Welcome to Jason Godwin's weather website. I am a recent master's graduate from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. On this website, I post blogs on tropical meteorology and other interesting weather phenomena, as well as some information on some of my research (which lies in tropical cyclone predictability).
The main weather concern today continues to be the winter storm that is set to impact parts of the
southern high plains today and Thursday. Winter Storm Warnings are now in effect for parts of
eastern New Mexico, southeast Colorado, western Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle. This includes the
cities of Santa Fe, Trinidad, and Amarillo. In addition, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for
parts of western New Mexico, central Colorado, southwest Kansas, and central Oklahoma. This includes
the cities of Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Oklahoma City.
A strong upper-level trough is moving into the Desert Southwest, which will provide large-scale vertical ascent over the southern Rockies and southern plains today and tomorrow. At the same time, a strong cold front will move south, bringing well-below freezing temperatures to the warning area by midnight tonight. The combination of deep moisture in place, strong vertical ascent from both the upper-level trough and strong upslope winds on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and well-below freezing temperatures should allow for significant snow accumulations, particularly along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northeast New Mexico. Widespread snowfall totals of over six inches are expected, with some areas receiving up to 20 inches of snowfall accumulation. Conditions should improve by Friday afternoon.
At 5:00 AM EDT this morning, the NHC upgraded Arthur to a hurricane based on reconnaissance data. This afternoon, Arthur
is looking even more impressive on satellite with a clear eye now beginning to develop. Aircraft reconnaissance is investigating
Arthur now, so we should be able to see just how much Arthur has strengthened in a bit.
Radar data suggests that the strongest winds associated with Arthur are within 20 miles of the eye on the north and east sides of the storm in the eyewall where winds of 90-100 MPH are being measured. Hurricane force winds extend outwards to about 40 miles and tropical storm force winds to about 90 miles.
While Arthur is a fairly small storm, the model forecasts seem to be coming into agreement that Arthur will make landfall around Morehead City and track west of the Outer Banks over Pamlico Sound. This will place the Outer Banks in the strongest winds. Wind gusts of over 100 MPH will not be out of the question for the Outer Banks.
If you are still on the Outer Banks, it is strongly suggested that you get out now while there is still time. If you plan on staying, prepare for wind gusts in excess of 100 MPH and the potential for 3-6 feet of storm surge inundation. Preparations for Hurricane Arthur should be rushed to completion.
Compared to this time yesterday, Arthur has become much better organized with an eye-like feature now evident on radar
imagery. As of the 11 AM advisory this morning, Arthur has maximum sustained winds of 60 MPH and a minimum central
pressure of 997 mb, making Arthur a moderate tropical storm. The strongest winds are on the east side of the storm.
The forecast for Arthur has changed little in the last 24 hours, with the forecast reasoning generally the same. Arthur is expected to continue moving north, with an eventual turn to the northeast in response to a trough of low pressure exiting the east coast of North America. This forecast track should bring the center of Arthur very near or over the North Carolina Outer Banks Thursday night or early Friday morning. Arthur remains over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and in an area of very low wind shear, but is still fighting some dry air to the north. This has been inhibiting Arthur somewhat, but steady strengthening is still expected, and Arthur could become a hurricane later today. Since Arthur is expected to affect the North Carolina Outer Banks as a hurricane Thursday night and Friday morning, Hurricane Watches have been posted for that area. Interests in northern coastal South Carolina, eastern North Carolina, Hampton Roads, the Virginia Eastern Shore, Cape Cod, Nova Scotia, coastal New Brunswick, and Newfoundland should monitor the progress of Arthur.
Sustained winds of 38 MPH have been reported at Settlement Point in the Bahamas, and given that this occurred outside
of where the strongest thunderstorm activity is occurring, the NHC has upgraded T.D. #1 to a tropical storm ("Arthur").
The track forecast is generally unchanged with a westward drift expected to continue for the next 12 hours or so. After
that, Arthur should begin to accelerate off the north in response to a trough of low pressure moving into eastern Canada
and the northeastern United States. By Thursday, Arthur should turn more to the northeast and accelerate more, passing
close to the North Carolina Outer Banks as a high-end tropical storm or low-end category one hurricane (the official forecast
calls for Arthur to be a category one hurricane with 80 MPH winds Friday morning as it passes very near Cape Hatteras). The
tropical storm watch from Flagler Beach to Fort Pierce continues, though more watches may be needed farther north in the next
few days. Interests in the central and northern east coast of Florida, coastal Georgia, coastal South Carolina, eastern North
Carolina, southeastern Virginia, and the Virginia eastern shore should monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Arthur.
The first tropical cyclone of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season has formed off the east coast of Florida. As of
the 10 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression #1 has maximum sustained winds of 35 MPH.
Earlier today, Hurricane Hunters found a closed circulation, but lack of organization kept the NHC from classifying
the invest area as a tropical depression. Infrared satellite imagery this evening indicates that intense thunderstorm
activity has wrapped around the center of the low, and has persisted for a while, leading the NHC to classify the system.
T.D. #1 is over warm waters and in an environment with low to moderate wind shear. Given this environment, T.D. #1 is expected to intensify during the next few days. Most of the intensity model guidance from this evening supports this forecast, with virtually all models bringing T.D. #1 to tropical storm status by Wednesday morning. A few of the models actually bring T.D. #1 all the way to hurricane intensity late in the forecast, but given that eventual land interactions are possible, as well as cooler water temperatures and increasing wind shear, for now, it looks like it will remain below hurricane strength.
The track guidance is fairly tightly clustered, with basically all models agreeing on a very slow westward motion for the next 24 hours, then an acceleration towards the north beginning on Wednesday night, with an eventual turn to the northeast by Friday. On the current forecast track, T.D. #1 should get very close to the Carolina coasts Thursday and Friday. The NHC has posted tropical storm watches for the Florida coast from Flagler Beach south to Fort Pierce. It is likely that watches will be extended northward over the next few days.
Given that the center should remain offshore (even if it gets very close to shore), the heaviest rains (on the right side of the storm) should remain offshore as well. Still, rainfall totals of one to two inches will be widespread along the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas this week, with some areas receiving up to four or more inches of rain. People along these coasts, including places like Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Wilmington should prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions in the next few days: heavy rains, winds of over 40 MPH, and possibly a few isolated tornadoes. In addition, rough seas and strong rip currents can be expected at beaches along the southeastern United States coastline.
I will continue to update this post as new information comes out during the next several days.