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For those wondering, the length of an “indefinite hiatus” is about 133 days. I am pleased to announce that my work as @RaceWeather will resume over the next few days. 

Going forward, I will be treating the NASCAR weather platform as a job, not a hobby. This will be in addition to completing my PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Houston.  

I will be using the RaceWeather.net web platform for daily updates, while Patreon (Race_Wxman) will host early forecasts, in-week updates & discussions, along with some other benefits, which are detailed on the page. 

Please consider supporting the Patreon efforts as a way to facilitate my full-time efforts on both RaceWeather and in my doctoral work.  

Thanks to everyone for their patience and in welcoming me back. 

Cheers!

As of 11 AM EDT (10 AM CDT) Wednesday, Hurricane Michael was located at 29.4N 86.0W, 60 miles SSW of Panama City, FL, moving NNE at 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 145 mph, gusting to 175 mph.

An updated summary of the Watches and Warnings is at the end of this post.

RaceWeather note – The rain is forecast to move past Talladega on Thursday, leaving Friday sunny, though Talladega Blvd could be muddy because rainfall totals could reach up to 2”. The RaceWeather site will be updated later tonight.

Michael will continue on a northerly track through landfall near Panama City, FL later this afternoon. Storm surge is forecast to reach 12-14 feet in places. Rainfall totals of 6-10” are expected along the storm track as it accelerates across the Southeast US.

As Michael moves across the Atlantic coast, Michael is expected to interact with an advancing cold front, bringing about extratropical transition with it moving into North Atlantic.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including
Tampa Bay
* Ocracoke Inlet North Carolina to Duck North Carolina

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border
* Suwanee River Florida to Chassahowitzka Florida
* North of Fernandina Beach Florida to Duck North Carolina
* Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay

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meso2_02_20170923151231

At 11 AM EDT, Hurricane Maria was located 320 miles east of Nassau, Bahamas, moving north-northwest at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 115 mph. Maria is now a major hurricane as it bears down on the Leeward Islands

The current National Hurricane Center (NHC) 5-day forecast looks conservative, though they are likely waiting for the afternoon forecast models to update. The most recent ensemble models (from earlier this morning) have Maria going further west than a few days ago. This is because of the recent demise of Jose, which is allowing the ridge over the central Atlantic to build west. This will yield a track with a closer approach to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A ridge extending the southeast U.S. will also retreat north. These factors will converge, leading to slower forward motion by mid-week. By midweek, a strong low pressure system is expected to build across the Plains. First, it will provide some relief to the above normal temps across the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, it will steer Maria away from the coast, ushering in its extratropical transition.

Regarding intensification, conditions remain moderately favorable with warm sea surface temps and generally favorable winds aloft. However, Maria will begin to encounter increasing vertical wind shear and cool sea surface temperature. Maria is expected to intensify through tomorrow with a gradual weakening trend forecast into next week.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

None

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