12 October 2014

Fay hits Bermuda, and Gonzalo in the making?

To catch up from Friday morning's post, STD 7 was upgraded Subtropical Storm Fay at the next advisory on Friday afternoon.  Then on Saturday morning, Fay officially transitioned from subtropical to tropical, and headed north toward Bermuda as expected.  It also strengthened to just below hurricane intensity (60kts) and passed directly over Bermuda on Sunday morning.

Early morning visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Fay (7am EDT).  Bermuda is the red speck just south of the circulation center.  Thin wispy outflow cirrus are evident on the side of the storm. (NASA)
Radar image of Fay shortly after "landfall". (Bermuda Weather Service)
In the coming days, Fay will weaken and become extratropical in the face of decreasing sea surface temperatures and increasing wind shear.

What's next?

The disturbance that I mentioned on Friday that was east of the Lesser Antilles has indeed gotten better organized.  It is now centered roughly 350 miles east of the Leeward Islands and moving west at 12mph.  It is nearing tropical depression status, and could be upgraded to TD8 today or tomorrow.  If and when it becomes a tropical storm, the name will be Gonzalo.

Visible satellite image of the disturbance east of the Leeward Islands.  (NOAA)
Models are still in excellent agreement on it developing, and on a northwestward track toward Puerto Rico.  Beyond that, it appears likely that a trough will steer it toward the north. 

Forecast tracks from the Oct12 06Z model suite.  There are 4 global models and 5 regional models shown here. (U. Albany)
With very low shear and very warm SSTs ahead of it, this could potentially develop quickly and be close to hurricane intensity by the time it passes east of Puerto Rico, so it's worth paying attention to!

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