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September 2010

Tropical Storm Igor forms as Hurricane Season Peaks

Tropical Storm Igor has formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean not far from the Cape Verde Islands. As the hurricane season enters into the statistical peak activity, we see that overall activity is fair. This has been quite an active season overall, but has spared many humans and land areas.

In addition to Igor, there are small areas of activity being monitored by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) among others although they have a very low to zero potential for development at the moment. One area is right next to (northeast) Igor. Two other areas are Caribbean region, one near Trinidad & Tabago while the other is south of Hispanola.

Hermine is still on the map, although barely…as it is all the way up in central Texas as a Tropical Depression. However, responsibility of this storm has been shifted over to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

Tropical Storm Igor is in a slight sheared environment which will suppress development beyond Tropical Storm status for a few days. However as the system moves west, it should encounter less shear and begin to intensify. Both forward motion will increase, thanks to a trough that is to the west, and the intensity should increase into hurricane strength further out in the forecast period. Overall motion, according to the plots will be either west to west-northwest. Overall impacts to land is unknown at this point.

The next few days will tell a better story as models grab the system better and more anaylsis is done.  For now it’s just another storm in this active season.

Shots of cool air bringing early fall to the Northeast

A series of low pressure systems will dive into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic from southern Canada over the next two weeks, which will bring cloud cover and rainy weather to the Northeast. Temperatures could warm up to normal levels between systems, but the majority of the time the Northeast will be hit by below normal temperatures, creating an abrupt change from extreme summer heat to cool fall weather. This pattern does not appear to be long-sustained, though, as ridging over the central U.S. could move warmer temperatures into the East going into the last week of September.

Meanwhile, the southern U.S. will get a period of above normal temperatures as the subtropical ridge sits over the region. Summer has been rather relentless down there this year as far as above normal temperatures, and it looks like it will be awhile before they will catch a break.

EDIT: I’ll probably be using a different U.S. map in the future… I was just trying this one out. The blue on the ocean may be a bit too distracting to the rest of the image.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Sep 6-12

NOTE: This was written yesterday, but has been copied to this site to add content. From now on, this site will be exclusive in having the discussion part of the post.

Highlights:

Hermine performs magic in the Gulf – A “surpise tropical storm” has popped up in the western Gulf of Mexico, but it will quickly move inland near the TX/Mexico border and dissipate. Already a strong tropical storm, Hermine could become a Cat. 1 before landfall.

More activity in the Atlantic – As Gaston tries to refire before heading into the Caribbean, more tropical waves coming off the African Coast could yield even more tropical systems this week.

Cool blasts trying to end the summer heat in the East – The transitional weather pattern brought a shot of cool, dry air into the region over the weekend. More systems that are expected to do the same thing are on the way. However, rainfall with these systems is rather scarce in the southern Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Southeast.

Regional drought worsens in the Mid-Atlantic – While some areas have had wet hot-spots this summer, a good portion of the Mid-Atlantic remains fairly dry as this week’s forecast calls for sunshine through the work week.

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Discussion:

Somewhat surprisingly, Tropical Storm Hermine has quickly formed in the western Gulf of Mexico and is intensifying rapidly in the short amount of time it has left before it makes landfall. Even more surprisingly, the NAM seemed to capture the storm’s inception the best this time around, but one must take into account that it’s been making fantasy storms in the Gulf all summer. Hermine already has an eye feature on radar as the circulation tightens in the storm:

Meanwhile, the remnants of Gaston continue to drift westward towards the Caribbean as it struggles to reform into a Depression. The models aren’t doing much with it right now, but more tropical waves coming off of the African Coast could produce more tropical cyclones later this week.

Storm systems producing active weather in the northern Plains and Midwest will keep bringing cool shots of air to the East Coast after short warm-up periods this week, but the dry air in place over most of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast will keep rain at bay as some areas get worse into drought. Downsloping off of the Appalachians has kept it particularly dry in VA and northern MD, which is starting to turn into a giant brown patch. Drought conditions also exist close to the coast, where plant life in parts of MD and most of NJ are beginning to feel the strain. There is a chance for some rain this weekend as the remnants of Hermine and a low pressure system work through the region, but how much rainfall the drought-stricken areas get may be over-hyped on the the GFS.



(Source: U.S. Drought Monitor)

We’ll be seeing more active weather over the next month as the tropical season hits full gear (the peak of the season is September 10th) and the fall transition creates more dynamic weather patterns across the U.S.

Welcome to MAD US Weather

The Mid-Atlantic Dynamics and United States Weather site is a collaboration between myself and Jason Foster. Together, we will bring you everything weather, from current events to forecasts to storm chasing and beyond.

This site will bring everything you want to know about the weather together into one place. If something interesting is going on in the world of weather, we will post about it! Jason and I will bring our own strengths to the table to give you the best weather coverage possible.

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– Mark Ellinwood