Tropical Storm Colin
Tropical Storm Warnings have indeed been extended into North Carolina as forecast here at Firsthand earlier today.
Tropical Storm Warnings are not in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida on the Gulf Coast, and from Sebastian Inlet Florida to Oregon Inlet North Carolina.
Colin is now moving north northeast at 23 miles per hour and is 70 miles south southwest of Appalachicola Florida. Colin should move on shore during the next few hours. Several locations in Florida have already felt the effect of Colin’s outer bands as strong gusty tropical downpours moved on shore. 3-5 inches of rain is expected with some higher amounts where training occurs. Coastal Flooding should be held to a minimum as Colin approaches during low Tide. Locations on thee Atlantic Coast may not get so lucky however and will have an onshore flow during high tide on Tuesday. We will keep track of Colin’s forward movement to help pinpoint the locations that could see the strongest winds during high tide.
Colin’s maximum sustained winds remains at 50 mph, but his minimum central pressure has begun to drop again and is now down to 1002 millibars. A slight increase in winds is not out of the question before landfall occurs.
Remember, tornadoes are a risk in this region
Colin’s strongest winds and heaviest rains are displaced to the centers Southeast. This is why the warnings expand so far in that direction. Tropical Storm conditions will extend well to the south and west of the location of landfall. Forecast models continue to show that Colin will continue to deepen and that wind speed will increase. The coastal areas of the Carolinas should be especially on the watch for winds in excess of 60 miles per hour as Colin increases wind speeds off the Atlantic coast.
Tropical Storm Colin
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida on the Gulf Coast, and from Sebastian Inlet Florida to the South Santee River in South Carolina. I anticipate additional Watches and warnings to be extended further north along the South and North Carolina coastline.
Colin continues to move toward the north northeast, now at 16 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are at 50 miles per hour with higher gusts, and a minimum central pressure of 1004 millibars. Colin will continue to strengthen and while not expected to be a hurricane before making landfall in Florida, some models are beginning to show Colin could approach hurricane strength while moving out to sea over the Atlantic Ocean even as he transitions to a post tropical cyclone. The map above shows the current track forecast and areas under Tropical Storm Warnings. The blue circle next to Colin’s location is the area currently seeing Tropical Storm Force winds. As with any tropical system, Colin’s strongest winds are to the right of the center of circulation.
However, this does not preclude localized areas of strong to near Tropical Storm force winds in other parts of the storm and heavy rain showers with strong winds are already beginning to impact Florida as seen on the radar image below.
Heavy rainfall continues to be the biggest non wind threat associated with Colin. While Tropical Storm force winds will effect a large area of Florida into Georgia and the Carolinas, rainfall as high as 3-5 inches is expected over a large area of the same region. Some areas that receiving training tropical rain bands could see as much as 8 inches of rain. Tornadoes are also going to be a risk with this system. The Storm Prediction Center currently has a 5% risk of Tornadoes in the area.
Storm Surge does not appear to be a risk at this time as the worst effects of Colin should take place during low tide. Some localized coastal flooding could occur during high tide this afternoon as gusty outer band storms move in but the effects should be marginal and of very short duration. But the Florida coast should expect very dangerous conditions along the shore from very heavy surf.
It is VERY late, so I’m guessing that about two people will read this article. Anyway, if you read my article that I posted earlier on the severe weather/tornado threat, you probably already know where most meteorologists and weather forecasters will be focusing all of their attention this week, unless they forecast locally. I don’t want to neglect the regions farther east since many locations across the eastern half of the U.S. will be getting several inches of rain.
Dry surface high pressure is currently moving off the East Coast, while upper-level ridging is building over the eastern half of the U.S. This ridge is going to continue to build throughout the week, but it is going to remain very flat. The overall flow (wind) aloft will be from the southwest/west, so this should pull in warm and moist air from the Pacific. Closer to the surface in the lower-levels, the pattern is going to favor moisture and warm air getting pulled up from the Gulf of Mexico.
Later in the week, the surface low pressure system that’s going to develop in response to the upper-level trough in the western United States (the feature responsible for the coming severe weather) will be moving from the Plains and will eventually shoot northeast. As this system moves across the U.S., warm and moist air will get pulled up from the Gulf of Mexico into the warm sector of the system, which is south of the warm front and ahead of the cold front.
Without getting into the nitty gritty details, get ready for rainy and stormy conditions across the Deep South, Mississippi Valley, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, and all the way to the East Coast. Oh by the way, parts of California will be getting some beneficial rain/mountains snows! I shared WPC’s 5-day rainfall total forecast. You’ll have to forgive me for not making my own map.
WPC’s 5-Day Rainfall Total Map: