An area of low pressure was located a little over 200 miles from the east coast of Florida over the weekend. The National Hurricane Center plans to fly reconnaissance missions into the storm over the next few days to get additional data. While conditions for development are not strong through Monday, more favorable conditions will exist Tuesday into Wednesday, and this may allow the low pressure to grow into a tropical depression. If this occurs, it would be the first of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1.
Should the storm develop further, it will become Tropical Storm Arthur once the sustained winds hit or exceed 39 mph. Computer models indicate there may be enough strengthening to support winds in excess of 40 mph by mid-week.
We look at a plethora of computer models, each with its own unique forecast track. The track forecast from each model are plotted on the same map, producing an ensemble “spaghetti” plot. Here is a snapshot showing the ensemble plot from the computer models Sunday evening.
You can see the many of the models take the system a bit closer to Florida, then push it back up the mid-Atlantic coast, with the majority of the models putting the storm near the Outer Banks by Friday. Should this track materialize, it would be close enough to bring rain to Virginia, with the best chance of rain east of Interstate 95. If the track moves slightly southward or eastward, the potential for rain on July 4th will be minimal. Most models have the storm away from our area by noon Saturday, which would lead to a dry weekend.
A “trough” of low pressure will be approaching our area Thursday into Friday. The speed of this feature will play a large part in the storm track. Should the trough slow down a bit, this would allow the storm to get closer to the coast, and give us a good chance of rain Friday. However, if this trough speeds up, it may be far enough east to deflect the storm farther out to sea, giving us dry weather.
It is important to stress that these are potential tracks of the storm, and not a definitive forecast. A lot will change over the next few days as the storm gets a little closer to land, and a larger of network of data gets fed into the computer models. We wanted to show you that there is the potential for at least some rain for the holiday, and we will continue the monitor the storm and update our forecast accordingly.