Heads Up

Just to give you a heads up, Sunday very late afternoon, night and Monday all look wet. Models are picking up on a surge of subtropical moisture riding a wave through Arizona into our area late Sunday. There is also another trough that will ride the Coast of California coming onshore in NorCal and bringing snow to the Sierra that will get involved with us around Tuesday potentially leaving us with unsettled weather as then another trough will follow a similar path likely missing us to the north by the end of the week. These troughs are deeper than we have seen as they come onshore (552mb) and will initially bring snow levels down to 8,000 feet in California, Idaho, and Wyoming. However, these troughs have been very dry by the time they reach us and they tend to stay north closer to the jet so don’t get too excited yet.

More on this tomorrow, expect a Flood Watch to be issued for Sunday-Monday later today or tomorrow.

 

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A Better Shot This Time

I love seeing these troughs come in from the Pacific, it shows we are getting closer to Winter. I usually jump the gun a bit on them, especially when the models try to take them further south than they are ready to come at this time of year. Sunday fooled me (and the NWS). I relied too heavily on older model runs, looking back at the later day runs they actually did better than I thought. You have to be careful not to wishcast, and I may have been guilty of that.

The next system predicted to impact us does look like it has a little more to it. I took another look at the Sunday morning run of the Euro, and it was pretty accurate, it showed very little precipitation mostly hundredths here and there which was I think how we ended up. The problem with the “morning” run of the Euro is it doesn’t come out until around 1 pm. Today I waited and it is pretty ambitious with its accumulations.

Check this out, this would be a huge huge model miss if the Euro is wrong.

pamt

Capture

It shows the heavier showers developing after 8 pm tonight through around noon tomorrow.

It will be interesting to see if the NWS issues another Flood Watch with the forecast package this afternoon.

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Sunday Update Part 2

The morning models did not initialize well. What this means is what was supposed to be happening by 8 am or 9 am was not happening. This is not unusual with a negatively tilted trough. The fact that it is negatively tilted means it is moving slow and (hopefully) strengthening.  From the radar, it looks like the model is off by at least 2 hours, or it is just plain wrong. Time will tell. Flash flood watches will continue to be issued here for years and are not always indicative of heavy rain, the threshold is .25 inches per hour to issue a flood watch.

The latest high-resolution model favored the west from roughly Lake Durango to Cortez for heavier rain. The prior model 6 hours earlier run favored Gem Village to Pagosa. All areas above 8,500 feet were favored as well. I have seen amounts range from .10″-.90″. So as I said earlier time will tell.

Unless the Euro comes out and is dramatically different, I am going to enjoy Football today!

 

 

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Sunday Update-Flood Watch

Hopefully, this doesn’t surprise anyone.  A negatively-tilted trough (yay!) is going to work its way through the area today. Showers should kick up in most places by noon. Obviously, the heaviest rain amounts will fall at elevation but most everyone should get some rain out of this. The snow level should stay above 13,500′ with this one but you never know. Hint: Midweek it looks like a similar set-up with a more potent and cooler front so I will be expecting snow levels to drop a bit.

Here is the trough at 6 am, this is the type of set up we like to see in the Winter!

troughCapture

NWS issued this Flood Watch:

FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
427 AM MDT SUN SEP 8 2019

COZ019-022-081830-
/O.NEW.KGJT.FF.A.0004.190908T1500Z-190909T0000Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-
427 AM MDT SUN SEP 8 2019

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE 416 FIRE BURN SCAR IN NORTHWEST LA
PLATA COUNTY IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM MDT THIS MORNING THROUGH
THIS AFTERNOON…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE 416 FIRE BURN SCAR IN NORTHWEST LA
PLATA COUNTY.

* FROM 9 AM MDT THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON

* NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS ARE FORECASTING
POTENTIALLY PERSISTENT AND HEAVY RAINFALL OVER THE 416 FIRE
BURN SCAR, WHICH MAY LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING AND DEBRIS FLOWS.

* THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAINFALL OVER THE 416 WILDFIRE BURN SCAR
IS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN DUE TO THE THREAT OF DEBRIS FLOWS AND
FLASH FLOODING. RESIDENTS NEAR THIS WILDFIRE BURN SCAR AND ALONG
THE HIGHWAY 550 CORRIDOR NEAR HERMOSA SHOULD PREPARE FOR
POTENTIAL FLOODING IMPACTS. BE SURE TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH
INFORMATION FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

I will update again with accumulation potential for the area after the morning high-resolution models come out (around 8:30am). But confidence is high with this event the models have not waivered for days.

 

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Time For A Change

I briefly mentioned a pattern change a couple days ago. I suppose you could say that what is coming ins a pattern change, but it doesn’t appear to be something that will stick around for a long time. Nevertheless, we will see a few pop-up storms Friday afternoon. Saturday the temps should moderate (cooler) with a few more storms firing in the afternoon, a little more widespread than we have seen. By Sunday the models are indicating a disturbance coming through that should affect the northern 3/4 of the border counties. We may even get a few heavy rainers out of it. Temperatures should moderate quite a bit cooler during the day. As the system passes temperatures should stay cooler and be dry until another system arrives by mid-week possibly bringing even cooler and wetter conditions. Cool and wet enough?? We will see but it would not surprise me if we see that snow level drop to just below 12,000 between Wednesday and Thursday.

I will talk more about that second system on Monday, It is too early to put a whole lot of faith in its track yet. After that, it looks like it warms back up a bit a dries out again.

I think it is still too early to talk about Winter, I have reached out to some folks I follow who usually start talking about Winter around now. They tell me they are waiting to get past the peak of hurricane season. If you have followed me for a while you know Sea Surface Temperatures (SST’s) and tropical activity (MJO) circling the equator have the biggest effect on Winter weather.

You may remember back on August 17th when I commented on the Herald article about the heat, I concluded with saying the article was probably just too early because the real heat was coming for a two-three week period. Now, three weeks later we are sure due for a break. I probably won’t post over the weekend unless we get some severe weather, then on Monday, I should have a better handle on the mid-week disturbance.

 

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Meanwhile, Back In Durango…

Dorian has been for the most part everything the Euro promised. If that continues to be the case later today the storm will start moving north-northwest just off the coast of Florida bringing tropical storm conditions to the east coast of Florida, it will likely be closer to the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts than Florida, finally making landfall from Morehead City North Carolina to the Outer Banks and Hatteras.

Back in our neck of the woods, we should be getting closer to the end of the boring weather pattern we have been in for the last couple of weeks. I am ready for it. September looks like it will be just slightly above normal temperatures which will seem like an improvement after the last couple of weeks. Expect a few more pop up storms the next couple of days. I am trying to get a better handle on an upcoming pattern change and will be posting on this in the next couple of days.

Whether it feels like it or not it is fall. Here is the new Euro weekly model run for snow totals over the next 46 days, most high elevation snow will fall around here the last half of the forecast period. As you can see it will be more frequent and substantial in NW Wyoming.

ecmwf-conus-snow_46day-1356800.png

I still don’t have a good handle on Winter yet. Last year was an anomaly, I am not expecting a repeat. That being said with what little guidance I have seen, at ths time I am not expecting a dry Winter by any means.

 

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More Good News, More Bad News

So far this storm has been a bad news good news scenario. That continues after the latest model runs. The recon data is suggesting that the storm’s intensity is leveling off, not weakening yet, just not intensifying.

Dorian’s 912mb pressure with 185 mph winds is impressive but it is far from the strongest Atlantic Hurricane which was Wilma in 2005 which hit 882mb. So for now, it occupies the 13 strongest spot for the Atlantic. You could say that it is the strongest ever to hit Abaco, but thats not typically how you would judge a hurricane unless you’re on the Weather Channel.

Good news: Most models, including the ICON take it north before reaching landfall.     Bad news: The NHC/NOAA hurricane model, the HWRF, now shows this storm making landfall near New Smyrna Beach (south of Daytona).

HWRF9112z

It shows it making landfall as a Cat 3 very early morning Wednesday. It is just 1 run, but it definitely needs to be watched.

The Euro is still very consistent in keeping the worst of the storm off of Florida’s east coast.

 

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Will the ICON Become An Icon?

Yesterday when I posted I said I would only post today if something changed.                Something changed.

The last 3 runs of the German ICON model have continued tracking Dorian further west (closer to Florida). Last night the EURO decided to track just a little further west, not to be outdone the GFS also tracked Dorian further west.

Dorian is now a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of at least 160 mph and it is heading into Abaco stall over Grand Bahama hopefully the 15,000 residents of those northern Bahama Islands have left, I can’t imagine the devastation we will see in a few days when they get people in there. The further west track also means Bimini would be under the gun.

The significance of the further west track is that if the scenario that the ICON and GFS are suggesting plays out, category 1 or 2 Hurricane conditions could occur all of the way up Florida Coast as well as the rest of the SE US.

Here is the wind swath for the overnight GFS run. Don’t pay attention to the numbers (wind speeds) because the GFS is a low-resolution model, therefore, it is sampling more space and spreading out the wind intensity over a greater area (notice it shows a peak of 110 on Grand Bahama and it will likely be over 150). What I am trying to show you is the track of the greatest winds.91gfs06

So there is a lot of time and things can and likely will change. The NHC has already moved the track slightly west as of its most recent update.

I will briefly update after the new model runs come out.

 

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Carolinas Are Most Likely The Target For Dorian

Of all of the major weather models I follow, there is only one that is still predicting a Florida landfall. That is the good news, the bad news is that particular model, the ICON (German), was very accurate very early on. The other bad news is that if Florida is spared there is a pretty good chance the Carolinas will have some contact with Dorian

24 hours have brought the models into better consensus and it looks like the northern Bahama Islands of Grand Bahama and Great Abaco will be hit with a strong cat 4 or a cat 5 hurricane with devastating 150+ mph winds and 2-5 feet of rain by Tuesday.

The timing for the Carolinas is Wednesday and Thursday next week.

Of course, I will be keeping an eye on things, if something changes over the next day I will post, if not, I will post a Carolina update on Monday.

 

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Sizing Up Dorian

I have privately been tracking hurricanes for many years.  Harvey was the first hurricane I openly tracked for followers two years ago. I was amazed by the consistency of the Euro precipitation forecasts for the Houston area so I started posting and found out people were interested in it because many people in Durango are from other areas, and/or have families in affected areas. I picked up a number of followers in Texas and Florida

I think it is important first to understand what and why hurricanes exist and what they have done in the past. I have never been through Hurricane or even a tropical storm. I have experienced a tropical depression.

Hurricanes are a very normal tropical cycle that have a very definitive purpose: To redistribute energy (heat) from tropical areas to temperate regions around the globe.

Hurricanes are not consistent and we have gone through active periods and lulls. Historically the 1860’s and 1880’s were the most active period for hurricanes (since records have been kept). The 1940’s were also a very active period.

Hurricane chart

In 2017 Hurricane Irma was the first landfalling hurricane and major hurricane in Florida since Wilma in 2005. This was after a record lull – 4439 days (roughly 12 years). The previous record lull back to 1851 was 2191 days (roughly 6 years) from 1979 to 1985.

Dorian has survived so far by being a relatively small compact storm, small physically but if it stays relatively small it will pack a huge punch if it makes landfall. It certainly looks like it will develop into a  category 4 storm soon and there is no reason it couldn’t hit a category 5 before landfall (if it hits), whether or not it stays a 5 before it hits is an entirely different matter. As you see Dorian has now formed an eye is will rapidly intensify on its way to the Bahamas.

8309am

Centralized pressure is the best way to categorize a hurricane, but most people only liken each particular category to wind speed.

sffrsimp

Below you can see the strongest Atlantic storms by pressure.

atlantic

 

The latest update (noon) on Dorian says that Dorian is a Cat 3 with 115 mph winds, the model spread is so inconsistent I hate to post graphics at this point.

The latest Euro which most experts still view to be superior to all other models for hurricane accuracy just came out, the Euro has been very inconsistent run-to-run so far so I won’t post the graphic but it shows Dorian slowing down then turning north and staying offshore for several stays and strengthening as it heads to North Carolina.

Just as I didn’t trust the move to SW with the Euro yesterday afternoon, I don’t trust this move yet either. There are now US models indicating the SW move. Most other models show a landfall between Fort Lauderdale and Daytona then they are all split on what happens next.

Hopefully, the next 24 hours will bring more of a consensus.

It may be Sunday before I start posting the operational model runs, we will see.

 

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