10 November 2015

Kate strengthens as it turns to the northeast

Tropical Storm Kate is now racing toward the northeast, away from the Bahamas, at nearly 20mph.  Peak winds are up to 60mph, and it is forecast to intensify more in the next 24-36 hours before it transitions to an extratropical cyclone.

It is being forced out to sea by a deep trough, which shows up nicely on water vapor images:

If Kate does reach hurricane intensity, it would join the ranks of only 39 other known hurricanes to form during November since 1851.  Typically by now, the Cape Verde season has long-since shut down (the easterly waves moving off of Africa), and the Gulf of Mexico is commonly influenced by cold fronts.  But the western Caribbean is a hot zone for formation, as well as along and on the ends of fronts.  In this map I show the tracks of the 39 November hurricanes as well as their formation point, which is marked with a white dot.  I added a cyan dot where Kate formed for reference.

Elsewhere, the basin is quiet, and the end of the official hurricane season is just under three weeks away.

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