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invest low 97L wed.pngInvest 97L remains elongated today, with the main low centered just north of Barbados, but the overall circulation extending for hundreds of miles WSW and ENE of that location. The system has made no westward progress during the last 24 hours due to low pressure feeding back in a favorable environment near the lesser Antilles. The system should eventually assume a general WNW motion. Due to slower movement than expected, 97L is likely to gain latitude as the subtropical ridge to the north is weakened by a front off of the Carolinas in a few days, and interaction with the greater Antilles appears likely. Heavy rains will be the main concern for the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba as the system moves somewhat lethargically northwestward. Although the exact track of the system remains uncertain due to its broad nature and vulnerability to center reformations, the system is expected to end up in the general vicinity of Cuba or the Bahamas in 4-6 days. This solution is supported by the 12z runs of the ECMWF and UKMET.

The current environment around 97L remains rather favorable, with anticyclonic wind flow aloft, and a deep moisture field from the surface to 700mb. The main impediment to development remains the system's elongated structure, being exacerbated now by interaction with another low pressure system to the ESE that is closing distance with 97L. As the system moves westward, development, if any, is expected to be slow, as the system will take time to consolidate, and the central Caribbean trade winds tend to cause low-level divergence and hostile conditions for tropical waves. Potential interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba may also hamper development. However, if 97L can consolidate over open water north or south of the big islands, the environment will become mostly favorable for development of a tropical cyclone late this week and possibly into next week once the system gets farther west and north. With a disturbance this large, we are in a bit of a wait and see game to see if it consolidates, and if so, where and when.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave moving across central America into the western Gulf of Mexico will be monitored for potential development in an unstable atmosphere. For now, no computer models show significant development. A tropical wave is forecasted by most of the global models to develop off of Africa in about a week from now. This will be discussed more once the timetable gets closer.


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invest 97L.bmpAn "Invest" is an area of disturbed weather that are being tracked by the US Navy and various hurricane centers. These are not official tropical cyclones and the data is for informational purposes only.

Today's update discusses Invest 93L as well as newly dubbed Invest 97L in the central Atlantic. Both of these areas of disturbed weather have the potential to become named tropical systems over the next several days. The next two names on the list are Harvey and Irene. Invest 93L should only be a issue for interests in Central America; however Invest 97L could be a threat to the central Gulf of Mexico and/or the southeast coast of the U.S. toward the end of next week. All residents in these areas should keep a close eye on development of this system should it impact our area.

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NE 3.jpgToday we are tracking an upper level disturbance that will trigger storms this afternoon and evening. This same system will trigger more showers and storms tomorrow. We are already tracking strong storms firing up over Pittsburgh. Have your umbrella handy this evening and tomorrow.


Once we deal with the showers and storms we are looking a hot few days with highs back in the low 80s and heat index's close to 100 degrees.

Atlantic Outlook

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A couple of mechanisms that exert some control over the development potential will soon phase together and try to set the table for tropical formation during the next 1-2 weeks. Overall, the wind shear is expected to decrease, and the atmosphere over the Main Development Region

 will become a little more humid. In addition, we are seeing signs that the strength, or amplitude, of the tropical "waves" coming off Africa (they're not really waves in the atmosphere ... they're more like isolated disturbances) will increase as well. Add all of that up, and you get a pretty high chance -in my opinion- of development before too long.

Within a surrounding pattern that's apparently suiting up for development, there is already one tropical "wave" to keep an eye on closely. It's just coming off the coast of Senegal, and has a well-defined rotary motion aloft with thunderstorms embedded within. Many of the global weather models grow it into a tropical cyclone (some keep it a depression or storm, some make it a hurricane) within 10 days. I don't recall seeing this season the kind of model consensus we've got now on the Atlantic tropical risk. I imagine the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will highlight this region in a day or so, and make the disturbance an "invest" soon thereafter.

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TS ERIN Fri.jpg

Little change in strength is expected in the next few days. The continued unfavorable environment could eventually lead to Erin's degeneration into a remnant low or a tropical wave. No impacts to land are expected into early next week as Erin moves off to the west-northwest into the central Atlantic Ocean. Erin became the Atlantic hurricane season's fifth named tropical cyclone on Thursday morning after initially developing as a tropical depression late Wednesday night. 

We've had our eyes on a disorganized area of low pressure in the western Caribbean over the past few days.  So far, thunderstorms have not been able to congeal and concentrate in any one area sufficiently to strengthen a surface low, i.e. to form a tropical depression. A rather vigorous and persistent upper-level low over the south-central Gulf of Mexico is currently displacing thunderstorms well east of the surface low in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.Somewhat drier air is over the southwest Gulf of Mexico, and may be drawn into this discombobulated mess. Furthermore, a sharpening southward dip in the jet stream, or trough, is expected to invade the northern Gulf of Mexico, providing increasing wind shear and tearing out pieces of moisture toward the Southeast. Now that the disturbance has shifted into the Gulf of Mexico, is there any chance it could get its act together? 

 At worst, there is still some possibility of a tropical depression or low-end tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. This would particularly be the case if the low moves farther to the west or west-northwest this weekend. Regardless of the question of tropical development, there's a heavy rain threat for the Gulf Coast and Southeast ahead. This will in turn push moisture of the Eastern seaboard bringing showers to our region on Sunday & Monday.

Tropical Storm Erin on the way...

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T.S. Erin.gifTropical Storm Erin became the Atlantic hurricane season's fifth named storm on Thursday morning after initially developing as a tropical depression late Wednesday night. 

No impacts to land are expected into early next week as Erin moves off to the west-northwest away from Africa and into the central Atlantic Ocean.

Some strengthening is forecast through the weekend until Erin encounters dry and stable air early next week, which may then lead to weakening.The tropical storm warning for the southern Cape Verde Islands has been discontinued now that Erin has moved past the islands. It's too early to determine whether Erin will have any impacts on land farther to the west, including the eastern Caribbean Islands.

We will be keeing a very close eye on Erin as it gets closer to land next week.

Weekend Adventures...

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6 flags.jpg 

This weekend I took my family for a little fun in the sun at Six Flags America outside Washington D.C. For those of you who know me best this will come as no surprise but I am a huge rollercoaster fan. The faster and higher and crazier the better.

I never understood how someone could get so scared of a safe ride at an amusement park. I get not wanting to go on a fly by night circus ride where the ride gets moved every 2 weeks but six flags really?

I mention this because as I was getting on the Apocalypse ride this nice young girl in front of me started to freak out. Screaming to let her off but it was far too late for that! The ride operator had already dispatched the train and we were going into the clime. For the next two minutes all I hear was screaming of pure terror in the air. Not the normal kind you hear from people on thrill rides but true blood curdling scream of true and genuine far. Even now I still can't understand how someone can be so scared of something so safe. But I guess that is the true nature of fear itself. Most of the time it is an unreasonable uncontrollable reaction to our most basic instincts.

I really enjoyed my ride on the rollercoaster but the young woman was clearly shaken and it made me wonder why I don't fear the thrill. For example when I would lead teams storm chasing I was always cool and collected no matter how crazy or 6 flags ride.jpgdangerous things got. I find myself wondering if it's a natural enjoyment of the rush or a true lacking of basic survival instincts? I think in the end it's a combination of my overwhelming desire to help protect and serve the community combined with my love of thrills. Whatever the answer may be, I can't wait for the next Adventure!

Weekend Adventures...

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Weekend Adventures

I have decided that on my weekends I will be going to explore everything I can in the region. This will allow me to truly understand my viewers and where they come from. Plus I get to check out things and places I have never seen before.965204_10200103766704304_200997356_o.jpg

As such, I will be posting a blog every Monday about what I did over the weekend. I figure it's a way for you to get to know me better and see what it is a Meteorologist does with his free time.

This weekend I took my son James down to Washington D.C. so he could see the sites for himself. We went to the Smithsonian castle, American history and Natural history museums. I think he really enjoyed himself until I explained that he couldn't go into the white house.

"Why not daddy, I just want to say hi to Mr. Obama." We then talked for about 10 minutes and I explained that in this world there are bad people that might want to hurt him. That in the past there have been presidents who were assassinated. How a great one by the name of Lincoln was assassinated while going to the theater and that was right here in Washington D.C.

My son looked sad but then smiled at me and said "OK... Can we go to the theater where Mr. Lincoln was shot?" needless to say we were at Fords Theater about an hour later, lol.

My first week as your Chief Meteorologist...

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 Thumbnail image for andrea-is-the-first-tropical-storm-of-the-2013-hurricane-season.jpgThis was my first week as a Chief Meteorologist at HMTV 6 and I have to say things are going really good. I was slow at first to pick up the editing part but I think I have gotten it down for the most part. HMTV 6 is an amazing place to work and I'm still in shock at just how much work each and every person here does every single day.

I have to say that having a Tropical storm my first week here has been very interesting. Tropical Storm Andrea has been rolling up the Eastern Seaboard and that lead to it raining here nonstop for the last 48 hours. We have received over an inch and a half of rain and it looks like we will pick up another inch before the Andrea moves off shore tomorrow afternoon.

When I look back and consider the offers I had I know that I made the right choice in coming to Hagerstown and I'm honestly excited about what the future hold here for me. I will be traveling to AccuWeather Head quarters on Monday to get a comprehensive training on the weather system. Once that is done, get ready because you haven't seen anything yet!

Just a few words to introduce myself...

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tim-samaras.pngIt's with a heavy heart that I post my first blog as your new Chief Meteorologist for HMTV6. For the last 5 years I have been the lead storm chaser and on air Meteorologist for CBS in Amarillo, TX. Throughout my storm chasing carrier I became acquainted with Tim Samaras after several close calls chasing with my own team.

For those of you that don't know who Tim Samaras was let me tell you a little about him. He was the undisputed god father of storm chasing. He held the record for the deepest pressure fall ever recorded and was a lead on Twistex 2. He was also know for his amazing lightning photos and video and widely considered in the tornado science community as one of the best and safest in the world.

Friday May 31st 2013 I was in the process of moving to Hagerstown to be your new Chief Meteorologist and therefore was not out chasing storms. Late in the afternoon Tim and his team were chasing in El Reno, Oklahoma when the unthinkable happened...

In less than 48 seconds the Tornado expanded from 1 mile wide to over 2.4 miles wide. If that wasn't bad enough it also was rain rapped and took several sharp turns called "track shift." In the blink of an eye we lost a brilliant scientist, devoted father and husband, a friend, and one of the best storm chasers that has ever lived. This is the first time in 30 tears a storm chaser has been killed while chasing. God speed my friend, you will be missed.