Sunday, June 29, 2014 -

A developing tropical low just off our Georgia/South Carolina shores has the potential to become our first named-storm of the season.  And what that low actually does, how this potential-depression-tropical storm verifies is a big question.  Worst case would be a Carolina hurricane late-week.  Bring on the 4th!

Could this be ARTHUR?  Sure.

The first named storm of the 2014 Hurricane Season could be developing right now, a broad circulation 230 miles east of Jacksonville .  Some active rain banding has begun on its northside, much less in other quadrants.  Water temperatures are abnormally high off the Carolina coast and upper-level winds are not really helping or hurting any strengthening, through those winds do become more favorable for development mid-week.  In fact, the NHC has now upped the percentages that this will become a named storm: 60% chance in 48 hours and an 80% chance over the next five days.

We do note the presence of some very dry air just north of the tropical low, holding it in place, keeping it from organizing more quickly and allowing it to “meander” over this warm ocean water drifting S-SW for a couple of days, perhaps into the Florida Atlantic Coast.  In fact to the north of the tropical low, a very active progressive stormtrack of troughs and ridges have locked everything in place for now.  The common solution among the models is that a mid-week trough crossing the Tennessee Valley will open this tropical low up (probably at least as a depression at this point) and drag it NE into the Atlantic .

But today, a separate global model is slowing things down in that progressive pattern, suggesting the tropical low stays closed eventually reaching hurricane strengthen over North Carolina on the 4th.  That would be the worst case, and we need the other models to start to buy into that idea.  So far, we are sticking with an eventual tropical storm opening up and racing off mid-week.  We’ll be watching.


Meteorologist John Wetherbee, CBM