The system in the Gulf is complex from a meteorological standpoint. There are formal definitions for what is a tropical cyclone (basically, a low pressure system with closed circulation, warm core) or various kinds of extratropical cyclones like a nor’easter. The primary difference between a tropical storm and a nor’easter is that nor’easters have a cold core, but there are structural differences resulting from the different environments they form and travel in. Nature being nature, it doesn’t like our nice neat categories. The Thing In The Gulf (TTITG) is one of these transitional forms. It is warm core, but will likely have a broad, elongated wind field with the main impacts extending hundreds of miles to the east of the “center”.
It is likely that sometime today the circulation of TTITG will close (there are currently several “centers”), and NHC will classify it as a tropical storm as the winds are high enough to support that. But behavior and structure wise, this thing is more like a warm rainy nor’easter. It will likely have impacts in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but as insurance costs are likely to be minimal, you probably won’t hear much about that.
The bottom line is aside from very vulnerable locations that flood fairly often (you should know who you are by now; right on the coast, in areas that flash flood, and so forth), this isn’t a dangerous storm. That said, there is some concern for tornadoes across North Florida/Georgia/SC Saturday, so keep your weather radio handy for alerts. Otherwise, as you can see from the map, most of FL, AL, GA, SC, and eastern NC will have winds and likely rain over the weekend.
I rarely get angry at storms, but this one has really annoyed me, as readers of this blog have probably figured out by now. From an inconvenience standpoint this one has messed up my long established plans to go to a concert in Tampa by some of my favorite musicians, Anneke van Giersbergen, Amorphis, and Delain.
Yeah, first world problems. Lots of folks in The Bahamas don’t have houses right now …