Active Atlantic Basin
Since there really isn’t much to talk about across the lower 48, thought we would continue our focus on a VERY active Atlantic basin and African continent. As of this writing, Danielle had strengthened to a category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 135 mph(& higher gusts.) She may strengthen a little before curling well to the east of Bermuda. A little further west, Tropical Storm Earl continues its rapid push to the west at 17 mph, packing winds sustained at 45 mph. He will more than likely become a hurricane over the weekend, possibly a major storm by the middle of next week. Hot on Earl’s heels, a tropical wave just coming off the coast of Africa may make tropical cyclone status later today or tonight. This would be Fiona, yet another storm expected to gain strength and impact the Atlantic basin through next week. Finally, several disturbances on the African continent have the potential to push off the west African coast, wondering into the train of storms already plaguing the shipping lanes.
Speaking of hurricanes, today is the 5 year anniversary of the first landfall of Katrina. Residents in New Orleans know all too well the fury of one of Earth’s meanest category 5 hurricanes. Over 1800 lives were lost, most of them in Louisiana. The shear size of Katrina was mind-boggling. Devastation could be seen for over 100 miles across the southeastern parts of the U.S. Now recorded as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history, Katrina topped $75 billion in damage. New Orleans continues to SLOWLY recover, but will never experience life as it once was in the Big Easy. Now as all eyes turn toward the activity in the Atlantic, residents along coastal communities of the U.S. prepare for what could be a busy end to the hurricane season.
Back up to the lower 48, and a pattern favoring quiet conditions over most of the eastern 2/3 of the country. A sprawling area of high pressure extends from the eastern Great Lakes back down to south Texas. A stationary boundary drifting across the southeast will fuel scattered showers and thunderstorms from South Carolina, down through Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Another system slowly pushing over the Rockies will spread showers from the western Dakotas, back down through Wyoming and parts of Colorado. Showers and thunderstorms will also spread up through the 4-corners region, especially over Arizona. Meanwhile, our large area of high pressure has worked the extreme heat and humidity down to the deep south, with pockets of 90s & 100-degree heat sliding up along the lee side of the Rockies, minus the moisture. Fall-like air continues spilling into New England and the Pacific Northwest, with highs in the 60s & 70s today.
Hope you enjoy the weather in your neighborhood this LAST weekend of August!
Meteorologist Bryan Karrick, WeatherNation LLC