The forecast for next week continues to be a rather tough one. A poorly organized tropical storm Lee is sitting and spinning along the southwest Louisiana coast, and will likely beging to move northeast in the next few days along the Appalachian mountains as a cold front approaches from the west. Aside from the fact that the remnants of Lee will bring heavy rains up and down the Eastern seasboard, to areas which have already had too much rain, this front and its associated trough will have big implications on the path of Hurricane Katia by the end of the week – just as the trough approaching the East coast affected hurricane Irene a week ago.
Currently, my thinking is that Katia will approach the outer banks of North Carolina late next week as a rather strong hurricane, perhaps as strong as category 3 (115 mph+), and get to at least 100 miles of the coast, maybe closer, with hurricane conditions possible. From there, the storm should move NNE and NE towards Cape Cod. This is well depicted by the latest European weather model, courtesy of LVWP (http://www.facebook.com/Lehighvalleyweatherpatrol), showing just how close I believe it will get, and it’s effects on the East coast.
While I do not think it will actually make landfall, do not listen to those saying this will go out to sea and completely miss the coast. Although that remains a possibility and this is a tough forecast, I do not think that is the most likely scenario, and there could very well be evacuations along the outer banks later this week.
Things can change, but this is how I see it right now – stay tuned…