At 03Z today, Kate briefly reached hurricane strength, making her the 6th of the season. She has since been downgraded back to a Tropical Storm, but with a forecast of reaching hurricane strength again. She is still very heavily sheared, but SSTs are sufficient and shear is forecast to lessen with time. At 15Z, she was located at 32.0N 35.4W and crawling N at 5kts. Intensity is estimated to be 55kts and 992mb. She is forecast to reach hurricane intensity again tomorrow evening and also make a turn toward the west. The southern Gulf of Mexico is getting more interesting every day. Recall the area of disturbed weather that I first mentioned last Thursday in the western Caribbean... same thing, it's just been very slow to get organized and in weak steering flow. It has a 1008mb Low, and is located at about 22N 92N and drifting slowly to the WNW. Although still disorganized, deep convection (cold cloud tops) has been persistent. As is typical for this time of the season, the southern tip of a cold front extends into the Gulf and is currently playing a hindering role in the development of this system (they can also assist formation at times either by baroclinic enhancement and/or by introducing vorticity). Should this develop, it will be TD17/Larry.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.