Sep 9, 2011

DAY 101

We are still waiting for that 3rd hurricane of the season. Tropical Storm Nate came real close late last night, but has been weakened a bit since then. He is contending with 2 issues at the moment. The first is dry air. You can see that in the water vapor loop to the north and west of Nate. He has not quite been able to build a full shield around him, and has been taking in a little of that dry air into his interior. Nate is also now dealing with cooler sea surface temperatures. He has been stationary for 24 hours now, which means the ocean surface under the clouds has not seen the sun in a while. It also means that the swirling action from the surface low has mixed up some cooler water from deeper layers. A difference of just 4 or 5 degrees can have a huge affect on the potential energy.

(Tropical Storm Nate)

Nate is expected to start moving west within the next 12 hours. When he does start moving, he should be able to build some better convection. His southern flank is being robbed my the landmass a bit, so some separation there will help.He has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and a pressure of 998 mb. The Hurricane Center is forecasting Nate to become a hurricane tomorrow night now. Nate is a very small storm and does have a nice looking structure to him, all he needs is some stronger convection and this will happen. I would expect Nate to rebound from this day and become a Cat 1 before hitting mexico on Sunday.

Hurricane Katia was shot out of a canon today. Once she made that turn to the ENE, she accelerated to 38 mph. Katia is still a hurricane of 85 mph sustained winds and is forecast to remain so throughout tomorrow. The outer portions of the storm are over Nova Scotia creating some breezy conditions, but there isn't much rain in there at all. Katia is expected to survive as a post-tropical cyclone all the way into the North Sea between the Faroe Islands and Scotland on Monday.

(Hurricane Katia)

Tropical Storm Maria started to pull her self together today just as the sun was setting on the central Atlantic. Still a very broad circulation, but you can see the organization taking place in the visible loop below. 

(Tropical Storm Maria)

On the infrared channel, you can see some intense thunderstorms being created just to the south of Maria's center of circulation. She is still being sheared from the northwest by the bottom of an upper level low.

(TS Maria)

Maria is listed with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and a central pressure of 1004 mb. That is a very weak storm, but she is a very massive thing and once she is able to consolidate that energy, she will be able to strengthen. She will move through the center of the Lesser Antilles over the next 24 hours as she continues to move northwest at 15 mph. She will then move over the Virgin Islands in Saturday night very near to Puerto Rico. All of these Islands can expect to see a least tropical storm force wind gusts and gradually heavy accumulations of rain. Based on the latest microwave imagery most of the heavy rain is to the south of her center and the higher winds are to her north. She is still forecast to miss the Bahamas and follow the path between the Outer Banks and Bermuda just like Katia did.

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