Solving the riddle of Tropical Storm Emily's future track

Solving the riddle of Tropical Storm Emily's future track
Weather Talk

POSTED: Monday, August 1, 2011 - 11:49pm

UPDATED: Monday, August 1, 2011 - 11:58pm

Now that Tropical Storm Emily has an official center of circulation, the models have become a little clearer.  Earlier in the day, the models basically were guessing as to where the exact center was located.  That is why we saw such a huge disparity between each model and each respective run.  We will attempt to decipher Emily and her future track as she moves through the Caribbean.

First, take a look at the official National Hurricane Center forecast cone above.  Notice how the storm is forecast to move right over the island of Hispaniola.  This is a huge factor when determining what type of system we could be dealing with down the line.  As odd as it may sound, a weaker system moving over the island will have a better chance of regaining strength when back over the waters near the Bahamas, than a strong well developed system.  So, depending on the size and formation at the point when it crosses Hispaniola, we could be looking at a very sloppy storm moving near the Bahamas, or a system that may rapidly intensify once it reaches that area.

Next, we will talk about the steering currents and why the tracks shifted more to the east once the exact center was located.  Earlier in the day, the models were assuming the center was more to the east than it actually was.  Once the exact center was located, it was determined that it was already to the west of the Lesser Antilles.  This is huge for the future track of this storm.  With a more developed storm located more to the west, it's more likely to "feel" the weakness created in the pattern by the dipping trough to the north.  In simpler terms, there are two high pressures set up. One is over the United States, and one is over the Atlantic.  There will be an alley created in between the two that the storm should squeeze into.  Check the below graphic for my attempt to illustrate this scenario.

Finally, this is not an exact science.  Florida could still be impacted by this system down the road or experience a very close call.  After that, the Carolinas will have to pay close attention to the storm.  Again, Hispaniola will play a huge role in not only the future intensity of this system, but also the future track depending on how much the system slows down when interacting with the island.  Just for kicks, I have included a graphic of the models below.  Most of them have shifted to the east tonight, due to the center being located more to the west, and because the system seems to be getting its act together. 

We are always tracking the tropics here in the STORMTRACKER33 Weather Center, and we will keep you updated with up to the minute information as it becomes available. Also, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook @STORMTRACKER33 for even more updates.  You can also follow me on my personal Twitter @TheJesseVee.

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