To track Fay on radar as it moves toward the US, try this link to a US interactive radar.
Just click on the interactive radar icon and then maneuver the view to the Gulf Coast. You can zoom to street level anywhere in the country, click on icons to provide computer generated analysis of individual storms and hit animate to loop the image.
Fay looks to be running right on schedule. If you read the 11PM discussion,
you will see that the high flying Gulfstream aircraft found height falls in the SE Gulf. That indicates a weakening in the atmosphere and would tend to indicate where the storm will go…the path of least resistance, if you will. If you look at the satellite photo, you find that the storm doesn’t look very good. The intereaction with
the mountains of Cuba has taken its toll even though Fay’s circulation may still be partially over the water. You also find on the satellite an extension of clouds from the SE US. That is a trof that I have been talking about for several days. It brought re-inforcing cool/dry weather to Louisville and much of the east and should help influence the storm north. If you note in the discussion, they say it hasn’t moved much and appear to be guessing as to its movement. This
slow down is consistent with a turn. In fact, as of midnight EDT, it looks like from the radar imagery that the storm is already turning across Cuba. In any event, the models that insist on taking the storm farther west into the Panhandle of Florida and toward the Ohio Valley are really on the fringe, though several remain stubborn. The GFNI still wants to take it to near Panama City to Louisville with landfalling winds of 110 kts.
Now, regarding the official track on the out periods, there is a trof that will swing down across the Ohio Valley on Wednesday and I am trying to determine how the storm will end up in Eastern Kentucky because that trof, conventional wisdom assumes, would pick up the storm and carry it east. That is several days out and we’ll have to see. The current forecast is similar to the last ones though they have knocked down the intensity just a tad. Given its current ragged condition, it will be interesting to see if this storm can get itself back together. It had a pretty good structure and it remains to be seen if that structure is still, or will be, in tact. I looked at a pass from the hurricane hunter and they only had it at 1002 mb, which is rather pedestrian. It does not appear that this guy is going to be that rough as it will be tough for this guy to get going in a short period of time. The only way I see that it develops into something formidable will be if it swings farther out into the Gulf which is becoming a more and more remote possibility. So, the national weatherman’s sign out of people in the Keys “bracing for the Fury of Fay” is probably overstated….as usual. Here’s the 11pm Sunday discussion.
TROPICAL STORM FAY DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062008
1100 PM EDT SUN AUG 17 2008
AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE REPORTS NEAR 0000 UTC SHOWED LITTLE MOTION
SINCE THE EARLIER FIXES. RECENT SATELLITE IMAGERY AND CUBAN RADAR
DATA IMAGERY INDICATE THAT THE CENTER IS ILL-DEFINED AT THE
MOMENT…AND SURFACE SYNOPTIC DATA SUGGEST THAT THE CIRCULATION IS
SOMEWHAT ELONGATED FROM EAST TO WEST. STRONGEST CONVECTION IS
OCCURRING JUST TO THE EAST AND NORTHEAST OF THE ESTIMATED CENTER.
INITIAL MOTION IS A HIGHLY UNCERTAIN 305/9. THE TRACK FORECAST
REASONING IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM EARLIER TODAY. FAY IS LIKELY
TO TURN TOWARD THE NORTH ON THE WESTERN PERIPHERY OF A MID-LEVEL
RIDGE. NOAA G-IV JET DATA SHOW MID-TROPOSPHERIC HEIGHT FALLS OVER
THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO WHICH ALSO SUPPORTS A TURN TOWARD
THE NORTH. SOME OF THE TRACK MODELS SUCH AS THE GFDL MODEL HAVE
SHIFTED…ONCE AGAIN…TO THE EAST. THERE HAVE OBVIOUSLY BEEN SOME
RUN-TO-RUN CONSISTENCY PROBLEMS WITH OUR TRACK GUIDANCE…BUT THIS
IS OFTEN THE CASE FOR WEAK TROPICAL CYCLONES IN THE MODEL INITIAL
CONDITIONS. I HAVE NOT MADE MUCH OF A CHANGE TO THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST WHICH REMAINS CLOSE TO THE DYNAMICAL MODEL CONSENSUS.
WE HAVE BEEN CARRYING 45 KT FOR THE CURRENT INTENSITY SINCE EARLIER
TODAY ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN NO RECENTLY OBSERVED FLIGHT-LEVEL
WINDS TO SUPPORT THIS VALUE. HOWEVER IT IS BELIEVED THAT THESE
WINDS ARE LIKELY OCCURRING IN THE STRONG CONVECTION NORTHEAST OF
THE CENTER WHICH WAS NOT SAMPLED BY THE AIRCRAFT. AN UPPER-LEVEL
LOW OVER THE EXTREME NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS IMPEDING THE
OUTFLOW OVER THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE AND MAY
EVEN BE CAUSING SOME UPPER-LEVEL CONVERGENCE OVER THE STORM. ON
THE OTHER HAND…THE SHIPS GUIDANCE INDICATES THAT VERTICAL SHEAR
WILL DECREASE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THEREFORE SOME
STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST WHILE FAY IS OVER WATER DURING THE
EARLIER PART OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. BY 48 HOURS OR SO…SHEAR
ASSOCIATED WITH AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE EXTREME EASTERN GULF
OF MEXICO IS FORECAST TO INCREASE…AND THIS SHOULD LIMIT
INTENSIFICATION. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS A BLEND OF THE
LATEST GFDL AND HWRF MODEL PREDICTIONS. IT SHOULD BE ADDED THAT
THERE IS LOW CONFIDENCE IN THIS FORECAST HOWEVER.
IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO FOCUS ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK. A BETTER
WAY OF ASSESSING YOUR RISK IS TO MAKE USE OF THE WIND SPEED
PROBABILITIES. THESE DO NOT CHANGE SIGNIFICANTLY FOR GIVEN
LOCATIONS WHEN SMALL ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE TO THE TRACK FORECAST.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 18/0300Z 21.4N 80.6W 45 KT
12HR VT 18/1200Z 22.3N 81.7W 50 KT…INLAND
24HR VT 19/0000Z 23.8N 82.7W 55 KT
36HR VT 19/1200Z 25.3N 82.8W 65 KT
48HR VT 20/0000Z 27.0N 82.8W 70 KT
72HR VT 21/0000Z 30.5N 82.5W 50 KT…INLAND
96HR VT 22/0000Z 34.0N 82.5W 25 KT…INLAND
120HR VT 23/0000Z 37.5N 82.5W 20 KT…REMNANT LOW