Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin

Some key messages related to Great Lakes (and east coast) birders, pulled directly from NOAA -

5pm discussion:

There is an increased
disagreement between the GFS, UKMET, Canadian, and NAVGEM models
versus the ECMWF since the last advisory.  The ECMWF has continued
its forecast of showing a northeastward motion after 72 hours,
taking Joaquin just west of Bermuda and out to sea.  The other
models have all shifted their forecasts to the left and now
call for landfall in the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic states

Why this matters: the ECMWF (Euro) is typically the BEST model, but it is the only one that is NOT calling for a landfall in the USA (of the big boys). It has Joaquin going out to sea near Bermuda. That is a HUGE DIFFERENCE compared to a storm hitting the USA.The Euro is the model that nailed Hurricane Sandy - predicting the landfall well in advance of the others. Who do you trust?! They just don't know...

 the intensity forecast calls for Joaquin to peak as a
major hurricane in 48-72 hours, and it is possible it could be
stronger than currently forecast.

Why this matters: powerful storms = better birds. Also important to note that it is quite large (in surface coverage) already. Nowhere near Sandy in size, but this isn't the same storm! 

A significant adjustment to the forecast has been made this
afternoon, and this shows an increased threat to the mid-Atlantic
states and the Carolinas.  However, confidence in the details of the
forecast after 72 hours remains low, since we have one normally
excellent model that keeps Joaquin far away from the United States
east coast.   The range of possible outcomes is still large, and
includes the possibility of a major hurricane landfall in the

Why this matters: We need to wait and see some consensus between the big boys (models) before we start getting excited and the blog switches over to Hurricane Mode. Sometimes the best weather events (for birding) are on a knife edge - could be fantastic, or freakin terrible - and this storm is one of those situations. 

Every effort is being made to provide the forecast models with
as much data as possible.  The NOAA G-IV jet has begun a series of
missions in the storm environment, and the National Weather Service
is launching extra balloon soundings.
Why this mattersPeople like to bash weather forecasters. The effort going into this hurricane is immense. They want to know more than anyone (including us birders) so people can prepare in advance for a major event. Hopefully we'll know sooner rather than later, thanks to this new information being gathered. 

5:15pm Wednesday. Getting that "scary" look... 

BE SURE - to check back with the blog for all your birdy weather news. 

OH - and I'll also be posting things on twitter. Why twitter? I dunno... But I will... Tweets appear on the right hand bar...