WeatherNation Blog

Tea. EARL Grey. Hot.

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone. I hope all is well!

Hurricane EARL continues to make waves in the Atlantic

For all you you “Trekkie” fans out there…  Every time I think of EARL, I am reminded of Captain Jean-Luc Picard when he orders, “Tea. Earl grey. Hot.”

EARL From Space

What a picture! This is from the International Space Station – note the EARL eye.

Here’s the latest on EARL: As of 11AM AST (Atlantic Standard Time) EARL was a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 135mph and gusts of 160mph. EARL is the second major category 4 storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. EARL is getting ever closer to the United States.

Will it make a U.S. Landfall

This is the 72-hour outlook for the 6-hour accumulated precipitation, see EARL and FIONA. EARL is getting dangerously close to the mid-Atlantic states.

It’s another quick update today folks. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

Meteorologist Todd Nelson – WeatherNation LLC

Tracking EARL

Hello and happy Monday everyone, hope all is well. Hurricane EARL seems to be causing a ruckus in the Caribbean right now, take a look at some web cams at St. Barts (one of the eastern Caribbean islands)

Here was the radar from earlier today @ St. Maarten:

This is the forecast path of Earl, note how it is forecast to become a category 4 hurricane, perhaps as early as today. The forecast track also has it getting ever closer to the Eastern Seaboard. Folks along the east coast will likely see some gusty winds, rain and more likely, dangerous rip currents along the beaches.

This 500mb vorticity (mid-level “spin”) map from the GFS model, not how the center of circulation from Earl is just off the Mid-Atlantic coast:

This is the 6-hour accumulated precipitation forecast for Thursday afternoon/evening. This particular weather model has some of the outer bands from Earl slapping the east coast near the mid-Atlantic states. Keep an eye on this one!

It’s a short update today folks, I am going to be busy people watching on the Minnesota State Fair webcam from the, I’d have to say that this is the best people watching this side of Vegas! ENJOY!!

Have a good Monday!

Meteorologist Todd Nelson – WeatherNation LLC

Remembering Katrina and Watching The Tropics

Good Sunday to everyone logging on out there.

Katrina: 5 Years Later

Five years ago today a strong Hurricane Katrina made landfall around New Orleans. The above image is from NASA right about the time of landfall. Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall with winds of 125 mph, down from the furious 175 mph-Category 5 hurricane she was just the day before. By the time the storm moved out, Katrina killed more than 1,800 human lives and caused $125 billion in damages. Life has slowly been coming back to New Orleans since the storm, but this years oil spill did not help the regrowth. In fact, some officials have said that it could take the New Orleans area another 5 years to recover since the oil spill occurred. Life will never be the same, though, along the coast. The damage was devastating and eye opening — I remember watching the national TV crews camped out in New Orleans, all of the meteorologists being batted around in the wind before satellite feeds went down, and days and days of aftermath being aired on cable news, especially the conditions that occurred in the Superdome. Revisions to the levee systems are supposed to be completed within the next year or so that should help the city if another storm had New Orleans in the bulls eye. Hopefully we have nothing happen like what we had in 2005, all the way from Katrina to Wilma and a total of 28 storms by the end of the year.

Image above: Katrina-Flooded I-10/I-610/West End Blvd interchange in northwest New Orleans

Tropical Troubles

As we remember Katrina today, we must look at what is out in the tropics right now, as we have a couple storms that do bear monitoring.


First, we start with Danielle, which should not be in our hair much longer. She has weakened this morning to a Category 1 hurricane, and is expected to start to fizzle out over the next couple days. The storm veered off to the east just in time and missed Bermuda, but higher wave action is expected in Bermuda and along the east coast of the United States over the next few days from Danielle.


As we put Danielle in the rear view mirror, we look at Earl, who was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane this morning. Earl is currently heading toward the northern Leeward Islands and may also affect Puerto Rico over the next few days (Hurricane Watches and Warnings are currently in place for these areas) before it curves off. Right now all the models have this storm scraping the eastern coastline, but hopefully staying off shore, by the second half of the week. They also having this become a Category 4 storm by the middle of the week. We can hope that since the storm is growing, the storm gets grabbed by the upper level winds and directed out to sea. I would expect, though, some heavier rains and some gusty winds along the east coast as we head toward the end of the week. Below is the ECMWF (European) model that shows Earl near Cape Cod by Thursday Night.


Besides Danielle and Earl, we are watching a disturbance east of Earl that has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical system within the next couple days. I would not be surprised if this becomes a Tropical Depression later today. At least one of the long range models, the European (ECMWF), has this storm eventually aiming towards Florida around Labor Day. This model does have some trouble at times as we look very far out, but is more accurate than some. Over the next few days is a good opportunity to make sure you are prepared for a tropical system if one were to aim your way, whether you are along the Atlantic coast or the Gulf coast. It only takes one storm to create billions in dollars of damage, as was evident with Katrina. We will continue to watch the tropics for you and bring you updates throughout the next coming days on how these storms may affect you, especially was we approach Labor Day weekend. Below is a look at the ECMWF model with possible landfall in Florida.

Hope you have a great day out there, and enjoy the nice weather that should be dominant across much of the nation for much of today!

D.J. Kayser from WeatherNation

Storms and Sun

Hurricane Danielle continues to disrupt the shipping lanes in the Atlantic today, although losing some of her punch. Her northward wobble will take her well east of Bermuda, and eventually a northeastward turn will bring it over colder waters and weaken the storm in the northern Atlantic. Until Danielle is able to turn away from the current path, she is holding up our weather pattern across the U.S. High pressure is stretched out from New York to Missouri, keeping the Ohio Valley very warm and dry. A cold front slipping into northwestern Minnesota and the Dakotas may actually retrograde slightly back to the west, stalled by Danielle’s blocking pattern. Eventually, our pattern will once again become progressive, and a shot of cooler air is expected to shoot down across the northern tier of states.

Tropical storm Earl is racing toward the west at about 21 mph. Winds are currently sustained around 60 mph, and Earl could reach hurricane status(a sustained wind of 74 mph)as soon as tonight. Tropical storm watches have been issued for the Leeward Islands, with approach imminent Sunday night. Behind Earl, a slightly unorganized tropical wave is set to take shape, and could become a tropical cyclone within the next 36 hours. This storm could become Fiona, following a very similar path to Earl. The Atlantic storm season kicked into high gear, as we round the season’s peak and head into fall.

Our broad area of high pressure is keeping a big portion of the country soaked in sunshine. I was checking out the ultraviolet index today, and a number of cities will be experiencing levels considered high or very high. Here’s a chart to help you figure out forecast levels you may see printed in the newspaper or online. Although your UV index may be 2 or less at times, you’re still being exposed to ultraviolet rays through the clouds. UV readings in the low range during winter months is quite deceiving! Ultraviolet strength is doubled when the rays reflect back off snow. Once the UV index climbs into the high range, best to lather up in a sunscreen with an SPF value higher than 15. As the UV index climbs into the very high and extreme categories, the sun becomes even more dangerous. Try and avoid lengthy exposure during the sun’s strongest period, 10 AM to 4 PM. Wear an SPF 15 or greater and be sure to reapply every couple of hours. Keep sunglasses on and maybe even throw on a hat before heading outside. Be sure to find protection in shade, if you must be outdoors during the day.

Play it safe and keep yourself protected, but at the same time, enjoy a little natural vitamin d from that big, yellow-orange ball in the sky!

Meteorologist Bryan Karrick, WeatherNation LLC

Active Atlantic Basin

Since there really isn’t much to talk about across the lower 48, thought we would continue our focus on a VERY active Atlantic basin and African continent. As of this writing, Danielle had strengthened to a category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 135 mph(& higher gusts.) She may strengthen a little before curling well to the east of Bermuda. A little further west, Tropical Storm Earl continues its rapid push to the west at 17 mph, packing winds sustained at 45 mph. He will more than likely become a hurricane over the weekend, possibly a major storm by the middle of next week. Hot on Earl’s heels, a tropical wave just coming off the coast of Africa may make tropical cyclone status later today or tonight. This would be Fiona, yet another storm expected to gain strength and impact the Atlantic basin through next week. Finally, several disturbances on the African continent have the potential to push off the west African coast, wondering into the train of storms already plaguing the shipping lanes.

Speaking of hurricanes, today is the 5 year anniversary of the first landfall of Katrina. Residents in New Orleans know all too well the fury of one of Earth’s meanest category 5 hurricanes. Over 1800 lives were lost, most of them in Louisiana. The shear size of Katrina was mind-boggling. Devastation could be seen for over 100 miles across the southeastern parts of the U.S. Now recorded as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history, Katrina topped $75 billion in damage. New Orleans continues to SLOWLY recover, but will never experience life as it once was in the Big Easy. Now as all eyes turn toward the activity in the Atlantic, residents along coastal communities of the U.S. prepare for what could be a busy end to the hurricane season.

Back up to the lower 48, and a pattern favoring quiet conditions over most of the eastern 2/3 of the country. A sprawling area of high pressure extends from the eastern Great Lakes back down to south Texas. A stationary boundary drifting across the southeast will fuel scattered showers and thunderstorms from South Carolina, down through Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Another system slowly pushing over the Rockies will spread showers from the western Dakotas, back down through Wyoming and parts of Colorado. Showers and thunderstorms will also spread up through the 4-corners region, especially over Arizona. Meanwhile, our large area of high pressure has worked the extreme heat and humidity down to the deep south, with pockets of 90s & 100-degree heat sliding up along the lee side of the Rockies, minus the moisture. Fall-like air continues spilling into New England and the Pacific Northwest, with highs in the 60s & 70s today.

Hope you enjoy the weather in your neighborhood this LAST weekend of August!

Meteorologist Bryan Karrick, WeatherNation LLC

August 2010
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