13 August 2007

Forth Tropical Depression forms in deep tropics...

At 15Z today, the easterly wave that exited the African coast on Friday was upgraded to Tropical Depression 4 based on satellite imagery.

TD4 is presently experiencing moderate vertical shear (15-20kts) which is keeping the low-level center east of the coldest cloud tops.  The shear should lessen over the next few days, and combined with SSTs in the 28-29C ballpark, allow it to drastically intensify.  It's located at 12.0N 31.6W (about 600km southwest of the Cape Verdes) and zipping along to the west at 18kts.  The estimated MSLP is 1005mb and winds are 30kts.

The present forecast track shows continued movement toward the W-WNW, reaching the Leeward Islands by Friday night into Saturday morning.  The forecast intensity from NHC is a tad conservative in my opinion, but reasonable.  It shows gradual intensification, reaching minimal hurricane intensity on Friday morning, and CAT2 by Saturday.  Off the official record though, the potential exists for much more rapid development.  The next name on the list is Dean.

Also of great interest is an area of disturbed weather in the southeast Gulf of Mexico near the western tip of Cuba, being invigorated by a cold upper-Low to its northwest.  This sort of system is not well predicted, and can develop fairly quickly, so I'd venture a guess that Floridians would want to keep a close eye on things there.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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