Hermine has Formed, Where Does it Go?
Well after about 2 long weeks of monitoring a disturbance trekking across the Atlantic from Africa into the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Hermine has finally formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, maximum sustained winds are at 45 mph and it's moving slowly north-northeastward around 7 mph. The storm has certainly been looking better orgainzed today with good upper level outflow and a solid low level circulation. Strengthening is expected to continue over the next day or so and forward speed is also forecast to increase. This likely places Hermine's landfall in the Florida Panhandle Thursday evening into Thursday night between Panama City Beach and the Big Bend. Winds are forecast to be sustained around 60 mph at that time and 5 - 10 inches or more of rain may fall.
Tropical Storm Hermine's potential track. Infrared satellite image via WeatherTap.
From there, Hermine will likely be caught up in a westerly flow turning it northeast over Georgia and into South Carolina on Friday. By Saturday, that's when things get interesting. Instead of harmlessly heading out to sea, Hermine likely will be blocked by an area of high pressure to its north over the New England. This should slow its forward motion on Saturday and with a piece of upper level energy hanging back to the west, the storm may actually turn north to even northwest, affecting the Mid-Atlantic and possibly New England into Sunday. The strength of Hermine is still hard to pinpoint at this time, but folks in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast should prepare as if a strong nor' easter was on the way. So heavy rainfall, coastal flooding, and gusty winds are potential concerns. A lot can change with Hermine over the next several days, so be sure to check back for updates.