Storms Locally and In The Tropics

Clouds blanket the area Wednesday morning.

Some sun is expected to break through at times but a cold front is approaching and rain chances remain reasonably high.

The Baltimore metro region is on the north edge of an area that has been identified as having a slight risk for severe weather development as the cold front approaches.

Computer model rainfall estimates for most of Maryland are generally less than a half inch with western Maryland and some localized areas elsewhere potentially receiving close to an inch.

In the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Emily continues its’ move toward the island of Hispaniola. The storm strengthened somewhat overnight and as of mid morning Wednesday winds were clocked at 50 mph.

Image Courtesy: Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies/Space Science and Engineering Center   University of Wisconsin-Madison

The early morning satellite image above is overlaid by an ensemble of computer model forecast tracks for Emily. Most models forecast a track taking the storm to the Atlantic off the southeast U.S. coast. Only a few take a more westerly track toward Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane forecasters use these ensemble forecast products to help determine the forecasts that are issued and updated several times a day.

The National Hurrican Center’s Wednesday morning forecast has Emily moving fairly close to the Florida coast on Saturday at tropical storm strength, reaching hurricane strength late Sunday or Monday. A fairly wide margin of error is allowed for in these forecasts and updates throughout the day adjust and extend the track when necessary.

The beautiful image below was added to the blog Wednesday afternoon.

The most significant thunderstorm activity associated with Emily is on the east and southeast flank of the storm. Upper level winds have pushed these storms east of the eye. This “shearing” affect of the general circulation winds is probably the largest contributing factor to the storm’s failure to strengthen.

Check back with for updates on local weather and conditions in the tropics and tune in Tom and Tony for the latest on WBAL TV-11.

John Collins

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