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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.

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