Monday, June 06, 2016

Tropical Storm Colin: 6 June, Update B

Reports of flooding have been flooding in all day! Storm surge has been over 4ft above normal in some places and the big story is, of course, the coastal flooding along the west coast of Florida. Tropical Storms rotate in an anti-clockwise direction, so as Colin headed north, he pushed a lot of water onto the coast. 

But before I get to that, Tropical Storm Colin is currently at 29.8N, 83.8W, heading NE at 22mph and I think he just made landfall in the Big Bend area. His current track is:

His winds are officially at 50mph, central pressure is 1002 mb. As we know, the worst of the weather was on his east side where the convection was, which means pretty much most of Florida, as well as parts of Georgia and South Carolina (at least) got a few buckets of rain-plus (by the way, if you can figure out how to get them through the postal service, we could use some rain over here in California). 

Looking at his overall convection, it looks like that wind shear is really spreading him thin across most of the eastern seaboard, which means rain and thundery weather all the way... 

This sort of spread means he is beginning to lose his Tropical Storm structure and become caught up in a low pressure front. But to make sure it is a front and not only wind shear that is doing this we have other data we can look at. As I said in the vorticity Science Alert yesterday, we can tell what sort of stormy weather we have by where and how strong the vorticity is. Here's the lower tropospheric vorticity map at 850mb:

And here's the mid-level vorticity map at 500mb:

You can see that he is not as 'circular' as he was yesterday and is starting to stretch out along the eastern seaboard. He's not fully caught up in the front yet, but is almost there. The other clue that he's not a Tropical Storm really is his forward motion... 22 mph is very fast for a tropical storm!

He is moving so fast that he may already interacting with the deep warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which means there's a good chance for some stormy weather and storm surge in Georgia and the Carolinas too. 

Storm surge is running rather high at the moment in Florida. It is 3ft in St. Petersburg, but looks like it has peaked there and is on the way down now. It is 3.5 ft at the Old Port Tampa station. And here's the Cedar Key station, which is showing 4.5ft above normal...

You know what such high storm surge means... yes, obviously that means it is time for the mermaids to frolic in the streets...
(in Shore Acres, St. Petersburg, FL - thanks Keith L. for this one)

I think that's it for today! Definitely more tomorrow as he continues to speed along!
Toodle Pip,

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DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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