Sep 7, 2011

DAY 98

Hurricane Katia is still moving slowly northwest towards the US, but has weakened to a category 2 hurricane with winds of 105 mph and a pressure of 963 mb. She is expected to be swept out to sea soon by a front that is moving off of the US coast. The infrared satellite imagery shows that Katia is now in a weakening phase.

(Hurricane Katia)

Katia may give it one more shot to strengthen, but she is not forecast to regain major hurricane status. By tomorrow night, Katia is forecast to start making a change in heading towards the north. Just how long she may travel north is up in the air right now. The NHC track says just one day before she turns out to sea. Some of the computer models are forecasting 2 days, which would mean a very close brush with Cape Cod before turning away. There are still no land masses in the cone of uncertainty.

Tropical Depression #14 has formed today out of Invest 95L. It is about 3 days from reaching the Antilles Islands. TD #14 is moving west a 18 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph and a pressure of 1008 mb. 

(Tropical Depression #14)

TD #14 is encountering moderate levels of vertical shear, and will continue in that environment for a couple of days. It will likely be able to strengthen into Tropical Storm Maria tomorrow, but is not forecast to become a hurricane until it gets passed the Antilles Islands. The Hurricane Centers forecast track takes TD#14 into the Windward Islands on Friday night and then turn WNW after that.

The computer forecast models are showing a trend that takes TD #14 WNW, missing the Bahamas to the north. The NHC track is closer to the current GFDL model, which is a little unusual for them. Especially when there is such a strong model trend showing a track further to the north. I trust the NHC cone over all computer models.

The Bay of Campeche disturbance has finally popped up on the Tropical Weather Outlook today. The NHC is giving it a 40% chance of become a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. It is just a cluster of thunderstorms situated around a broad area of low pressure at the moment. But gradual organization is still expected out of this system.

The computer models are a little wild a this point, and that's to be expected with such an unorganized system. But they do seem to agree on one thing, and that is that this system will meander around in the Bay of Campeche for several days due to a lack of steering currents in that area. The logical path of travel from this spot is west. However there is high pressure building over Mexico, with high pressure over Texas as well, this leaves northeast as the only other escape route. The Canadian and Navy models are the only ones showing this route though.

The Hurricane Center has also circled another tropical wave tonight. It is approaching the northern part of the Windward Islands at 20 mph. Upper level winds are not favorable for development and the NHC is only giving it a 10% chance of developing over the next 48 hours.

(Tropical Wave)

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