12 September 2012

Nadine forms and becomes season's 14th named storm

At 03Z today (11pm EDT Tuesday night), TD14 was upgraded to TS Nadine.  It's quite extraordinary to have the 14th named storm occur on September 12th!!  As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I was only able to find two other years in 160 years of record-keeping in which the 14th storm formed sooner: 1936 and 2011.  I'm going to include a far-view satellite image as well as a full-resolution image (1km) from GOES-East... just because they're so pretty!

At 15Z today, Tropical Storm Nadine's maximum sustained winds are at 50kts, and it's most decidedly on an intensifying trend.  The NHC forecast brings it up to a hurricane (the season's 8th) by Thursday morning.
The track model guidance continues to be very closely bundled, and shows a recurvature by the time it reaches 55W, keeping it safely away from any land encounters.  Although it is in a healthy environment now, its time is limited, as strong vertical shear is in its future.

The graph below shows the forecasts of intensity, track, shear, SST, and mid-level humidity from a few key models.  You can see the expected intensification in the near future, but then the dramatically increasing shear, the decreasing SST, and the decreasing RH... all working together to keep Nadine from becoming an extremely intense hurricane.

This storm is also being throughly probed by unmanned aircraft as part of NASA's huge field program called "Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel", or HS3.  A centerpiece of the program is the Global Hawk, a highly advanced unmanned aircraft capable of flying very long missions, and it carries with it a large suite of instruments and dropsondes to send high-resolution enviromental data into operational computer models.  Check on the Capital Weather Gang's blog later for a more detailed description of this program and its activities with Nadine!

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