Tropical Storm Claudette: No Significant Northeast Threat
Score one for the short term mesoscale models. Despite the fact that the broader models (GFS, ECMWF, etc.) didn’t seem to grab onto this system, the mesoscale models mentioned yesterday were right on the money in developing a warm core low without frontal boundaries, and we now have Tropical Storm Claudette in the NW Atlantic off the Mid-Atlantic coast. It is currently east of the Delmarva, southeast of Nantucket and southwest of Nova Scotia. (Author’s note: this was likely a tropical depression or tropical storm at least since last night or early this morning, and the final best track may incorporate that with an earlier genesis.)
Claudette is a small storm but fairly well organized. Satellite and scatterometer wind estimates suggest that sustained winds are currently about 50 mph in a small area east of the center. It probably has some opportunity to strength (although not a guarantee) over the next 12 hours or so, perhaps peaking with winds of 60 to 65 mph this evening (although hurricane status is unlikely IMO, the SHIPS model actually results in Claudette approaching hurricane intensity). However, by very early Tuesday, as it crosses into much cooler water north of the Gulf Stream, it should weaken rapidly and lose tropical characteristics. With little baroclinic forcing available, it shouldn’t be much more than rain showers for Atlantic Canada as it approaches them as a weak post-tropical low. Since there is no serious land threat and the storm is far from the base of the Hurricane Hunters (in Biloxi, MS), no Recon flights are expected.
No change from yesterday’s analysis. This should not be of any real land impact to the Northeast, due to the ridging to the north. Surf will likely be somewhat higher than normal and rip currents may be possible on beaches, although the small size should limit the threat. Impacts should largely be confined to well offshore with winds and waves in the high seas far from land.
This will likely be my only discussion on Claudette unless an unexpected change in track occurs.
Forecaster Craig Ceecee