Thursday, August 18, 2011

Update on Hurricane Late Next Week

It continues to look very likely that a hurricane, and a strong one at that, will develop in the Atlantic over the next few days and move toward the United States. The various model solutions are still somewhat at odds as to where the hurricane might make landfall in the U.S., but today's model runs have shown a significant southerly shift to the track. The GFS, which has been locked in on an east coast landfall for several straight runs, is now falling more in line with what the Euro (ECMWF) has been hinting at all along, in a track through the Florida Straits, or perhaps even farther south.

The latest NAM run from this evening (0z Friday) shows a strong upper-level trough across the eastern U.S., a pattern that has been consistent over the past few weeks. The trough will weaken later in the period, but could still be enough to keep the hurricane tracking westerly rather than northwesterly.

The dominant subtropical ridge will likely not have the steering effect it typically does this time of year, taking the hurricane up the east coast across Hatteras. This could all change, but it seems the most likely scenario will be a southerly track of the hurricane across the Greater Antilles, with a landfall along the Gulf coast. We'll see what future runs look like. ZD

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