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The Atlantic continues to churn out big storms with little impacts to the United States. This week Leslie and Michael formed in the central Atlantic both gaining Hurricane status rapidly. As of Thursday morning, Michael became the first major hurricane of the 2012 season with winds at 115 mph.
Leslie has been battling dry air and strong wind shear over the last couple of day's limiting the growth and intensity compared to what the computer forecast models were showing a couple of days ago. Leslie has also moved very slowly over the last couple of days due to it's close proximity to an upper level low which has slowed the movement. The exact track of Leslie remains in question as the GFS model sees the system missing the trough altogether while the GFDL forecast model keeps the system moving as it interacts with a trough of low pressure off the East Coast of the US. Bermuda earlier sat in the bullseye of Leslie however, recent computer models indicate a more east track will happen placing Bermuda on the outer fringes of the most intense winds.
Leslie's Impact on the US.
Leslie is expected to bring high surf and rip currents from the Maryland shore line to the New England coast. Waves in the order of 4-6' are expected for Ocean City, MD, Atlantic City, NJ, and Sandy Hook, NJ. However, waves in the order of 6-8' are anticipated over the weekend from eastern Long Island into the coastal waters of New England.
Forecast model track of Leslie shows a more eastern movement, narrowly missing Bermuda.
Hurricane Michael has become the first major hurricane of the 2012 season. Winds as of Thursday morning reached 115 mph placing it a category 3 hurricane. The track of Michael remains similar to Leslie, moving it erratically north then west and eventually north and east in the next 5 days. A strong trough forecasted over the east coast will deflect both storms away from the mainland United States however, placing it dangerously close to Nova Scotia.
Track of Michael
What is expected to protect the east coast from both systems is a deep trough expected to drop over the eastern US. The flow out ahead of this trough will steer both systems north and eventually north east allowing for minimal impacts over southeastern Canada. This trough will actually deliver cooler air to the Mid Atlantic and New England over the weekend briefly before another warm up is expected by the week of September 14-18 TH.