23 October 2003

Nicholas finally absorbed...

At 21Z today, the final advisory was written on Nicholas, 10 days after
the first one was written.  Last position was at 24.3N 56.8W with 25kt
winds.  He has been absorbed by a mid-latitude trough.

Unless something else forms in the remaining five weeks of the official
season (which is certainly possible), the next update will be my final
season summary.

As of now, the season stands at:
14    Named Storms
72.00 Named Storm Days
6     Hurricanes
31.50 Hurricane Days
3     Intense Hurricanes
16.25 Intense Hurricane Days (2nd highest EVER!)

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

21 October 2003

Nicholas still out there...

It's been a while since my last update, but very little has transpired. 
Since 10/14, TD19 was upgraded to TS Nicholas on 10/15, and never
reached hurricane intensity.  The steering flow has been relatively weak
and the vertical shear has been moderately high, resulting in a
quasi-stationary storm that has struggled to maintain organization.

At 15Z today, TS Nicholas was located at 18.5N 51.5W and tracking W at
7kts.  Intensity is back up to 45kts and MSLP has been dropped to
1002mb.  From the satellite perspective, the storm has made a noticeable
comeback in deep convection, although the shear is still apparent.  The
forecast is for a northward turn and gradual weakening.

Nicholas has accumulated 6.75 Named Storm Days, and 1-2 more are
probably in store.  I believe this brings the season total up to 69.75
NSD so far (the climatological seasonal average is about 49).  Another
note on climatology... this season is ALREADY 62% more active than the
average season, and there's still another five weeks left ("activity"
defined as a function of Named Storms, Named Storm Days, Hurricanes,
Hurricane Days, Intense Hurricanes, and Intense Hurricane Days).  The
last year that was this active was 1999.  See
http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/NTC.html for a look
at some recent past seasons.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

14 October 2003

Mindy dissipates, TD19 nearly a TS...

At 03Z today, the final advisory was written on Mindy as she completed
the extratropical transition and is now fully absorbed by a trough.  She
never reached hurricane strength, but did accumulate 2.0 Named Storm

TD19 continues to organize east of the Lesser Antilles.  This morning's
infrared satellite imagery shows a very cold CDO, with cloud tops as
cold as -85C at times.  The low-level center, although somewhat
challenging to find, is approximately under the CDO.  As of 15Z, TD19
was at 10.8N 41.4W and tracking WNW at 8kts.  Intensity is estimated to
be 30kts and 1006mb.  This will likely be upgraded to TS Nicholas at the
21Z advisory today, and could reach hurricane strength during the
weekend.  The track forecast recurves the storm by about 47W, sneaking
north through a weakness in the subtropical ridge.  However, if the
ridge does not break down according to the models, the track will be
forced more westerly.  Just something to keep an eye on.

Elsewhere, there is an area of disturbed weather over the western
Caribbean Sea, right by Honduras and Nicaragua.  Conditions are
favorable for development, but proximity to land could hinder it.  If it
continues a westward drift, it stands a better chance of developing in
the EastPac.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

13 October 2003

Mindy weakens, TD19 forms...

At 21Z yesterday, Mindy weakened to a Depression, and continues to be
absorbed into a midlatitude trough.  She is very poorly organized, and
as of 21Z was loacted at 26.1N 67.7W and tracking E at 8kts.  Intensity
is estimated to be 25kts and 1007mb.  The forecast is for continued

The tropical wave I mentioned on the 11th has become better organized
and was upgraded to TD19 at 21Z today.   It's at 9.6N 38.7W and moving W
at 7kts.  Maximum sustained winds are 25kts and the MSLP is 1008mb. 
Conditions appear favorable for further development, and this should
become TS Nicholas by Tuesday afternoon.  Vertical shear may inhibit the
storm from reaching hurricane strength.  It formed far enough south that
it could enter the Caribbean in the long term, unlike many of the last
few storms that recurved rather far east.  Also, this is very late in
the season for a Cape Verde storm to form, but it's obviously possible!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

11 October 2003

TS Mindy forms over Hispaniola...

The area of disturbed weather I had been mentioning since Oct 6 was upgraded to
Tropical Storm Mindy at 21Z yesterday.  She remains disorganized though, and
will not have long to wait until she's picked up by a trough.  She's already in
moderate shear, and it should pick up a bit today too, making it even
questionable if this weak TS will survive.  As of 15Z, Mindy was at 22.2N 71.6W
and tracking NW at 12kts.  Intensity is 35kts and 1007mb (weakened a bit from
her peak intensity so far of 40kts and 1002mb).  The forecast track takes her
over the extreme south islands of the Bahamas, then recurving and heading for
Bermuda by Monday.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave is located southwest of the Cape Verde islands and
conditions are marginally favorable for slow development.  It's moving west at
12kts and has a 1006mb Low.  Although being sheared now, this could improve with
time and makes this something worth watching.  Normally, the Cape Verde season
would be over by now, but there are bound to be outliers.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

07 October 2003

Kate becoming extratropical...

The mid-latitude trough is rapidly absorbing Kate, and she's barely
discernable as a tropical system anymore.  She is gradually losing
centralized deep convection and now has a front extending southward from
the Low.  As of 15Z today, TS Kate was located at 45.5N 48.0W and
tracking NNE at 38kts.  Intensity is estimated to be 60kts and 987mb. 
During the rest of the week, she's expected to zip quickly
northeastward, passing south of Iceland then north of England, heading
for Norway as a potent early Fall storm.  However, Kate has joined the
ranks of Fabian and Isabel as 2003's Atlantic major hurricanes.  It's
very likely that the 21Z advisory today will be the last written on
Kate.  She has 5.75 Hurricane Days and 1.5 Intense Hurricane Days to her
name, and probably will end up with 9.75 Named Storm Days.

I'm still watching the tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles.  It
has made little if any progress since yesterday, but conditions are
still favorable for development.  Again, should this organize, the next
number and name are TD18 and Mindy.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

06 October 2003

Kate back to CAT1 hurricane, Larry made landfall...

Since Friday morning (time of the last update), Kate reached a peak
intensity of 110kts and 952mb on Saturday afternoon, just shy of CAT4
status.  She accumulated 1.5 Intense Hurricane Days, and so far has 8.5
Named Storm Days and 5.25 Hurricane Days.  The track has not been very
deviant from the forecast... she has made the expected northward bend as
she recurves in response to a midlatitude trough.  As of 15Z today,
Hurricane Kate was at 36.1N 55.2W and tracking NNE at 19kts.  Current
intensity is 75kts and 979mb.  The future is not very surprising; she
will gradually lose tropical characteristics, weaken, and get whisked
northeastward by the trough, probably giving Iceland a bit of a show by

Tropical Storm Larry never reached hurricane strength, and never found a
real steering flow.  He drifted VERY slowly and erratically south into
Mexico, making landfall around 03Z on 10/5.  Advisories on Larry have
ceased, as his remnants continue to drift into the Gulf of Tehuantepec.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave is located at about 12N 45W and could slowly
organize over the next couple days, as conditions appear favorable. 
There is already a broad area of cyclonic vorticity, divergence aloft,
and it's heading into an area of very high oceanic heat content (not
only warm water, but deep warm water).  The next number/name on deck is

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

03 October 2003

Kate now a CAT2, Larry heading for Mexico...

Kate's satellite presentation continues to improve, and therefore, so
does her intensity.  She has a large and symmetric eye, a CDO being
maintained over the eyewall at about -62C (the approx temperature of the
tropopause there), and healthy outflow.  MSLP has fallen 13mb in the
past 24 hours... not rapid, but noticable.  As of 15Z, Hurricane Kate
was located at 29.5N 48.3W and tracking W at 9kts.  Intensity is
estimated at 95kts and 966mb, making her a strong CAT2 storm.  The
forecast is for further intensificiation, possibly becoming the third
major hurricane of the season in the next 12-24 hours.  The westward
trek is expected to continue through the weekend, then make a turn to
the north in response to an advancing midlatitude trough... possibly
affecting Newfoundland early next week.

TS Larry is still not very well organized, and still in very weak
steering flow, but has begun to drift south toward land.  Presently,
there is very deep convection just east of the center, with cloud tops
as cold as -90C at times.  At 15Z today, Larry was at 20.0N 94.6W and
creeping SW at 2kts.  Maximum winds are 50kts and MSLP is 997mb.  There
are frequent aircraft recon flights into the storm, so this intensity is
not satellite-estimated.  A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch
are in effect for much of the coast along the Bay of Campeche.  Larry is
forecast to continue drifting slowly south, heading toward Chivela Pass,
Mexico (home of the famous Tehuantepec gap winds!).  He is forecast to
slowly intensify, almost reaching hurricane strength as he makes
landfall early next week.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

02 October 2003

Kate strengthens, Larry forms in the Gulf...

Hurricane Kate appears very healthy on satellite imagery.  Outflow is
not ideal, but there is a defined eye and cold cloud tops over the
eyewall.  As of 15Z she was at 30.0N 44.1W and heading WSW at 8kts. 
Intensity is estimated at 75kts and 979mb.  She is forecast to continue
westward and to intensify further, perhaps to a CAT2 hurricane by
tomorrow.  At this time, it appears she is no risk to land, perhaps
Newfoundland in about a week if anything.  As as aside... something to
keep in mind when viewing an IR image of Kate: the cloud tops may not
appear as intense as what you might see in a hurricane at lower
latitudes.  However, a lower tropopause at higher latitudes means that
the cloud top temps CAN'T get as cold, but the tops are still hitting
the tropopause.

The disturbance in the southern Gulf was finally upgraded to TS Larry at
03Z today based on satellite estimates and aircraft recon... the 12th
named storm of the season.  At 15Z today, TS Larry was located at 21.0N
93.5W and stationary.  Maximum sustained winds are 45kts and the MSLP is
1003mb.  The forecast is for very gradual strengthening and to remain
nearly stationary.  Although poorly organized now, SSTs and vertical
shear are favorable for development.  However, if and when he
intensifies and winds increase, being stationary will only stir up more
cool water from below, inhibiting intensificiation.  We could be
watching Larry in the southern Gulf for many days to come.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

01 October 2003

Kate still a TS, Gulf system still brewing...

Kate has made the westward turn as forecast, and continues to maintain
strong Tropical Storm intensity.  As of 15Z, she was located at 32.2N
40.2W and tracking W at 10kts.  Intensity is estimated to be 60kts and
991mb.  The forecast is for slight strengthening, re-achieving hurricane
strength later today as vertical shear continues to relax.  She does
appear to be forming an eye on both visible and infrared satellite

For the 6th day, we're watching a large disturbance make its way into
the southern Gulf of Mexico.  It still has very deep and persistent
convection, along with a broad circulation and 1006mb central pressure
at about 22N 93W.  However, recent aircraft recon reveals a non-tropical
structure.  It will continue to be monitored closely for tropical
development. Again, this would be TD17/Larry if it forms.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.