System Brewing Off Atlantic Coast Could Take on Tropical Characteristics Next Week

Posted: May 8, 2022 8:45 am

While Mother’s Day may be a washout for many people on the East Coast, that aspect of this brewing weather system could be just the beginning. The same weather maker that is predicted to bring persistent rain to the mid-Atlantic and into the central Appalachians over the next few days may develop into the first named tropical system of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

Rain to Continue Along Much of East Coast

It is important to note that this system will not take on tropical characteristics until later next week, if it happens at all. However, even if this storm does not transform into a tropical depression or storm, the system will still bring a high chance of significant coastal conditions from an area stretching from Florida up through New York.

The Northeast has been under the gun for soaking rain for days. In addition to the heavy rains, the area has experienced gusty winds and cool temperatures, making it miserable to be outside for an extended period of time. The weather is expected to improve slightly on Sunday, beginning with northern England and upstate New York. However, as the rain retreats, the winds will begin to pick up speed throughout the coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic up through southern New England.

Mother’s Day may be salvaged as the clouds are expected to part by the middle of the day Sunday through the central Appalachians and into the interior mid-Atlantic. The cooler than average temperatures will still hang around even if the sun comes out. Highs will be in the 50s to the mid-60s for much of this area.

Winds will be the major weather storyline from Virginia through New York. The coastal areas in this stretch can expect to see steady winds between 15 and 30 mph with gusts measuring even higher.

Rough Conditions Along the Coast

These winds will continue through the middle of next week along the coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic. The gusty winds will cause rough surf conditions and the threat of coastal flooding and beach erosion. The inclement conditions at the beach will begin to expand throughout the week, stretching down into the Carolinas, Georgia, and the northeastern corner of Florida.

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Coastal cities in this stretch prone to flooding need to be prepared for that possibility as tides will be above normal in cities such as Norfolk and Charleston. This area will also be under the gun for strong rip currents that will move to the south as the week continues.

The storm that is setting up offshore will usher in a large area of cloud and cool conditions up and down the southern Atlantic coast to start the week. However, the temperatures will start to creep up along with the humidity levels during the latter part of the week.

This particular storm is forecast to move into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean late this weekend with a mass of cooler than usual air near the center of the system. This chilly air is forecast to warm as it moves over the warmer waters located in this part of the Atlantic by the beginning of next week.

Subtropical Development Possible

Forecasters are warning that this time spent over the warm waters may trigger the development of subtropical characteristics. While the odds of subtropical development is still low with this system, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility heading into the latter parts of next week. The chances of subtropical development will increase if the center of the storm takes root near the Gulf Stream and its warmer water temperatures.

If the system does indeed take on subtropical characteristics, the National Hurricane Center will declare it the first subtropical depression of the year. For this to happen, the system will need to develop a closed circulation featuring maximum sustained wind speeds of at least 35 mph or greater.

The first name on the list for the 2022 season is Alex. In order to take on a name, the system would need to deliver maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or more.

Although the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is not until June 1, there have been seven straight years that have seen pre-season tropical weather develop in the Atlantic basin. 2022 saw Tropical Storm Ana take root on May 22. Tropical weather experts have already predicted a strong chance of pre-season storm development in 2022, largely due to warmer than average sea-surface water temperatures throughout much of the Atlantic basin.

Most residents would welcome the arrival of a steady rain next week so that it can help to alleviate the ongoing drought conditions along the coastal areas of the Carolinas and Georgia. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a large part of this area is currently under abnormally dry to severe short-term drought conditions.

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