Big Ticket East Coast Storm For Sunday?

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Hurry up! Go get your bread and milk while you can! It won't last, supplies are limited. Rush out the door and prepare... NOW! 

Got your attention? Good. Alright, here we go again. I am absolutely sure that this upcoming event will be blown out of proportion just like every other storm to ever form and impact our area - it's inevitable. I'm here to give you the cold hard facts so you can actually plan your weekend. This coming storm is no surprise, I've actually been watching it for about a week now. Let's go over some of the details and try to outline what's coming our way, shall we?

On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd give this thing a 6.5. There is great potential for heavy rain and high winds, without a doubt. Actually, hurricane force gusts likely off-shore, just to give you an idea of what we are dealing with. The roots are entrenched partially in a system that has a tropical origin. I highlighted this area several days ago. The National Hurricane Center is giving it a 40% chance of forming into a named storm at this point. Here's where there is some disconnect and I want to explain that even though a storm may not get a name, it doesn't mean you should ignore it. On its own, it's not much, but when combined with a cold front and a deep digging trough, it will explode into something definitely worth watching because it WILL have an impact up and down the East Coast. 

The area of interest is currently located near Nicaragua and is expected to push north today and tomorrow. Eventually it will rocket into Cuba, Florida and just off the southeast coast as it gets picked up. 

Where it goes from there is what will ultimately determine what we see in terms of adverse weather conditions here at home. There still continues to be a good deal of model consensus from all the big dogs overnight (EURO, GFS and Canadian). Regardless of the track, I don't think we can escape some heavy rain and definitely gusty winds. Let's talk about each model in a little more detail so you can have a better understanding, ok?

GFS: 

Here's what the weather map should look like on Sunday night. I have two areas circled, a primary low and a secondary low. The primary is positioned in a way that we'd get winds gusting to 40mph at the coast and about 1" of rain on the west end. A 992mb low is not very intense but the conditions associated with it certainly wouldn't be pleasant. This model keeps the tropical feature south and east of the primary low BUT it will aid in feeding the primary with heat and moisture as the area it will travel over has very warm sea surface temps. Outcome for us with this scenario on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst, I'd give it a solid 5. 

EURO: 

In a similar fashion to the GFS, this model has a primary and secondary low. The secondary stays just southeast of the primary but the primary is modeled CLOSER and STRONGER to our region than what's painted on the GFS. Same time frame, just a different model. The EURO wants to go with a 982 low off the coast of Ocean City, MD by Sunday night. This would bring VERY heavy rain 2-4" and strong winds. The EURO is about 60 miles farther west than the GFS and on a scale of 1-10 would give us an impact of about a 7. Luckily we don't have to worry about any widespread moderate or major flooding because of the moon phase, but if the winds are strong enough and arrive at the right time, we could absolutely have some spotty minor flooding in low laying areas. 

EURO has been the most bullish out of all of the models. Does that trend continue? Do the primary and secondary low merge? Those are questions I hope to have answered by tomorrow.

My Personal Thoughts:

Conditions go downhill by Saturday night. Rain breaks out early Sunday and picks up in intensity through the afternoon. Winds on the mainland 15-25mph with gusts to 35, 40+ at the coast. 1-2" of rain before it wraps up early Monday morning. I'm kinda middle of the road with my thinking. I have to put a good deal of stock into the EURO's idea because ... well... it's the EURO... the "King" of models. 

The highest wind gusts will probably actually occur AFTER the low passes to our northeast. Very strong northwest winds will usher in behind the departing system. 

Is this something you should be worried about? No. Should you pay attention to how the forecast unfolds? Absolutely. I think it's a bigger deal for New England than us in all honesty. I'll have another update this afternoon :) Until then, enjoy partly sunny skies through Saturday pm.