Posted: 5:00 pm Saturday, October 7th, 2017
By Kirk Mellish
Nate makes initial landfall tonight!
Most areas of metro Atlanta should have winds near or BELOW tropical storm strength. But, some gusts of 35-40 mph are possible. The highest level risk for downed trees and power outages still looks to be in the mountains and in the far West and North/NW suburbs. BUT just looks like isolated cases except for the mountains. (This is opposite of how Irma impacted the area, where the worst was South and East of downtown).
For most of the area the expected winds will be no worse than a strong thunderstorm, or a breezy day anytime of year without a storm. Winds may occasionally gust over 40 mph in some spots anywhere in the Metro, especially late Sunday into very early Monday morning. Higher gusts possible far Northwest. (see maps)
But because of rain softening soils, and our many old or drought-insect-disease weakened trees it doesn’t take much.
Rainfall estimate for Metro Atlanta is 1-3 inches on average with isolated 4 inch plus totals possible. Heavier amounts in the mountains. (see maps)
An isolated small brief weak tornado can not be ruled out as this is a typical pattern in landfalling tropical systems along and east of their path. But as of now the higher risk for that is south of the Metro, but that could change.
Scroll down for more on Atlanta.
SUNDAY-MONDAY ECMWF MODEL WIND GUST ESTIMATE:
Local NWS seems to be following what I’ve been saying for days and trimming back on Tropical Storm Watch:
3-DAY RAINFALL ESTIMATE:
Nate is sending mixed signals on its organization this afternoon.
On one side, the hurricane has a ragged central dense overcast with
a good complex of outer bands in the northeastern semicircle, and
there are hints of an eye trying to form. On the other side, the
cloud tops near the center have warmed significantly during the
past several hours, and there are signs that vertical shear is
starting to affect the storm. In addition, the eye only has
deep convection in the eastern semicircle in land-based radar
data. The last reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter
aircraft indicated that the central pressure was near 981 mb, with
flight-level and SFMR winds supporting an intensity of 80 kt. A
new aircraft is just starting its investigation of the hurricane.
Between the developing shear and the imminent landfall, Nate is
about out of time to strengthen. While not explicitly shown in the
intensity forecast, there could still be some intensification to
category 2 status in the next few hours. After landfall, Nate
should weaken rapidly as it moves through the eastern United
States. The cyclone is forecast to become a remnant low by 48 h,
extratropical near the 72 hr point, and dissipate completely
by 96 h.
The initial motion is now 345/20. Nate is moving around the
western end of a low- to mid-level ridge over Florida and the
western Atlantic, and the cyclone is expected to enter the mid-
latitude westerlies during the next 12-24 h. This should cause
Nate to turn northward in the next several hours, then turn
northeastward after 12-24 h. The new forecast track is similar in
both direction and speed to the previous track and lies near the
center of a tightly clustered set of guidance.
TWO POINT FORECAST EXAMPLES IN THE AREA FOR REFERENCE…
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