09 September 2002

STD8 becomes STS Gustav and threatens US East Coast.

Just six hours after being classified as STD8, it was upgraded to
Subtropical Storm Gustav based on aircraft recon flight into the storm. 
You ask:  "What's with all this 'SUBtropical' talk?"  All that means is
that the storm is not purely tropical in nature, but has characteristics
of both tropical and extratropical cyclones (largely dealing with
vertical temperature structure, horizontal wind distribution, convective
patterns, etc).  At 18Z today, Gustav was located at 32.1N 74.4W and
tracking WNW at 9 kts.  Intesnity is 40kts and 1003mb.  

The forecast is for continued gradual strengthening (perhaps to minimal
hurricane status) as it heads NW toward North Carolina's Outer Banks. 
It SHOULD veer away from actual landfall just miles shy of the coast as
a trough lifts it out to sea.  Closest appraoch is expected to be on
Tuesday evening by Cape Hatteras.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect
for the southern VA coast and extreme southern MD, and a Tropical Storm
Warning is in effect for nearly all of the NC coast.  These may need to
be upgraded to Hurricane Watches/Warnings if it intensifies quicker than

The wave that was near the Cape Verde Islands is now at about 13N 40W
and tracking W at 10kts.  It has a 1010mb Low and is over amply warm
SST's but is in fairly high shear, so development is hindered for the
time.  The models are reluctant to intensify this system, and since they
so wonderfully nailed the development and track of Gustav, perhaps we
should weigh that into our forecasts.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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