Karen has made surprising strides in organization over the past 24 hours. A struggling 35kt storm yesterday at this time, it's now a compact 60kt storm with a developing eye... nearly a hurricane. It now has centralized deep convection, but the outflow is asymmetric owing to the westerly vertical shear. The estimated central pressure is 990mb, and Karen is now expected to reach hurricane strength later today. It's moving WNW at 11kts, and that motion should continue over the next several days, perhaps becoming more NW at times. The stronger vertical shear is still forecast to impinge on the storm late this week into the weekend, which could weaken it a bit, but by early next week, the trough will pass by and Karen might find itself on a strengthening trend again.
VIS satellite image of Karen: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/vis-l.jpg
The area of disturbed weather in the Gulf that I first mentioned on Monday has been upgraded to TD13, and is very close to being upgraded to TS Lorenzo. Intensity is 30kts and 1006mb and is forecast to drift very slowly toward the west into Mexico as a strong tropical storm on Friday. You can keep an eye on it from Alvarado's radar at http://smn.cna.gob.mx/radares/rad-alva.gif
The other area I was discussing before that was near Puerto Rico is now over the Dominican Republic: poorly organized and highly sheared. However, as I pointed out yesterday, this should not be dismissed in the long term. IF the circulation can survive the trip over Hispaniola, the hurricane "sweet spot" near the Bahamas could re-energize the system in a few days.
Lastly, a new area of interest has popped up off the southern Florida peninsula that warrants a close eye. It is in an environment conducive for genesis, and this could track across the peninsula as a VERY rainy tropical storm. If this does rapidly organize, the name/number on deck is 14/Melissa.
Radar image of this disturbance: http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=amx&product=N0Z&overlay=11101111&loop=no
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