16 August 2012

Gordon becomes 7th named storm of the season

The huge easterly wave that left the African coast back on August 9th (the same one that was attempting to form two distinct Lows on the 10th) has been in a very hostile environment for the past week, but finally escaped the Saharan Air Layer that contained the choking dry low-mid level air.  At 21Z yesterday (5pm EDT), it was upgraded to TD8, then just twelve hours later, upgraded again to TS Gordon, the seventh named storm of the Atlantic season.  The tracking map shown below gives you an appreciation of just how far it traveled as a disorganized yet trackable feature prior to earning a number (AL08).

At 09Z today (5am EDT), Gordon was a 35kt storm with a 1011mb central pressure located about 1600 miles WSW of the Azores and heading NNE at 12kts.  It is forecast to continue recurving and pass over the Azores on Monday morning as a tropical storm, but could reach hurricane status in the meantime.

Tropical Storm Gordon at 7:45am EDT today.

Elsewhere, a new easterly wave is leaving the African coast today after traveling across the continent for the past 5 days.  The embedded 1012(ish)mb Low is centered near 9N 16W.  This will definitely be something to watch closely, as many of the global models develop it and keep it somewhat south and near 15N 50W in a week.  Once Gordon is out of the picture (soon), all attention will be diverted to this system, and regional models will soon be run on it as well.  Once (and if) named, the next name on the list is Helene.

Visible satellite image of the eastern Atlantic and western Africa from 7:15am EDT today.


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