02 July 2008

Possible Depression forming...

A well-organized tropical wave exited the African coast yesterday, and is now located just southeast of the Cape Verde islands.  You can see its progress at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/hovmoller/atlantic/

A QuikSCAT pass from 07Z today showed a completely closed surface circulation, with some non-rain-contaminated vectors on the western half approaching  the tropical storm threshold of 35kts.  QuikSCAT is an active microwave scatterometer that is capable of determining the surface wind speed and direction.

It is in an environment with little vertical wind shear, and sea surface temperatures (SST) are sufficiently warm... in the 27C ballpark.

Should it continue to organize, it would become TD2 then TS Bertha.  [Arthur was already named in late May and was a short-lived storm that formed from the remnants of Alma in the eastern Pacific.]
In the longer term, this system should have a hard time making it too far west, so is likely not a threat to the US.  It could however, become a strong TS or even a hurricane in the coming days.

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