Sep 9, 2011

DAY 100

This is the most active part of the hurricane season and NASA's GOES 13 satellite took this picture earlier today showing 4 systems in the Atlantic Basin. Hurricane Katia, Tropical Storms Maria and Nate, along with the remnants of Lee. After 100 days of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, we've had 14 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 3 US landfalls. The days of having this many storms in one picture are probably gone for this season. But we are still on pace to make it into the Greek Alphabet for the 2nd time in history.

(GOES 13 image of Atlantic Basin Sept 8th, 2011)
Hurricane Katia is now moving northeast as an 85 mph category 1 hurricane. She looks a little better tonight having rebuilt the west side of her eye-wall up a bit. The Cape Cod, Nantucket area will begin to feel the outer reaches of Katia in the morning. Probably 20-30 mph winds and some light rain bands. Katia is expected to turn ENE and move out to sea tomorrow.

(Hurricane Katia)

Tropical Storm Nate is very close to becoming our 3rd hurricane of the season. He has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and a pressure of 994 mb. Nate may likely become a hurricane at either 2am or 5am tomorrow morning. He is trying to build some convection over the center of circulation, which will help lower the central pressure and become a hurricane.

(Tropical Storm Nate)

Nate is stationary at the moment but is expected to slowly start moving northwest and then west into Mexico in about 3 days. The forecast models have now come around to match the forecast the Hurricane Center has been showing for the last 2 days.

Tropical Storm Maria is struggling with moderate shear and dry air. The Hurricane Center was probably tempted to downgrade her a few times today. You can see in the visible satellite loop, that her surface swirl is was not even aligned vertically with the little convection that she had. Another problem beyond the wind shear is her forward motion. At 21 mph it is very difficult for any system to maintain structure, let alone a system that is being sheared. 

(Tropical Storm Maria)

Maria is forecast to remain below hurricane strength over the next 5 days as she makes her way through the Lesser Antilles and then the Puerto Rico area. The Hurricane Center's forecast track has shifted quite a bit to the south today, but does still keep her north of the Bahamas.

That track vary's just a bit from the model trend which has her further northwest with a big hook out to sea. The Hurricane Center has strayed from the model trend for this storm from the get go.

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