Friday, September 2, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee & Hurricane Katia

First with Tropical Storm Lee. You can clearly see on water vapor how dry air is entraining into this tropical cyclone. This will most likely prevent Lee from becoming a hurricane. Of course when you are dealing with the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico I wouldn't rule anything out, but because of this dry air, I'm thinking more of a solid to maybe a strong tropical storm. Regardless, the story with Tropical Storm Lee will be the torrential rains and flooding. With Lee forecasted to move very slow (Agree 100% with the NHC's forecast), only being near New Orleans by the early afternoon on Sunday, this is shaping up to be a big flooding event. I won't go as far as Allison in 2001 and Danny in 1997, however, the potential is there for some major flooding. Just look at the 5-day totals forecasted by the HPC. Almost 2 feet of rain near New Orleans, with well over a foot of rain all across eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and the coastal areas of Alabama. Even if Lee somehow becomes a hurricane, the story of this storm will be heavy rainfall and flooding.

With Hurricane Katia, I still have zero change to my forecast. The trend continues west, as I think Katia will be close enough to scare many people along the eastern seaboard. I still think it barely misses, but again, close enough to raise some hairs. I will say Lee could be a factor on how close Katia gets. If the remnants of Lee "hook up" with Katia, then I would watch out near Cape Cod, MA for a possible landfall. Personally, I don't see that at this time, but it's something to watch closely. Don't sleep on it! A few people came at me hard on Tuesday when I said this would come close to the US coast, mainly because the model didn't show it. I really didn't care what the models showed, as you live by the model, you'll die by the model. All I used was pattern recognition and the Asian trough/ridge teleconnection I learned many years ago from Joe Bastardi. It will almost always beat model guidance, especially 7-10 days out. In the end, this will be a great example of that. We'll see what happens, but there is no doubt the trend continues west!

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