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Tracking the Tropics


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25 minutes ago, tunafish said:

I have family who drove from MA to Hilton Head, SC earlier in the week.  Saying they're going to ride it out.  How likely is it they won't be able to drive home due to a flooded out vehicle?

Current surge forecast is 4-6ft.

Same.  My brother and SIL bought a house there last year and went down this week to do some work.  They are not leaving, they are not on the water but certainly not far from tidal marshes. 

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1 minute ago, OceanStWx said:

It's going to be right up there in terms of recent historic surge events. Looks Katrina-esque from the MS coast around the Ft. Myers Beach area.

From what i saw this morning Ian was #1 on surge and second wasn't even close, I might be off a bit on this but i think 3.4' was the highest until Ian at 7.6' or so.

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2 minutes ago, dryslot said:

From what i saw this morning Ian was #1 on surge and second wasn't even close, I might be off a bit on this but i think 3.4' was the highest until Ian at 7.6' or so.

Those ballpark numbers sound right. Gauge has data back to 1965. 

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2 hours ago, tunafish said:

I have family who drove from MA to Hilton Head, SC earlier in the week.  Saying they're going to ride it out.  How likely is it they won't be able to drive home due to a flooded out vehicle?

Current surge forecast is 4-6ft.

When I was down there last fall the whole place seemed like it would flood with water given 5+ foot increase in water.  I’m sure many areas are 10-20 feet up but just has that “barrier island” vibe.

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2 hours ago, dryslot said:

From what i saw this morning Ian was #1 on surge and second wasn't even close, I might be off a bit on this but i think 3.4' was the highest until Ian at 7.6' or so.

Ya Ian more then doubled it. Think I saw it get to 7.84 at one point. That gauge is up the river some ways as well. Wouldn’t be surprised if the surge was quite a bit higher right on Fort Meyers beach looking at the damage.

Its early but dare I say this might become the third costliest hurricane in US history behind Katrina and Harvey once all is said and done?

Such a sad situation. I love experiencing some extreme weather but man is it nice living in New England where we are pretty immune to catastrophic events…

edit: looks like 8.57 was the unofficial peak

 

7A6A5484-682E-41FB-A87E-71E363E05A64.jpeg

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Hurricane Ian Verification Offers Mixed Results

Location and Timing of Landfall Forecast Nearly Flawless

Here is how landfall of one of the most historic hurricanes in the history of the US, Hurricane Ian, evolved:
 
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Versus the Eastern Mass Weather Final Call, issued at roughly 730pm on Tuesday night:
 
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Fort Myers, FL was correctly identified as the most severely impacted major population center. Clearly the timing and location of the forecast was exemplary, having effectively incorporated climatology to disregard the consensus of guidance in the Monday night issuance of First Call:
 
"Future Track of Ian Dependent Upon Interaction with Trough: Climo maybe the best Tool
The track forecast is high confidence until Ian makes it around the western periphery of the high pressure node that is currently steering it into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
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It is at this point that it will being to turn towards the north and potentially even north northeast, as we approach mid week and it becomes under the influence of the northern periphery of the ridge and the base of a trough to the north.
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The primary question then becomes will it lose enough longitude to reach the west coast of Florida, or will it remain off of the coast (and how far) until reaching the panhandle...there is simply no way to know for sure and educated guesses will rule the day.
Here is the guidance that will inform said "guesses":
Hurricane Track Guidance and Global Guidance
Note the cluster to the east, in the general vicinity of Tampa...
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European Ensemble Suite
There is  similar cluster on the European suite, which has been admittedly biased to the east over the course of the past few days.
AVvXsEi5gPknE-i--cOlrDKXT0tUBZnreoA2JUfE

 
GFS Ensemble Suite:
A similar, albeit less defined trend is noted on the GFS suite, as the western mean seems to be pulled by a scattering of western outliers, as opposed to a concentrated cluster.
AVvXsEhkfdBnAbC9_OoMZ2qLi9jpAowothEne1b9

 
Canadian Ensemble Suite:
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With such a stark dichotomy in forecast track, which is so crucial to intensity, as will be discussed momentarily, climatology may be the best guidance with respect to the future track of Hurricane Ian. And this is potentially grave news for the Tampa Bay metro area.
Here is a graphic courtesy of Matt Gross, which lists all of the major hurricane strikes between 1900 and 2010 throughout the state of Florida.
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Note that the best guidance clustering is definitely within the eastern climo cluster, in the vicinity if Tampa. While it is too early to be confident, this is where the likelihood is highest at this point in time. All residents in this area should rush preparations to protect  life and property to completion over the next couple of days. Especially since it is this eastern track scenario that offers the most intense landfall potential."
While it was reasoned that the more eastern track offered a more intense scenario. as it turned out the forecast was not nearly  intense enough.
 

Landfall Intensity Forecast Left Much to be Desired

The logic all throughout the forecast period was that a more eastern track would result in a more intense hurricane strike.
 
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But complicating matters was that interaction with the higher terrain of wester Cuba induced a premature Eye wall Replacement Cycle (EWRC) as it re emerged int the se Gulf of Mexico.
 
 
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The forecast final forecast philosophy was that while the further south and east track would avoid much of the shear and dry air intrusion, these inhibiting factors would become just prevalent enough prior to landfall to retard the ability to the hurricane to fully recover from this EWRC. Thus it was not forecast to intensify significantly prior to landfall. However, Ian ended up recovering just about as proficiently and quickly as physically possible, and this coupled with the fact that its size allowed to be virtually impervious to the marginal mitigating factors allowed to take full advantage of some very high octane oceanic heat content. While this was alluded to as a possibility in the Final Call, it was not forecast.
 
"The one caveat that bares watching is that if Ian should complete the aforementioned EWRC and conditions are not prohibitive to intensification, the oceanic heat content is very high just off of the coast of Fort Myers, so the possibility of late intensification, though not forecast, can not be ruled out.
 
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AVvXsEh8IztnVWtq4E-jNt4q_b-uIl9f05NND95W
 
Thus the forecast intensity of 115mph was well of the verified 150mph maximum sustained winds at landfall.
 
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FINAL GRADE: C

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