17 August 2012

Watching 3 systems scattered across the basin

Tropical Storm Gordon is still heading for the Azores, TD7 is making an impressive comeback near the Mexican coast, and the disturbance in the far eastern Atlantic is organizing.

Tracks of all of these systems are available here.


TS Gordon reached an intensity of 60kts at 03Z on Friday (Thursday 11pm EDT), but has since weakened a bit to 55kts at 09Z today.  It is still forecast to reach hurricane status within the next day or so as it heads for the Azores at 16kts. It's presently about 1000 miles west of the Azores, so should reach the islands Sunday night into Monday morning, likely as a tropical storm. 

Visible satellite image of Gordon from 7:45am EDT... courtesy of NOAA/NESDIS.


If you recall, TD7 degenerated into an open wave back on the 11th just as it was approaching the Lesser Antilles.  It remained a coherent wave since then, though couldn't acquire a closed surface circulation, and the convection associated with it was meager.  It passed over Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and southern Mexico prior to re-emerging over the Gulf of Mexico.  There is also some evidence that the remnants of TD7 mingled with another disturbance a couple days ago, so its pedigree is perhaps a little mixed now.  But, this morning, the system is located over the western Bay of Campeche (extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico) and appears to be intensifying.

Visisble satellite image from 8:40am, courtesy of NASA/GHCC.  The green line is the Mexican coastline.

I have radar loops from two sites in Mexico available to help monitor the circulation as well.  Later today, reconnaissance aircraft will be investigating the system to accurately determine its intensity.  This disturbance (former TD7 and possibly TD7 again, or even TS Helene depending on what the aircraft finds) is heading WNW at 9kts.  It should reach the Mexican coast near Tampico by Saturday morning.


The disturbance that left the African coast yesterday continues to shows signs of organization.  The surface center appears to be near 12N 21W, which is amazing luck since there's a buoy at 12N 23W (just southeast of the Cape Verdes)... we should be able to get a decent idea of the surface pressure soon.

Visisble satellite image from 8:15am.

Models continue to favor the development of this system in a big way.  A classic W-WNW track for at least the next 5-7 days will bring it a few hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles.  Beyond that, model uncertainty is too high to base predictions on.  The limited amount of model guidance so far suggests that this could be a major hurricane within a week.

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