Weather Headlines: Hurricane Nate


Staff Reports



Nate to unleash heavy rain, threaten urban flooding across Northeast Monday

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – October 08, 2017 – AccuWeather reports Nate will unleash a heavy and soaking rain across the Northeast Monday, raising the risk for urban flooding across the region.

After making two landfalls along the central Gulf Coast Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, Nate will track across the central Appalachians and New England Sunday night through Monday night.

While Nate will be in a weaker state, it will still be packing plenty of tropical moisture that will fuel heavy rain across a region that has been on the edge of drought conditions over the past couple of weeks.

“For some areas, Nate will bring the biggest rainfall in six to eight weeks or longer,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Nate will bring plenty of wet weather Monday for many cities in the Northeast including Rochester, Syracuse and Albany New York; Allentown and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and areas from New York to Boston. Those heading outside will need the umbrella or a rain jacket.

Nate will bring a general 1 to 3 inches of rain to the interior Northeast, but there can be locally higher amounts closer to 4 inches in the Appalachians of West Virginia and across western Pennsylvania and New York. Along the I-95 corridor, rainfall amounts of 0.50 to 1.00 inch are expected.

This amount of rain will fall over a 6- to 12-hour time frame in most areas which should make the rain more beneficial than troublesome.

“As long as the bulk of the rain does not occur in a couple of hours, the ground should be able to soak up the water with few problems,” Sosnowski said.

However, isolated pockets of heavier rain can occur and bring rainfall rates of an inch per hour which will lead to isolated urban and flash flooding.

Travel delays typical of most rainstorms are expected Monday into early Monday night.

Motorists will need to be on alert for flooded streets and roadways. Alternative routes may need to be taken to avoid such issues.

“Some flooding will be possible, especially in areas where fallen leaves clog drainage systems,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Miller said.

Wet leaves can also produce slippery conditions for motorists and pedestrians, so extra caution should be used when encountering them. Oil buildup in roadways due to the lack of rain recently can also surface and lead to slippery travel.

A sharp gradient from dry to wet conditions will exist to the southeast of the storm track. Some areas in the mid-Atlantic may not receive much rain.

Wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph will be possible across the mid-Atlantic to southern New England Monday night into Tuesday. The strongest gusts are more likely along the coast.

Rain will quickly come to an end by late Monday evening across most of the Northeast. However, it will continue along the New England coast from Maine to Cape Cod but will move out to sea by early Tuesday morning.

Areas across the interior Northeast where the sky is able to clear Monday night will have to deal with fog.

In the wake of Nate, high pressure will temporarily build in across the Northeast on Tuesday bringing dry conditions. However, a storm system will arrive Wednesday and Wednesday night with another round of wet weather.

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

Nate to ease budding drought, raise urban flooding concerns in eastern US early next week

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – October 07, 2017 – AccuWeather reports while Nate will raise the risk of isolated flooding over the interior eastern United States, the storm is likely to ease building drought conditions in some areas.

Hurricane Nate is forecast to make landfall along the upper Gulf of Mexico coast of the U.S. on Saturday night. Significant impacts are likely in this area.

During Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Nate will gradually weaken as it moves inland over the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Appalachians and the coastal Northeast.

Southeast of the storm track, very little rain will fall. However, there will be the potential for locally heavy, gusty and severe thunderstorms continuing into early next week. The thunderstorm risk includes the potential for tornadoes.

Nate will unleash a significant amount of rainfall in the region. For some areas, Nate will bring the biggest rainfall in six to eight weeks or longer.

“The heaviest rain is likely to develop to the immediate north and northeast of the storm center,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

A general 4-8 inches with locally higher amounts will occur from far southern Mississippi and northern and western Alabama to northern Georgia, middle and eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and the Virginia Panhandle.

Rainfall will taper farther to the north and to the east. Part of the southern Atlantic Seaboard may receive little or no rain from Nate.

However, a general 1-3 inches is likely from the upper end of the Ohio Valley to much of the mid-Atlantic and New England. Locally higher amounts are likely in the central Appalachians.

Where the rain falls at a fast pace along the path, there is the likelihood of isolated urban and flash flooding.

“One concern of ours is where leaves have begun to drop and are blocking storm drains,” according to AccuWeather Expert Meteorologist and Chief Operating Officer Evan Myers. “Urban flooding may be exacerbated in those cases, even where a moderate amount of rain occurs.”

For much of this area, however, the rainfall will be beneficial due to abnormally dry to drought conditions that have evolved since late August and early September.

The rainfall deficit in many areas is roughly equal to that which Nate has the potential to deliver.

Rainfall directly associated with Nate is likely to stay southeast of Chicago but could graze Detroit. Rain from Nate is likely to drench Nashville, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and may survive long enough to soak Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

A repeat of the catastrophic flooding that Harvey produced in Texas is highly unlikely.

As long as the bulk of the rain dose not occur in a couple of hours, the ground should be able to soak up the water with few problems.

Nate is likely to maintain a swift pace upon moving inland.

As rainfall from Nate spreads northeastward across the eastern U.S., travel delays typical of most rainstorms will result. However, motorists should use caution for extra slick conditions from fallen leaves and oil buildup.

“Roads will become slick, especially where the prior dryness has caused leaves to drop,” Myers said.

“Gusty winds associated with Nate may knock a significant amount of leaves off the trees.”

Wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph will be possible across the mid-Atlantic to southern New England Monday night into Tuesday. The strongest gusts are more likely along the coast.

Motorists should reduce their speed and allow extra space between vehicles and stopping distance at intersections.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

Nate threatens to make landfall as Category 2 hurricane along central Gulf Coast Saturday night

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – October 07, 2017 – AccuWeather reports Hurricane Nate is charging across the Gulf of Mexico and will slam the central Gulf Coast of the United States with damaging winds, storm surge, flooding and isolated tornadoes Saturday evening into Sunday.

Many preparations for Nate have already taken place, but those still underway will want to be rushed to completion.

Anticipation of Nate’s arrival prompted evacuations in low-lying coastal Louisiana parishes and Alabama and Mississippi counties.

According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, it is estimated that approximately 71.1 percent of the current oil production and 53.2 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. Gasoline and natural gas prices may rise as a result.

“Clearly this has been the costliest hurricane season in history and has permanently changed many aspects of hurricane preparation and will impact future building codes, and also will affect insurance protection and rates among many other future impacts,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, Founder, President and Chairman of AccuWeather. “We estimate damage from [Nate] to remain under $5 billion.”

“Landfall is expected over far southeastern Louisiana or southern Mississippi late Saturday evening or Saturday night,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Miller said.

Nate, currently a strong Category 1 hurricane, remains in a favorable environment over warm water and low wind shear which favors strengthening.

Nate is expected to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane just before reaching land due to these favorable conditions. However, Nate is moving forward at more than 20 mph. This forward speed will limit the storm’s time over water before it reaches land, thus reducing the time it has to strengthen.

Regardless of the exact strength, Nate will still bring dangerous conditions to the central Gulf Coast and Deep South Saturday afternoon through Sunday.

Central Gulf coast threats from Nate include flooding and tornadoes

Conditions will rapidly deteriorate along the central Gulf coast from Saturday afternoon into Saturday night. People should not be on the road during this time.

Vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas, such as New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida, should treat Nate as a serious threat for flooding from heavy rain and storm surge.

New Orleans is below sea level and is protected by levees.

“New Orleans levees that have been upgraded since Katrina and pumps that have been repaired in recent weeks may be tested this weekend,” according to AccuWeather Expert Meteorologist and Chief Operating Officer Evan Myers.

“A hurricane that rolls ashore just east of New Orleans can push a great deal of water into Lake Pontchartrain.”

Once this water is pushed into the lake, northerly winds on the back side of the hurricane can push the high water levels toward the northern shoreline of New Orleans.

Officials have emergency generators on standby for pumping operations in New Orleans, according to NOLA.com. Out of 120 main line pumps, 108 are operational at this time.

The fast-forward motion of the storm will push more water inland on its eastern and northern side, when compared to a slow-moving storm of equal strength.

Areas just east of the center of Nate will face the greatest storm surge threat, which includes coastal Alabama, Mississippi and the western Florida Panhandle. A storm surge into Mobile Bay is expected as Nate comes onshore.

The push of ocean water from Nate, in combination with tides, will put coastal areas under several feet of water from Louisiana to the western Panhandle of Florida Saturday night.

People are encouraged to heed all evacuation orders as they are given.

In addition to storm surge, heavy rain will also lead to flooding issues for the central Gulf Coast and Deep South.

“Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches will occur near and to the east of the center of Nate with localized amounts near or over 12 inches,” Miller said.

Storm drains that may be clogged with leaves will also be a factor that can lead to flooding.

Once Nate moves well inland, the heaviest rain will shift toward the north and northeast of the storm center later Sunday and Monday.

Wind gusts will be strong enough to cause property damage, push down trees and lead to power outages.

“Damaging wind gusts of 100-110 mph can be expected, especially near and just to the east of the center of Nate,” Miller said.

With Nate moving very quickly, wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph will extend far inland across Alabama and into Tennessee near the center of the system. The threat for sporadic power outages will exist across these areas.

Isolated tornadoes can also occur well east of the center of Nate on Sunday and Monday. Outer rain bands from tropical systems can quickly spin up tornadoes so folks will want to be on alert.

“The extent of the damage will depend, of course, on the precise path and whether the storm intensifies beyond a Category 1 storm,” Dr. Myers said.

Rip current risk to extend along entire Gulf of Mexico coastline

Wind and wave action will produce rough seas and dangerous surf throughout the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

The greatest coastal impacts will focus from part of the central Gulf coast to the upper west coast of the Florida Peninsula.

Small craft throughout the Gulf of Mexico should remain in port this weekend. Bathers should avoid venturing beyond knee-deep water as the number and strength of rip currents will increase substantially, even as far west as Texas.

The potential for coastal flooding will extend well east of the center of the storm.

AccuWeather is projecting a total of 17 tropical storms, which includes 11 hurricanes, through December 2017 in the Atlantic basin. The Atlantic basin includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Hurricane season officially ends at the end of November.

Including Nate, there have been 14 tropical storms, eight hurricanes and five major hurricanes thus far.

“To stay safe, we urge people to keep checking AccuWeather.com and the AccuWeather apps for the latest developments,” Dr. Myers said.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

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Staff Reports