02 August 2010

TD4 forms far from land...

An easterly wave that exited the African continent back on July 29 has gradually gotten better organized, and was upgraded to Tropical Depression 4 at 15Z today based on microwave satellite data.  Intensity is estimated to be 30kts and 1006mb, and is moving WNW at 15kts.  It presently located about 1300 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

The forecast is for continued slow strengthening over the next couple of days, then perhaps only maintaining intensity after that as it heads into a less favorable environment (strong vertical shear).  By Thursday or so, we should have a clear idea of whether or not the storm will recurve to the north or if the track will flatten out a bit and maintain a WNW heading.  If it recurves, it's destined to head out into the open ocean, but it if doesn't recurve by the end of the week, then we have to start thinking about potential landfalls.

The next name on the list is Colin.  Colin is a new name this season (all of the names are on a 6-year rotation, until retired due to a significant societal impact), replacing Charley which made landfall near Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte FL on August 13, 2004 as a Category 4 hurricane.  While on the topic, other new names this season are Fiona (replaces Frances), Igor (replaces Ivan), and Julia (replaces Jeanne).

Since it's now August, several people have asked how this season stands compared to normal in terms of activity.  2010 is just slightly more active so far compared to an average season.  We've seen 2 named storms (3 if TD4 gets named), 1 of which became a hurricane.  Climatologically, there are 2 named storms and no hurricanes by this date.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

No comments:

Post a Comment