25 September 2007

Karen forms in deep tropics...

At 03Z today, the tropical wave near 35W was upgraded to TD12, then to Tropical Storm Karen just six hours later.  It remains a minimal 35kt tropical storm now, and convection is fairly shallow and scattered.  The vertical shear is very low right now, but is forecast to become excessive by the weekend, halting any attempts at a significant hurricane for the next several days.  There is a buffer timeframe however, while the SSTs are warm and wind shear is low enough and before the subtropical jet comes in  and kicks up the shear, when the storm could reach hurricane intensity (or after crossing north of the subtropical jet in a few days).  It's located near 11N 40W and tracking WNW at 13kts.

Elsewhere, the other two areas of interest are still out there, but not in any rush to get organized.  The one near 65W is entering a high westerly vertical shear zone near the northern Leeward Islands, and has a slim chance of making it through intact. BUT, if it does survive the next 2-3 days, it would be one for Floridians to monitor in case it develops near the Bahamas.  And the third, now in the west-central Gulf of Mexico, is a 1009mb Low close to Depression status as it drifts very slowly to the west toward the Tampico area.  It's over 30C SSTs, in a low-shear environment, and could become TD13 later today or tomorrow.
VIS image of system near northern Leeward Islands: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/vis-l.jpg
VIS image of system in western Gulf of Mexico: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t4/vis-l.jpg

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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