Development in Tropics Could Lead to Rainy and Windy Weather for Us?

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Well howdy do! It's been awhile since I wrote a blog. Things have been crazy with going to events and organizing the Atlantic City Christmas parade to just dealing with every day life. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying your Fall season so far... The balance of it has been VERY warm. When we wrap up October next week it will go down as one of the warmest in NJ history. There HAVE been warmer though... a lot of our records for the month were set decades ago. November looks cooler relative to average so at least Fall weather lovers can take solace in that fact. 

OK... soooo what's going on in the world of weather you ask? LOTS actually. I'm going to make this as brief but pointed as possible without going into too much boring detail, that's always the plan at least. 

Where to start...where to start? Oh! Alright well we've been talking about the fact that I DON'T think Tropical development is done for the season. I think it goes without saying that is has been a VERY active year, quite a devastating one at that, so nothing should surprise you. But the development I'm watching isn't just going to happen by an act of magic. There is a true meteorological reason as to why it's likely in the area that's been jumping out at me for a while now. It's because something called the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is forecast to head into phase 8. What the heck is an MJO? It's just one of the atmospheric oscillations (located in the Pacific)  that we look at that ultimately aid in determining what our weather THOUSANDS of miles away will look at. 

The MJO is very telling because there is a direct correlation between its phase and where tropical activity happens. We saw this all season long. Remember Ophelia? Remember the rare interaction with Ireland? Nothing surprising because we were in strong phase 5 which favors storms in that part of the world. What I'm trying to get across is the notion that every extreme weather event can be explained if you look into more than just the surface information. I promise. 

Anyway, here's a look at what Phase 8 potential tropical development looks like: 

Notice where the oranges and yellows are? Exactly where there is a LOT of convective activity currently. This is the part of the world we were watching 2 weeks before NATE formed and our eyes are there again. Right now the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is going at about 40% chance of development into Philippe. Regardless of whether its named or not, the energy from this system will cross over Cuba, into Florida and be sucked up the east coast, captured by a deep trough (dip in the jet stream) bringing rain and wind up and down the eastern seaboard. 

Looks like this process will begin to take shape by Friday (coming into Florida) and jetting north through the course of Saturday. If all plays out the way I think it will, we're talking periods of rain and windy conditions for Sunday. Persistent winds out of the southeast gusting to over 40mph likely. Very spotty minor flooding possible, but I think I'm able to quell concerns of seeing anything more than that because the moon's phase benefits us. We wouldn't be looking at astronomical high tides - good news! 

Now we are well within the time frame that a full fledged tropical system is rare (though it will arrive on the 5 year anniversary of Sandy...) NO this is NOT that kind of storm... I digress, let me get back on track.... So I think it would be more of a hybrid system that would be able to tap into all the tropical moisture and bring lots of rain to folks in the Mid Atlantic (even some SNOW on the western side of it) but we wouldn't be looking at anything devastating thankfully. 

WHERE DO THE MODELS STAND? 

Thanks for asking that question! There has been pretty good consensus amongst all the major big guns for the past several days. The GFS goes REALLY bullish with the idea of several inches of rain throughout the tri-state area. 2-3" widespread? Possible but I think that may be a bit overdone. I'm not a huge fan of the GFS due to its inconsistencies, but it has the best publicly available information. So it's easy for me to show you the data from that model opposed to the EURO, it has more features available. 

Here's a look at the operation precip layer: 

VERY WET! This model wants to bring the center of the Low about 100 miles east of Cape Hatteras. Possible, but I think it will be closer to the coast. Anyway you look at it, it just spells gully washer. A typical cold front would not bring this level of wet weather to our region, the front is being enhanced by the moisture thanks to the energy being brought up from the south. It's tapping into an almost endless supply of tropical moisture. 

Here's the Canadian: 

Similar scenario with crazy amounts of rain, but more in line with my idea that the low would be closer to the coast, even hugging the coast.

Here's the EURO depicting what the upper air will look like. Again, the low is there... so there's very little doubt about that, in this scenario lots of rain would still be brought to our region... higher winds too. I like this scenario the best, the positioning of the low looks feasible. 

In short.... if you have weekend plans, SATURDAY is the day to get out and enjoy. Sunday will be grey and wet at the very least. Not trying to scare anyone, just reporting the facts. Looks like rain and wind is becoming more and more likely as time goes on. Look for MUCH cooler air behind that system as it departs... 50s!!