09 September 2010

Igor maintains intensity, easterly wave crossing Windward Islands...

Igor is drifting around the Cape Verde islands in very weak steering, and the latest heading estimate is NNW at 5kts, but a general motion to the WNW is expected in the longer term.  The deep convection is persistent, but not located over the surface circulation due to the rather strong (~25kts) vertical shear.  However, the shear is forecast to drop drastically to about 5kts within the next couple of days and Igor should intensify and become the season's 4th hurricane.  At 15Z, the intensity was 35kts and 1006mb.  This storm is just off of Africa, so it will be a week or longer until it could even reach the Lesser Antilles, and much longer for any potential US encounter.  Here is a map from Jeff Masters showing all past tracks taken by storms in the same location: http://icons-pe.wunderground.com/data/images/at201011_climo.gif

The easterly wave near the Windward Islands continues to get better organized, and is centered very close to Grenada (Grenada suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ivan on Sep 7, 2004 and has barely recovered from that devastation).  Luckily, this disturbance is nothing like Ivan, but will still bring flooding rains and perhaps tropical storm force winds to the area.  Although poorly organized now, it must be watched very closely because the environment is quite favorable for significant development and forecast track scenarios for a storm in this location inevitably involve at least one landfall.  The next name on the list is Julia.

I'd like to thank once again my guest writers during the past week, Kate Musgrave and Gus Alaka.  I've heard from some of you that you were quite appreciative to keep receiving these updates in my absence!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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