Zeta treks across the Southeast, stormy day in store; another one?

Zeta make landfall yesterday evening and passed right over New Orleans. Surprising just about everyone who wasn’t just guessing, it was almost a Category 3 storm as it make landfall in Timbalier Bay, with the peak winds across Grand Isle, Port Sulphur, and Gulfport. This was a bit lucky for New Orleans, as had it passed a bit further east it would have put more stress on the Levees, although in theory they should have been able to hold up to this class of storm. There is structure damage across the region, and a lot of power outages, with outages and trees/limbs/light damage now extending across southern Mississippi, Alabama, and now into central Georgia. Here’s the damage swath …

The situation today is really complex. Zeta is merging with a strong frontal system that has been pushing into the southeast, bringing some nice fall weather behind it – but it has to push Zeta out of the way first. The storm is riding up the front and will be offshore by tomorrow – a very fast mover. Here is the latest (6am) synoptic weather map with water vapor image:

Synoptic Weather Map: pretty complex mess today!

The main thing to get from the above is that Zeta and the front are interacting, with the front accelerating Zeta and pushing it offshore, and the tropical moisture giving the front an energy boost (contrasting air masses – hot/cold, wet/dry – produce stormy weather). Here’s the current radar – you can clearly see that “tail” streaming south of Zeta that is headed towards the coast …

Radar this morning – hard to find Zeta in all this mess!

For the coastal GA/SC area, most of the severe weather potential (in the form of isolated tornadoes) is inland of I-95. We’ll have blustery winds and rain showers as that “tail blows through today. So keep your weather radios handy just in case.

In other tropical news, NHC is watching the same area where Zeta formed, and currently has it as a 40% chance of something forming early next week, but the models have been trying to spin stuff there for some time. For now, nothing to worry about.

not really very Tropical Storm Nestor (AL162019) SaturdayUpdate

As NHC notes in their forecast discussion this morning, Nestor really isn’t very tropical.  As I’ve been saying all along, structurally it’s more like a nor’easter.  While it is raining heavily across Florida this morning, there is very little convection or thunderstorm activity, mostly off the Atlantic shore over the Gulf Stream.  There do seem to be a lot of storm tracks with rotation in them.  Here is the 7:22am composite radar, long with a neat product from the “Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor” or MRMS system, low level rotation tracks …  those “streaks” in the map or the right are storm tracks where there is rotation, or potential tornadic activity.  That is probably the biggest threat from not-really-tropical Storm Nestor.Same map with the watch boundaries … as always, click to embiggen and see detail!

Expect tornado watches to expand north into Georgia and probably South Carolina later today, so keep your weather radio handy.  Finally, here is the forecast rain and surface pressure from the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model for 5pm this afternoon …

So again, bottom line, rain, gusty (but not dangerously high) winds, potential for tornadoes.  Try not to travel if you don’t have to, but if you are going to a football game or something take extra time, and bring a raincoat (the umbrella will just blow away 😛 ).


Typhoon Soulik and Japan

Typhoon Soulik is headed for Japan, with landfall early next week.  Here are two satellite images, one from last night and one from this morning.  The night-time shot is neat, the storm is being lit up by the waxing first quarter moon …

Night View of Soulik approaching Japan
12 hours later

The storm may still be fairly strong when it hits Kyushu in a few days.  It will be the second strong storm to hit Japan (third overall), but worse is all of the rain and flooding that has impacted the Islands this year.  Record rains, followed by record heat, have killed hundreds (over 300 at a minimum) and sent 22,000 to the hospital with heat related symptoms.  It’s been a tough year in Japan …