22 June 2012

Chris nearly gone, Gulf disturbance still organizing

In the past 24 hours, Chris went from a hurricane to a low-level swirl with minimal convection and is surrounded by stable air and stratocumulus.  Now located approximately 400 miles ESE of Newfoundland, it is in the process of completing its loop that the forecast called for.  Its time as a tropical entity is very limited now, as it's over 15C water.  This will likely be my last post about Chris.

However, the Gulf disturbance, AL96, is still something worth keeping an eye on.  [As an aside, since I've gotten some questions about this, before a system reaches Tropical Depression status, it is typically designated as an "Invest", or area of interest that is being closely monitored and regional computer models are run on specifically.  These Invests are given the identifier of 9x, and they just run sequentially from 90-99 then start back over at 90 again.  The prefix is for the basin: AL is Atlantic, EP is East Pacific.  So, in a full season, there could be 5 AL93s and 4 EP93s.  Only once upgraded to a Depression does the system earn a unique identifier, such as AL04.]

The lowest surface pressure in the disturbance is ~1005mb now, and it's centered over the north-central Yucatan peninsula and barely moving.  While model guidance agrees on only minimal intensification, the agreement on the track forecast isn't as close.  As you can below, there is general agreement on a slow northward drift over the next 2-3 days, then after that, there's a bifurcation due to uncertainty in the strength of the ridge over the southern US.  So stay tuned!

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