28 May 2009

Tropical Depression 1 forms before the official start of hurricane season...

Much like last season, this season is getting a slight jump start.  In 2008, Arthur formed on May 31, and now, TD1 has formed off the US east coast.  It came as no big surprise however, as it has been festering since early in the Memorial Day weekend in the Bahamas. 

In the past 24 hours, it has gotten much better organized.  Yesterday at this time, it was a vigorous low-level swirl off of Cape Hatteras.  Today, is has persistent deep convection over the center, and is taking advantage of low vertical shear and the relatively warm waters in the thin ribbon of the Gulf Stream.  It has about a day to intensify further before an approaching trough will increase the shear and nudge it over cold sea surface temperatures (SSTs).  At 15Z today, the TD1 was located at 37.3N 71.0W and heading NE at 15kts.  Maximum winds are 30kts with a minimum sea level pressure of 1007mb.  It is forecast to track NE toward the open north Atlantic... a menace only to shipping.  If it reaches 35kt+ intensity, it would be upgraded to TS Ana.

To everyone who has joined this mailing list since last season ended, welcome!  I try to keep the updates and discussion brief yet informative; hopefully insightful when necessary.  If you ever have a question about a term or phrase I use, please just ask.  This list includes people from all walks of life... from grade school teachers, military personnel, hurricane researchers, business owners, resort staff, professors, students of all ages, friends, family, media, etc.  Although I may occasionally express surprise at a discussion or forecast made by the National Hurricane Center, it is my policy (and my university's policy) to report their official positions and forecasts, so please do not ask me for my own personal forecast... especially regarding landfall.

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