19 August 2011

TD8 nearing Belize, central and eastern Atlantic disturbances brewing

At 03Z today, the easterly wave that we've been watching since it left Africa on Aug 10th was upgraded to TD8.  It's cruising along the northern coast of Honduras, and on the verge of becoming a Tropical Storm.  At 15Z, the intensity is 30kts and 1005mb.  It is expected to intensify just slightly prior to landfall in Belize on Saturday evening, and if named, it would be Harvey.  As time goes on (it's not in range as of this writing), you will be able to view a radar loop from Belize at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/harvey11/Harvey_19-20Aug11.gif

The easterly wave that exited Africa on the 15th (AL97) is now near 50W, or roughly 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, and tracking west at about 15kts.  On its current track, it is expected to reach the Leeward Islands on Sunday morning, Puerto Rico on Monday morning, and then continuing toward Hispaniola, Cuba, and southern FL after that.  The majority of models do develop this to a TS, and some to a Cat 1 hurricane... the amount of land it encounters will be a large factor in determining just how strong it can get.

Finally, another easterly wave exited Africa yesterday (AL98) and is centered near 20W now... not even to the Cape Verde islands yet.  This vigorous wave was born over the Ethiopian Highlands back on Aug 12, traveled across Africa in one week, and is already showing signs of tropical development.  It's too early to say much about the potential track of this, but models are indicating more of a NW heading than W by five days out.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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