29 June 2011

First storm of the season forms in Bay of Campeche

Not long after yesterday's update was sent out, the area of disturbed weather was upgraded to Tropical Storm Arlene, the first of the season.  As of the 15Z advisory today, it is a 45kt storm with a 1000mb central pressure.  It's located 155 miles ESE of Tampico MX and heading W at 7kts.  As expected, the vertical shear has decreased, and the storm was quick to take advantage of the improved environment.  Further strengthening is forecast prior to landfall, perhaps nearing or reaching hurricane intensity.

The track should bring the storm onto land during the overnight hours very close to Tampico.  Even at minimal hurricane intensity, by far, the greatest threat is the heavy rain that comes with tropical systems.  Strong winds and a 2-4' storm surge will also occur along the coast, especially north of where the center crosses the coast.  You can monitor the latest track forecast, watches, and warnings at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT01/refresh/AL0111W_NL+gif/

Finally, you can follow Arlene on radar at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/arlene11/Arlene_29-30Jun11.gif

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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