02 September 2005

Lee dissipates, Maria forms...

Since my last update on Wednesday, Lee had quickly dissipated due to excessive vertical shear.  It is now a barely noticeable low-level swirl over the north central Atlantic.

However, that hefty tropical wave I mentioned was finally upgraded to TD14 on Thursday morning, and then upgraded to TS Maria this morning.  It will have a track and fate nearly identical to Lee, so it is no threat to land.  It is not forecast to reach hurricane intensity.  As of 15Z today, TS Maria is located at 21.3N 50.0W and tracking WNW at 8kts.  Satellite-estimated intensity is 35kts and 1007mb.

Maria is the earliest 13th named storm on record, crushing the old record by 6 days.  So far, every storm from Dennis through Maria has broken the record for earliest N-th storm, with the exception of Lee, who lagged Luis 1995 by two days.  If Nate forms before September 10, it will also hold the record for the earliest 14th named storm.  The season's NTC is now at 112% as of 15Z this morning, and we're just now entering the climatological peak of the season.

The wave that had just exited Africa on Wednesday has continued to trek westward and is presently near 7N 38W.  It's presently lacking deep convection, but the wave is holding together and actually has a 1008mb Low embedded within it.  The longer range track would take it very near the Leeward Islands in 5 days.  The SSTs should be at least 29C, and variable wind shear will allow for periods of strengthening and weakening, but given the overall current and future conditions, it should be free to intensify to a powerful hurricane by early next week, if not sooner.  This will likely become TD15, then the next name on deck is Nate.  This is the type of track that the US east coast needs to be on alert for.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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