20 July 2010

Disturbance getting better organized...

The vertical wind shear is decreasing, and the disturbance I mentioned yesterday was surprisingly quick to take advantage of the less hostile environment.  The SSTs are right around 29C, and with the shear reducing from ~20kts to just 5-10kts, there is a lot of new deep convection located over and around the low-level center.  The 1014mb Low is located just north of the Dominican Republic and still tracking WNW at 8kts.

The forecast is for gradual strengthening and a continued WNW track, bringing it near the FL peninsula on Friday.  The latest model guidance suggests that the intensity at that time will be a strong tropical storm or possibly a minimal hurricane, but 3-day intensity forecasts are a little hazy (recent average 72h forecast error is about +/- 19kts).

Elsewhere, a strong easterly wave just exited the African coast today, so that's worth keeping an eye on over the next few days to see if it develops.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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