Before the Sandy II panic sets in we have to ask the obvious question. Is the GFS model right with the big shift to the right or is it trending toward the European model solution of a hurricane out to sea and is slowly beginning to catch on?
The track is offshore first and then north and then north northwest to the New Jersey Coast before it heads for the south shore of Long Island and then northeast from there. This would obviously be a dangerous solution for the hard hit Hurricane Sandy areas of 2012 which are still recovering from that hurricane.
However the question is whether this is real or is the GFS merely playing a catch up gain with the European which as taken Hurricane Joaquin out to sea for the past 3 runs? An examination of the GFS model upper air may give us clues.
Here is a direct comparison from the GFS 120 hour upper air from this afternoon and the new GFS 108 hr which matches for the same time frame. Both show the upper low off the southeast US coast but the difference in this run is that the GFS does a complete 180 degree rotation while the European only did a 90 degree rotation taking the hurricane out to sea. This is the standout difference which means everything regarding the ultimate track of Hurricane Joaquin. Is the European going to go 180 as the GFS model? As of this post time we still do not have the Canadian model to compare it to. Therefore the mystery remains unsolved until the European model come out shortly. The GFS solution is a radical shift to the right of prior runs. It takes the track to the Carolinas completely off the table if this is correct. You hope as you get closer that these things get resolved but given the European’s general outperformance, the GFS is trending in the direction of the European and that model does outperform over the long haul. What would make this even more frustrating from a forecasters standpoint is if the European goes somewhat left but not completely left which would still leave the door open. We will know soon when the European comes out.
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