 12, 2018
There is a lot to discuss with the tropics right now. There are three active systems, and two additional areas are worth watching. I am going to focus on what will have the greatest impact on the United States. At the top of the list is Hurricane Florence. Florence continues to track toward the East Coast with winds of 125 mph. While still very dangerous, this is a bit weaker than what it had been. Some fluctuation in intensity can be expected. We should see re-intensification over the next 12-24 hours as it approaches the coast. Officially, the National Hurricane Center has it peaking with winds of 145 mph tomorrow morning. Thereafter, gradual weakening is forecast, but it will still be a very dangerous system.
Probably the biggest adjustment has been to slow the system down and turn it toward the southwest. As mentioned over the last few days, some of the guidance has suggested that the steering winds could break down as it approached the coast and a ridge built to the north. Most of the guidance seems to agree now, but they still differ on where it will track once it is picked up again. Some weather models show it turning southwest, while a few others still show it turning toward the north. With this in mind, confidence in the latter part of the forecast is below normal. The cone of uncertainty Saturday through Monday reflects the increasing spread among the models. In short, this system will bring life-threatening winds, storm surge, and flooding to parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Isolated Tornadoes are also a concern, mainly near and to the north and east of its circulation.
Next, we have 95L in the gulf. Convection has increased with this disturbance since yesterday evening. The National Hurricane Center has stated that recent observations indicate that a broad area of low pressure has developed. They give it a 70% chance for development over the next 48 hours. RECON is scheduled to check out the disturbance tomorrow, if necessary. Most of the model guidance still suggests that a South Texas landfall is likely, but there are a few outliers to the north and south. Whether or not a depression or storm is able to form, this feature will bring locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds to parts of the state late this week and weekend.
The final thing I would like to discuss is Tropical Storm Isaac. Isaac is weakening as it nears the Caribbean. Steady weakening is expected over the next few days. The National Hurricane Center suggests dissipation by late Sunday or early Monday. We will have to keep an eye on this system, should it try to regenerate next week in the Western Caribbean. If the circulation of a system remains at least somewhat intact, it can regenerate if/when conditions become more favorable. It is worth watching as the recurring cycle theory would suggest the potential for tropical development in the gulf through the third week of September. Well, that is it for today's discussion. Just keep an eye on the latest from the National Hurricane Center. If you have any friends or family who may be impacted, feel free to share this with them via the share buttons above. I will continue to post updates on the blog, so be sure to check back daily!