Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adios, Emily ... probably

Tropical Storm Emily met its demise Thursday afternoon south of Haiti, its closed circulation torn apart and its thunderstorms scattered over a wide area.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Emily to a tropical wave.

One of the computer models, the European, correctly predicted Emily would not survive its trip past the island of Hispaniola. National Hurricane Center meteorologist Lixion Avila noted that in his 5 p.m. tropical weather discussion.

From the start, Emily was difficult to predict. Most of the computer models forecast the storm to strengthen, once it cleared Hispaniola, and possibly reach hurricane status off the U.S. coast late this weekend. That doesn't seem likely now.

What does this mean for the Carolinas coast?

Smooth sailing, probably.

Stacy Stewart of the National Hurricane Center said Thursday evening that there is a 60 percent chance of Emily regenerating within 48 hours. That likely would happen Saturday, when the storm's remnants move over the very warm water near the Bahamas.

By that point, though, Emily's remnants -- or an Emily II -- is expected to be caught in the westerly atmospheric flow, which would steer the system quickly out to sea.

Bottom line: Chances are good you'll have a quiet weekend and start of the next week at the beach. Just keep an eye on the forecast, to make sure this unpredictable storm doesn't surprise us again.

And it'll be interesting to see how the European computer model fares when the next tropical system looms.