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Pattern Supports Farther South Track Of Irma

Good morning bloggers,

Happy Labor Day!  We have a strong cold early September cold front that is on the move and tracking across the plains states on this holiday.  And, Hurricane Irma continues to throw tropical weather forecasters for a loop, as Irma is now going out of previous forecast fans.  As we discussed late last week, Irma may be just slow enough to be left behind by that big eastern trough and end up south of most forecast tracks. This is now becoming more likely with the trend that developed on the models overnight. We will discuss this and the overall weather pattern in today’s blog entry.

First of all, thank you for sharing in this weather experience, the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the Cycling Weather Pattern Hypothesis.  On the Weather2020 site I am updating the video this morning as we track this storm and the weather pattern and you can click on the blog to join in the conversation and let us know what you think or if you have any questions.

Now, let’s begin this discussion today with a look at the very early morning satellite picture, a visible picture taken from Weathertap.com. We can see the very well organized hurricane Irma. Irma is a category 3 storm with 120 mph winds this morning. Irma continues its west southwest track this morning:

SAT_ATL_VIS

The forecast tracks of Hurricane Irma presented by the computer models have been coming in all over the place from threatening New York City to being modeled to hit South Carolina as of yesterday. But, the trend is for it to be farther south with some confidence beginning to grow in this direction:

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The farther south track should have been expected based on the the big eastern trough lifting out. Here is a look at that big trough forecast to be swinging through New England as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots on Thursday night. A cold front will be moving through the northeast and some rain is likely, but it may just end in time for the game. We will have to look closer into that timing in the next few days.  The trough causing this storm is right on the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis schedule.  If Hurricane Irma were just one or two days faster it would have been picked up by this trough and ejected out harmlessly over the Atlantic Ocean, but it is not one or two days faster. It is a bit slower and still moving west southwest and this is why Irma is now forecast to go out of all of those other forecast fans that were put out there the past few days.

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Irma is far enough south where there will literally be no influence from the westerly belt and this deep eastern trough.  Look at what is forecast to happen to the upper level flow by Sunday:

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The upper low near California is actually leftover from what used to be Tropical Storm Lidia.  That type of system would have produced 10 to 15 inches of rain if it were east of the Rocky Mountains, but because the Pacific Ocean current moves south from the Gulf of Alaska, the water is colder and thus the lower levels of the atmosphere are much more stable. A few showers and thunderstorms did affect Southern California yesterday, but now that system is offshore.  Off to the east of the Rocky Mountains, the warm Gulf of Mexico provides the fuel necessary for what happened in Houston and the wettest hurricane producing rains ever recorded ended up happening with Major Hurricane Harvey becoming a likely $150 Billion disaster.  Hurricane Irma is now caught in the flow with very little steering currents with that eastern trough lifting out and moving off the east coast. Irma will likely continue on this southern track, but that weak upper level cyclonic circulation over Tennessee and the overall pattern should be just strong enough to lift Hurricane Irma north into Florida, but just like Harvey, Irma may slow down significantly. This could be another massive rain event that would unfold over parts of the southeastern United States.

The overnight GFS model is actually, shockingly, in agreement with the European Model and the Canadian Model in tracking Hurricane Irma to near Cuba by this weekend. A very strong early September high pressure area will be in place over the Great Lakes States as you can see on this surface forecast below:

gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_24

On this next map you can see that overnight version of the GEFS spaghetti plots. This is already so very different from yesterday:

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Here is another spaghetti plot showing that there is even one model that takes the remnants of Irma to just east of Kansas City:

11L_geps_latest

The track will likely take this southern route. Why? Because that eastern trough is leaving it behind and with no strong steering currents, this system will continue its western track, then slow down, and then finally turn north.  Florida is now becoming the main target. Just yesterday, Florida should certainly been on alert, but this should have been emphasized as a strong probability. Maybe the local meteorologists in Florida did strongly suggest this southern track. I am not sure, but right now I am sure they are all over it.

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Have a great Labor Day. The cold front is on the move. It will likely move through KC dry as we are having another rather dry first half of a month. The new weather pattern will set up in the next five to six weeks. We will discuss this evolution soon. I am so ready for something new, and it will be a unique pattern that has never happened before. What will it bring? 20″ of snow this winter? Can you even imagine that? That would actually seem like a lot after the past two almost snowless winters.

Gary

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