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Friday, September 5, 2008

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


Mr. Foot said...


Hope you’ll get this before the evening broadcast. You’ve been doing a masterful job of explaining the storm and impacts. The best of the area by far.

The one suggestion I’d like to make is that I have not yet seen a graphic on the news or the network site on PREPARATIONS.

If NHC issues a TSW, should that not be accompanied by a condensed list of their recommendations on getting ready for the storm?

They’re not just whistling Dixie over this. They’ve put out a specific list of preparations. I think the public deserves to see that on the 6 PM evening news and on the network site and your site.

Think of it as using this storm to train the public so that next time, preparations are not so difficult. Use it as a opportunity to build trust with viewers with a statement like: “If you’re looking for tips on how to prepare your family, there are links on our website, because even in the height of the storm, ABC2 2 WORKS FOR YOU.”

Once again, fabulous job breaking it all down, heads and tails better than pre-Isabel coverage, which I taped so I remember sitting there wondering: “Is anyone going to explain a Tropical Storm Warning.”

This time you are and thank you for that.


Justin Berk, AMS CBM said...

Mr. Foot,

Thanks man... dittos to you as well. As for the preparations, I know we have pre packaged stuff, and I am certain they will be on the air this evening. As for the Pre- Isabel coverage... I have some video of that, I will try to get on You Tube for you. I am sure I explained the Storm Surge the Monday before ( my last in the studio) and then again on the beach during the week.
This one does look like it is ramping up before landfall, so it had a better chance of holding together. How about wind gusts over 60mph at BWI and multiple tornadoes on the Eastern Shore...

Anonymous said...

SO Anne Arundel County which is where i live. Should this area be considered on of the area to be hit harder with higher winds or no? please answer back so i know. and by the way Justin you do an awesome job at explaining everything and breaking it down with pictures and whatnot. you actually explain it better on here then anywhere else keep up the good work.

Justin Berk, AMS CBM said...

Anonymous in AA county:
Yes to the wind! Being farther south, you would expect strong winds simply because you will be closer to the storm. However, there are a few factors. If you are near the bay, winds will be stronger. Also, if you face east, you will get stronger winds. so if you see the sunrise or at least brighter sky at your house in the morning vs. the evening that would place you in view of the east to north east wind tomorrow. Otherwise some low hills and even tall trees would dampen the wind. Keep in mind that tropical systems will produce bands of rain that are called 'squalls'. They have stronger winds and heavier rain in them. They can last for a few short minutes or much longer. Where these rain bands or squalls set up can focus stronger winds as well. If the storm gets elongated as expected, that would mean it loses it's circular form and can expand the rain bands in a particular direction, while other spots could miss out.