03 August 2004

Alex moves away from coast, TD2 gets better organized...

Alex's eyewall made a brush with Cape Hatteras today, but the eye itself
never passed over.  The closest approach was at about 17Z when the
center of the eye was just 15 miles offshore.  It is now moving
northeast away from the coast, and gradually accelerating.  A Hurricane
Warning is still in effect for the Outer Banks of NC, but that will be
allowed to expire as Alex heads out.

At 21Z, CAT2 Hurricane Alex was at 35.8N 74.6W, about 65 miles northeast
of Cape Hatteras.  Intensity has changed little today, and is still at
85kts and 972mb.

TD2 continues to show signs of intensification, with healthy outflow,
banding, and deeper sustained convection.  At 21Z, the Depression was
located at 13.6N 56.6W and tracking W at 20kts.  It is still weak with
sustained winds of 25kts and a MSLP of 1009mb.  The fast forward motion
makes it harder to discern a closed surface circulation, but an aircraft
may be able to investigate the system on Wednesday.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for St. Lucia in the Windward
Islands.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Windward Islands
north of St. Lucia, and for the majority of the Leeward Islands. 

The forecast is somewhat tricky... a weakness in the ridge at about 65W
may or may not pull TD2 northward into the Atlantic.  If not, it could
keep trekking westward across the Caribbean.  In either case, it's
likely that it will increase in strength over the coming days, becoming
named on Wednesday and a hurricane on Friday (Bonnie). 

Elsewhere, the tropical wave near the Cape Verde Islands has lost a lot
of its identity and will probably not develop.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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