Sep 14, 2011

DAY 106

Tropical Storm Maria is gaining strength tonight. She now has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and a pressure of 999 mb. The convection is still strong with Maria as it has been over the last couple of days, but now it is starting to move closer to the center of circulation. Once the convection stacks itself over the center, it should help Maria lower her pressure just enough to become a hurricane. She is also displaying some more organized banding clouds today.

(Tropical Storm Maria)

The National Hurricane Center is now forecasting Maria to become a hurricane tomorrow and they have issued a hurricane warning for Bermuda. Maria may be  a Cat 1 hurricane when it brushes very close to Bermuda tomorrow. If she is not a hurricane at that time, she will at least be a strong tropical storm. With most of her wind and rain focused on her east side, Bermuda is likely to get some good storm action tomorrow. Nothing they can't handle there though. As an affluent nation, their buildings and homes are well constructed. Inland flooding is never really much of a concern in Bermuda, because they have no rivers or lakes. If Maria is able to strengthen, she will become only our 3rd hurricane of the season.

The tropical wave that the global forecast models have been zeroing in on has now emerged off the coast of Africa. NHC is giving it a 10% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours. Some of the models are developing this into a tropical storm down the road. The next name will be Ophelia. If this system does develop, it will have a good chance of curving out long before it reaches the Windward Islands.

(Tropical Wave)

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