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Hurricanes

Hurricane Leslie creates rip currents and big waves for the weekend

Posted by David Epstein September 7, 2012 02:48 PM

Humidity levels continue to run quite high with another uncomfortable night for sleeping ahead after a very warm day. Bigger heat continues across the south with Little Rock, Arkansas forecast to hit 100 today. I am also watching Leslie and Michael, two hurricanes that are churning up the Atlantic but pose no immediate threat to land. Leslie will head towards Newfoundland early next week. mariners rule.gifEventually, Michael and Leslie may actually merge into one dying storm over eastern Canada or the north Atlantic. Sometimes, these storms can even continue further east to eventually affect England or Ireland. The biggest affect to our weather from these storms will be large swells affecting the coast. There will also be dangerous rip currents. Late in the weekend our seas will subside, temperatures will fall and a touch of autumn will great New Englanders Monday morning.

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Hurricane Leslie to affect Bermuda, New England and Canada

Posted by David Epstein September 6, 2012 06:15 AM

September is the peak of hurricane season and right now we have two storms in the Atlantic with perhaps a third later today. Hurricane Michael sits halfway between the United States and Africa and is forecast to move north and not affect any land. Hurricane Leslie is in the Atlantic far east of Florida but headed towards Bermuda. Already the waves from Leslie are reaching parts of the east coast, but I expect those waves to build later this weekend and early next week as she makes her closest pass by New England Monday or Tuesday. Big waves will be the only concern we have about Leslie. Before bypassing our area and the US mainland, Leslie will take a swipe at Bermuda as a category two storm. It appears the worst of the storm should stay to the right of Bermuda, but if you have interests in that Island, you should listen to latest forecast and advisories very closely. Eventually, the storm will move into eastern Canada near Sable Island.
I'll be updating more on Leslie and the weekend weather on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Flooding rain over south shore, clouds elsewhere

Posted by David Epstein September 5, 2012 01:01 PM

After a really great Labor Day weekend our weather has soured quite a bit. On and off showers yesterday turned into torrential downpours today. Flooding along many roads was evident early this afternoon in places like Taunton and Fall River, Massachusetts. Humidity is very oppressive and there has even been the rumble of thunder and dangerous lightning with some of the showers. The rain will taper to scattered showers the rest of the afternoon and evening. The reason for all the wet weather is due to a low pressure area and the associated fronts trailing from the low. A southwest wind is also propelling very warm tropical like conditions into the area. It's so humid out my windows in the house are foggy this morning. I often "tweet" additional weather thoughts on Twitter and you can find them there at @growingwisdom

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Today's heat, Labor Day weekend weather & hurricane threats

Posted by David Epstein August 31, 2012 09:44 AM

Temperatures are closing in on 80F and heading towards their highs in the lower 90s around 2PM this afternoon. It's tough to predict if this is the last 90F we will have this year. Nearly every day in September has a record high somewhere in the 90s so hot temperatures can happen well into next month. The highest temperature ever in September was set way back in 1881 on the 7th and stands at a whopping 102F! Sunshine will be abundant all day today and winds will be busy out of the west. Tonight a cold front will come through and usher in more seasonable temperatures. There may be a shower or thunderstorm very late tonight but most of us will remain dry.For more weather insight and to ask questions find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Flooding from Isaac across Gulf, spectacular weather continues in New England

Posted by David Epstein August 29, 2012 11:34 AM

This morning incredible amounts of rain continued to fall across much of the Gulf Coast. Isaac is moving at a very slow speed. The storm is moving so slowly you could actually stay dry by keeping pace and walking in the rain free eye. Rainfall amounts will easily exceed a foot in many places with 20" or perhaps more not out of the question. The amount of freshwater is going to be a problem for many low lying areas. You have to remember much of the area that homes and businesses are built is just marsh land. That type of topography easily floods. Although the levee system is upgraded, there are some levees that are not new and already a few have overflowed.For more information or to ask garden and weather questions follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Hurricane Isaac makes landfall

Posted by David Epstein August 28, 2012 09:47 PM

Hurricane Isaac has made landfall in Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish this evening and the storm will continue to move slowly along the coast over the next day. There has been 106-mph wind gust recorded on an rig in the Gulf. Storm surges up to 8 feet have been seen in the area and worse is likely to occur overnight and into Wednesday. The biggest issue with this storm is going to be the slow movement and the large amounts of rain that will fall as a result. Some places will see over a foot of rain between now and Thursday morning. The two images below show the clouds and the rain associated with Isaac. Notice on the radar how clearly the eye is visible. That is the the area in the middle that looks like a donut hole.
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Hurricane Isaac causing flooding Florida to Louisiana

Posted by David Epstein August 28, 2012 04:01 PM

It took longer than expected but Isaac has reached hurricane strength. You can even see an eye that has formed in the center of the storm. Isaac has continued to slowly intensify over the past few hours and has formed a partial eye. The reason this has taken so long to happen was mainly due to the size of the storm and dry air that kept getting sucked into the center. Larger storms take a longer time to intensify and dry air prevents thunderstorms from reaching their full potential. The storm will remain a hurricane and now we will have to watch to see just how strong it gets before landfall late tonight and early Wednesday morning. There are two images below of the storm. I love the second image as it was taken just as the sun was rising over the storm. Notice the textured white areas on the photos. Those are the big thunderstorms rotating around the center of Isaac. For more insight and to ask questions about the weather find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Isaac remains a tropical storm, hurricane warnings in effect

Posted by David Epstein August 27, 2012 05:00 PM

Late this afternoon Isaac remained a strong tropical storm but has not yet reached hurricane strength. Isaac is forecast to move closer and closer to the Gulf Coast over the next day and also become a hurricane. Best estimates are for the storm to be a category 1 storm when it makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana on Wednesday. Wednesday also marks the 7 year anniversary of when Katrina hit. I am not forecasting a repeat of Katrina. There are several reasons a repeat of 2007 isn't likely. First, Isaac is not forecast to be as strong as Katrina. Also, much has changed both in infrastructure and public policy since that storm hit New Orleans. Isaac has not reached hurricane strength partly because of its large size. This might seem counter intuitive but it does make sense. Isaac is like a skater spinning with their arms extended. In order for the skater to gain speed, they must pull in their arms closer to their body. We are waiting for the storm to become tighter and like the skater, put its energy into a small more compact package. For frequent weather updates and more weather information please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Tropical storm Isaac moves into Gulf, hurricane warnings now in effect

Posted by David Epstein August 26, 2012 11:30 PM

As of this evening tropical storm Isaac was moving northwestward into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Once the storm is there, the conditions of the atmosphere and the water are ideal for significant strengthening of the storm. I am noticing on radar loops that the storm seems to be gathering strength. Isaac should become a hurricane as early as tomorrow but certainly by Tuesday. The ultimate landfall of the storm is still in question. Hurricane warnings are now in effect from Destin, Florida west to Morgan City, Louisiana. To illustrate how different the various computer models that track the storm are see the image below. Note one model has the storm going as far west as New Orleans while another is 300 miles to the east bringing the storm into the panhandle of Florida. Other models are in the middle. It is somewhat unusual to have this much uncertainty with a storm track when the hurricane (assume it will be) is going to hit an area in just a few days. Since the storm is moving into the Gulf region, I predict we will see energy prices skyrocket Monday and Tuesday as refineries and rigs get shut down. It was 7 years ago this week that Katrina took a similar path and that storm had a major affect on energy costs. For more frequent updates and analysis follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom issacmodels.gif

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Tropical storm warnings for Tampa as Isaac heads for Gulf

Posted by David Epstein August 26, 2012 12:00 AM

Tropical storm Isaac remains somewhat disorganized early this morning as it slowly marches towards the Florida keys. As has been the case much of the week, the energy for the storm is not completely aligned with the center. Until all the pieces of the system become better organized it can't really strengthen very much. Atmospheric conditions over the waters west of the Florida peninsula are forecast to become quite favorable for the storm. Once the storm reaches the Gulf of Mexico's warm water it should easily achieve hurricane strength later this weekend and early next week. Before that happens, the southwest corner and the lower Keys of Florida have the best chance for tropical storm force winds. Thereafter, most of the strongest winds from the storm will remain offshore until the storm hits the Gulf Coast next week. You can see in the image below how the wind field is predicted to move. The cone widens the further out in time we go as there is less certainty to the track and thus where the strongest winds will actually occur.
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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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