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Frances Flip Flop

Jason Samenow @ 12:52 AM

With the Republican Convention now in high gear, it's only appropriate that I provide commentary in wake of Josh's analysis (in the post below). Call me Bill Crystal or Sean Hannity.

Josh provides an excellent analysis and he provides the right caveats. His primary point is on target-- the overall flow pattern will almost certainly steer Frances towards landfall in the Southeast, and exactly where she hits will depend on how much (if it all) she interacts with a trough forecast to be over the Midwest headed towards the east.

I'd caution that the details of his scenario are predicated on a forecast model (the GFS) which has been flip flopping more than John Kerry. So, the statements he makes are particular to that scenario materializing and as he implies, the likelihood of that happening is pretty low. Let me say this: The (GFS) model forecasted for a (south) Florida landfall resolution before it forecasted against it. And it has six days to change its mind 4 more times (at least) before landfall.

I think landfall over south Florida is still a strong possibility because some models may be underestimating the strength of the ridge steering the storm (not to mention tropical systems' strange attraction to hanging and dimpled chads). Also if the trough over the Midwest is strong and progresses east more slowly, that would also allow for a more southern track.

As far as how Frances will affect DC weather, (other than some more hot air) I'll be honest and say I don't have a good idea--but it remains a possibility and I cannot rule out it having a significant impact. But I'm not going to try and guess exactly where the storm will track in relation to us six days ahead of time because it requires knowing exactly where the trough will be and how the storm will interact with it. I haven't been able to do that with the accuracy I'd like 12 hours in advance with the last three tropical systems, so I'd be fool to try to do that six days away.

Anyone think they know who's going to win the election?

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