06 August 2002

Bertha drops 5"+ over parts of MS and LA. TD3 forms off the South Carolina coast and is slowly intensifying.

Just hours after sending out my update yesterday, the invest area was
classified as Tropical Depression 3, as an aircraft flying through it
found a closed surface circulation.  Since then, little has changed:
there is still northerly shear and it's still a TD.  However, the
exposed circulation center is tight, and the convection to the south of
the center is still fairly intense, perhaps foreshadowing some
strengthening.  The northerly shear has increased to nearly 20kts,
drastically inhibiting centralized deep convection.

As of the 15Z advisory, TD3 was located at 30.3N 76.2W and drifting ESE
at 4 kts.  Winds are 30 kts with a MSLP of 1006mb.  Visible satellite
imagery shows the center at 30.4N 76.4W at 16Z, showing the meandering
nature of the storm at this point.  Micowave imagery from AMSU at 07Z
today shows a SLIGHT warm core aloft (1 deg at 250mb).  Further
intensification is expected as a mid-latitude trough approaches it and
baroclinically enhances the storm, prior to shearing it apart and
absorbing it.  If named (i.e., if sustained winds reach 35kts), it will
be Cristobal.  

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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