15 August 2004

Charley finally out of the picture, Danielle a hurricane, Earl crossing the Windwards...

Since yesterday's update, Charley has done little more than make rain
over the northeast, and is presently over Nova Scotia.  The NHC has
ceased writing advisories on the storm because it has merged with the
mid-latitude trough.  There are still over 1 million people without
power in FL, and the death toll has reached 16, and could still climb a
bit more.  The scene in the Charlotte Harbor area is one of total
destruction, particularly the town of Punta Gorda, just 20 miles NNW of
Fort Myers.

At 03Z today, Danielle was upgraded to the third hurricane of the season
based on satellite appearance.  It now has a clear eye and vigorous
eyewall, symmetric outflow, and spiral bands.   Further strengthening is
likely through Wednesday when a trough digs into the area and introduces
vertical shear.  Danielle is currently a CAT1 storm, but could reach
CAT2 and even CAT3 before conditions deteriorate.  As of 15Z, Hurricane
Danielle was located at 15.0N 32.7W and moving WNW at 14kts. 
Satellite-estimated intensity is 75kts and 981mb.  It will not pose a
threat to land, as it will recurve to the northeast by 45W.

Earl continues to intensify.  It crossed the Windward Islands this
morning as a Tropical Storm, and is still at 40kts and 1009mb.  Although
not very strong now, environmental conditions are favorable (and slowly
improving),  so it is expected to become the 4th hurricane of the season
by the middle of this week.  It's presently at 11.9N 62.0W and tracking
W at a whopping 24kts.   The forecast track takes it near Jamaica on
Tuesday morning, and through the Yucatan Channel on Thursday morning. 
As I mentioned yesterday, all Gulf residents should be watching Earl
very closely this week, as it could be a major player next weekend. 
Landfall looks likely as a major hurricane somewhere in the central Gulf
coast area (take that very generally, since it's still 7 days out!).

Up to and including the 15Z advisory today, this season (which has only
been active for TWO WEEKS!!) has seen:
- 5 Named Storms
- 15.25 Named Storm Days
- 3 Hurricanes
- 7.00 Hurricane Days
- 2 Intense Hurricanes
- 1.00 Intense Hurricane Days
In terms of a seasonal net tropical cyclone activity number (those six
parameters compared to an "average" year), we have reached 45% of the
6-month seasonal average in just 2 weeks.  Of course, the hurricane
seaosn technically began on June 1, but the first named storm didn't
occur until August 1.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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