Hermine is on its way...
Tropical Storm Hermine has max winds of 50 mph at this hour, and is looking decent. Its lacking some convection, particularly on the west side of it, but overnight it should get more organized. Convection likes to blow up at night so Hermine could look more interesting tomorrow morning.
Hermine should hit Florida tomorrow night as a strong tropical storm or category one hurricane. The NHC has Hermine striking as a 70 mph tropical storm, which is so close to hurricane force its basically a coin-flip at this point.
If your under a tropical storm warning/hurricane watch right now in Florida, now is the time to prepare. The weather should be good enough tomorrow morning to prepare, but make sure you're done by the afternoon . Firstly, and most importantly pay attention to evacuations. A few evacuations have been put in place, here's a link to them. www.wctv.tv/content/news/Tropical-Depression-Nine-Evacuations-Closings-Service-Changes-391891931.html
Secondly, make sure you have flashlights and batteries, plenty of drinking water, medication, food (non-perishable), pet food, a generator if possible and anything else you would need, since you won't be able to leave your house.
Finally, prepare your house for the storm. Bring in anything outside, boarding up windows and collecting sand bags is a good idea too. I said this last because its really most important to prepare yourself for the storm, before you prepare your house and belongings.
Most in Florida already know all of this information, but its a good idea to say it again. Its been 11 years since Florida had a hurricane, and if Hermine is a hurricane at landfall, it will break this streak.
Besides the obvious winds and surge, Hermine will impact Florida in a few other ways.
Rainfall amounts with Hermine will be quite high. In Tampa as much as 5 inches of rain has fell just in the last 24 hours, with another 3-5 inches likely over the next couple days. Where Hermine makes landfall the NHC is forecasting 6+ inches of rain. As the storm moves northeast through the Carolina's 6+ inches of rain is likely.
Another threat with Hermine will be tornadoes. The SPC has issued a slight risk for tomorrow, which I think could get upgraded to an enhanced risk tomorrow. It may seem out-of-the-ordinary, but 5% of hurricane deaths are from tornadoes, compared to 10% of hurricane deaths caused by strong winds. Its just something to watch tomorrow night.
So after hitting Florida, whats next for Hermine? It should track through eastern Georgia, and then the Carolina's Friday and Saturday. On Sunday is when things will get interesting for our area. Hermine will be located off the coast of Delmarva or the Jersey shore, stalled out. However, the storm won't be Hermine at this point but will turn into an extratropical nor'easter, as it will be mixed with cold air. Below is a cool picture of the high temperatures forecasted from the GFS for Sunday.
In this model output the center of the storm is located over Cape May. You can see in the picture its pulling cold air from the northwest, hence the 50 degree highs in central Pennsylvania. Then on the flip-side you can see warm air being pulled from the southeast, hence the 70 degrees highs on Long Island. This temperature contrast develops a sharp baroclinic zone, which helps strengthen the storm. The GFS isn't very bullish on the intensity of this storm, so if it were stronger, this temperature contrast could be even bigger.
This nor'easter will be quite potent, so a high impact storm is possible. Widespread rain amounts will likely be of a typical rain storm (1 to 3 inches), but in some areas locally higher amounts of 3-6+ are possible. Hopefully this will happen in eastern New England with their drought.
Wind and surge will also be a problem. Here's the euro foretasted air pressure for Sunday morning. The pressure difference between the strong high to the storms northeast will further increase the winds and surge.
So how much wind and surge exactly will we get? That's really too early to get into. Winds associated with the storm could gust to near hurricane force, but that doesn't mean those winds are going to hit the shore. The same goes for surge, it all boils down to how close this storm gets to shore.
I don't have all the answers yet, but I can say that we'll be tracking this storm for a long time. It's already day 12 of tracking this system, and I'd say we have at least a week left before we can finally say bye-bye to Harambe. Oops I mean Hermine.
Be sure to pay attention to the forecast if on the shore from Florida to Massachusetts. And if you're told to evacuate, do it, please. Be sure to follow my twitter @conweather, I'll have lots of updates tomorrow as Hermine nears Florida.