North Carolina dodges MARIA bullet

Wednesday 27th September 2017

From west to east -

Current and extrapolated pressure anomalies for the western Caribbean this time next week are showing conditions ripening for cyclone development. This is beginning to excite modellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Some credible, normally conservative European modellers are even more enthusiastic than usual. Obviously the Canadian guy is rubbing his thighs and salivating too. Please remember that the low pressure cell does not yet exist, only the ingredients look to be shaping up. A cynical old sailor would say let's see something tangible before we start battening down.

Tropical storm MARIA is now about 145 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina northbound at 4 knots with an HSI rating of just 8 (4 for both size and intensity) with maximum winds near the centre of 75 knots and a tropical storm windfield radius of 240 miles. Most of the nasty stuff is taking place to the east of the storm centre, making life easier than expected in North Carolina. A bullet has been dodged. There are no squalls ashore and maximum winds are below 35 knots. Tides are a couple of feet above normal between Cape Hatteras and to the north – albeit decreasing - towards southern New Jersey and diminishing as we speak. MARIA will go hard a'starboard and begin to slowly pull away from North Carolina tomorrow and thereafter fade into history.

Category 2 fish hurricane LEE is centred 450 miles east of Bermuda on a west-nor'westerly heading at 8 knots and continuing to strengthen with sustained wind speeds of 100 knots . Lee could become an intense hurricane later today. Tomorrow, it will accelerate to the northeast, and move away into the North Atlantic with no impact on land and one hopes, having hardly moved for several days, no surprise at sea either.
Weather watch east central Atlantic for LEE.