Rainy days in Florida
Sunday 28th August 2016
Another chaotic day aloft over the west of our reporting area. Starting west then - Disturbance twenty seven is now loosely centred close to Galveston and drifting over the coast of Texas as it dissipates. Wet day ashore. To the south, disturbance twenty nine is almost ashore in Belize and has had its day.
Disturbance twenty six is making a move towards the Florida Straits at a gentle walking pace and is now centred around 30 miles south-sou'east of Key West. This hasn't really developed and winds only exceed 30 knots in the odd squall. The prospect of meteorological carnage is receding but by no means guaranteed. Nonetheless, sage guidance expects a maximum hurricane severity index of 6 (2 for size, 4 for intensity) with a predicted radius of tropical storm winds of 125 miles. The questions remain - where and when? There is less talk of a dash to the north west now and modellers seem to be aligning a slow west-nor'west motion until Tuesday followed by a turn the the northeast on Wednesday. Landfall is now expected to occur on the northern Florida peninsula - possibly as a named storm - with a double back to the east across Florida and back into the Atlantic. I really don't trust slow moving disturbances over warm water at this time of the season and would still urge caution. This could still cook something up and, to mix metaphors disgracefully, throw us a curved ball. One commentator has even suggested this could become an eastern seaboard hurricane when it returns to the Atlantic. Yup. Same guy. For now, heavy rain across southern Florida could cause localised flooding. The greatest risk of flooding is expected to be north of Ft. Myers.
Tropical disturbance twenty eight has fought off upper level shear and deepened to become tropical depression eight. Currently 400 miles south east of Cape Hatteras, winds have freshened to 30 gusting 40 knots. This system now has a well-defined low-level circulation centre and is radiating squalls. This looks set to approach Cape Hatteras but is expected turn to the north east once it reaches the Outer Banks. There is still substantial wind shear aloft which is likely to limit its capacity to develop but might do something impressive as it heads away from the eastern seaboard. That leaves GASTON. Centred some 750 miles east of Bermuda, this is developing again and is likely to reach hurricane intensity again over the next 24 hours but will weaken in three to four days time and by the end of this coming week, will be approaching the western portion of the Azores. Rainwear in Florida, otherwise stand easy.