Bastardi Comments on Hurricane Henri – Watts Up With That?

Atlantic City

This post comes from an email I received from Joe. He has no changes from yesterday’s forecast.

In snowstorm forecasts, until it starts snowing, there is always some kind of negative sentiment. and rightly so. So many forecasts have not panned out and until the snow is on the ground, it does not verify.

By Joe Bastardi

I have been getting texts and emails, and rightly so, many with great points, since Henri has not yet done what I expect it to do, as to why it will not. Yesterday, sentiment was the opposite since we were so far ahead on this.  

But let me be clear as to why this is the storm I have always feared.   A lot of it has to do with its end game in the forecasting.

Most hurricanes that hit the NE are hugging land, drawing dry air into them. Henri is plainly not doing that. Carol and 38 went well east of Hatteras and did not weaken as much. 44, Donna, Belle, and Gloria hugged the coast more and weakened, as did Irene

Henri is in its own world. It is nowhere near as strong as those storms were at 35 north, But it is further out over the water. and it’s coming into an area with improving outflow. Gerda in 1969 shocked the daylights out of forecasters going from a minimal hurricane to a major over water colder than currently in 12 hours  It  went over Nantucket lightship with 120 mph winds.

But this storm, this is the storm my father always used to talk about.  Dad got his degree in 1965 when he was 35 and I was 10. But even before that he would often talk about the idea that there was no reason a storm could not hit New England moving west of north. In fact, and this likely, because of his observations from the big hit years of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, he would say that it was only a matter of time, 

In 1903 a hurricane hit Atlantic City from the southeast. We saw Sandy in 2012, (don’t get me started on the Post Tropical designation).  1933 hit Virginia Beach from the southeast,   Fran was still moving west of north over Pennsylvania back in 1996.   

So until tomorrow morning, the potential tightening parameter and the angle of attack is a big problem., A minimal hurricane weakening to TS has a 3-5 toot surge. However, the stronger scenario can increase that.

Finally, while this season’s Fred did not make hurricane, it did go from 1009mb to 993.6mb. Henri was  991mb  on the morning recon. but at 6:30 pm had dropped to 989 MB. If it falls under 975 MB it would indeed be on top of the Cat 2 we have. 

Grace just exploded coming to the coast. Feedback is a wild thing. You have 2 attitudes on that, You have me, biased toward the extreme, always looking for it because I understand the power of nature and like Neil Frank used to say, the ability to make the forecaster look like a fool and be humbled, vs today when we see people express shock or blame climate change. The 931mb on the hurricane model was never going to be reached but it did tell us that the parameters are there for deepening.  The weather loves just as much to go to extremes as it does to go the opposite way.

Years ago I would get on the late Rush Limbaugh’s case when he claimed the National Hurricane Center overhyped storms, That was total nonsense and I did my best to communicate via backchannels, suggesting he go over to NHC and meet the forecasters. Part of this was my beef thru the years that storms in close were underplayed more than overplayed. 

My point is there is no bias toward hype at NHC. right or wrong they are straight shooters. I am more biased toward the extreme because the weather loves to go to the extreme, though it does not do it all the time, when it does it’s not because of climate change or whatever. Is Henri going to be an example?, All the players are there, and so is my concern.  But it would not be climate change. just nature doing what it is capable of doing 


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