August 22, 2012
'Tis the season for tropical development and August and September are usually very active months. We are already seeing an increase in activity and now all eyes are on the Atlantic and recently formed Tropical Storm Isaac. Here's the latest view from the National Hurricane Center:
In addition to Tropical Storm Isaac, there is another area of likely development off to its east that could also become a named storm in the next day or two. This would be Joyce if it does form and would also bear watching. However, for now, it's Isaac that could play a role in our weather late next week. Let's take a look.
Isaac will more than likely strengthen to Hurricane status sometime within the next day and by Friday night head right for Hispanola. After its stop over there, it continues its westward track toward Cuba by the weekend. The question then becomes, what's next? Spaghetti plots are used to determine long range forecasts for (in this case) tropical systems. They are called spaghetti plots simply because when all the different computer models are lined up on one graphic or chart side by side -- they look like elongated noodles. Hence, spaghetti! Get it?
When lumped all together, there is a common theme among the long-range model forecasts: they all seem to bring the storm up the coast. A few rogue models even slam the storm right into the Carolinas next week. I think the most likely case at this time is that the system will push into the east coast sometime early next week and its remnants could move into our region by the second half of next week. It's way too early to pin any forecast down exactly, but early signs show the potential for some heavy rain late next week for Pennsylvania. The GFS model echoes this sentiment and seems to be in general agreement with the Spaghetti plots above. Check out it's latest run:
This is the GFS model projecting next Thursday morning -- August 30th. Notice where the remnants of Isaac are located. Still a massive and impressive system, Isaac is just off to our south and looks to bring a ton of rain to the Mid Atlantic region and could pack a punch here in the Susquehanna Valley. This model has been fairly consistent on the path over the last two days. Does this mean it's a sure thing? Not yet. It's still a little early to say for sure whether Isaac will have an impact on our region, but it is looking more and more likely. How big of an impact will it be? That's the big question. Again, at this point, it is just too early to even speculate whether the storm will still have enough momentum to really sock us with a ton of rain or whether it will be falling apart by the time it gets to us. We should start to see a clearer picture by this upcoming weekend.
That's the latest from the tropics and obviously the system bears watching for possible impacts on our area. We cannot yet assess exactly what this means, but stay tuned and we will certainly keep you posted on the latest data as we get it. We are always working for you on abc27.com, abc27 Weather on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to watch StormTrack Center 24/7 over the air and on cable. The weekend should bring a little more clarity and we will of course make sure to keep you informed. Stay tuned!