WRUF Weather

Arthur Could be a Category 2 by Landfall in North Carolina Tonight

Now with winds of 90 mph, and a forecast for them to possibly reach 105 mph before landfall, Hurricane Arthur poses a significant threat to life and property for residents along the outer banks of North Carolina. Mandatory evacuations went into effect this morning for most coastal locations and preparations were being rushed to completion in neighboring communities, such as Morehead City and Wilmington where the storm will first hit this evening. The winds from Arthur will have the greatest impact near and east of where the center of circulation tracks, which at this time is expected to be near or just offshore. Storm surge flooding in most areas will average 2 to 4 feet, but could be locally higher should the storm wobble west of its present track. Due to the fast movement of Arthur, its forecast track to brush by the coast, and its relatively small size, inland flooding will likely not be widespread with this system. However, any tropical storm or hurricane (even weak ones) can cause localized flooding in a short period of time.

Arthur became the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season as of the 5am advisory from the National Hurricane Center this morning. At the time, maximum sustained winds were reported to be around 75 mph. Since then, thunderstorms have wrapped closer to the center, it has developed an eye wall, and Arthur has strengthened considerably. Hurricane Hunters even measured wind gusts near 100 mph in the eastern quadrant of the storm earlier today. Arthur is a very small, compact storm, with hurricane force winds only extending 25 miles from the center.

Landfall is expected tonight near or possibly just east of Morehead City, North Carolina. Prior to landfall, the storm will come very close to shore near Wilmington this afternoon, then parallel the coast for several hours through the state’s outer banks. Thereafter, Arthur will begin the process of becoming “extra-tropical”, interacting with an approaching front and delivering heavy rain and possible coastal flooding to parts of New England on Friday and Saturday.

Even though Arthur is no longer a direct threat to Florida (and maybe never was), the rip current risk along the First Coast beaches will remain moderate to high thanks to large ocean swells and an off-shore wind. Elsewhere across the state, conditions will return to normal today with only typical afternoon scattered showers or thunderstorms. Rain chances will diminish some on Friday across the northern third of the state, but remain elevated elsewhere through Saturday.

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Typical Summer Day as Tropical Storm Arthur Remains Offshore

By on July 2nd, 2014

Tropical Storm Arthur strengthened in the overnight hours off the east coast of Florida and will continue to make it’s way to the north and east and up the eastern seaboard. Despite the storm off the coast, North Florida will have a typical summer weather pattern for Wednesday with scattered showers and thunderstorms and heat indices near 100°.

Some of the outer bands from Arthur could make their way onshore, however. Most of that activity will remain near Highway 301 and points eastward. Just a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms near and west of I-75 through the afternoon hours.

 

 

 

Rain chances will increase on Thursday as Arthur continues progesses to the northeast and parallels the eastern seaboard. Southwesterly slow will set up for the end of the the week and keep rain chances elevated as it sends the Atlantic sea breeze inland. You can track the storms with us online at WRUFWeather.com.

 

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Newly formed Arthur could be a hurricane by Thursday; little or no inland impact expected

By on July 1st, 2014

Tropical Depression One was upgraded to Tropical Storm Arthur in the National Hurricane Center’s 11am advisory, at which time the system sat only 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral. Tropical Storm Arthur will continue to move northwest or north along Florida’s east coast and could strengthen into a hurricane by week’s end, but by then the storm would be primarily only a threat to the Mid-Atlantic states.

Projected rainfall accumulation across the state through Saturday

Impacts to North Florida will be minimal in the coming days, but an increase in shower and thunderstorm activity is expected as early as Wednesday. On the north side of the storm, dry air is keeping North Florida hot and dry with low rain chances. As the storm moves north and parallels the coast, some outer bands could push inland and bring rounds of rain Wednesday through Thursday evening. The primary threat from this storm heavy rain which will be focused mainly near and east of the I-95 corridor and in east-central Florida. In North Florida 1-3 inches of rain will be possible, with higher amounts locally.

 

Considerable uncertainty still remains on just how close the tropical storm gets to the First Coast shoreline before likely accelerating to the northeast.  Nonetheless, the significant wind and sea impacts from the tropical storm will likely stay just offshore. Tropical Storm Arthur’s presence should leave the state by Friday, the 4th of July.

 

WRUF will be monitoring this situation closely over the coming days and you can always find the latest information on Twitter @WRUFWeather.

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Season’s First Tropical Storm Likely to Form; Minimal Impacts to North Florida

By on July 1st, 2014

Invest 91 was classified as a Tropical Depression last night in the National Hurricane Center’s 11pm advisory and the system sits only 80 miles east of Vero Beach. Our season’s first depression will likely become Tropical Storm Arthur later today as it crawls closer to Florida’s Treasure Coast. Tropical Depression One could then strengthen into a hurricane by week’s end, but by then the storm would be primarily a threat to the Mid-Atlantic states.

Latest track and intensity forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

Latest rainfall accumulation totals through Saturday

Impacts to North Florida will be minimal in the coming days, but an increase in shower and thunderstorm activity is expected as early as Wednesday. On the north side of the storm, dry air is keeping North Florida hot and dry with low rain chances. As the storm moves north and parallels the coast, some outer bands could push inland and bring rounds of rain Wednesday through Thursday evening. The primary threat from this storm heavy rain which will be focused mainly near and east of the I-95 corridor and in east-central Florida. In North Florida 1-3 inches of rain will be possible, with higher amounts locally.

 

Model lines showing projected path of the system

Considerable uncertainty still remains on just how close this soon-to-be tropical storm gets to the First Coast shoreline before likely accelerating to the northeast.  Nonetheless, the significant wind and sea impacts from the tropical storm will likely stay just offshore. Soon-to-be Tropical Storm Arthur’s presence should leave the state by Friday, the 4th of July.

 

 

 

WRUF will be monitoring this situation closely over the coming days and you can always find the latest information on Twitter @WRUFWeather.

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First Depression of the Season Likely to Form Soon Just Offshore

By on June 30th, 2014

Very warm waters and relatively light winds aloft will yield an environment favorable for tropical storm development just offshore of Florida’s Atlantic Coast in the next 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center says there is a “high chance” a tropical depression could form from a weak area of low pressure (referenced as Invest 91L) spinning a couple hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral. If the system remains over water, it could strengthen and become our first named tropical storm of the season, which would be called Arthur.  Current forecast data suggests that the soon-to-be depression will drift slowly toward east-central Florida by midweek, then turn north and eventually northeastward away from Florida by week’s end.  At the present time, only minor impacts in terms of heavy rain and unsettled offshore waters are expected for portions of the state.  However, forecast uncertainty is high regarding the eventual track and strength of this system.

Track the tropics with us on our new Hurricanes Page on WRUFWeather.com.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS THROUGH THURSDAY

  • Heavy rain at times for central and south Florida, especially south of I-4 corridor
  • Water spout and rip current risk is elevated along the Atlantic coast
  • Offshore waters unsettled, but risk of any wind or flooding along coast is very low
Potential rainfall this week from Invest 91L

On its present southwest course, Invest 91L could slowly approach Florida’s Treasure Coast on Tuesday, before it likely makes a sharp turn to the north and eventually northeast where further strengthening is a possibility. At this time, due to the relatively weak nature of the system and low confidence in the eventual track, the forecast impacts along the coast remain a bit uncertain. Further inland, for much of central and south Florida, heavy rain and stronger thunderstorms will be common as the system passes slowly by Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of this activity will be focused near and south of the I-4 corridor, where some storms could produce heavy rain, gusty winds and possible water spouts. Total rainfall projections near and just west of where 91L moves are between 2 and 5 inches through Thursday, but these numbers are subject to change based on the storm’s eventual track and strength.

 

PERSPECTIVE

Potential storm tracks of Invest 91L (as seen by forecast models Monday morning)

Although it will seem backwards to some, it’s not unusual for systems to move this direction this time of year. Weak and sometimes sudden shifts in the steering currents aloft can result in chaotic movement to early season storms, and it appears soon-to-be depression number “one” will exemplify those traits, meandering around a bit for a couple of days over the Gulf Stream. Water temperatures in the vicinity of 91L are warmer than normal, running in the middle 80’s in some spots. Wind shear and dry air have recently impeded the progress of Invest 91L on it’s road to maturing into a tropical cyclone. However, both are expected to wain by Tuesday when deeper moisture will be drawn into the system and higher pressure builds aloft.

 

Considering the uncertainty in the eventual track and strength of this system, especially since it hasn’t developed yet, Floridians along or near the Atlantic Coast should stay informed on future forecast updates.

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Season’s First Depression Likely to Develop Just Offshore by Mid-Week

By on June 30th, 2014

Very warm waters and relatively light winds aloft will yield an environment favorable for tropical storm development just offshore of Florida’s Atlantic Coast in the next 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center says there is a “high chance” a tropical depression could form from a weak area of low pressure (referenced as Invest 91L) spinning a couple hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral. If the system remains over water, it could strengthen and become our first named tropical storm of the season, which would be called Arthur.  Current forecast data suggests that the soon-to-be depression will drift slowly toward east-central Florida by midweek, then turn north and eventually northeastward away from Florida by week’s end.  At the present time, only minor impacts in terms of heavy rain and unsettled offshore waters are expected for portions of the state.  However, forecast uncertainty is high regarding the eventual track and strength of this system.

Track the tropics with us on our new Hurricanes Page on WRUFWeather.com.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS THROUGH THURSDAY

  • Heavy rain at times for central and south Florida, especially south of I-4 corridor
  • Water spout and rip current risk is elevated along the Atlantic coast
  • Offshore waters unsettled, but risk of any wind or flooding along coast is very low

Potential rainfall this week from Invest 91L

On its present southwest course, Invest 91L could slowly approach Florida’s Treasure Coast on Tuesday, before it likely makes a sharp turn to the north and eventually northeast where further strengthening is a possibility. At this time, due to the relatively weak nature of the system and low confidence in the eventual track, the forecast impacts along the coast remain a bit uncertain. Further inland, for much of central and south Florida, heavy rain and stronger thunderstorms will be common as the system passes slowly by Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of this activity will be focused near and south of the I-4 corridor, where some storms could produce heavy rain, gusty winds and possible water spouts. Total rainfall projections near and just west of where 91L moves are between 2 and 5 inches through Thursday, but these numbers are subject to change based on the storm’s eventual track and strength.

 

PERSPECTIVE

Potential storm tracks of Invest 91L (as seen by forecast models Monday morning)

Although it will seem backwards to some, it’s not unusual for systems to move this direction this time of year. Weak and sometimes sudden shifts in the steering currents aloft can result in chaotic movement to early season storms, and it appears soon-to-be depression number “one” will exemplify those traits, meandering around a bit for a couple of days over the Gulf Stream. Water temperatures in the vicinity of 91L are warmer than normal, running in the middle 80’s in some spots. Wind shear and dry air have recently impeded the progress of Invest 91L on it’s road to maturing into a tropical cyclone. However, both are expected to wain by Tuesday when deeper moisture will be drawn into the system and higher pressure builds aloft.

 

Considering the uncertainty in the eventual track and strength of this system, especially since it hasn’t developed yet, Floridians along or near the Atlantic Coast should stay informed on future forecast updates.

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Low Rain Chances in Gainesville for Start of the Week

By on June 30th, 2014

Dry air circulating on the north side of a low pressure system off the coast of Florida will allow for dry and hot conditions for the start of the work week.

The greatest rain chances on Monday will be near and just west of the I-95 corridor as well as points southeast of Alachua County. If the activity pushes west near the I-75 corridor it will be very spotty and brief in nature.

 

 

 

Due to the lack of rain, temperatures will be increasing quickly throughout the day into the 90s. Not only that, but it will be feeling even hotter outdoors with the heat index nearing or hitting 100°. Heat indices could hold in the upper 90s for several hours, so take precautions if you are outdoors for an extended period of time. Wear light colored clothing, drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks.

 

The low pressure system, or Invest 91L has a “high” chance of developing into the first tropical system of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and the hurricane hunters are scheduled to investigate it later on this afternoon. The forecast for the rest of this week is largely dependent on the track and intensity of this storm. It is forecasted to take a turn to the north and east by mid-week. Depending on how close it gets to the coast of Florida will determine the chance for shower and thunderstorm activity in North Florida.

WRUF Weather will continue to provide updates on Twitter @WRUFWeather as well as on the Weather on the 6′s and Tropical Update at 20 past the hour.

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Hot and Possibly Stormy Week Ahead

By on June 29th, 2014

A ridge of high pressure in the Gulf of Mexico kept most areas of North Florida dry on Saturday and Sunday, but with the dry weather came a surge in heat indices. Heat indices for both Saturday and Sunday in North Florida approached the 100 degree mark.

We’ll start off Monday dry once again with heat indices surging near or past 100 degrees as early as noon in parts of North Florida. Everyone spending time outdoors is encouraged to drink plenty of water, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and take frequent breaks in the shade. Heat indices are expected to remain at or near 100 degrees through the middle of this coming week.

 

Besides the heat, the WRUF Forecast team has been monitoring an area of low pressure off the coast of Florida for the past couple of days now. The low brought some isolated showers to North Florida on Sunday evening, and we will once more see some isolated showers from 2 to 9 pm here in North Florida on Monday.

 

The low is classified as Invest 91L by the National Hurricane Center, and has a high chance of development into a tropical depression by Monday or Tuesday afternoons. It has been moving southward, and as of now models depict heavy rainfall for portions of central and south Florida; however, some models show the system turning to the north by midweek, bringing heavy rain to North Florida as well. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation in the coming days here at the WRUF Weather center.

 

 

 

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Possible tropical development close to Southeast US this weekend

By on June 26th, 2014

An area of disturbed weather along the tail end of a front could evolve into an area of low pressure this weekend just off the coast of the Carolina’s.  The National Hurricane Center is giving it a “low chance” of tropical development during the Sunday to Tuesday time frame.  Forecast data suggests that whatever does form, tropical or not, would drift slowly southwestward and potentially impact portions of Florida early next week.  Forecast specifics are obviously inconclusive at this early stage, but residents all along the Atlantic beaches are urged to stay informed of the latest forecast in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Debby as it came ashore near Cedar Key in June 2012, flooding many streets and businesses. Photo credit: Jeff Huffman

Storms that develop close to home and move in quirky directions are not that uncommon this time of year. It was only two years ago to the week that Tropical Storm Debby came ashore on Florida’s Nature Coast, resulting in an estimated $250 million in damage and 10 fatalities in the United States.  Debby baffled some meteorologists because just two days before landfall, the official forecast was for landfall in Texas or Louisiana. Just three weeks prior, Tropical Storm Beryl blitzed Florida’s First Coast before the official hurricane season even began. Beryl’s journey included a near 180-degree turn to the southwest off the coast of the Carolina’s.  Both storms, in addition to subtropical storm Chris forming between the two, originated within 500 miles of Florida’s coastline.  And all three formed along the tail end of a front or trough of low pressure.

While it is certainly a bit too soon to project the fate of our “area of interest” this weekend, history certainly doesn’t deny that something tropical could form and approach Florida from the northeast.  At the very least, unsettled conditions including heavy rain and choppy seas should be expected close to wherever this disturbance moves early next week.

Stay tuned to WRUF-TV for Tropical Weather Updates at 20 minutes past the hour, or follow along on Twitter @WRUFWeather.

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Less Rain, More Heat

By on June 25th, 2014

A developing upper level ridge has kept North Central Florida in a dry pattern today.  This high pressure will enable a drier but warmer pattern to continue through Saturday.

A quick warm-up to the mid 90s and the lack of early rain will enable a few late evening showers tonight.  Most of the activity will be spotty and situated west of I-75 and drift to the southeast.  All areas will dry out by 9pm and we’ll be left with a muggy 72 for our morning low.

The heat will really be something to watch for Thursday.  The warm-up will be assisted by later and lower chances for rain.  Temperatures will once again reach the mid 90′s with heat indices surpassing 100.  Onshore flow from both the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast will cause a few seabreeze showers by afternoon but coverage will be low.  The anchored high pressure overhead will cause this pattern of afternoon storms and quick warm-ups to continue through Saturday.  A low center of pressure will develop offshore by Sunday and Monday strengthening the Atlantic Seabreeze resulting in more coverage of storms and temperature returning to average.

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