Before we look at our forecast, lets take a quick moment to evaluate the forecast in the eastern part of the country as all eyes are on Hurricane Joaquin and flooding rain potential.
Hurricane Joaquin remains a powerful category 4 hurricane with 130mph sustained winds as it slowly moves west “for now”. The eye has been obscured tonight by a lot of high cloudiness in satellite imagery otherwise the overall organization of the hurricane is healthy.
IR satellite image of Hurricane Joaquin tonight
Compared to Wednesday, a remarkable shift to the east occurred with all forecast model guidance. This keeps the threat of a landfalling hurricane very low if at all with potentially more impact to Bermuda than the East Coast. Here’s the late evening spaghetti plot modeling of the hurricane with the envelope shifting east from earlier runs.
Spaghetti Plot Modeling of Hurricane Joaquin’s track and intensity
Indeed, the National Hurricane Center made a significant adjustment to their forecast track / cone offshore of the United States.
11:00pm EDT Advisory from NHC
This is not to say the coastal areas of the U.S. will be spared entirely. There is a favorable setup in the Southeast to the Carolinas for a historic rain event and serious flooding potential to unfold. An upper level low spinning over this area will likely combine with a plume of tropical moisture off the hurricane to generate a very heavy rain axis over North Carolina, South Carolina to Georgia with 10″ to locally 20″ of rain possible!!!
500mb upper level low over the Southeast creates favorable lift for large rain event
Deep moisture plume seen from the hurricane into the Carolinas. Yellow to deep red indicates strong lift for heavy rain band to develop. Mountains wring out additional rainfall too as upslope flow into the Appalachians increases rainfall forecasts
Meanwhile, we are locked into a stellar autumn pattern of dry air flowing in on a northeast wind with origins from Canada! Chilly mornings will be followed by mild afternoons with plenty of sunshine in the forecast. Changes in this pattern evolve early next week as winds switch around to the south to southwest pumping in warmth, an increase in humidity and perhaps a few showers or a thunderstorm by the middle of next week.
It’s too early to say with any confidence on rain chances Wednesday into Thursday. Some computer modeling is very dry while other models bring a solid risk of scattered showers and t-storms. For now, I will maintain a 20% chance of rain both Wednesday and Thursday until I see better consensus from the various operational forecast models.
Friday Late Afternoon
Water Temperatures on area lakes
Unseasonably warm weather pattern builds back in next week