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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Ex Ophelia drifts over the Mid-Atlantic, Philippe forms, & a new disturbance (Invest #91L) to watch

We’re tracking 3 systems across the Atlantic. All of them are slow-movers, so nothing is happening fast.

Former Tropical Storm Ophelia’s center of circulation is lodged over the Mid-Atlantic states with a large band of showers and a broad area of moisture well to the north. The cool and damp conditions with periods of rain will persist until the remnants of Ophelia move offshore by late tomorrow.

Tropical Storm Ophelia strengthened and moved north with the help of a strong upper-air disturbance along the eastern seaboard. That disturbance is still part of the equation and is only slowly moving out, which is why things are progressing so slowly.

High-tide flooding continues in rivers and bays along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts due to the persistent winds off the ocean pressing the water against the coast. The wind is now blowing offshore across North Carolina and Virginia, allowing flooded areas up and around the rivers and bays to drain.

Powerful, persistent waves energized by ex-Ophelia’s circulation and the high-pressure system to the north will continue to pound beaches in New Jersey, New York, and surrounding areas. Beach erosion is likely due to the waves and extra-strong along-shore currents.

The effects of ex-Ophelia will begin to fade today. Nice weather returns by Tuesday.

Between the Caribbean islands and Africa, Tropical Storm Philippe is slowly tracking west. It is not forecast to get terribly strong as it turns to the north well before reaching the islands.

Next in line, Tropical Disturbance #1 – officially tagged Invest #91L – is following closely behind. The National Hurricane Center is giving this system a medium chance of becoming a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Rina in the next several days. Early forecasts indicate that it will turn north before the islands as well.

Steering currents are very weak, however. When both Philippe and the disturbance reach the waters northeast of the islands late this week, it’s not clear if or how the two systems are going to interact with the weak steering and/or each other. There is no indication that either of them would become a problem, but systems drifting around in the warm Atlantic bear watching.

In a week or so, long-range computer forecasts show a strong dip in the jet stream setting up over the East Coast of the U.S. This would divert any systems away from land. It could also drive the first strong cold front of the year down the entire Florida peninsula. We'll see. That's usually an October thing.


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