After coming within 20 miles of Cape Hatteras on Tuesday at 21Z as a strong 984mb Tropical Storm, he has since begun to rapidly move away from the coast. And, as anticipated, the baroclinic assist he's getting has allowed him to intensify to a hurricane, the first of the season. At 15Z, he was located at 38.6N 69.7W and tracking NE at 20kts. Maximum sustained winds are 65kts and the MSLP is 975mb. The forecast is for continued acceleration to the NE, slamming into Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Thursday, with little change in strength, until 2-3 days out when he turns extratropical and is absorbed by the trough. As if to mimic the October 1991 "Perfect Storm" scenario on a weaker scale, the NHC states that "SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT BAROCLINIC CYCLOGENESIS IS OCCURRING OVER THE NEW ENGLAND STATES AND THE CANADIAN MARITIMES. GUSTAV IS FORECAST TO MERGE WITH THIS DEVELOPING NON-TROPICAL LOW AND BECOME A LARGE AND POWERFUL EXTRATROPICAL STORM AS IT CROSSES NOVA SCOTIA AND NEWFOUNDLAND". By the way, the last time we had to wait until Sept 11 for a hurricane was 1941, so yes, the season is behind schedule. The area of disturbed weather in the Gulf that I mentioned yesterday is becoming better organized. It has a broad area of vorticity and a Low associated with it. This is biggest area of concern in the Atlantic now for the US, as anything that develops in the Gulf is guaranteed to make landfall somewhere. The tropical wave that has been marching across the Atlantic since last week is now at 18N 52W and tracking W at 10kts. Conditions remain unfavorable for development. A tropical wave at 19N 31W now has a 1011mb Low with it, along with a nice low-level circulation and some moderate convection. Besides the obvious significance of this day, I recalled that this same day last year had Hurricane Erin sitting not far off the northeast US coast. Today, at the same time and nearly same place, Hurricane Gustav is there. See the attached image for a comparison. Although the visible appearance differs slightly, the central pressures of the two storms are nearly identical. Just a strange coincidence I thought I'd bring to your attention.
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