August 28, 2010: Keeping An Eye On The Tropics

**Reminder: The poll on Tropical Storm Earl and whether it will directly affect the area or not is still open, and will remain open until Wednesday. Vote your thoughts on the poll, which is in the upper right corner of the page, below the radar.**


With sunny skies and dry conditions still in place across the area, today is slightly warmer than yesterday, with high temperatures in the upper 70s to mid 80s. Temperatures, however, will warm up as a 5-day heat wave bring temperatures to the mid 90s across parts of the area between tomorrow and Thursday. Meanwhile, however, the tropics are becoming increasingly active, and will need to be closely monitored, as both Earl and what could be Fiona, will have an impact on at least parts of the East Coast, whether they directly affect the area or not, and may even affect the area.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

Tomorrow will be another sunny and dry day, however it will also be the first day of the heat wave. High temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80s to lower 90s inland, lower to mid 90s for the immediate NYC area, and in the upper 80s to lower 90s for Long Island and S CT. A WNW wind is expected.

Monday – Thursday: Heat Wave Continues

For Monday, temperatures will be hot once agin, with mid 90s expected for the immediate NYC area, however the models are showing the warmest 850 mb temperatures to our south, where Virginia up to Washington DC sould be in the upper 90s, with a few lower 100s possible. Tuesday will have similar temperatures, with Wednesday and Thursday likely to be slightly warmer as the warmest 850 mb temperatures move into the area, leading to high temperatures in the lower to mid 90s inland, mid to potentially upper 90s for the immediate NYC area, but with a SW wind, Long Island and S CT will not be as hot. Thursday, however, is likely to bring increased cloud cover, as a cold front should approach.

Thursday – Saturday: Cold Frontal Passage, Or Earl?

A cold front is expected to approach the area by Thursday, however the big question at this time is if Earl is close to the area or not. I am planning on having a detailed discussion on Earl tomorrow, however at this time, Earl slightly weakened, due to the LLC being briefly separated from the main convection. Since then, Earl’s LLC has gotten back under the convection, however Earl is moving very quickly, at 23 mph, and will have to slow down in order to intensify significantly.

This brief separation of Earl’s convection and its LLC, however, pushed Earl further south, and Earl is now likely to directly affect the northern Leeward Islands and potentially Puerto Rico as a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane. These areas should closely monitor Earl over the next day. Earl being further south and faster, however, increases Earl’s chances of having a direct impact on the East Coast.

Earl will then approach the Carolinas while the cold front is still to its west, and if the timing of the cold front is supportive, in the westernmost possible scenario, Earl may make landfall in eastern North Carolina, and as the cold front starts to push it out to sea, Earl will recurve north then NE, passing very close to the coast up to Cape Cod, including eastern Long Island, before going out to sea. If Earl starts to slow down and recurves earlier, as the current scenario expects, it will likely stay offshore, but it would be close to the coast, especially near eastern North Carolina and Cape Cod. The eastern scenario is that Earl starts to recurve very early, and passes very close to Bermuda, however this scenario is not too likely at this time.

While there is a lot of uncertainty on where Earl tracks, residents along the coast from eastern North Carolina to eastern New England need to monitor Earl, as while there is relatively low confidence at this time, Earl could affect these areas. More details will come on Earl over the next few days.

Longer Range: Cool Down, Warming Up Again, Then Fiona?

Whatever happens with Earl, a trough is still expected to move into the area by the weekend into the early week, bringing below average temperatures with high temperatures generally in the 70s across the area. By the middle of next week, however, the models are expecting another ridge to build into the East Coast, and a warm up is possible by then with above average temperatures.

Meanwhile, however, 97L, which should likely become Tropical Storm Fiona, is expected to strengthen into a hurricane, potential major hurricane according to most of the models, and with the set up at that time, they are showing potential Fiona making landfall somewhere along the East Coast. While it is too early to know what happens with this, as this is still far in the longer range, and there is low confidence with the storm track at this time, this invest also needs to be watched for potential impact on the eastern US due to the pattern in place. More details will also come on this invest over the next few days.

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