05 August 2004

Alex becomes first major hurricane of the season...

At 03Z today, Alex was upgraded to 105kts, making it the first major
hurricane (CAT3+) of the season.  Although Alberto 2000 was also the
first Depression, Tropical Storm, Hurricane, and Major Hurricane that
year, Alex has earned a spot in the record books.  It is the strongest
hurricane ever at such a high latitude in the Atlantic.

As of midday Thursday, Alex has crossed north of the Gulf Stream, so
intensity will begin to drop off quickly.  The storm's future is dismal,
and will transition to an extratropical cyclone by Friday evening,
finally getting absorbed into the vigorous north Atlantic storm track
over the weekend.  Intensity was lowered to 90kts and 970mb at 21Z.  It
is now located at 43.6N 52.8W and racing ENE at 39kts.

The remnants of TD2 are still convectively active.  Although battling
strong westerly wind shear, former-TD2 has kept a cold CDO and
persistent convection during the night and all day today... AND has now
slowed down to about 12kts.  Once the vertical shear relaxes in the next
day or two, there's a fair chance for regeneration.  

There is also a small surface Low at about 17N 43W with an MSLP of
1015mb and tracking W at 15kts.  This came from the tropical wave that I
mentioned three days ago.  Although lacking significant convection,
conditions are marginally favorable for develoment and will be watched. 
Finally, a tropical wave has just exited Africa today and will be
monitired for development; the models do favor it!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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