Forecasting Irma Using Benchmarks

September 2, 2017 - Hurricane, Tropical Storms

Good evening everyone. I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend.

As some of you may have heard, Hurricane Irma has formed in the Atlantic and is currently located halfway between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles. In an expected, but rare, move, Irma is moving west-southwest (WSW) due to strong high pressure to the north. The duration of this WSW movement will determine where Irma goes next week.

***The level of uncertainty is very high when forecasting any tropical systems beyond 7 days, let alone 5 days.*** However, looking at the overall pattern, I have come up with “benchmarks” to provide an illustration of where Irma might go.

If Irma crosses 20*N before 60*W, then I think the system will most likely go out to sea.

If Irma crosses 20*N between 60*W and 65*W, then I think the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast should keep a close eye on this system.

If Irma crosses 20*N after 65*W, then I think the Southeast, particularly Florida, would need to watch this storm.

Let me emphasize: there is no set-in-stone solution at this time, and there won’t be until mid next week at the earliest. For now, continue to enjoy your weekend. I will provide updates as information changes and when necessary. Have a great day everyone.

— Vogt WeatherWatcher