Irma is a monster Hurricane. Category 5 with 185 mph winds, gusting to 225 mph (as of noon Tue). This is devastation producing. Some modeling has the storm making a brief landfall on Cuba, and as a result weakening, this coming Saturday, before taking a right turn and then hitting Fla. Some people are saying "that would be great," "awesome". For who?
People live in Cuba, in case someone forgot. It is horrible that one can wish suffering upon another, simply to spare some suffering themselves ... but then again should I be surprised?
God's Word says no.
A wonderful Labor Day weekend ending on Labor Day itself. Sunshine, a few clouds, a gentle breeze. Very comfortable indeed. Forecast was right on target.
But there are a few changes that need to be made for today’s forecast. The front is moving in about 6 hours faster than I first thought. The models were too fast with it, but I was not fast enough. You could say we are meeting half way. This means the clouds roll in earlier, and the rain moves in earlier also. This results in lower temperatures also.
This change of timing does not change tonight or Wed’s weather, and the threat of heavy rain and localized flash flooding (esp. east of us), but it does improve Thu as the rain should be ending very early Thu morning, giving us a decent day with scattered afternoon showers. Friday the heart of the trough moves through giving us some more showers and thundershowers as the atmosphere will be unstable. A day that starts with sunshine but clouds build quickly from late morning on. It will be cool also.
Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tue all look nice with high pressure in control. Temperatures will gradually warm up from the mid 60’s on Sat to the low/mid 70’s by Mon. Just gorgeous early fall weather.
What about Irma?
The latest on Irma is seen from the NHC in Miami. This is a very powerful hurricane. It will be entering a region of very warm ocean temperatures, ideal atmospheric conditions, and no land to interfere with its circulation, until Sat/Sun when it impacts Cuba or Fla. Until then it will remain very powerful: Category 4 or 5.
But what about us? Well, our midweek trough is going to begin to lift out on Fri, but are the models handling if correctly? Are they still too fast? No matter, when it lifts out a transient ridge will build between our departing trough and Irma. With this hurricane being large and powerful, it is pushing a large amount of warm air into the atmosphere, that then induces sinking air well away from itself. This can support the ridge to its north and help maintain the westward movement. If the movement if strong enough to the west, this hurricane will become tangled up in Hispaniola, a very mountainous and large island which can disrupt the storms core significantly. But if it stays north of the island, the disruption does not occur, and the outflow can help support the ridge, but only to a certain extent.
(Note on models performance: So far nearly all models have shown a movement into the Gulf of Mexico, Out to sea, North Carolina, South Carolina, and now Cuba. That is just the changing scope of the "best" model out there. We do not know exactly whether it will make landfall on Cuba. A change of 100 miles will keep it over the warm water of the Florida straits. A 100 mile shift on a 5 day forecast is peanuts. Personally, I expect it to stay JUST OFFSHORE OF CUBA ... and then turn to south Florida. But I digress ... the models have overstated the strength of the ridge in the eastern US all summer long. I suspect the same is occurring again.)
Eventually other forces come into play that weaken this ridge, and cause Irma to move north. Is that east of Fla, right over Fla, or just west of Fla? We do not know. It does appear that Irma will move north (from the Atlantic or Gulf) into the SE US at some point producing flooding rains, and will likely be captured by yet another developing trough in the central/eastern US. This will then bring a weakened or what remains of Irma through our area.
In short, I do not see any dangerous impacts from Irma for us, like widespread wind damage, major flooding, etc. Some impact (locally strong to damaging gusting winds, localized flash flooding, etc.) is possible, but the storm would be greatly weakened by that time.
Please be praying for those residents in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and southern Fla to be wise and stay safe as Irma is large and even if the eye is 100 miles away, the impacts could still be devastating. There is still uncertainty with the storm track. Things can change. But there is time to prepare if it appears that Irma may impact us more significantly next week.
Wednesday: Periods of rain, some possibly heavy, into the overnight, with chance for a thunderstorm.
Thursday: Sun and clouds. Showers ending very early. Some redeveloping in the afternoon. Cooler.
Friday: Sun and clouds. Refreshingly cool with a breeze. Chance for showers and/or thundershower.
Saturday: Sun and clouds. Seasonally cool.
Sunday: Sun and clouds. Seasonally cool.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Milder.
Tuesday: Increasing clouds. Chance for rain and/or thunderstorms. Breezy.