Saturday, August 23, 2014

Will Cristobal be a fish storm, or another Arthur?

A tropical depression developed Saturday evening in the southeast Bahamas, and the National Hurricane Center expects the system to become a tropical storm on Sunday and a Category 1 hurricane by late Tuesday or Wednesday.

It will be the third named storm of the Atlantic season, Cristobal.

Now comes the fun part ... figuring out what impact, if any, Cristobal will have on the Southeast coast, and the Carolinas in particular.

The official National Hurricane Center forecast map calls for Cristobal to remain a few hundred miles off the coast, sort of splitting the difference between Arthur, which made landfall on the North Carolina coast July 3, and Bertha, which passed about halfway between the United States and Bermuda.

Cristobal's sustained winds are forecast to be 80 mph by Thursday.

If you look at the computer models, they mostly forecast Cristobal to move northerly from the Bahamas and remain off the Florida coast, then curve a bit northeast and miss the Carolinas comfortably.

But if you remember correctly, the official forecast for Arthur also called for a miss. That didn't happen.

It appears as if a trough over the Northeast would grab Cristobal and steer it away from the mainland, but there is enough uncertainty over what will happen later this week to make National Hurricane Center meteorologists a bit nervous.

As forecaster Michael Brennan said Saturday evening, it's a low-confidence forecast right now.


Anonymous said...

Well then, we will just have to wait and see won't we?