I must admit that this possible tropical/sub-tropical system definitely has my attention, and if everything comes together just right, we could have our first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season later this week. This is definitely NOT something to panic about, but this is a system that has a decent shot at becoming something notable.
I broke down some of the meteorology the other day, and I am going to attempt to further explain the situation currently at hand. If you look at the satellite image below, you can see the broad area of disturbed weather over Cuba and the Bahamas, which is due to an upper-level trough digging over the region. This is creating favorable conditions for cloudiness/storminess over the area, and eventually, a surface low should begin to develop and pull northward. That will be the storm to watch.
A trough is currently moving over the western United States, which will really begin to dig into the southwestern United States and Baja California this week. In response to this building trough out West, a ridge is going to build and strengthen farther east over the eastern half of the U.S. into Canada. The reason why this is important to note is that this ridge is going to trap that low pressure area off the Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina coast and not allow it to quickly slide north/northeast.
I mentioned the other day that there is a tongue of very warm waters being pulled up along the East Coast by the Gulf stream, and since this storm is going to get trapped, it will likely sit over those warmer waters for several days. Given that the environment will be conducive for the further strengthening of this system, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have Tropical/Sub-tropical Storm Ana on our hands by mid to late week, meandering barely off the Carolina or Georgia coast.
The main threat right now will be very heavy rainfall along the coastal regions from Florida to North Carolina later this week. While the forecast models diverge on how strong this system could get, I can’t rule out the possibility of tropical storm force winds along parts of the Carolina coast.
As the trough out west pushes eastward, this storm could eventually get pulled into the coast, bringing heavy rains and gusty winds farther inland later in the week into the weekend.
If you’re located anywhere from the eastern coast of Florida through South Carolina/North Carolina, keep a close watch on everything. Again, there’s no need to panic by any means; however, this current weather situation will likely require me to put out future updates on the site. The overall pattern DOES favor sub-tropical/tropical development off the Southeast U.S. coast this week, and I will do my best to put out additional updates.