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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Earl Forecast Maps

Please see the blog post below for a forecast discussion. But I also wanted to show you some of the latest forecast maps.

The graphic on the left shows the probability of tropical storm force winds (39-73 mph). You can click on the graphic to enlarge it. The areas shaded in purple tell us where the winds will be the most intense. For CT, the western and central parts of the state are highlighted in yellow which is a 30-50% chance for tropical storm force winds. But in Southeastern CT there's a 50-60% chance. And the LI sound (for those with boats) is in the 50-70% range. So the greatest threat for strong winds are in southeastern CT and the LI Sound

Although some areas south and east could see tropical storm force winds, hurricane strength winds are highly unlikely. The map to the right shows the probability of winds reaching hurricane strength (sustained 74 mph winds or higher). Most of the state has little or no chance of that. Southeastern CT falls within the 5-10% range. Again, you can click on the map if you want to enlarge it.

The track of this storm takes the center 150 miles east of CT. Here's the forecast cone. The shoreline of CT is shaded in yellow to show the Tropical Storm Watch in effect. Cape Cod will be closer to the center of the storm so that's why the pink shading is there to indicate a Hurricane Watch. You may want to re-think your plans to the Cape this weekend.

Could this storm change it's track and surprise us? A big change isn't likely. The computer models have been surprisingly consistent. The graphic below is called a spaghetti plot (because the lines on the graphic look like spaghetti). Each line represents a computer model's forecast track for hurricane Earl. You can see every line showing the storm swing out to sea EAST of Connecticut which is a favorable track for us.

Notice all the tracks take Earl out to sea. But some of those tracks take the storm much closer to the shoreline. A closer track would mean heavier rain and stronger winds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is awesome, thanks for going into detail like this! It's difficult to guess what the "real story" is, from watching the local weather personalities (no offense). For something like a hurricane, people need raw data to draw there own conclusions - so thanks for covering this in-depth!! -Rob