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August 3, 2011

Biggest threat from Emily may be heavy rain

Tropical Storm Emily was looking a bit disheveled this morning, with no increase in strength and increasing signs of disorganization as the storm approached Hispaniola. Top sustained winds remained at 50 mph.

Water vapor EmilyThe storm's primary threat to the island's people will be heavy rains, forecasters said. Totals of 6 to 12 inches are expected in the Dominican Republic and Haiti today, with some locations in danger of a deluge of up to 20 inches.

"THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES," forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Warnings are posted for both countries on Hispaniola, and for eastern Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands. Watches are up for the Central Bahamas.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Emily's threat has caused several cruise lines to change course and/or cancel stops for some of its ships. Here's more.

There is some chance that Emily will fall apart as it crosses the mountainous terrain on Hispaniola. But it could also reform north of the island and become a concern for coastal interests from Florida to the Carolinas.

Here is the latest advisory on Emily. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the latest forecast discussion.

And while we're on the subject, the hurricane forecast team at Colorado State University said today they will not be changing their forecast for the 2011 Atlantic season.

"We are predicting the same levels of activity that we were forecasting in early April and June due to favorable Atlantic and neutral ENSO [El Nino/La Nina) conditions in the tropical Pacific," said William Gray.  Continued warm water conditions and unusually sea-level low pressure anomalies in the tropical are also part of their reasoning.

So the CSU team continues to predict 16 named storms, nine of which will become hurricanes. And five of those hurricanes will reach "major" (Cat. 3) strength, if they're right.

They have recalculated their forecast for landfalls by a major hurricane along the US coast. They give it a 70 percent chance, well above the long-term average of 52 percent. They put the chances for a major storm making landfall somewhere on the East Coast, including Florida, at 46 percent. The long-term average is 31 percent.

The National Hurricane Center will post its August forecast update on Thursday.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:28 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes
        

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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