I enjoy tropical weather! After all, it was Hurricane Hugo in 1989 that sparked my interest in the subject, and was a deciding factor for me to pursue a career in meteorology. We often say meteorology is an inexact science, and this is especially true of tropical systems.
Tropical Storm Fay has been a conundrum since forming into a tropical depression. The latest curve ball she's throw is a drastic change in her track. Sunday night, long-range models had the remnants of Fay in far southwestern Virginia by Friday. Now, it appears high pressure will steer her only as far north as Georgia by Saturday! In a nutshell, this could be bad for us in terms of getting beneficial rainfall from Fay. I've included three graphics on this blog. The top graphic showing the GFS model forecasters use. Note the regions of pink and purple. These are zones of possible precipitation Saturday evening. It shows -NO- rain around here. Next, is the forecast track from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). 24-hours ago this graphic showed Fay as a depression over southwestern Virginia on Friday - now it's showing her as a depression over Georgia. (Please note: there is a wide cone of uncertainty. Southwestern Virginia is still an outside possibility for a track by Saturday afternoon). Finally, the Hydrometeorologial Prediction Center (HPC) 5-day precipitation panel. A colorful graphic with a few bulls eyes of heavy rain, but nothing worth writing home about around here.
I don't have to tell you it's been dry lately, but perhaps you don't know exactly how dry. Lynchburg has only had a trace of rain all month (over 11" below average for the year), and Roanoke has had less than a tenth of an inch of August rain. Tropical systems are excellent rain producers, but will Fay produce anything for us other than a few clouds? Time will tell, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to keep watering my yard.
(IMPORTANT NOTE: The included graphics were posted on this blog Monday night. Forecasts are constantly being updated. The graphics above should be considered dated and not the latest guidance. Please consult the websites of NHC and HPC for the latest forecast tracks. Stay with SkyTracker7 Weather for the latest on Fay.)