31 July 2004

First Tropical Depression forms off southeast US coast...

For at least the past 4-5 days, there has been a festering area of convection and a broad weak circulation east of Florida, and north of the Bahamas.  Aircraft were sent in to investigate the system on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, but no closed surface circulation could be found.  However, by Saturday afternoon, satellite imagery indicated that indeed a surface circulation was present and deep convection was persistent enough that it was upgraded to Tropical Depression 1.

As of 21Z, TD1 is located at 30.6N 78.6W and tracking NW at 8kts.  This position and motion will allow it to pass over the core of the Gulf Stream very shortly.  Maximum sustained winds are 25kts, and the MSLP is 1010mb and is expected to gradually intensify as it heads northwest toward the US coast.  

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the South Carolina coast and up to Cape Hatteras, NC.  Unless the storm recurves earlier than expected, landfall should occur near Myrtle Beach on Sunday afternoon as a Tropical Storm.  If and when TD1 acquires 35kt sustained winds, it will be upgraded to Tropical Storm Alex.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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