05 September 2006

Florence forms in eastern Atlantic...

On Sunday afternoon, a strong tropical wave was upgraded to TD6, then further upgraded to the sixth named storm of the season, Florence, on Tuesday afternoon.  As of 21Z today, Florence was located at 17.4N 48.5W (roughly 1/2-way between Cape Verdes and Leewards) and tracking WNW at 10kts.  It's not very convectively active, but is forecast to gradually enter more favorable environmental conditions.   Satellite-estimated intensity is 35kts and 1005mb.

The longer-range forecast is very interesting -- a WNW track and possibly becoming the season's first major hurricane in a few days, yet still quite far from any land.

There is also a potent tropical wave on the heels of Florence, which exited Africa on Sept 1, just a couple days after pre-Florence did, and now located near 15N 35W.  This stands a pretty high chance of becoming the next depression/storm.  The next name/number on deck is 8/Gordon.  Florence and pre-Gordon (?) could also move close enough to each other to experience a Fujiwhara Effect... a well-known phenomenon involving interacting vortices in fluids.

Lastly, a brand new wave is introduced on the African coast today, after a very convective past few days over the continent... it was generated over the Ethiopian Highlands back on August 30 or so.  This also bears watching over the next few days -- we are in the prime of the Cape Verde season, so waves are climatologically favored to develop.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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