07 September 2006

Florence slowly gaining strength...

It appears that Florence has been battling some mid-level dry air as well as moderate vertical shear, and as such, has been slow to reach hurricane intensity.  It's also a huge storm, and those are typically slower to intensify too.  The low-level center is completely exposed and there's even minimal convection elsewhere.  The intensity as of 15Z today is 45kts and 1000mb, position is 19.8N 53.4W, and motion is WNW at 7kts.

It is expected to recurve later this weekend, perhaps affecting Bermuda early next week.  It is also forecast to become a CAT2 hurricane by then, but given improved conditions, intensification beyond that is certainly possible.  Reaching the US is rather unlikely, thanks to a developing significant weakness in the subtropical ridge allowing it to slide north well offshore.  It only has 4 days to reach high intensity; after that, the SSTs and vertical shear become extremely detrimental.  Today, Friday, and Saturday however, all factors point to reaching at least CAT1 hurricane.

The strong tropical wave that was trailing Florence has more or less caught up to it and is being distorted/filamented by Florence's giant circulation.  A new wave exited the African coast today -- it was generated in eastern Africa back on Sept 2.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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