16 August 2011

Gert weakens, disturbance in Caribbean persists

As of this writing, Gert is not much more than a skeleton vortex... though still clinging to tropical storm intensity.  It is located approximately 550 miles south of Newfoundland and zipping off to the northeast at 26kts.  There is little to no deep convection associated with it, the SST under it is 26C and will decrease rapidly along its track, and it is soon going to get absorbed by a deep mid-latitude trough.  So, Gert's time as a TC is limited.  And with it not becoming a hurricane, this is the first time in 160 years of records that the Atlantic has started a season with 7 named storms and 0 hurricanes.

The disturbance that exited Africa on the 6th and was crossing the Lesser Antilles yesterday is now centered near 65W in the Caribbean (this was the one that can be traced back to the Ethiopian Highlands on Aug 2).  It's lacking a surface circulation, but it's persistent, and is still definitely worth keeping a close eye on.  Generally, models favor this system and intensify it quite substantially in the next 5 days as it heads W-WNW toward the Yucatan area.  BUT, it needs to at least become a Depression before getting concerned about anything beyond that.  An aircraft will investigate the system later today.

Elsewhere, a large easterly wave exited Africa early on the 15th and is now near the Cape Verde islands.  A scatterometer (a polar-orbiting satellite that can measure surface winds over the ocean) overpass earlier today reveals a fairly healthy low-level circulation... look near 12N 27W:

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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