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Monday, September 29, 2008

Wake Me Up, When September Ends

September rainfall is roughly twice that of normal after a flirt with two tropical systems (well one that was not named, but you know my view on that).
Monday, the markets on Wall Street Crashed. By mid week, our temperatures will crash. I will be off Tuesday and Wednesday- a time when the next cold front will bring us more showers, and a brand new Canadian air mass. I want to jump ahead to Wednesday evening (right before I get back)...
The Upper level trough with this next wave will arrive by Wednesday with two things to keep in mind:
First- the air mass itself supports temperatures that will likely stay in the 60s during the afternoons into the weekend.
Second- Thinking of how the clouds built up quickly today, we now how to watch these vort maxes or 'spokes of energy' wrapping around the trough. I've highlighted the trough in purple, but the yellow shading at the bottom of the trough here on Wednesday night is a sign that it will not be completely clear. The cold air aloft will help clouds to form quickly, and there might even be a stray shower. This is a classic example of 'instability'. When the sun goes down, the clouds clear, and the overnight temperatures get even colder. So by Thursday, and especially Friday morning, we could have temperatures dropped deep into the 40s. Not quite the first frost, but we are getting there.

Below is an active link to the hourly temperatures to follow the cold air on the way...

Storm Did What I Expected, Were You Dissapointed?

I got a few emails over the weekend and more at the station this morning. The theme: Why are these storms not as wet or windy as predicted?
Last week I spend a lot of time discussing what this storm would do. On Friday I pointed out the winds at the beaches had exceeded 50mph already. The rain on Friday was hard to find, since we 'dry slotted', but we did get hit on Saturday. Not only did we get hit, not only did the storms contain lightning and thunder from Friday night through Saturday, but some of those downpours produced flooding.
This is an example of how rain can be heavy in some spots, and neglect others. But Saturday did hit most of us pretty hard:
Rainfall at BWI was 3.57", but this Doppler estimate shows over 5 inches in Baltimore County that resulted in significant flooding. This map shows the area that got hit hard lines up with I-83 and Falls Rd. That was the reason for two Flood Warnings that were posted Saturday night in Hunt Valley and Shawan. That all drains into the Jones Falls.... which if you saw our coverage on ABC2- was flooding Mount Washington in north Baltimore.
Below is a wider image to show show these bands set up. I did get a few reports from Harford and Cecil County with over 5 inches of rain as well, which was after this image was recorded.
Officially: BWI has had 6.73" of rain this month. Nearly double that of normal, and well above the only 0.35" last September. For the year, we are more than 5 inches above normal, while last year we were almost 9 inches below normal at this time. That explains why we have been reporting about the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2008 as seen on Another round of rain is expected Tuesday night and Wednesday. I will make a mid afternoon post on that, since I will be off those days....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rolling In Off The Ocean on a Storm With No Name

A no name storm yesterday leads to recently named storm this weekend. More about my paraphrasing lyrics and soon to be 'Hurricane' Kyle below...

I do want to start with this satellite image of our no name Non Tropical- Tropical Storm. The convection, or developing storms around the center of circulation appeared to develop an eye off shore. This storm was responsible for coastal flooding and wave heights over 15 feet. My newly beloved Outer Banks of North Carolina took a hit on Nags Head with flooding on Virginia Dare Trail and Croatan Highway. But just like many tropical systems interacting the east coast, the rain and wind spread out on the north side. That is due to the onshore flow. But was some dry air wraps in off of the land, I highlighted a dry slot in yellow. that has caused the heavy rain band to split to the north s the center of circulation continued to push westward into the North/South Carolina border.
This dry slot can bust a rain forecast for some while others verify. Yesterday's rain ranged from Baltimore: 0.28"
Eastern Shore's American Corner 1.63"
Ocean City: 2.00" (Doppler Radar Estimated)
The radar image from Thursday evening posted here shows the onshore flow and the broken bands of rain. That distinct eye like circulation made landfall between Myrle Beach, SC and Wilmington, NC. The afternoon will generate more rain, but it's a matter of watching where they develop to determine where it goes.

While heavy rain hit the Eastern Shore and beaches that resulted in 1- 3 inches yesterday, the banding has split the rain into pieces. The models I posted yesterday, and the updates since still show the heaviest rain near the center of the storm to our south, and the tropical feed off of the Atlantic into metro New York to our north.

As I mentioned yesterday, the combination of this storm and strong High Pressure east of Maine have funneled steady and sturdy winds well north of the storm. Here are the strongest winds from Thursday's reported on our Storm Center Weathernet:
Fenwick: 52 mph
Lewes, The University of DE : 50 mph
Rehoboth, Beach Plaza Hotel: 57 mph

Ocean City Chamber of Commerce: 56 mph

US Drought Monitor Updated September 23rd...

"After nine days I let the horse run free
cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings"
OK the classic song from America is a stretch, but I could not get it out of my head. Instead of nine days, it's nine months into the year to bring some relief to the drought in the southeast mountains and coastal North Carolina.

Here is the active link to the Eastern Satellite and Radar for you to compare what areas in need are getting hit with rain.

The second storm I mentioned is yesterday, that will hit New England is now Tropical Storm Kyle. This circulation around our storm will steer this quickly north. It should stay well offshore, but reach Hurricane status before clipping Cape Cod.

Here is the National Hurricane Center forecast.

I have to leave it at this point. I have a busy slate today, but I will try to post more on the rest of this storm and our weekend later today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Give That Thing A Name

That thing being this storm off of the coast. It is impressive. While Air Force Recon flights have determined that is was not 'tropical' in nature, it sure is behaving like it.
Here is the 3 hour active radar:
The wind field is stronger on the north side. At 6:30 this morning, Ocean City had winds to 46mph, and over 30mph were hitting Annapolis. The center of circulation off of the North and South Carolina coastline is not truly a warm core, but there is a banding nature to the rain as it advances west and north. It is also sitting over the warm gulf stream, which is helping it to develop.
I say "give it a name", not to add to the hype, but follow a protocol of consistency. Last year the National Hurricane Center named a storm that was actually Sub Tropical - like this one. It was May 9th when Andrea was named a 'sub tropical storm'. A hybrid of a tropical and mid latitude cyclone. By giving this current coastal storm a name, it would bring more attention to coastal communities as to the threat it poses, and add more credibility to researching this type of system.
So, what is that threat?
Wind will average 15-35mph around Baltimore, but a steady 40-50 mph with higher gusts is what I expect in Ocean city and parts of the Eastern Shore.
Flooding from a steady wind piling up water on the western shore of the bay.

Rain may provide more flooding. Here is the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center's outlook which highlights the heavies rain off of the coast. The red shading from Ocean City to New York City can expect 2.5 to 4 inches, while another wave of low pressure could ride into New England leaving them with 5 inches of rain or more. For us in Baltimore, I think 1-3 inches of rain is a safe call.

Below is the NAM Model outlook showing the 'coastal' storm sliding westward into North Carolina. The blue arrow shows the strong east to northeast wind as a result of the pressure gradient between this Low and the High off of the Coast of Maine. You will also notice that there is also a band of heavy rain that pushes into Long Island. NY Friday evening. Here in Maryland we will get split between the initial low and this second wave, but our primary shot will be tonight and tomorrow morning. The upper level low will ride overhead this weekend, keeping the threat of rain around, but easing up by Sunday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Link to Penn State's eWall

Sorry if you wanted to view the model this morning and found no link. Here is the link to Penn State's eWall of the GFS from this morning.

Fog Video Coastal Storm

I can't believe I went all day with video posted that did not work. For some reason, You Tube does not like the computer model video I showed, so today I will just post the link. Before you check out today's video below- please help me out with the poll on the right. I know some of you have problems playing video on your work computers. This may help me with more posts in the future...
Below is video I recorded over Loch Raven Reservoir when I was working in 'News Chopper 11" back in the fall of 1998. It was a common scene in around sunrise, but I only took video this morning. In retrospect I wish I had done more.
This is Steam Fog that is pretty common in the fall with longer cooler nights, and water that is relatively warm.

To answer the question from yesterday: No, I do not think we can rule out another 80F day. We hit 79F Sunday and Monday. The normal high is in the mid 70s, so a bump a few extra degrees should not be that hard. Also, fall around these parts is a gradual change with give and take. Almost like a marriage with early compromise, until one spouse dominates. No, not in my house, but I digress. These cool snaps are part of the give and take. Often when it gets cool too fast, the reverse will balance out within a week or two. Consider this past September: The 6th was wet with a high of 78F, but by the 13th we were back to 93F. I do believe fall is settling in early than we are use to, and winter will be here by Thanksgiving, but a few more warm days will pop up in between.

The next few days will seem like fall is in full swing. Yesterday I tried to post a movie of the Canadian Model showing a coastal low pushing into New Jersey.
This morning, the outlook is not as threatening for us, but still quite wet. The initial low will slide into North Carolina and spread rain our way by Thursday afternoon and last into the weekend. Combined with strong High Pressure in eastern Canada, we will have a steady east to north east flow keeping us int he 60s and wet. A secondary storm will form off of the coast, but instead of reaching us, it will head towards New England. Here is a link to the Penn State eWall. Slide your cursor along the top (hours are listed as (f36, f48, etc) to see the movement of the Low Pressure off of the coast work back north and west.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blocking Pattern and Retrograding Low

Now that fall is officially here, temperatures should begin steady drop. But the pattern we are in now will enhance that. The easterly wind has added some moisture and helped to hold our overnight temperatures in the 60s by the bay. The first signs of the fog season have begun as well.

Blocking Pattern
Typically weather systems in our part of the world, ride the westerlies and move west to east. Occasionally a 'block' in the upper level pattern can deflect that flow, or even reverse it for us.
Here is the 300mb (about 30,000ft) chart analysis for this morning showing the development of an upper level Low just to our south. That begins to deflect the flow, with the main branch of the jet stream in the Rockies and riding north in to Canada and clipping New England. This pattern in and of itself is a weak block, but our surface winds have been dominated by the surface High to our north dragging in a north east wind.

As we watch this pattern evolve, the upper level low gets stronger and instead of just blocking, it can actually steer weather systems the opposite way. In this case, from East to West. Here you can see the Thursday morning 300mb map with a more pronounced upper level Low and a distinct flow I highlighted coming off of the Atlantic and riding from southeast to northwest over Maryland.
That will help take a developing area of low pressure off of the coast, and bring it inland- instead of jumping out to sea.

The net result however will be wet for us as soon as Thursday and into the weekend. The surface low will follow this path just to our north. the Canadian positions it in the New Jersey coast then stalling for a Day in Northern PA. A few other models have slightly different tracks, but since this is not a winter snow or ice event, it's a matter of who will get more rain. Either way, it will get wet again and be a big chilly as this happens. We might spend a few days without reaching 70F.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Begins. Equinox Not Equal

At 11:44 am (Eastern) fall will officially begin. It marks the moment when the suns focus crosses the equator and slips to the southern Hemisphere for the next 6 months. The word equinox sounds a lot like 'equal', and that is how I introduced the concept to my students when I was teaching. My physics teaching in High School tried to convince the lass that the equal force of the sun's gravitational pull on the equator would allow an egg to stand on it's end. Not true! It's a demonstration I continue to see in both autumn and spring. I even did this my first year on TV. Since I could not duplicate it, I used double sided scotch tape to keep the egg upright. I have also mastered the bar trick of balancing a salt shaker on it's corner base, but that's another story for another time. Truth is though, if you have the right egg, a flat spot to sit it on... just add patience and a steady hand to do the balancing.
I was also taught that it was the day when the entire planet also had equal time of daylight and darkness as well. That is not entirely true. That's right, tomorrow being the first 'full' day of autumn will not have a longer night in time than daylight. Sure, the nights are getting longer. In fact this is the fastest change we can see in Maryland, as we are now losing 3 minutes of daylight each day. But, you have to consider that light bends. Remember that double rainbow video I posted two weeks ago? Or just think about the red and orange sky in the morning and evening. That is a demonstration of how light bends in our atmosphere, especially at dawn and dusk. So while the sun itself should be in our view for 12 hours today (splitting the time with darkness), the light of the sun bends and gives us an extra 8 minutes.
Sunrise: 6:54am Sunset 7:03pm

On Thursday, we can honestly say the night is longer than the day. Then we can focus on the beginning of the fog season. I'll have more on that tomorrow with some great video of fog from above.
On a side note:
Walgreens will now display severe weather watches and warnings along with other vital information on their electronic outdoor signs. I wonder if there will be a run on overpriced umbrellas (barely good for one use). Could be a stock pick this week....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pass the Bucky

I've been a little cryptic this week, and have not had much in the way weather insight- but I got a whole new perspective 'forward' from my trip to Wisconsin. This trip has been more about weather with a lack of weather at the same time. It's about approaching debut of our upgraded weather system thanks the the ingenious folks at Weather Central. There are some very cool things I can't wait to share on the air, but we are still two weeks away.
On my last full day here, Bucky Badger along with my tour guide, took me around the campus of the University of Wisconsin and Madison. Some more of the leaves are turning on this campus and city surrounded by two lakes. This is an absolutely gorgeous spot of the country. That's right, Wisconsin!
Beyond the fading era of Brett Favre, cheese heads, and cow jokes, I am floored by the simple beauty of of this area. I wish I could share more than these pictures, but it was enhanced by late summer weather. Here are a few spots I toured Thursday with Bucky Badger... I'll be back to straight up weather stuff next week.

Bucky on the main campus ....

The Wisconsin Capitol is on a hill in the middle of the city. A city that is on an isthmus- between two lakes. Both lakes can be seen from here, and each with it's own character. This view is at the end of State Street, which connects to the University and a bunch of restaurants and bars. A good spot for weather observation. Yeah, I saw two cirrus and a contrail in the afternoon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I have not seen this in a long time.

First: Big trees turning. I did see some color at my house last week, but here in Wisconsin, there is a little bit more color in the leaves. Oh, for some reason, the people here also merge 1/2 mile before construction signs tell them to shift lanes. Wow! People do know how to drive. I wish I could see these drivers in the snow.

Justin Berk AMS CBM Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Steam Fog

September and October are fog season. The longer, cooler nights and relatively warmer water often produce foggy mornings. I use to see this over Loch Raven Reservoir when I was flying in the helicopter every day.
Here is a pond at The Greens in Ijamsville. You can see the fog forming off of the warmer water just like steam rising from a hot bath. While it has not completely cleared out yet, it will soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From Near and Far

I guess I picked a good week to go on a business trip. A very quiet weather pattern will dominate. Fairly typical September stuff. Low humidity will lead to cool mornings and warm afternoons. In the middle, a ton of sun.
So for today, all I want to do is direct your attention to the Chesapeake Bay. Last Saturday, NOAA deployed a Smart Buoy at the mouth of the Susquehanna river, where it meets the Chesapeake Bay. It is the fifth in a series to track the nutrient levels in the Bay.
I could elaborate more, but I am in a hurry this morning, so click here for the full story.

On a side note, USA Today continues to tap into recent events to support it's agenda. Recently they posted a story about research showing proof that Global Warming is leading to stronger hurricanes. The problem with the research is that it is just a small comparison- back to 1981. Why not go back farther to the last height of the 30 year cycle? Say the 1950s? At least they quoted a reasonable source- Christopher Landsea who helped Dr. William Gray develop his long range forecasting for tropical storms, and currently works at the National Hurricane Center. Click here for their article.

Monday, September 15, 2008

From Above

I am doing business in the upper Mid West this week. It's nice to see the clouds from the other side. As I enter a colder climate and into the air mass that is heading for Maryland, I wonder how many more leaves will turn at my house when I get back Friday. I'll try to post while I am away, but work is about a big change to the weather at Ch2

Justin Berk AMS CBM Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike's Storm Surge Charts

Here are two charts of water level in Galveston and Manchester Texas. As you can see, although the water level rose well before the storm, it did not go above 15 feet in these locations, which made a big difference in flooding. It was bad, but it could have been worse.

Give credit to the National Hurricane Center with a pretty good forecast track. The eye made landfall in Galveston at 2:10am local time. The path and position of the eye kept the worst storm surge just east of Houston. It could have been much worse if the eye had been 20-40 miles left (south west) of the actual track. As a result the winds in Houston were more from the east as opposed to the south. Now we wait for the full assessment in daylight. I would suggest there are devastating results in spots not covered yet...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike's Storm Surge Arrives Early

Click here to see the water charts for Galveston, TX. Water began flooding this parking lot and streets this morning. Landfall is expected after midnight- around High Tide.
track Ike in the Tropics Tab Above...

Ike Could Be Worse than Katrina

The slight shift in the track over the past 12 hours has put the direct target on Galveston and Houston, Texas.
There is agreement among most of the models on this path, which actually puts this metropolitan area closer to the path of the eye wall, which is where the strongest winds are found.
As of 5am, the winds increased slightly to 105mph. More important is that the hurricane force winds extend 120mph from the center. The tropical storm force wind field extends 450 miles from end to end. A large storm that will effect a large area.
This is going to be bad! There is no way to sugar coat this, and I do not think the hype is too much. The famous 1900 hurricane that killed 8,000 people prompted the building of a 17 foot sea wall in Galveston. It has yet to be challenged by a Hurricane. This storm should build a 15 foot storm surge with waves 32Ft tall as it makes landfall around high tide. Add in over 12 inches of rain and tornadoes on top of the max winds, and I have a hard time accepting that this storm will spare this metropolitan area.

The NFL made the move last night to postpone the Football game between the Ravens and Houston Texans has been postponed until Monday night. Is this a good move? Of course the game should not take place on Sunday, but what about the conditions of Houston on Monday. The damage to the infrastructure, plus the displacement of most of the population will make any travel difficult. Even if Reliant Stadium does survive better than the Superdome, and they have generator power- what about the rest of the region. While I have a fantasy football player in this game, I don't think this was thought out properly. Perhaps the game should have been moved to New Orlean's Superdome, or even one of the University stadiums inland. What do you think?

It should be noted that the National Weather Service put out a statement yesterday saying "People in the path of this storm will face imminent death". That is the same statement put out 1 day before Katrina hit New Orleans. At that time the storm was a Category 5. This storm is still a Category (as of early Friday). Here is the rest of the statement from the NWS for Galveston and Houston areas:












Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day of Silence, Questions about Ike

There is a lot I would like to talk about today:
The bee colony in the wall of my bathroom...
The rain on the way...
Hurricane Ike...

I just don't feel right posting on this somber day. Too many personal things that had happened on that dreaded 7 years ago.

Life does go on, and we can not let terrorists break out spirit.

We will be bombarded with images and memorials. It will be painful for many of us, but please

There will be a lot of anxiety about our next disaster- this one natural and forecast. Here are the computer models from Wednesday Night for Hurricane Ike. As of this morning, it was a large storm. Hurricane force winds extended 115 miles from the center. Tropical Storm force winds extended 230 miles away. The pressure indicated that the measured 100mph winds should be closer to 130mph+. It look like a contraction and speed increase is likely today. The track is scary. The latest trend has been to pull it farther up the Texas coast. The NHC path takes it just to the west of Galveston and Houston early (pre-dawn) Saturday morning. Football fans will be questioning what will happen to the Raven's vs. Texans

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Turning Leaves, TRMM and Ike

I am personally excited about the temperatures cooling down. My pool is still opened, but there is a point when the heat just sucks the energy out of you. I am there! This is why I love a four seasons climate. Especially around these parts, when it is different every year. Consider last year, the leaves were still on the trees past Halloween into Thanksgiving. This year, there are already turning. I saw a stretch in I-83 yesterday with brilliant yellow and even red. I will take a photo today and post it tomorrow. With the pictures, it's just words here....

So let's push past the chill on the way, and jump back to the tropics with Ike. Here is the TRMM Satellite just before it hit Cuba. That is the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. This was Sunday with winds of 132mph.
The rainfall analysis shown on this image was made with data from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) and TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) instruments . They are overlaid on an image that used TRMM's Visible and infrared (VIRS) data.

This is one of the tools used to help determine how much rainfall has occurred with a land falling storm. This image shows that there was potential for well over 1 foot of rain, that passed over the southern Bahamas, and Haiti which has been hit by Fay, Gustav and Hanna.

Here is the 7 day total up through yesterday. It might be hard to see here, but TRMM shows the general range of 4 to 14 inches of rain in Cuba and Haiti. This is important to follow as Ike is likely to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico this week. The current track continues on the southern path and aiming for Corpus Christie, TX Friday night and Saturday morning. You can continue to track with StormPulse in my tropics page...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are you ready for Fall?

Today's Cold Front has prompted this Flood Watch. These are the same areas that had over 2 inches of rain with Hanna. Many spots got well over 3 inches, and the soil is soggy. Not much room for any more rain to soak in, so any downpours could lead to flooding.
There does appear to be a wave of Low Pressure trying to form along the cold front. That may slow it down, and enhance the rain. The transition from this humid weather to some autumn chill should produce amounts close to 1 inch or more.

Early Autumn?
Labor Day and the State Fair have passed. The tropics are just way too active now. Oh, and there is that issue of the leaves turning early. That's right, for those of us that live north and west of Baltimore. Away from the urban heat island and warm Chesapeake Bay... the leaves began to turn at the end of August. In fact at my house, I had 2 trees already lose about 40% of their leaves. I can't blame the weather, because we had a good bit of rain most of the summer, and the heat was not that extreme. Some had speculated that it's a precursor to a hard winter, or even a result of the lowest sunspot activity in centuries (which will result in Global Cooling). Either way, it started to feel like fall, and that same old feeling will return this week.
Here is the 850mb map for Wednesday mid day. This translates to the following:
Wind direction: North East
AfternoonTemperatures: Low 70s
Overnight Temperatures: Near 50 (40s north and west)

The same High Pressure responsible for this chill has helped to push Hurricane Ike's track farther south. The long reach will likely keep that storm on a path for southern portion of the Gulf Coast. Se when you see rain in our forecast for the weekend, it's not Ike, but yet another storm in an active northern branch of early fall.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hanna's Gift: Rain and Rainbows

With the talk of the week come and gone (by the way, I think the forecast and track worked out pretty well), we did get some good things out of the storm.
This Doppler estimated Rainfall shows:
Yellow- Over 1.5 inches
Red - Over 3 inches
Purple- Over 6 inches west side of DC. Tony Pann informed me about numerous water rescues.
More rain fell north and west
Less rain fell around the beltway and the eastern shore...
After a wet spring and summer, August was about 2 inches below normal on rainfall. the 1.64" at BWI made up for some of that and keeps us 3.29" above normal on the year.

BEAUTY How about the rainbows... I did say plural... there was a double rainbow that formed after 7pm and was visible in most spots. Technically everyone sees a different rainbow anyway, I did not want to geek out today. This was most likely the brightest, and best looking natural rainbow I have ever seen. Glad I can a camera handy. Enjoy the pictures (which do not do the full double arch justice). I also have a YouTube video below....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hanna Visible Satellite in Maryland

Here is the satellite image form around 3pm, showing the center of Tropical Storm Hanna over the lower Chesapeake Bay. At this point, most of the rain was west of Baltimore, while much lighter amounts were closer to the storm center. My morning post is below....

Hanna: Just the Basics

First Some Weather Cams along the shore:
Ocean City, MD

Rehoboth, DE

Wildwood, NJ

It is going to be a long, busy day... Here are some of the graphics we are working on. The speed had picked up a little this morning, so the timing of the worst part of the storm may begin early to mid aftrernoon. Heavy rain has already developed as of 9am. I have noticed the upslope in the terrain to our north and west has enhanced the rainfall. There could be higher amounts to our west. You can track that in my TV Graphics or Radar tabs above on the main web site.
If I get a chance, I will post a little more later.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hurricane Isabel Coverage

While Hanna is about to roll in, and definitely not the same storm as Isabel, I thought I would at least dig up some of my old coverage and share it here. It's hard to believe that it has been 5 years. Hopefully your browser will allow the YouTube Player below. You should be able to scroll among 6 different videos by just placing your mouse on the screen. I will have more on Hanna to post on Saturday morning.

Hanna Hits Saturday

I hate, and yet I love these mornings. There is so much to talk about, it all seems like a rush on TV. But that is the benefit of my blog and web site. That is how I can share everything. I am still pressed on time, but I wanted to share as much as possible as soon as possible.
The Track (as of this morning), has Hanna as a Tropical Storm and passing over Salisbury on Saturday evening. The wind field is large with this storm, so the area that will have 40mph winds or higher will be large.
I have included Baltimore in the zone with 40-60mph winds, at least with gusts. On the Bay and the Delmarva- the winds will be holding the full force of the storm, which will likely be steady at 45-65mph on Saturday night.

WATCHES (as of Friday morning)
As of this morning, a Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Bay, and 'Coastal Areas' of Harford, Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the rest of us.
Basically, we all will get something. I also want to point out that tornadoes are possible. With this path, the main threat of that will be on the Delmarva. So what else, and better yet, when?
I will answer all of that below... but the path is most important. Considering the map above, the path into the Lower Eastern Shore will bring us primarily a northeast to north wind as it passes. This will affect for how the water piles up or drains around the Chesapeake. That wind direction will likely help to drain (not surge the water like Isabel) , yet push it up against the western bay shores... there will be flooding.
Regardless, water levels will be important. Here are some of the High Tides I was able to
gather for the shoreline areas. The worst part of the storm will be Saturday evening into very early Sunday morning. The Saltwater tides web link below can help you find many more spots and their tides...

Saltwater Tides Link

Models, Rainfall and Flooding

Here is the GFS Model. I have been following this one all week.
The overnight run had the center of Hanna just north of Ocean City at 8pm on Saturday. You will notice the yellow shading over Baltimore that indicated the heaviest rainfall just north and west of the center. Often times these storms will dump more our way than near the center as it interacts with higher terrain and other weather systems.

The Canadian Model also shows 8pm Saturday for the close approach of Hanna.
This position is a little farther south- or just over the southern Chesapeake Bay. If anything, I see the same path, just a slighter slower solution. The time frame here still has us with the worst between 6pm Saturday evening through midnight.

I was looking at the higher resolution NAM model and was concerned with an attempt to slow down or stall Hanna on top of us.
Here you can see the 8pm Saturday evening position near Raleigh/Durham, NC, then reaching us on 8am Sunday. That is a dramatic slow down, and seems to be the only model doing so.
While the cold front to our west is falling apart, the upper level winds will still have enough of a southwesterly push to keep Hanna moving at a brisk pace ranging from15-25mph. This may be using bad data, but I needed to mention it just in case it found something no one else is seeing.
Basically, using the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center maps, here is the forecast for rainfall:
There is a bulls eye (X) over northern New Jersey with 7.99 inches.
Baltimore: 5-6 inches
Westminster: 4-5 inches
Annapolis/Easton: 5-7 inches
Ocean City: less than 4 inches.

All impressive amounts, but should be taken with a grain of salt. There are so many things that can influence rain totals, mainly if and where rain bands set up. We could get a lot more in spots, or a lot less. Either way, the idea goes along with what I mentioned above. The heaviest rain will fall just north and west of the path of Hanna.

Just to recap my forecast:
This evening: Chance of thundershowers.
Tonight: Developing rain/thundershowers. Especially by morning.
Saturday morning: Rain and wind E 10-25mph
Saturday afternoon: Heavy rain, wind E to NE 25-45mph. Temperatures: Mid 70s
Saturday 6pm - Sunday 2am: Heavy rain, water level 1-3 feet higher on the west side of the bay. Wind ranging from 35-65mph Strongest winds on the Bay and Eastern Shore.
Sunday: Clearing, breezy early. Fine for the Raven's game in the afternoon. Partly cloudy to mostly sunny. High 80-85F