16 September 2010

Igor heading for Bermuda, Julia weakening, Karl heading for Mexico a second time... And another worthy headline: three simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic!

Igor has not dropped below the CAT4 threshold, and is presently a 120kt storm with a central pressure of 934mb.  It is located 910 miles SSE of Bermuda and heading NW at 6kts.  It is forecast to maintain major hurricane status through Monday when it begins recurving and interacting with a mid-latitude trough.
The attached file shows the latest suite of model forecasts of Igor's track.  There is very little spread among the models, indicating a greater deal of certainty in the forecast.  Though not shown on that map, the closest approach occurs 90-96h from the 06Z initialization, which is late Sunday night into early Monday morning.  I will make a running radar loop (real-time, accumulating frames) and provide a link to it as the time gets closer.

Julia has entered a more hostile environment as expected, and has weakened... the satellite presentation is much worse today than it was yesterday.  As such, the intensity is down to 85kts and 971mb.  It is in the open eastern Atlantic, far from anything, and will continue to weaken in the face of increasing vertical shear.

Karl made landfall on the Mexico/Belize border as a 55kt tropical storm, and was barely phased by the flat terrain of the Yucatan peninsula.  It exited the peninsula in the early morning hours on Thursday and was very quick to regain its organization.  At 15Z today, it was upgraded to a hurricane, the sixth of the season, and is forecast to continue intensifying, perhaps nearly to a major hurricane, before it makes its second and final landfall near Poza Rica on Friday evening.  Hurricane Watches and Warnings are in effect, and you can see the latest here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT13/refresh/AL1310W5_NL+gif/.  The current intensity is 65kts and 983mb and increasing fairly rapidly.

Elsewhere, there is a suspicious surge of southwesterly winds in the area of 5-10N, 30-40W (about 1700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles) and some scattered deep convection associated with the resulting convergence.  If that festers for a few more days, a low-latitude tropical disturbance could be in the cards.  Something worth keeping an eye on in the coming days, since low-latitude systems are much less likely to recurve before reaching the US.

I'll dedicate today's update to my grandfather, James McNoldy, who passed away this past February, but would be 94 today.  He once told a story of his WWII assignment (maintaining and repairing aircraft in Iceland) and the intense storms they'd get there.  Once in a while, the remnants of a tropical cyclone make their way up to Greenland, the UK, Portugal, and Iceland, and if you're on an airfield fixing aircraft, you'd notice things like that!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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