Swing and a Miss

So far tropical threats have stayed far away from Connecticut and that will continue through next week. I generally consider August 15-September 30 hurricane season in southern New England. Virtually every hurricane of note, save a couple of weaker tropical storms, have occurred in that 45 day window. Since we can fairly accurately judge potential for a east coast hurricane strike (not location or strength of strike, just potential) with 7-10 days of lead time it’s safe to say that the first 20 days of the window will pass with little fanfare.

There are 2 tropical systems out in the Atlantic – Earl and Danielle. The latter is already on its way to the tropical graveyard as it is beginning the recurve process out to sea.

You can see in this GFS forecast the reason why Danielle will be visiting the fish of the North Atlantic. A trough (or dip) in the jet stream is effectively creating a highway north for the system. At the same time a HUGE ridge of high pressure centered over the east coast will protect the northeast from a hurricane. Though the trough won’t immediately pick up Danielle and fling it toward Europe the ridge of high pressure over us will prevent the storm from moving any further west and it will slow to a crawl waiting for the next trough to pick it up and send it northeast.

The question at this point (the forecast image above is for 72 hours or Saturday afternoon) is what happens with the storm waiting in Danielle’s wings… Earl? Obviously it’s harder to know since we are heading further and further out in time. As Danielle waits around she’s creating a large weakness in the ridge of high pressure that typically stretches across the Atlantic. She acts almost as a defacto trough in place which creates a path for the next storm (Earl) to move up through.

At this point most of our models show this to be the most likely outcome. Trouble for Bermuda, maybe, but probably not trouble for us. The one caveat here is that if Earl is able to stay far enough south over the next 72 hours it may be able to “miss” the weakness created by Danielle and cruise further west than currently anticipated. Stay tuned.

Ryan

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3 thoughts on “Swing and a Miss

  1. Yeah, Earl could come quite close. As I mentioned in this post if the storm was able to stay far enough south and miss the trough from Danielle it would move further west. That appears to be what Earl wants to do now. Will be interesting to watch for sure.

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