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 forecast. 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.
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