September 23, 2007

Tropicornucopia

Filed under: Tropical — Erin @ 11:32 am

Well, the Atlantic has awakened from dormancy once again. We have four features to track, three of which are a potential threat.

First, Subtropical Storm Jerry got named today. Its satellite photos show a classic subtropical storm. It is forecast to develop tropical features before merging with an extratropical system. I’m not sold on the tropical transition happening, but whether it does or not, it’ll provide extra energy to the system it is merging with and may prove to be a threat to shipping interests if it develops into a nasty high seas cold-core storm. Either way, it’s heading out.

Closer to home is 94L in the Gulf of Mexico, and the computer models are taking this one anywhere and everywhere, although it should be noted that none of them take it farther northeast than Texas. The SHIPS forecasts it to become a hurricane. I would disregard this if not for the inconvenient little fact of Humberto. Shear in the Western Gulf is forecast to be high, though, so SHIPS may indeed be out to lunch. At the moment the system doesn’t look like much; it would have to get organized soon to reach that intensity. On the whole, I’d deem this a rainmaker for Texas–which is unfortunate, as it does not need it.

Next is 96L, in my opinion, the most interesting. This one is looking good, with banding already showing up in the satellites. 96L is a potential Cape Verde system located in the Atlantic, and any interaction with land is many days away… however, SHIPS forecasts it to be a major hurricane by the time it reaches the Caribbean. I see nothing in the short term to prevent this from happening and expect this system to develop. Models are in agreement on a WNW track, with the global models forecasting a more NWly bend at the end, but the GFDL keeping it going WNW. At this point it’s tough to tell whether it will recurve at sea. For some reason, the HWRF and GFDL don’t develop this system beyond a tropical storm, but I think this is unrealistic, and am thus disinclined to put a lot of trust in their current solutions, including track, which at this time of year is very dependent on the strength of the system. The bottom line, keep an eye out. This one could be an East Coaster. Not saying it will, of course, but I want to point out the possibilities.

97L is in the Central Atlantic and is forecast by the models to enter the Caribbean. This one was recently declared and currently doesn’t look so hot, although better than 94L. If it wants to become anything, it needs to get its act together before it hits the infamous “dead zone” in the Caribbean. I’m unable to pull up model runs for this system yet. However, if it does develop, it seems that it is likely to go south of the big shear masses that are forecast to develop over the Caribbean.

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