10 June 2006

Tropical Depression 1 forms in the northwest Caribbean...

After over a week of crawling and festering, an area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean finally developed a closed surface circulation, and was upgraded to TD1 at 13Z today.  It has a very impressive satellite presentation, and is nearly a Tropical Storm.  There is a very robust and cold CDO, or Central Dense Overcast, a sign of healthy intensification seen in the early stages of development.

At 13Z, TD1 was located at 21.1N 85.3W and moving NNW at 10kts.  Maximum sustained winds are 30kts and the minimum sea level pressure (MSLP) is 1003mb.  It is expected to strengthen to a TS later today as it heads into the southern Gulf of Mexico.  If this intensifies to 35kts, it will be upgraded to Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the season (as an aside, the first named storm of 2005 formed on June 8).  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for western Cuba.  The forecast track will also make this our first landfalling storm of the year too, probably north of Tampa, FL late Monday night (the first named storm of 2005 made landfall on the FL/AL border on June 11 as a 50kt TS).  After crossing the FL peninsula, it's predicted to travel northeast along the east coast of the US as it speeds up and merges with a mid-latitude trough.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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