06 September 2005

Maria, Nate, and TD16 keep the season going...

TD14 formed last Thursday, was upgraded to Maria on Friday, then had a much more productive weekend than forecasters had anticipated.  Maria became the season's 5th hurricane on Saturday morning, and the season's 4th major hurricane on Monday night.  It is currently a Category 2 storm with 85kt winds and a central pressure of 975mb, located at 33.8N 55.6W.  It is feeling the effects of an upper-level trough and will begin the extratropical transition today as it's whisked out to the north central Atlantic... the hurricane graveyard.

An upper-level Low to the west of Maria developed a surface Low and became TD15 on Monday afternoon.  It was upgraded to TS Nate late last night and is looking very impressive on satellite imagery.  Nate, like Maria, is forecast to remain well out in the Atlantic and be taken out by the same upper-level trough.  However, Bermuda has all eyes on this storm, as it could hit the island as a hurricane.  I'd image that after Fabian '03, they're not looking forward to the visit.  As of 15Z today, TS Nate was stationary at 28.7N 66.7W.  Estimated intensity is 50kts and 997mb.  Further strengthening is forecast and Nate should become the 6th hurricane of the season.  This is the earliest date for the 14th named storm, beating the old record by four days.

Lastly, a new Tropical Depression formed over northwestern Bahamas this morning... TD16.  It is expected to intensify and head toward the FL/GA coast over the next couple of days.  Residents there should be alert to this storm as it is so close to land.  Conditions appear favorable for gradual intensification, and it's expected to become TS Ophelia later today or tomorrow.  At 15Z, it was located basically over Grand Bahama Island.  It's also stationary, but should begin drifting to the NNW with time.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in place for northwest Bahamas and the central portion of Florida's east coast.

With this latest flurry of activity, the NTC for the season stands at 128%, which is quite phenomenal for Sept 6!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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