Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tropical Update: Leslie, Michael and Isaac Part II...

The infrared satellite image above, on the tropical "wide view", nicely depicts the 3 active systems in the Atlantic Basin:  Hurricane Leslie, Tropical Storm Michael and part of the remains of Isaac, dubbed "Isaac Part II" for purposes of this discussion.

Michael, as I've discussed on my facebook page for the past few days, is a "fish storm" and will not affect land or humans (except perhaps for some merchant ships sailing deep in the Atlantic), so I won't go into any further details here...

Leslie is becoming a very well organized hurricane and I'm afraid is destined to hammer the small island of Bermuda later this weekend.  Here is the latest visible satellite image of Leslie:

You can see the very well defined circulation and outflow around the center, which (as of 4pm CDT) was located 460 miles South/Southeast of Bermuda.  Maximum sustained winds are currently 75 mph, and the minimum central pressure is 29.15 inches of mercury.

Leslie is currently moving toward the North at only 2 mph, and this general slow motion Northward is expected to continue for the next few days.  By this weekend, Leslie will increase her forward speed, and the current projection has the center passing over or immediately East of Bermuda early on Sunday morning:

Leslie has the potential to become a major hurricane prior to reaching Bermuda, and folks there should be prepared for extreme conditions over the weekend.  If you plan to get out before the hurricane arrives (which I highly recommend), please plan to do so tomorrow or Friday at the latest.

Surf is already on the increase along the entire U.S. East coast, and dangerous rip currents can be expected there through the weekend.

A cold front is forecast to "pick up" Leslie and push her off to the East, sparing New England from direct impacts.  The Canadian Maritimes, however, can expect direct impacts from Leslie early next week, quite possibly still as a hurricane.

Meanwhile, in the northcentral Gulf of Mexico, part of the remains of Isaac are currently spinning around just offshore of the Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama coasts, as shown on the visible satellite image below:

The National Hurricane Center "NHC" has finally taken notice of this system, and is reportedly watching it closely for further development.  The latest composite of the computer forecast models generally calls for the system to move Eastward across Florida by this weekend, perhaps as a Tropical Storm:

If the system does reach Tropical Storm strength, it will not be called Isaac, as only part of the remnants of Isaac make up the system (the rest of Isaac traveled across the Midwest and Ohio Valley late last week as you'll recall).  Assuming nothing else develops in the Atlantic basin before that time, the system would be called "Nadine" if it reaches Tropical Storm or Hurricane strength.

The waters over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico are warm, but have been "worked over" by the passage of Isaac last week, which will likely inhibit rapid organization or strengthening of this system.  Regardless as to whether or not the system reaches tropical storm strength, rough surf, dangerous rip currents, and locally heavy rainfall amounts of up to 3-6 inches can be expected along and ahead of its path, especially over parts of the Florida panhandle and central through northern Florida, through the weekend.

We'll continue to monitor the development and progression of this system and issue updates as needed over the coming days...

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