FLORENCE WEAKENED TO A TROPICAL STORM OVERNIGHT
WEAKENING APPEARS TO BE LEVELING OFF
STRENGTHENING FORECAST OVER THE WEEKEND
The much advertised weakening of Hurricane FLorence to a tropical storm occurred yesterday and last night as the stormed move into an area of hostile upper air winds. The distorted nature of the satellite signature of Florence shows the clouds tops being blown away to the northeast. However Florence has still maintained a solid core overnight and upper air winds are forecast to begin relaxing today. The weakening should level off shortly if it hasn’t already and then we expect Florence to start strengthening again over the weekend. The weaker nature of the system has turned it more toward the west. This is an important development. Less northward component of motion increases the probability that Florence misses the weakness and does not recurve into the open waters of the Atlantic.
Overnight weather models show Florence taking a mostly westerly course. While the spread between the global models continues the spread is narrowing. All three models show a growing threat for the East Coast later next week but I won’t take this seriously until I see Florence get west of 60 degrees west which should occur Sunday night or early Monday and then the next hurdle after that is getting to 70 west and south of 30 N because from there we can determine where the greatest risk is going to be along the Eastern Seaboard.
Assuming Florence jumps the hurdles ahead the overnight models are very clear that the strength of the ridge is key here. The upper high to the northeast of the storm is strong on all models but it is strongest on the European and weakest on the GFS model (relatively speaking). In the end the subtle changes of that ridge will mean everything regarding track. Hurricane tracking models remains split in the longer term but they will likely begin tightening up in the coming days.
THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE USE OF MAPS
Please consult your local National Weather Service office at weather.gov for the latest information on any tropical or storms or hurricanes that could be a threat to your area. Consult your local government officials regarding action you may need to take to secure life and property