Tropical Storm Isaias was officially designated by the national hurricane center. Exact forecast track and future of the storm remains very fluid, we can and will see changes to the track over the next few days. Although, the chances of US mainland impacts are increasing, and impacts in North Carolina are also growing. We still do not know with confidence, what the future track would exactly be, and what the intensity of the storm will be. The next 24 hours will be critical to nailing down the track. Right now, the system is moving over the Dominican Republic; the high terrain will impact the system but to what extent is not known right now. Overnight, the odds of North Carolina being impacted by Isaias went up. So what happened, models begin to shift north and east on the trend that has occurred over the past two days. High Pressure is expected to break down and move east, which will allow the storm to turn north. I thought by today we would have a better idea of the situation, we just don't. I simply, with all my forecasting, 3-4 days from now know exactly where Isaias will make the turn north and east. Furthermore, I can't tell you precisely who will get and where impacts will be worse. I'm very confident any impacts will be next week. This is not the page where you will see full-on hype like other pages, I just don't believe in doing that.
WHERE WILL ISAIAS GO: This is the million-dollar answer, models are beginning to show the north and east trend. This is why our impacts are going up, that doesn't mean a full-on panic and clear the stores yet :).
TRACK: Today, the system will be passing over the Dominican Republic due to the high terrain this area is notorious for weakening or destroying storm circulations. Once the system passes over the Dominican Republic and ends up in the Atlantic ocean near the Bahamas, we should have a better idea of the track. Forecast models vary from landfall in Florida to landfall in NC and or out to sea. On the map below is a variety of computer models that forecast tropical systems; this system has been a headache from the beginning. The computer model still and have not had a good handle on the situation. Many of the models are changing every six hours from west to east; this makes it impossible to make a good forecast to help folks prepare. The hope is over the next 24 hours; we can nail down the exact track and figure out what the plan should be. As we all know, the exact track and passage of the system will lead to what we can expect along the coast and or in North Carolina.
SCENARIOS: IMAGE 2
TRACK 1 (GREEN): The system gets ripped apart by the land interactions and is weak with a landfall in Florida (lowest chance track right now)
TRACK 2 (YELLOW): The system stays organized and moves up the coast as a strong Tropical Storm or Hurricane the high-pressure ridge blocks it from going out to sea (impacts likely on this track)
TRACK 3 (ORANGE) THE system is able to stay strong and organized, but the trough over the US pushes it out to sea, and it misses the East Coast altogether. This is the best-case scenario, let's keep our fingers crossed.
TRACK TWO AND THREE HAS THE BEST CHANCE OF HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!
WORDS OF ADVICE: Models change about every 6 hours, so don't let pages freak you out with crazy predictions. The key to forecasting hurricanes/tropical systems is to watch for trends and consistency. Don't let what you see cause you to panic or let your guard down.
WHAT SHOULD I THINK ABOUT? Someone will get worse than forecasted, someone will see nothing, and somewhere will end up with exactly what was predicted. That's science; we can't control it; just try and forecast it :) Don't panic; just be prepared; we should be based on the state we live in. If you have plans along the coast next week, keep checking back to the forecast don't change anything yet.
WHAT TO DO KNOW: Do not panic, but the chances of a US mainland landfall or North Carolina landfall is increasing. The exact track/intensity is not known; therefore, exact impacts cannot be answered. You should begin to assemble a hurricane preparedness kit if you have not already done so. Regardless of this track or this system, it is always important to have a hurricane preparedness kit, especially if you live in North Carolina.
What should I have in it? Begin to make a list and replenish or start a kit.
1) You should have enough food and water for each person for 3-4 days.
2) be sure to fill up prescriptions and have medicine on hand that you may need.
3) radios, batteries, and phone chargers are a must-have.
4) have extra gas on hand and cash
5) The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you do, now is the time to begin planning where you would go and how you would get there. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles, but have multiple options. Your destination could be a friend or relative who doesn't live in an evacuation zone. If you live in a well-built home outside the evacuation zone, your safest place may be to remain home. Be sure to account for your pets in your plan.
Don't freak out or panic, I'll be with you every step of the way with the best forecast and possible and what to do remember it can and will change so hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Check out the average error for each forecast point in the cone of uncertainty from The National Hurricane Center.
24 Hours= 50 miles 48 Hours= 80 miles 72 hours= 120 miles 96 hours= 175 miles 120 hours= 225 miles
While forecasting has gotten better, it is a science and is still very unpredictable; it is better to be prepared than surprised. We are 120 hours out, so the average error is 225 miles. Subtle changes in the track will lead to entirely different impacts; thus, it is way too soon to know the effects or any we will have in NC. We must just watch the situation and prepare correctly; there’s plenty of time for this to shift off the coast or to worse or better.