Friday, September 2, 2016

Hermine Hits Florida, Will Hassle East Coast For Days

Hermine in Georgia this morning. Much of the East Coast
is in for coastal flooding and damaging, battering
waves all weekend from this thing. 

Tropical storm watches have been upgraded to tropical storm warnings as far north as Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

Tropical storm watches extend further north to Watch Hill, Rhode Island.


Hermine is going to be a very dangerous storm along the East Coast over the next few days.

Really bad storm surges and coastal flooding is a good bet from North Carolina to as far north as southern New England over the next few days. 

As I noted in this morning, (in the discussion below) Hermine now inland over South Carolina, will head off the North Carolina coast Saturday morning.

From there, it will probably turn into this weird tropical storm/mid-latitude storm off the Mid-
Atlantic coast. It will feed off the record warm offshore waters and basically stall, or at the very least move only very, very slowly northward.

Hermine could regain hurricane force strength again while off the Mid-Atlantic coast this weekend.

Here's the takeaway: If you were planning on going to the Jersey Shore, or pretty much anywhere on the East Coast between Georgia and New England for a Labor Day beach getaway, don't even bother.

Stay home.

If you insist on going to the shore, stay out of the water!!!! The rip tides and currents and waves will be extreme, and you will die if you go in for a swim. Don't be stupid, ya hear?

Tidal surges could reach four feet high along the New Jersey shore, with coastal flooding all the way as far north as Long Island and Rhode Island. Tropical storm watches are up for these areas, as well as the Jersey Shore, Delaware and coastal Maryland.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect further south.

Since Hermine will be hanging around off the coast for days, repeated high tide cycles and constant, battering waves have the potential to cause severe damage along many parts of the East Coast. This could well be the worst disaster in New Jersey since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and possibly one of the worst storms in that region's history.

The odd thing is, depending upon where Hermine sets up and stalls, there might not be much rain in some of the Northeastern coastal areas that could have a lot of destruction along the shore.
It could rain hard, but there might even be times the sun is out while strong winds and battering waves trash coastal properties.


As expected, Hurricane Hermine came ashore in northwestern Florida as a Category One hurricane with sustained winds of at least 75 mph.

Early reports indicate roofs and porches have been blown off houses in the hardest hit areas, there's extensive flooding and power failures are widespread. The majority of Tallahassee, for instance, has no electricity.

Hurricane Hermine eroded this Alligator Point, Florida
road well before the storm made landfall.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports extensive damage in Taylor County, Florida, with a storm surge that reached as much as ten feet high.
Nearly 19 inches of rain - incredible - fell near Baskin, Florida and several towns reported more than a foot of rain.

Hermine is inland now, and weakening, because hurricanes always do when they go inland.  But it's still going to cause a lot of flooding, strong winds, and the risk of tornados in parts of Georgia and the Carolinas today and tonight.

Hermine, or some weird post-tropical hybrid version ot it, will contnue to create problems for the next several days.

Hermine will track toward the northeast just inland from the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas today and Saturday, then head back out to sea, then probably stall off the Mid-Atlantic coast for days.

Its path north is going to be blocked by a strong ridge of high pressure over northern New England and southern Quebec.

There's a lot of uncertainty as to exactly where Hermine will slow down or stall, so that makes forecasts tricky. For now, tropical storm watches extend all the way north to New Jersey.

Coastal areas from Long Island south can expect storm surge flooding, battering waves and beach erosion through several tide cycles this weekend, so the damage could be nasty.

How bad things get depends upon how close to the coast Hermine or its post-tropical version of itself gets. If it's close to shore, it will be bad. But then again, if it stall further offshore, it will feed off record warm waters, and possibly strengthen.

Either way, you're screwed.

You'll hear talk of Hermine becoming a non-tropical storm, then maybe taking on tropical characteristics again if it sits over that  warm water off the coast.  

The distinction of whether Hermine will be a tropical storm or a regular big storm is really not important in a practical sense. Coastal areas, especially in places like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia better brace themselves. No matter what you call the storm, tropical or not, it could prove dangerous for those along the coast.

It would be nice if Hermine went a little further north and dumped a lot of rain on drought-stricken southern New England, but at this point, it doesn't look like it will rain all that much there.

For my Vermont readers, since I'm based in Vermont, Hermine won't really have any effects on us. That ridge of high pressure that will block Hermine from moving north will be overhead or close to it over the weekend, so expect sunshine and mild weather in the Green Mountain State.

Hermine might throw some high level clouds our way, especially Monday, but it won't be a big deal. If you're planning a trip to the New England coast, though, beware of terribly dangerous rip currents and possible local coastal flooding.

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