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It's Friday September 22, 2023 Dock Quote: “There is no...


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Of Captains and Cats in Oriental:

Getting that License. Captain's Blog

Greens Creek Challenge 2023:

9 kinds of boats. Only one rubber chicken.. The Story

September 2023 Town Board Meeting:

Birthdays, the Polar Plunge, and a Public Forum on Paving. The Story

Mr. September 2023: Arrow:

Travel cat with a leash. Pet Of The Month

Holt's Chapel on The National Register:

Rosenwald School makes the list. The Story

Silospalooza 2023:

Music fans brave the heat. The Story

53 Years of Watermelon Sunday:

Hundreds Come Out For A Summer Tradition. The Story

Letters: Help For Maui:

"I’m just so devastated". Letters To The Editor

Claire (Michelle) Noevere, 1959 - 2023:

Traveler, Mother, Volunteer, Musician. The Story

Marines Visit the Wood Ducks:

Webster shows Woodies how it's done. The Story

NOAA Now Predicts A More Active Hurricane Season:

Warm ocean temps could feed hurricanes. The Story

August 2023 Town Board Meeting:

No chickens, but record setting fish. The Story

Letters: Whittaker Creek Dredging is Funded:

Thanks to the community. Letters To The Editor

The Piglet Turns Seven:

Piggly Wiggly Party. The Story

Fighting the Ferry Tax. Again.:

Different year, same fight. The Story

July 2023 Town Board Meeting:

Should the Town Join the Distressed?. The Story

Croaker Festival 2023:

43 years of Croaker Celebration. The Story

John (Jack) P. Herman, Jr. 1934 - 2023:

Educator, entrepreneur, family man. The Story

SV White Seal:

A cruising boat that's a family member. The Shipping News

Hurricane Boat Prep:

The right prep makes for a calmer storm. Captain's Blog

Croakerfest Fireworks - Raising The $:

Tracking The Fundraising Progress. The Story

Letters: Attaboy for Public Works:

Special Thanks. Letters To The Editor

June 2023 Town Board Meeting:

Budget passes without funding roads. The Story

More (Air) Space, Please:

Marines seeking room to maneuver. The Story

Mildred Pickle, Dragon:

A once-a-year appearance. The Story

Letters: My Friend Graham Byrnes:

Salute to a friendship. Letters To The Editor

Sailing for Parkinson's:

At 80 years old. The Story

Letters: Oriental's 23/24 Proposed Budget:

One Commissioner's View. Letters To The Editor

Cruisers Become Canvas Makers at Inner Banks:

Litzenbergers swallow the anchor in Oriental. The Story

2023 Hope Regala:

Two nights and over $200k raised for the Hope Clinic. The Story

Partisan Voting Bill Was Tabled; Now it's Back:

A Sneaky Second Attempt at Partisan School Board Elections. The Story

Kitsch, Curios, and Treasures:

The 2023 Town Wide Yard Sale. The Story

May Town Board Meeting 2023:

Sailcraft rezoning, dog bites, Airbnbs. The Story

Cycle NC Coastal Ride 2023:

1,300 cyclists come and go. The Story

SailPack 2023: The Year of the Capsize:

High wind chaos Saturday; Sunday smooth sailing. The Story

2023 Oriental In-Water Boat Show:

Sail, power, paddle - even painted fish-on-a-stick. The Story

SV Sarah G:

4 humans aboard 82 salvaged feet. The Shipping News

Pamela Ann Steiger, 1950 - 2023:

Mother, Grandmother, Caregiver, Companion. The Story

Unattended Dog Attacks:

Injuries sustained. The Story

Letters: The Butts of Oriental:

Pick 'em up. Letters To The Editor

Join Sailpack, and keep the Regattas In Oriental:

SailPack Coach Dana Magliola needs some help. Guest Columnist

Representative Kidwell Tells a Whopper:

'Unanimous vote' shuts out School Board & parents. The Story

2023 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival Lineup:

19 bands playing bluegrass, folk, gospel and more. The Story

April Town Board Meeting:

Rezoning public hearing set. The Story

A Cunning Use Of Line:

Mr Cunningham's contribution to sailing. Captain's Blog

Public Speaks Out Against Partisan School Board Elections:

Supporting Commissioners remain silent. The Story

Luminary Lantern Launch on the Neuse:

2nd Annual Shine a Light Fundraiser. The Story

The 4th Annual Dragon Burn:

Burning a mythical creature supports the arts. The Story

The low off Florida is developing into a tropical storm system. Thursday at 5p it is called a potential storm, but all signs point to what is likely to be Tropical Storm Ophelia visiting Oriental early Saturday morning. Winds to 60 mph, surge now 3-5 feet.

Thursday September 21, 2023

6:22p The updated storm surge forecast from NOAA/NHC has us at 3-5 ft:

Friday morning TownDock will provide the latest surge forecast from CERA – Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment. Right now CERA is predicting a 3 ft surge for the Oriental area. Planning on the higher end of NOAA’s 3-5 ft will keep you out of trouble.

Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 Tracking Chart
Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 Public Advisory

5:55p The latest video update on the storm system, from the National Hurricane Center:

4:58p In the 5p NHC update for Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen, some changes. From the forecaster’s discussion:

• Fri 5a 30.8N 75.8W 40 KT 45 MPH…POTENTIAL TROP CYCLONE
• Fri 5p 32.6N 76.0W 45 KT 50 MPH…POTENTIAL TROP CYCLONE
• Sat 5a 33.8N 76.5W 50 KT 60 MPH
• Sat 5p 35.6N 77.0W 50 KT 60 MPH
• Sun 5a 37.3N 76.9W 35 KT 40 MPH
• Sun 5p 38.7N 76.1W 30 KT 35 MPH…POST-TROPICAL

Now forecasting 3-5 ft of surge, 4-6 inches of rain.

1:01p It may currently be called “Potential Tropical Cyclone 16” – but we are almost certainly getting a tropical storm (or tropical depression) Saturday. Expect Tropical Storm Ophelia.

• A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from Cape Fear, North Carolina, northward to Fenwick Island, Delaware, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and the Chesapeake Bay south of Smith Point.

• A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from Surf City, North Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia, and the for the Chesapeake Bay south of Smith Point, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Initial predictions for our area are 2-4 ft of surge, 4-6 inches of rain.

10:55a A low off the Florida coast is now Invest 99. That Invest has been promptly renamed Potential Tropical Cyclone 16. This potential storm will at the very least rain on us this weekend… and it will likely develop into a small tropical storm system. From the National Hurricane Center:

A broad non-tropical area of low pressure has formed well east of the east coast of Florida this morning. Although this system is forecast to remain non-tropical during the next 12-24 hours, the dynamical model guidance indicates that it will likely acquire tropical characteristics late Friday and early Saturday as it approaches the coast of North Carolina.
As a result, advisories are being initiated on Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen to issue Tropical Storm Warnings and Storm Surge Watches for portions of the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.

If Potential Storm 16 develops (as expected)… it will become Tropical Storm Ophelia.

Hurricane Center

Wednesday September 20, 2023

9:24a The sun is shining and the high today is near 80. TownDock junior staff says it’s a lovely day in Oriental.

This weekend may be a slightly different story – thunderstorms likely Friday with a 70% chance of rain Friday and Saturday.

The 70% can be misleading – it means there’s a 70% chance that a drop of rain will fall in the area sometime during that 24 hour period, not that it might rain 70% of the day.

That said, the Arlington Place Open House scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until Tuesday, September 26. Want to find out what else is happening in town this week, or weekend? It’s all in What’s Happening.

The specials are updated every Wednesday at Oriental’s Piggly Wiggly.

Here are the Piglet deals for September 20 – 26.

Tuesday September 19, 2023

12:49p Captains abound in Oriental. But there’s always room for more.

The Captain’s Blog explains the highs and lows of having a captain’s license. And how you can get one.

Monday September 18, 2023

5:14p A hidden rubber chicken and a capsizing (or two). It happened at the 2023 Greens Creek Challenge.

2:39p The high today was forecast to be near 80. As of this writing, it’s only reached 74.

It’s a welcome shift from the near 90 degree temps of last week. High temps for the week are expected to keep close to 80.

County Commissioners meet this evening at 7p for their second monthly meeting. They’re meeting in the Courthouse Annex. The public is welcome to attend.

As of this morning, Storm Nigel is now Hurricane Nigel. Nigel is expected to become a powerful hurricane. And stay far away.

Sunday September 17, 2023

10:05a The Greens Creek Challenge. So named for the challenge of finding a rubber chicken hidden in the creeks.

• 1st: Bob Slook
• 2nd: Izzy Humphries and Fiona Somers
• 3rd: Jack and Brian Burgess

Here are some of the small boats sailing the creek Saturday:

There are other awards to be won, usually determined in the moment, and by circumstance:

• Breakdown Award: Don DiStephano, Sean Travis, Chuck Love, Joe Johnson
Single Handed Award:  Adam Phillips
Young and Old: Jack and Brian Burgess
Stick to it award: Bobbie Cochran
Sculler award: Rob and James Rivenbark
Rubber Chicken: Jude Brown

Story and photos coming Monday…

9:50a If you see Tom Lathrop today, Happy Birthday is the proper salutation. Tom is 92.

On Tom’s 90th birthday, TownDock published a story about Tom and his creations.

From the Oriental Weather Station, a pleasant thermal trend:

click image for larger view

Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
Neuse River at Oriental Water Level Gauge
Neuse River Marine Forecast

9:34a On the Atlantic, lotsa action, none of it coming our way. Lee is post-tropical, visiting Prince Edward Island. Margot is running outa gas. Tropical Depression 15 has become Tropical Storm Nigel. Nigel is expected to be a hurricane Monday.

Nigel is thankfully living up to his gentlemanly name, steering away from land and generally heading north.

Hurricane Center

Friday September 15, 2023

2:51p Tonight at The Red Rooster/Silos, Ken Belangia plays. Today at New Village Brewery Jasmine Tasty Thai food truck rolls in from 4-8p.

Saturday morning the Oriental Farmers’ Market has a full crew on Hodges St near the harbor. It’s the annual Greens Creek Regatta Challenge, for sailboats 20 ft and under. Nautical Wheelers has wine tastings at 2 & 3p. At Oriental History Museum from 2-4p see the paintings of Lucille Truitt, and learn more about her life.

Also Saturday, at the brewery the La Cocina del Coqui Food Truck (Cuban), plus the prolific Ken Belangia performs 5-7p in the Beer Garden.

It’s all in What’s Happening.

12:22p Tropical Depression Fifteen has formed (from Invest 97). This will become named storm Nigel, and is expected to reach hurricane strength.

Fortunately, Fifteen/Nigel is also forecast to take a familiar path – turning north well before reaching the US east coast.

Hurricane Center
Tropical Depression Fifteen Tracking Chart
Tropical Depression Fifteen Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Depression Fifteen Public Advisory

9:49a Lili Bacon, co-owner of New Village Brewery, celebrated her 50th birthday earlier this month. As part of that celebration, she took up a collection of food donations at the Brewery for PCFLO – the Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves food pantry.

Those donations added up. From an email to Lili from PCFLO Chairman Ray Ruppert:
What a great birthday present – 244 lbs of food! Using a standard government formula that poundage is the equivalent of 205 meals. That is a lot of meals.

Lili sends a thank you to everyone who donated, and ads that the Brewery will serve as a collection point for local, charitable non-profits for anyone wanting to use their special occasion to help out.

Thursday September 14, 2023

8:06p Hurricane Lee is distant, but still having some impact as the storm passes to our east. From the National Weather Service forecast discussion:

Our most impactful weather continues to come from distant Hurricane Lee. Lee will continue to track northwards tonight making its closest point of approach to ENC this evening. Inland, winds will be 10-15 mph with 25+ mph gusts. Closer to the coast and along the OBX, winds will be slightly stronger 15-20 mph with 30-35+ mph gusts. Winds are forecast to become slightly lighter overnight but will still be elevated.

As high pressure continues to build into the region and strong northerly winds continue, a cooler and drier airmass will overspread ENC tonight allowing dewpoints to drop by several degrees compared to last night. Overnight lows will also be several degrees lower, into the upper 50s to low 60s inland and into the low 70s along the coast and OBX. Coastal conditions will continue to deteriorate as northerly winds surge and Hurricane Lee’s powerful swell increases.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

3:57p You’ve likely heard of Reiki. You may have a dog.

It turn’s out the two can go together. There is an Animal Reiki Class starting at 7p tonight, at the Spirit Shack on Hodges St.

8:08a The GOES East satellite view… Hurricane Lee makes his way north:

This time Friday morning Lee will be directly to our east.

Hurricane Center
Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory

Wednesday September 13, 2023

9:30a Hurricane Lee is a testimony to how good computer models have gotten. The current official track is almost exactly what the long term models predicted over a week ago. Lee will be directly offshore to our east Friday, expected to make landfall near the US/Canadian border late Saturday/early Sunday.

Margot is just messin’ about mid Atlantic. Invest 97 is likely to become a tropical depression this weekend (the next storm name on tap is Nigel). The initial longer term models for Invest 97/ future Nigel have it trending north… staying away from our town.

Hurricane Center
Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory

9:01a If you see Julia Tingle today – out riding her bike or down by Lou Mac Park – wish her a Happy Birthday. She’s completed another rotation around the sun.

        Julia Tingle

FYI, Julia raised $2,445 this past weekend in the Bike MS ride.

Those 90+ degree days may be behind us. High today in the mid 80s with a chance of rain later this afternoon and evening.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

Tuesday September 12, 2023

12:34p Last Sunday, Dolphin Point residents came together to celebrate Julius Sheppard for his work, and his kindness.

Julius, however, isn’t a resident… he’s the area FedEx delivery driver.

Dave Roletter wrote in:
We have a FedEx driver who serves Dolphin Point (and the area) who is uniquely kind and outgoing. His name is Julius Sheppard. He has touched our selves and our neighbors in such a positive way that my wife Becky and I decided to organize a gathering to celebrate him.

The event grew so big, they had to move it to the Sea Harbour Yacht Club. “Response rate has been very high,” said Dave, “likely because we each have our own ‘Julius’ story to share.”

Julius with the residents of Dolphin Point on Sunday. (Hiram Lupton/Pamlico News photo)
John Rahm, who sent in the photo, said, “Julius does exceptional delivery work in Oriental, and the neighborhoods were pleased to picnic in his honor.”

11:55a Hurricane Lee is staying offshore (from us), but the storm is having Atlantic coast effects. The National Hurricane Center has a video update:

Monday September 11, 2023

5:33p There’s a new hurricane on the Atlantic. Storm Margot is now Hurricane Margot… mid Atlantic and wandering north. No worries there.

Hurricane Lee’s forecast track continues safely offshore. Safely for us, that is. Folks in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/Maine are having reason to think otherwise:

Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory
Hurricane Center

3:55p It’s coming this Saturday Sept 16… the 32nd annual Greens Creek Challenge Regatta. This is the race just for boats 20 ft and under.

Part of the challenge is winning the race. And there’s something else… you get extra points if you discover and rescue a rubber chicken.

More about the Greens Creek Challenge here.

3:12p Saturday night Oriental had an additional music venue – the town dock. David Johanns was visiting from Toronto, aboard his Piver trimaran named The Sailing Piano.

It almost was a rainout, but then the sky cleared and David got out that piano. Here’s how it started:

10:02a South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department staged two of their trucks along the harbor on Hodges Street this morning.

A crowd gathered. A flag was raised. And the fire bell was rung in four series of five bells to signal the passing of the firefighters lost in the 9/11 attacks. And for those that have since died from exposure to the toxic conditions after the attacks.

At 8:46a, all stood quietly to observe the national moment of silence.

Click for the bigger view.

Members of SPVFD Station 19 observed the raising of the flag – flown over the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. Safety Officer Fred Edel rang the bell for the fallen, while Chris Mele played Taps.

Saturday September 9, 2023

11:09a Hurricane Lee’s forecast path north continues even moreso obviously north (and away from us). Lee is currently a Category 3 storm, 115 mph.

If you check out HarborCam today you’ll see a trimaran is visiting. The boat’s name is The Sailing Piano. That name is a not subtle hint of what is aboard. Skipper David Johanns hails from Toronto (originally from Holland). He’s known in the Bahamas for piano concerts from his boat (there you attend by dinghy).

Tonight at 7p David will be playing at Oriental’s town dock. Just come by and enjoy.

Here is David Johanns playing from his trimaran:

6:36a NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft have found Hurricane Lee’s winds somewhat reduced: now 115 mph / Category 3. The key news is the official NHC forecast now showing a clear turn north, keeping Lee offshore from our fair village.

Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory
Hurricane Center

Looking at calmer weather, on the Neuse today 5-10 knots, Sunday southeast and just 5 knots. Partly sunny today, mid 80s, Sunday mostly sunny, mid 80s again.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

Friday September 8, 2023

5:19p Hurricane Lee’s official NHC forecast has begun to show a shift north. Now 150 mph winds.

3:43p Tonight, Shawn Aldridge plays at the Red Rooster Pavilion starting at 7p.

Over at the Brewery, Roadside Dogs serves until 7:30p, while Packhouse plays in the Beer Garden starting at 5:30p.

Saturday, the Oriental’s Farmer’s Market on Hodges St. opens at 8a, with a full crew; several vendors are returning from summer vacations. The MS Bike Ride comes through town in the morning, with a rest stop at Lou Mac Park.

PCFLO – the Pamlico County Food Pantry – hosts a Beer & Brats Fundraiser at the Brewery, with grilled bratwurst and sides from Jim Kellenberger – $10 a plate. Rich Casella plays in the beer garden from 6-8p.

Stop by the Village Gallery Saturday and Sunday, 10a – 5p to see the work of artist of the month Chris Wagner.

It’s all in What’s Happening.

2:46p Whether pondering the weekend ahead, or an approaching hurricane, it can be useful to have a suitable supply of adult beverages.

There’s news today from one of the village adult beverage purveyors. Nautical Wheelers writes in:

Our Nautical Red Wine has arrived. It was on the boat on Monday, and now it is available to taste. Stop in today and tomorrow (9/8 & 9/9) from 4-6 PM in either ONC or New Bern to try our Nautical Red.

TownDock Senior Management approves of the wine label:

wheeler wine label

11:27a The latest on Hurricane Lee: 155 mph winds, Category 4 (down from 165 mph & Category 5 earlier this morning). Lee is forecast to remain a powerful hurricane, but winds will slowly decrease in the next few days. In 120 hours (5 days), Lee is expected to be 130 mph.

The national Hurricane Center remains cautious about Lee’s long term track:

It is way too soon to know what level of impacts, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Canada, or Bermuda late next week, particularly since the hurricane is expected to slow down considerably over the southwestern Atlantic. Regardless, dangerous surf and rip currents are expected along most of the U.S. East Coast beginning Sunday.

Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory
Hurricane Center

9:39a Maintenance and road repairs are an issue around town. The bigger issue? How to pay for it.

During the September Town Board Meeting, Commissioners elected to hold a public forum in October so the public can chime in with their thoughts and ideas.

Commissioners also heard from citizens about a tree trimming gone wrong, another Polar Plunge scheduled for January, and what is happening with the town sign theft investigation.

It’s all in the September Meeting Report.

Thursday September 7, 2023

11:00p Lee is now a Category 5 hurricane. 160mph, with a forecast to reach 180mph winds.

5:09p. The hot Atlantic is fueling Hurricane Lee – now a Category 4 storm, 130 mph. The rapid buildup of this storm’s intensity is frightening.

The long term computer models still indicate a turn north once Lee gets to aprox longitude 70W. If the official NHC forecast concurs, we’ll begin to see that Friday or Saturday.

Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory
Hurricane Center

11:23a Hurricane Lee is now Category 2, 105 mph. Lee is now forecast to become a Category 5 storm in 36 hours. 160 mph winds.

The question is… where is Lee headed?

The NHC (National Hurricane Center) official forecast only goes out 5 days. At 5 days from now it still shows Hurricane Lee headed mostly west. The extended computer models (not an official NHC product) look out farther. They do show the storm turning north on days 6 and 7 (Wed and Thu of next week).

Here is an overlay of the latest official track with the computer models:


While this is promising information for our locale, long term computer models are not a high confidence forecast. We’ll be looking to see that northern turn appearing in the official NHC forecast in the next couple days.

Also on the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Fourteen has formed. This will become Tropical Storm Margot. Margot is expected to reach Hurricane strength, but is not a concern for US shores. Margot will stay mid Atlantic, heading north.

Hurricane Center
Tropical Depression 14 Tracking Chart

Wednesday September 6, 2023

5:04p Storm Lee was predicted to rapidly build intensity. It has happened even faster than forecast.

It is now Hurricane Lee, 75 mph. Lee is now forecast to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane, 150 mph, just 3 days from now.

The long term computer models still suggest a turn north around longitude 70. The NHC official forecast doesn’t look that far out… it is not yet indicating a turn north.

Hurricane Lee Tracking Chart
Hurricane Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Hurricane Lee Public Advisory
Hurricane Center

2:54p MUFON. The Mutual UFO Network. They just held an international shindig in Cincinnati. Spirit Shack owner Sev Tok was there, as a guest panelist and speaker.

Sev is a UFOlogist, researcher, and author. Thursday night, she shares her MUFON experience at her monthly UFO talk at the Spirit Shack. She’s bringing drawings and stories from North Carolinians who say they’ve been abducted or had some contact with ETs.

She’ll also share stories from the conference. The UFO talk is free, just bring a chair to sit in. It starts at 7p at Spirit Shack (in the Wit’s End building), 310 Hodges Street.

Unrelated, but related… One of the top 10 movies on Netflix in the US right now is about contact from another world. Check it out:

Tuesday September 5, 2023

5:10p The storm has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Lee. It is expected to become Hurricane Lee Thursday.

The NHC official track is making folks nervous:


Long term computer models look more hopeful:


…but until the official track shows a similar turn northwards, we have a potential hurricane on the way.

Tropical Storm Lee Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Lee Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Storm Lee Public Advisory
Hurricane Center

12:21p Arrow cruises through town in a bicycle basket, powered by his human Stu. Meet them both in September’s Pet of the Month.

11:28a Tropical Depression 13 has been declared (formerly Invest 95). The first NHC forecast for Tropical Depression 13 predicts an intensification into a powerful Category 4 hurricane: Hurricane Lee. This is an unusual call this early, suggesting the National Hurricane Center is confident in this forecast.

Tropical Depression 13 Tracking Chart
Tropical Depression 13 Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Depression 13 Public Advisory
Hurricane Center


The longer term computer models do suggest a turn north before a US coast landfall. It is too early to have confidence in that outcome. This is projected to be a powerful hurricane, Category 4.

8:55a Invest 95 is looking more like it will become a declared tropical storm system, likely sometime today. From the National Hurricane Center:

Satellite images indicate that the area of low pressure located about midway between western Africa and the Windward Islands has become better organized overnight. If current trends continue, advisories would be issued later today on a tropical cyclone moving west-northwest at 15 to 20 mph across the central tropical Atlantic. Additional strengthening to a hurricane is likely later this week while the system moves over western portions of the tropical Atlantic, near or to the northeast of the northern Leeward Islands.
• Formation chance through 48 hours…high…near 100 percent.
• Formation chance through 7 days…high…near 100 percent.

This would become Tropical Storm Lee, and then Hurricane Lee. It is way too early to have any confidence in a long term forecast track… but computer models this morning may cause less anxiety than they did yesterday.