12 September 2014

Edouard forms, and possible Gulf storm next week?

At 11pm EDT on Thursday (03Z on Friday), TD6 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Edouard.  This is latest date for the fifth named storm since Ernesto formed on September 22, 1994.  But, climatologically, it's actually right on schedule... the average date for the fifth named storm is September 11!  And if it becomes a hurricane soon (which it should), it would be well ahead of the average date for the forth hurricane, September 28.  (these dates utilize the full 1851-2013 period of record... they change if a different period is chosen)

As of 5am EDT on Friday, Eduoard's intensity was estimated at 40mph and it is moving west-northwest at 15mph.  It is battling moderately strong wind shear and dry air, but over the next 3-5 days the shear should relax and Edouard is forecast to intensify to a minimal hurricane out in the open central Atlantic.

Visible satellite image from 8:30am EDT over the tiny and sheared Tropical Storm Edouard. (NASA)
The track forecast with cone of uncertainty can be found here; the recuravature around 55W is supported by all models.

Next... the disturbance that was over the northwest Bahamas yesterday is now inland over the southern Florida peninsula.  However, dry air and shear (sound familiar?) have taken their toll on the small embryo circulation.  But what happens when it enters the Gulf of Mexico?

Visible satellite image from 8:45am EDT.  (NOAA)
First, a look at the past 24 hours of rainfall over Florida (8am-8am).  Parts of Palm Beach County got nearly 5", and 1-3" fell across portions of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.  The remainder of southern Florida will likely be similar as the weak system drifts slowly west today.

Estimated rainfall totals from 8am Thu through 8am Fri. (NOAA)
The disturbance will enter the Gulf of Mexico by early Saturday morning, then  models (the colored lines on this map show track forecasts from 9 skillful models: the first 4 are global and last 5 are regional) diverge on how quickly it curves back to the north.  As of now, conditions in the Gulf this weekend and next week appear to be only slightly conducive for development.  SSTs are very warm, there is less dry air, but the wind shear should remain strong.  Through the next 5 days, models generally forecast this to become a tropical storm, but none bring it up to a hurricane.  It certainly can't be dismissed though... if the longer-range shear outlook is wrong, the intensity forecast could be very wrong.  The next name on the list is Fay.

No comments:

Post a Comment