12 August 2005

Irene nearly a hurricane...

Over the past 24 hours, Irene has become increasingly better organized, 
and is now just shy of becoming the 3rd hurricane of the season.  
Intensity as measured by an aircraft was 60kts and 997mb.  It is located 
at 28.7N 67.5W and heading NW at 9kts.  This motion is expected to slow 
down, then make a turn to the north then northeast, but weak steeering 
flow could make this is a long process, and Irene could thus be a 
hurricane for quite a while.

Currently, there is persistent deep convection over the center, the 
outer rainbands are weakening, and the outflow aloft is improving, 
helping this young tropical cyclone to breathe better.  The shear and 
SST environment are favorable for further development, and I don't see 
any reason why this will not become Hurricane irene later tonight.

Elsewhere, there's a potent tropical wave in the deep tropics at about 
12N 43W.  It exited the African coast on the morning of August 8 and has 
now had 4 days to organize a broad circulation.  This could become TD10 
or TS Jose over the weekend.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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