It’s been a whirlwind 24 to 36 hours for Tropical Storm Nate’s track forecast. It’s gone from likely to hit Mexico … to a sudden shift toward threatening to the U.S. Gulf coast … back to likely, and now very likely, to stay away from the U.S. and hit Mexico (if anywhere). From the 10pm NHC discussion:
THERE HAS BEEN A LARGE MODEL CHANGE FROM SIX HOURS AGO…WITH THE GFS/GFDL/HWRF MODELS NOW HAVING A GENERAL WESTWARD TRACK TOWARD MAINLAND MEXICO DUE TO THE CYCLONE BEING TRAPPED BENEATH A NARROW RIDGE OVER THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. NATE IS FARTHER SOUTH THAN EXPECTED YESTERDAY…SO THE LIKELIHOOD OF A MORE POLEWARD TRACK AHEAD OF THE NEXT TROUGH OVER THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES HAS DIMINISHED. THUS THE NHC FORECAST IS SHIFTED WELL TO THE LEFT AT THIS TIME…BUT BASICALLY ALL RELIABLE MODELS ARE STILL FARTHER TO THE SOUTH. IF CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE…THE FORECAST WOULD HAVE TO BE ADJUSTED SOUTHWESTWARD AT A LATER TIME.
So basically, the NHC is forecasting Nate to come nowhere near the U.S., and it’s likely the forecast will shift even further away from the U.S. tomorrow, if current trends hold. And so far, they’re holding: the all-important 00Z GFS run, which came out after the 11pm NHC advisory, shows basically the same thing as the 18Z run, with Nate staying to the south and, actually, pretty much falling apart just as it’s about to come ashore in Mexico. (It’s frankly not clear to me why.)
Since this blog’s charge is to track major tropical-cyclone threats to the U.S. coast, and it no longer appears that any of the active storms — Katia, Maria or Nate — pose such a threat, I’m going to call off my updates for now.
If the situation changes and Nate poses a threat again, I’ll be back. In the mean time, check my Twitter feed for the latest — on hurricanes, and college football, and conference realignment, and politics, and whatever else I feel like tweeting about. :)