Two of three major hurricanes headed for landfall
Morning report Friday 8th September 2017
Given the current situation across the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico reporting zone, I will post this report twice daily for the next few days.
From west to east
Hurricane KATIA is currently centred 125 miles east of Tuxpan, strolling south west towards a landfall tonight somewhere close south of Tuxpan. The storm currently has a storm severity rating of 10 out of a possible 50 points (3 for size and 7 for intensity), with consistent wind speeds of 80 to 95 knots and a tropical storm windfield of 70 miles. Aerial footage shows a well-organised eye with cloud formation indicating good lusty convection taking place. As a consequence, it is likely that KATIA will strengthen further before landfall to a peak HSI of13 (4 for size and 9 for intensity) and wind speeds of 90 to 100 knots. As this is slow moving, there may be an eleventh hour slight weakening as KATIA interacts with land but not significant. As this has been loafing around at sea drawing in moisture, KATIA will be a substantial rainmaker ashore with almost certain flooding and mudslides. Given the earthquake off the Pacific coast of Mexico and impact ashore, its not a good day in southern Mexico.
Destructive hurricane IRMA is now 480 miles south east of Miami headed west-nor'west at 14 knots. This is at peak category 5 strength now with an HSI rating of 39 out of 50 (17 for size and 22 for intensity), which in real terms gives wind speeds between 140 and 165 knots and a tropical storm strength windfield of 200 miles. There may be a wobble before landfall, but not a significant one. It is expected that tropical storm force winds will arrive in Florida tomorrow morning with the lead of the eye hitting somewhere around Florida Keys in the small hours of Sunday. There seems to be less discord amongst commentators now with a general consensus of a run along the spine of Florida, drifting slightly east close to Cape Canaveral then north west into Georgia. IRMA is expected to remain at hurricane strength into Georgia despite it following a track over land since the windfield will still be over warm water. I'm running out of adjectives to describe the ferocity of this nasty cyclone.
Hurricane JOSE is now centred 530 miles east of the Leeward Islands headed west-nor'west at 16 knots. This has a current HSI of 21 (8 for size and 13 for intensity) giving consistent wind speeds of 110 to 140 knots with a 115 mile windfield. JOSE is still strengthening and expected to hit peak intensity tomorrow with an HSI rating of 26 (10 for size and 16 for intensity) with 130 knot winds, a little short of category 5. This is not as wide a storm as IRMA so the closest approach to the Leeward Islands (which is currently expected to be 75 miles tomorrow) may give some respite although heavy rain tropical storm force winds will be inevitable. Given the conditions the people of these islands have experienced from IRMA, this should be a walk in the park. Thereafter, the forward path is uncertain but a turn north and a period drifting aimlessly in the Atlantic seem the best bet today.
Disturbance Thirty Eight is just past midway between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean moving west-nor'west at 13 knots. This system has little chance of meaningful development, which is happy news.
Storm cones aloft in Florida.