21 July 2008

Bertha finally gone, Cristobal and Dolly form, new wave off Africa...

The final advisory was written on Bertha on Sunday morning.  It's now an extratropical cyclone over Iceland.  It was around for 17.25 days, the new longest-lasting July storm.  It also set a record for furthest east formation in July.  Bertha, with the help of the rest of the month, has elevated the 2008 season to the ranks of the 1916, 1926, 1933, 1961, and 2005 seasons so far.  These were some of the most active seasons on record.

In what is rapidly starting to look like a substantial hurricane season, Cristobal formed from the disturbance that was located off the GA coast on Friday, and Dolly formed from what was the long-tracked easterly wave that was in the western Caribbean on Friday.  Both are tropical storms now, and both are forecast to intensify.

Cristobal is located around 200 miles ENE of Cape Hatteras NC with an intensity of 55kts and 1000mb.  It is forecast to strengthen slightly, perhaps to minimal hurricane, but head northeast toward Newfoundland by Wednesday.  The satellite presentation is not so healthy.  It has centralized cold cloud tops, but is very compact and sheared.

Dolly, on the other hand, looks more substantial.  After watching it struggle for 10 days, it finally got named near the Caymans on Sunday at 12Z.  It has since crossed the Yucatan Peninsula as a TS, and is now in the Gulf heading for southern Texas.  It's a large system, but lacking centralized deep convection right now.  All of the convection is in a hefty rainband wrapping 3/4 of the way around the center.  Latest intensity is 45kts and 1005mb.  It's heading WNW at a brisk 16kts, and landfall is expected on Wednesday as a fairly strong hurricane.  Environmental conditions in the western Gulf would allow for rapid strengthening.  A Hurricane Watch has been issued from Brownsville to Port O'Connor.

Lastly, a new very strong easterly wave is just exiting Africa and has the potential to develop quickly once over the ocean.  There is a 1007mb Low embedded within a broad mid-level circulation centered near 15N 15W.  The next number/name in deck is 5/Edouard.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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