Posted on September 30, 2016 at 4:58pm CDT.
After a hiatus during the summer, I'm back at it again with the blogging. Storm season was cut short for me after fracturing a metacarpal bone in my left hand during a gym mishap. The timing of this couldn't have been worse as it was during the last week of May and Kansas was going bananas with tornadoes while I was forcibly stuck at home. It's absolutely crazy just how fast the summer has flown by. I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that we are three quarters of the way done with 2016 and that the holidays are around the corner. Everyone is talking about fall and pumpkin spice everything while I'm feeling like summer only just began.
My summer was largely uneventful. I had several trips planned(including a road trip to California in June) that ultimately got canceled because of my frequent visits to the orthopedic, and finances were not looking up. I got a lot of pool time in though and had a nice tan going for awhile. It's back to my old pale self now though. In spite of all the bad luck I've had this year, I'm trying to hold onto a shred of positivity.... a shred.
So enough of my belly aching we got some weather to talk about(surprise surprise).
Check out this monster in the Caribbean. As of the 5pm EDT update, the NHC has hurricane Matthew at a category 4 with 140mph sustained winds and a 949mb pressure. The hurricane has undergone RI(rapid intensification) and given that the surrounding waters remain very warm and shear relatively light(still about 20kts of shear impacting the hurricane but this has had a relatively miniscule impact on Matthew), I see no reason why Matthew won't remain a powerful hurricane as it makes the trek west and eventually turning poleward towards Jamaica by the end of the weekend.
Satellite presentation has improved with well established outflow in all quadrants, ring of cold cloud tops around the eye(suggestive of deep, intense convection), and clearing inside the eye. It's possible Matthew could flirt with category 5 intensity as we go into the night.
As far as forecast track and potential land interactions with Matthew goes, models are in good agreement that the hurricane will turn right as mid level ridge currently steering the cyclone WSW will shift east over the weekend and feels the influence of large upper low over eastern U.S. Matthew will come uncomfortably close to Jamaica late in the weekend with a potential direct impact with the island. If Matthew maintains current intensity this could be a very damaging blow. After lashing Jamaica, the hurricane will then move over eastern Cuba and eventually the bahamas early next week. Beyond this time frame, the details become somewhat less clear.
A U.S. impact is not out of the question, especially if models continue the westward trend in track. Interests in Florida and up and down the east coast should closely monitor the future progress of Matthew. It's been awhile since we have had a formidable hurricane in these parts.
Back home we are enjoying a much deserved stretch of beautiful fall weather. Yesterday and today have been fantastic outdoor days with little humidity and seasonably warm temperatures. This will continue through the weekend ahead of an evolving trough out west.
Above are some graphics derived from the 12z GFS displaying the setup for Tuesday(Oct. 4). A negatively tilted trough will provide increasing amounts of shear with a narrow but modestly buoyant warm sector developing ahead of a dryline. A setup quite familiar in the springtime but not unusual for fall either. I tell people all the time that we do see a general uptick in severe weather during the fall as we make the transition from summer to winter. We see the jet stream become more amplified with cooler air masses colliding with fading summer warmth and humidity. The process is very similar in the spring albeit more prolific and longer lasting.
The biggest takeaway for Tuesday is that storm chances will be going up and the ingredients for strong-severe storms are there. Large hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes are a possibility given the favorable shear profiles. Most of the upper level forcing/supper looks to be concentrated farther north from Kansas to the Dakotas, however enough forcing for ascent will be present along the dryline for scattered activity. I see a more linear look to storms the farther north you go with the stronger forcing with more supercellular characteristics south.
The SPC has highlighted the aforementioned areas in their day 5 outlook for next week. Of course changes will be made as we go through time and the details become more clear cut. I'm definitely eying Tuesday for a possible chase. I need redemption after my failures this past spring. Let's shoot for a 11/7/11 part duex!