Hurricane Matthew Strengthening New GFS Model
Hurricane Matthew Strengthening
New GFS Model Analysis
Reports from an Air Force reconnaissance plane shows that Matthew continues to strenthen on the order of 1 to 2 millibars per hour. The water vapor loop above shows Hurricane Matthew continues to become more symetrical as it moves on a course slightly south of due west at 15 mph or so. Conditions remain highly favorable for continued strengthening. Hurricane Matthew could become a category 2 hurricane in short order.
The GFS model is not picking up on the much lower pressures and at least from the beginning of the time frame, it is off by over 20 millibars in depth. However it has been good with the overall course of the hurricane. It continues on a general westerly heading however the model is further left (west) on this run. As it makes the turn the GFS model takes it right over the island of Jamaica.
Now comes the important player in this entire scenario and that is the deep upper trough that makes its appearance in the Rockies. Timing of Matthew as it turns northward and the strength, position, and character of that upper trough will determine where Matthew winds up early next week and if it is a threat to the East Coast.
Now complicating matters even further is the remnant upper low in the Ohio Valley. The GFS model leaves a small piece of it behind in the Northeast. You can see the weakness extends northward to the Carolinas. Tonight’s run has a stronger upper ridge in the Atlantic. The western trough is swinging an arm around it into Texas. Which of these features exerts the biggest influence on Hurricane Matthew remains to be seen.
By Wednesday afternoon Hurricane Matthew is just a short distance south east of Miami Florida. A large high is sitting off Nova Scotia. The system in the Northern Plains is pushing east. Tonight’s run changes the character of the upper air once again.
The path of least resistance if this is correct would be northward toward the Carolinas..possibly the North Carolina coast. Obviously any change here would have a huge impact on the final track. Typically the GFS is not strong enough with the Atlantic ridge. If that is indeed the cast it would take Matthew further west. If on the other hand the lingering trough off the east coast is stronger it could create a weakness to turn it more north or north northeast.
The trough to the northwest remains rather flat here. The result is that Hurricane Matthew would be kicked out to the east northeast at this point. Now there are more questions here. The upper trough in the Great Lakes could be deeper in which case Matthew would be close to the coast and move more north northeast. My view is that we are in day 8 of the long range here. There are way to many variables still at play.
This is the second run in a row where the GFS model has taken the system offshore to the northeast. That is still not enough to convince me that this is the final outcome. We still don’t know the final character of that Western trough. We have seen models too many times flip back to earlier solutions when we get into the short range. We still need to see the European model tonight which may have a different outcome to all of this. Again how all the upper air players stand up to all this will be the final determining factor in whether Matthew is a threat to the East Coast or whether it winds up being a miss.
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