DISCUSSION: As far as low-pressure systems go, there is little to no doubt that the 2 April 2019 Nor’easter will go down in history as one of the more impressive coastal storms of all-time. Despite the fact the worst of the impacts remained just offshore, this storm system still most certainly “strutted its stuff.” More specifically, as the developing storm system underwent a period of rapid intensification, there were successive rounds of impressively intense convection which consequently developed both just offshore and along the immediate coastal regions of North Carolina. Even with the storm being as intense as it was becoming during the evening hours of 2 April, there was still somewhat of a “gift” to the immediate coastal regions based on the fact that the majority of the system’s core circulation remained just offshore.
Thus, as a result of the bulk of the most intense part of the rapidly intensifying low-pressure system remaining just offshore from coastal North Carolina, the strongest winds, largest waves, and the heaviest rainfall also remained offshore for much of the night. However, even with the worst of the nor’easter remaining just offshore, there was still very substantial and impressive convection offshore during the evening and late evening hours as shown above (courtesy of imagery provided by Mark Nissenbaum). As the convection continued to intensify with time (as shown above), you can also see how the deepest convection also gradually experienced a “curling effect” in a cyclonic fashion in accordance with the corresponding wrap-up of this extra-tropical cyclone.
This became even more impressive with time since as the storm intensified and wrapped up (or deepened in other words) with time, the core part of the system’s circulation took on an appearance that what somewhat resembled a supercell thunderstorm at certain points. To be clear, supercell thunderstorms are more typically Spring and Summer-time convective storm types which form most often across the U.S. Plains states. This just goes to show that even a large low-pressure system such as a nor’easter can take on appearances akin to much smaller mesoscale atmospheric phenomena if the atmospheric dynamics are truly profound and come together just right.
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© 2019 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz