As Hurricane Alex heads out into the open ocean, conditions become even more ripe for intensification. Vertical shear is virtually zero, and the track is following the core of the Gulf Stream, so SSTs remain plenty warm. As such, Alex now has a textbook appearance with a warm clear eye, symmetric cold cloud tops over the eyewall, and beautiful whispy cirrus outflow spreading anticyclonically outward. As of 21Z, Alex was brought back up to 90kts and 970mb (after weakening to 75kts and 979mb this morning), and appears to still be on a strengthening trend. If objective satellite-based intensity estimates continue to show what they are now, Alex should be upgraded to a CAT3 hurricane tonight (probably 100-105kts). Current location is 37.9N 67.5W and tracking ENE at 16kts. NHC issued the final advisory on TD2 at 21Z. Although still sporting healthy convection and a nice storm-relative circulation, the forward speed of 20kts hinders finding a closed earth-relative circulation; therefore, it is downgraded to an open wave. The final position was 13.5N 63.5W. I suspect however, that we have not heard the last from TD2. If it slows down and can survive the high-amplitude trough expected to bring westerlies as far south as Cuba, it may regenerate in a few days. This scenario is not favored by the models, but the models have been wrong before!
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