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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Talk About Hurricane Earl

Almost all of the computer models show a storm passing EAST of Connecticut which is a more favorable track. At this time that means SOME rain, SOME wind, but no hurricane force winds. The map in the upper left shows a 10-30% chance of tropical storm force winds. However, high waves, dangerous rip currents and beach erosion are a realistic problem that we face NO MATTER the track the storm takes.

Here is one of the latest computer models--the 12Z GFS for Friday night around 8:00 P.M. Remember this is just one computer model. But there are no big outliers at this time. Meaning, most of the models are showing pretty similar scenarios.

The box in the upper right shows rainfall. You can see the heaviest rain still offshore, but it's still not out of the question for a decent soaking, especially if the storm moves as little as 50 miles west. The box in the upper middle shows us where the center of the low pressure will be moving (offshore). The lines around the low pressure system are called isobars or lines of equal pressure. When those lines are close together it shows a big difference in pressure. And winds are driven by differences in pressure. Tight lines=VERY WINDY!

The bottom right shows accumulated rainfall which is tough to rely on at this point. But a soaking is not out of the question.

I would be more concerned at this point for people who live on Cape Cod. They will be closer to the storm's center and some nasty winds and rain may become a reality for them.

The cone in the picture to the right is called the "cone of uncertainty". The National Hurricane Center creates a cone around the forecast track to account for errors in forecasting or uncertainly in forecasting. That's why the cone gets bigger with time. But you will notice we are on the edge of the cone. So don't be alarmed if you see a map like this. It does not mean a hurricane is forecast to hit CT. But it means we need to watch this storm carefully because it's making forecasters at least a little nervous.

The bottom line: Nuisance? Probably. Should we start buying milk and eggs? No.

But stay tuned for updates. These storms are tricky!

1 comment:

Chris O'Brien said...

I've never understood why people rush to the store, and then of all things they buy, its milk, eggs and bread. Now if the power goes out, does this mean we're all making french toast?! (ok, maybe we're all toast!)

If so, who's buying the syrup and juice?

Theory: French-ified toast lasts longer than regular bread. But cook fast before it all goes bad. (or you can buy canned food)