Talking the Tropics With Mike: Sally weakening inland but still producing severe weather

Teddy intensifying while Vicky weakens.... eye on two more areas likely to develop

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So for Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. impacts from Sally - mainly fringe effects:

* a few bands of heavy rain/t’storms through Thu. evening

* isolated tornado or two, especially west through north of Jacksonville

* rainfall potential of 0.50-1.5″ across NE Fl.... 1-2″ across SE Ga., locally 3″

* breezy winds swinging to out of the south then southwest through Thu. with gusts up to 20-30 mph

* rough seas/surf at area beaches building to at least 5-8 foot breakers over the weekend

* higher than avg. tides - combination of Teddy to the east... Sally to the north/NW... the new moon phase Thu.... then strong onshore (out of the NE) flow by the weekend. Local tide tables * here *.


(1) an area of ‘disturbed’ weather (showers & storms) that developed over the Bahamas late last week was upgraded to tropical depression #19 Fri. making landfall on the southeast coast of Fl. not far from Miami about 2am EDT Sat. then re-emerged over the warm Gulf by midday Sat. then quickly became tropical storm “Sally” Sat. afternoon. After holding steady state through early Mon., Sally strengthened into a hurricane late Mon. morning & has been slowly moving northwest while wobbling some to the north making landfall about 7am EDT at Gulf Shores, Alabama near the Alabama/Florida border. Sally is the 8th named storm to make a U.S. landfall this season beating the record - by Sept. 16th - of 7 in 1916. 2004 was the last time the U.S. had four hurricane landfalls (Charley, Frances, Gaston & Ivan) by Sept. 16th. In fact, Cat. 3 hurricane Ivan in ’04 made landfall very near the spot that Sally came ashore. Like most of the names this season... this is the fastest to 'S’ beating the record of “Stan” Oct. 2, 2005.

Despite moderate shear & proximity to land, Sally went through a strengthening phase Tue. night a little before landfall near the “Flora-Bama” between Mobile & Pensacola as a Cat. 2 hurricane. While winds were strong, it’s the water (rain & storm surge) that will be most devastating with Sally.

The upper level ridge became “softer” with westerlies - albeit rather weak - extending south to near the Gulf Coast which allowed for a landfall more to the east. After the gradual (slow moving) landfall, there will be a slow turn to the northeast then east/northeast resulting in very heavy rainfall on the order of at least 1-2 feet, locally 30″+! from near Pascagoula to Mobile, Pensacola & Panama City [the Fl. record for a tropical cyclone is 45.2″ at Yankeetown during hurricane “Easy”, 1950... the Alabama record is 36.71″ in 1997 during “Danny”]. Rainfall will still be very heavy but not as extreme inland over Alabama, Georgia & S. Carolina as Sally weakens & starts to move faster. Sally’s remnant low will then move offshore east of the Carolina’s by later Fri./early Sat. while merging with a cold front

As Sally moves more to the east & into Ga. throughThursday, a few heavy rain bands & t’storms will develop across Jacksonville/NE Fl. & SE Ga. These bands will be capable of producing brief gusty winds, heavy rain & an isolated tornado or two. The highest tornado risk will be from Lake City to Waycross, Nahunta & Brunswick.

(2) Tropical depression #17 formed over the Eastern Atlantic last Sunday & was upgraded to tropical storm “Paulette” Mon., Sept. 7th The fastest ever to ’P’ easily beating the old record of Philippe Sept. 17, 2005. Paulette moved over Bermuda as a Cat. 1 hurricane early Mon. but has now become a strong post-tropical ocean storm over the Northeast Atlantic but will turn sharply to the S/SE through the weekend with at least some potential for redevelopment as a tropical subtropical cyclone.

(3) Depression #20 formed Sat. from a westbound African tropical wave & was upgraded to “Teddy” early Mon. & to a hurricane early Wed. This is the fastest to the 20th storm breaking the record of an unnamed tropical storm Oct. 4, 2005. Indications are that the Bermuda High to the north will shift more to the east & north allowing for a turn to the north over the Western Atlantic. This will be a clear miss for the Antilles.... & stays far to the east of the U.S. but will maintain easterly swells to the U.S. east coast into at least the upcoming weekend/early next week as Teddy will be a large & strong hurricane. There appears to be an increasing threat to Bermuda early next week.

(4) Another African tropical wave was upgraded just off the coast of Africa early Mon. to tropical depression #21 & a few hours later to “Vicky”. This is the fastest to the 20th named storm beating the previous record of Tammy on Oct. 5, 2005 (which made landfall in Duval Co. as a weak tropical storm. There was a “no name” storm before Tammy in ’05 which is why it was a 'T' name as the 20th named storm vs. a 'V' storm this year). Vicky is forecast to weaken & then dissipate over the next couple days.

Yet another African tropical wave will move off the coast later this week with the potential for development.

(5) A lowering of pressures has been indicated by forecast models over the Western Gulf of Mexico into next week. Low pressure appears to be developing may eventually become a tropical storm. Definitely an area to keep an eye on. Early in the season - June/July/Aug. - systems over the W. Gulf typically move west but later in the season - Sept./Oct. - this kind of system often gets pulled north or northeast. This may be one the Gulf Coast has to carefully monitor with lots that could transpire considering any true movement/heading is still at least 5 days away. In the meantime, the low pressure area will simply meander over the W. Gulf while trying to organize.

(6) There some indications of possible low pressure developing next week to the east of Florida over the SW Atlantic along what will probably be a stationary front. We’ll need to watch this area for some tropical development.

Atlantic Basin wave forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:

September is usually the most active month of the hurricane season:

Saharan dust:

2020 names..... “Wilfred” is next on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael in ’18) & Dorian is certain to be retired from the ’19 list. Interesting side note: the last six of the names on the ’20 list have never been used with only 1 remaining “Alpha” is the first name of the Greek alphabet. It’ll be the first time the Greek alphabet has been used since 2005 (total of 27 named storms using 6 Greek letter names in ’05)

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content is impressive:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


Global tropical activity:

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