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Dangerous Hurricane Irma Threatens Florida

Good morning bloggers,

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Hurricane Irma has already been deadly and devastating over many islands on its path towards Florida. Now, where will it actually track. The hurricane is still on a steady west-northwest path and it will be making a hard turn to the north, but when will this turn take place?  The models are narrowing in on the most likely path. A few days ago I favored the path right up the middle of Florida due to some knowledge of what we know about the cycling weather pattern. I thought it would track to near Cuba before making the big turn. This continues to be the most favored path. If you have been following every model run, then you have seen so many solutions for where this powerful hurricane will track. Here are the many possible solutions from the spaghetti plots from early this morning valid at 6 PM Saturday, and then by early Sunday morning:

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The GFS and European models have converged on a solution to bring this hurricane into south Florida with the turn happening after it reaches the area just north of Cuba:

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This forecast above shows the GFS model solution of the Irma located only a few miles from Cuba at 2 PM eastern time Saturday.  This storm is still moving west-northwest at this point, but this is close to the time that the turn to the north will begin. A few hours later, then western Florida including Key West is more in the direct path, and a few hours earlier and Miami will be the target:

2By 8 AM Sunday, this GFS model is showing Major Hurricane Irma, likely a Category 4 storm, blasting the Florida Keys and about to track into the southern part of Florida.  This track will take Irma inland over more unpopulated areas of Florida, but this is just one of the possible forecasts, but one that I favor.  Just a 50 mile difference will be rather impacting. 50 miles farther to the east and Miami’s population center would be more in the direct path, and 50 miles farther west and Key West is more in the direct path. Either way there will be major impacts over many population centers in Florida.  This path down the middle of the state will allow for much more rapid weakening of the system, once it moves inland. The fuel, energy source, for hurricanes is the warm tropical water. Once the eye moves over any land mass, it will begin weakening, and this possible track is one that would likely see this system steadily weaken from a category 4 storm down to a Category 1 hurricane Sunday night into Monday as this system heads towards Georgia.

Just a few hours later, by 8 PM Sunday, this is where the GFS tracks this system:

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Here is an interesting map from Climateviewer.org showing the populations centers.  The city lights shows where most of the people live in Florida:

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This forecast track would take the eye of the storm over more unpopulated regions of Florida, but again this is just one of the forecasts. And, you can see what a 50 mile difference to the east would likely mean for the path going more directly over the population centers.  This track would still likely mean that all of south Florida would have Category 1 to Category 4 effects from Irma. There is a big difference between what would be the impacts from the full force of Irma. The track and strength of the storm at landfall will decide which areas have the catastrophic damage to the areas that have only some damage:

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Let’s see where the models track this system today.  The models should begin to narrow in and get a more consensus track as we are just two days from United States landfall from dangerous hurricane Irma.

Kansas City weather:

Suddenly it is dry. I may water the lawn for the first time all summer this weekend. It has not rained in September, and there is no chance of rain in sight.  There will be an effect from Irma over Missouri and Kansas as well, but it won’t be in the form of rain in KC. It will just influence a high pressure area to the north and northeast by early next week. We will look into this on 41 Action News today and tonight and in tomorrows blog entry. Here is the rainfall from this month, and last month:

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Thank you for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.  Let us know if you have any questions and go ask them over on the Weather2020 blog.

Gary

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