14 September 2010

Igor and Julia now both hurricanes, no threat to land...

Igor has weakened slightly to 115kts/945mb, but is still a powerful Category 4 hurricane.  During the night, the storm finally made a turn to the WNW, which models have been hinting at for a few days, but the storm wasn't doing it.  Assuming this motion continues, this confirms that the storm is feeling the weakness in the subtropical ridge and will continue to turn toward it.  Igor is expected to remain a major hurricane at least through this week.  The primary land at risk is Bermuda, which could feel the worst of the storm late this weekend.

At 09Z today, Julia was upgraded to the 5th hurricane of the season.  In an average season, the 5th hurricane would form around October 7, so we're certainly seeing an active season (the 2nd major hurricane hurricane would climatologically form around October 3, and we've already had 3!).  At 15Z, the intensity was estimated at 75kts with a central pressure of 984mb.  As is typical for pressures ~985mb, an eye is forming, and Julia is expected to strengthen more, until it hits higher vertical shear in a day or so.  It's currently located about 355 miles WNW of the Cape Verde islands and heading WNW at 9kts.

The disturbance that was south of Jamaica yesterday is still not a Depression, and is located south of Isla de la Juventud, Cuba.  The appearance continues to improve, and could become a Depression later today.  There is a 1006mb Low associated with the disturbance, and the majority of forecast models intensify it to a TS prior to hitting the Yucatan, maintain or slightly weaken it during the crossing, then re-intensify it to a strong TS or weak hurricane as it traverses the Bay of Campeche.  Landfall on mainland Mexico is expected on Saturday, assuming a storm actually forms.  The next name is Karl.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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