05 December 2003

Odette gets stronger...

Since yesterday morning, TS Odette has gotten better organized and more
intense, despite fairly high vertical shear.  The center has been hard
to track accurately... either it's masked by the CDO or it reforms under
new deep convection.  Regardless, it's only drifting northeast.

At 15Z today, Odette was located at 14.2N 74.2W and moving toward the
ENE at 4kts.  Aircraft-measured intensity is 45kts and 993mb and she
still appears to be getting better organized.  SSTs are still very warm
(28.5C), and the oceanic heat content is very high in this part of the
Caribbean, but vertical shear is not letting up much.  An aside... the
environmental SLP is about 1012mb now at this latitude, which is lower
than it would be in the summer; this helps explain the 993mb MSLP of
Odette and only 45kt winds.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, and much of
the Dominican Republic; a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the
eastern islands of the Bahamas.  Odette is forecast to strengthen some
more, but most likely not reach hurricane intensity.  She has now
contributed 1.0 additional Named Storm Days to the 2003 season, bringing
the total to 73.0.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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