Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tropical Storms Ian and Julia: September 13, Update A

Well I was going to start this post with a bit of a rant about Tropical Storms forming over land and what were they thinking... but then I looked at the data and sure enough, there she is... Tropical Storm Julia did, indeed, form over Florida. Well done Florida.

So... starting with our newest Miss Julia...

Tropical Storm Julia
She was named a Tropical Storm by the NHC this evening (11pm EST was the first advisory) and is currently at 30.3N, 81.6W, right over the center of Jacksonville. She is heading NNW at 9mph:

For those of you who have eyes, you will see that she developed over land and it looks like she will stay over land as a Tropical Storm for a day at least. She is very close to the Gulf Stream which has very deep warm water so she is going to be pulling a lot of her strength from that, which is why she looks like she has a lot of convection (but mostly over the Gulf Stream and close to the coast) as you can see in this satellite image: 

Even though her center is over land, there is a lot of wind shear which is keeping the clouds and rain to the northeast of her center and mostly over water or along the coast. It looks like NE Florida, Georgia, and S. Carolina are going to get buckets of rain along with some thundery weather (the orange and red areas in particular are strong thunderstorms). 

In this case, I agree with the NHC that she is definitely a Tropical Storm, although she barely a storm with winds of 40mph (TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure 1009mb. The reason I would agree with the NHC on this one is because she has a vorticity (circulation) structure throughout the lower half of the troposphere that looks like a tropical storm. Here are the vorticity maps from the lowest level of the troposphere (850mb) and the middle troposphere (500mb):


The main role that Julia will play is to bring you all rain, not too much on the wind front (unless they are gusts in those strong thunderstorms). 

You may be thinking that a tropical storm forming over land has never happened before in the Entire History of History, and perhaps this is actually a sign that everyone should just abandon the State of Florida before anything really weird happens. Well you would be wrong in thinking that. This storm-forming-over-land business has happened before, and besides, I'm not sure we can truly measure what 'really weird' in Florida actually means. ;-) In 1988, Beryl became a Tropical Storm over Louisiana and in 1997, Danny became a storm over North Carolina. Florida, you are not alone. 

Tropical Storm Ian
I have a really busy day today/tomorrow/this week, so I'll just keep it light on Ian. He is still out there, and although they say he is stronger with winds of 50mph, central pressure of 998mb, he looks weaker - both in the vorticity (circulation) maps (see above - the mid-troposphere red blob that is Ian doesn't look very well defined at all), and also from his satellite imagery:

He is under that wind shear, so I expect that he will continue to struggle. But as he is far from Anywhere-in-Particular (at 27.6N, 52.8W) and heading to Nowhere-in-Particular (NNW at 13mph), I will not say too much more about him (for now).

Must run for ce soir!
A bientot,
J. 

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tropical Storm Ian: September 12, Update A

Tropical Storm Ian?? Ian? Really? I know a bunch of Ians and they are truly lovely chaps. Nothing as wishy-washy as a Tropical Storm! ;-) 

Nevertheless, Tropical Storm Ian is out there. He's been a blob for a few days and was upgraded to a Tropical Storm today. He is currently at 23.5N, 51.5W, heading NNW at 13mph. He is not a strong storm with winds of only 45mph (TS range: 39-73mph) and an estimated central pressure of 1005mb.

I would agree that he is a weak storm. The vorticity (circulation) is pretty good in the very lowest levels of the troposphere, but in the middle troposphere it is not very well developed, and there is nothing in the upper troposphere - although up there it looks like he will move under an area of higher vorticity that is more like a stormy front than a tropical storm.  

The satellite images are also not too impressive because he is under some pretty strong wind shear:

His entire convective activity is northeast of his center of circulation, and it is decreasing. It looks like he is moving into even stronger wind shear, so I don't know how strong he will be after another day. 

I think he is going to slow down and may actually stall for a short while. This is pretty much in keeping with the NHC official track, which shows that he is going to slow down any second now.  Ian is the Scottish version of the name 'John'.... so it's sort of fitting that he would ultimately be trying to get back to the Scotland area I suppose...
Let's see how he does after a day of wind shear first though. 

In other news... Happy Anniversary to ME! (ok, and to You :-)). I started this blog 10 years and 2 days ago and I think that calls for a celebratory toast of the liquid variety kind (not the burnt bread spread with marmalade kind - unless you are reading this over breakfast, in which case... don't burn the toast! ;-)). The inaugural entry talks about Hurricane Florence and a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico that happened earlier that day... might as well start with a bang, hey? ;-) 10 years, 746 posts and 120,756 website views later!! A Gaggle of History and Bunches of Storms! Not what I expected 10 years ago... so, thank you for reading, sending me reports from the ground and random funny things to share, for telling your family, friends, neighbours, pets and garden plants about this, and really making this what it is! Summing up the last 10 years in my own eloquent words: Crikey! 

Toodle Pip!
J.

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Hurricane Lester, Post-Tropical Storm Hermine, and Tropical Storm Gaston: September 3, Update A

Just time for a quick update as there is geekery to be seen! 

Hurricane Lester - Pacific
He is passing Hawaii now and although his official winds are 85mph, central pressure 985mb, which makes him a mid-sized cat 1 storm (cat 1 range: 74-95mph), I think he is weaker. He no longer has a eye, so I agree that his wind speed is less than 90 mph, but his convection has deteriorated quite a lot:

He no longer has vorticity (circulation) in the upper troposphere either, which means he really isn't a hurricane. I would estimate his winds to be around 60-65mph. This decreases in his wind speed and structure is because of that wind shear I mentioned last time. 

The good news for the Hawaiian islands is that although the surf may be high, he is not actually going to impact them directly. So hopefully not too much rain either. 

This will be my last post on Lester!

Post-Tropical Storm Hermine
She is now in the Atlantic heading generally along the eastern seaboard, towards Canada, but looks like she may fizzle out before getting there:

The good news is that there is not a lot of convection left in her...

She's the mass of blue with a touch of yellow that's in the Atlantic just off New England. This means she won't bring too much rain. However, there will be a storm surge as she moves past. You can look at the water levels along the coast on the Tidesonline website that I have linked to in the previous two posts. At the moment places like Ocean City, MD are running about 2ft above normal. 

Currently her winds are 70mph, central pressure is 997mb, so she is the equivalent of a strong tropical storm, however she is 'Post-Tropical' because some of her energy is no longer from the same place that tropical storms get their energy, but rather because she is partly a front - like the winter storms you all get up there. She is currently at 36.2N, 73.3W, heading ENE at 12mph.

I will probably not post on Hermine again as she will continue to get weaker. Just watch out for that storm surge!

Tropical Storm Gaston
He zipped by the Azores, and again, fortunately he was more of a wind event than a thundery downpour event, so a nice breezy day out there, with surf!

And so, this ends my posting on Gaston too. 

Phew, what a week! Are we there yet? :-) 

Alas, not! I am watching that Atlantic Blob that is heading towards the Caribbean - a lot of rainy weather, and some circulation in the lower half of the troposphere, but he is still developing. I'll keep an eye on it as much as I can from this planet. Next name is Ian.  

Toodle Pip for now!!
J. 

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Hurricanes Hermine, Gaston, Lester, and Tropical Storm Madeline: September 1, Update A

I am sitting under the cloudy outer bands of Hermine as I write this quick update on the smorgasbord of storms du jour - they are all pretty much on schedule to do stormy sorts of things. 

Hurricane Hermine - Gulf of Mexico
Not surprisingly, she was upgraded a few hours ago to a hurricane once the hurricane hunter plane data came in. Her winds are currently 75mph, central pressure is 988mb, which makes her a weak cat 1 storm (cat 1 range: 74-95mph). I agree with this given how her circulation (vorticity) looks throughout the troposphere at the moment - and I don't think she will get too much stronger.

She is at 28.5N, 85W, heading NNE at 14mph. It looks like she will make landfall in a few hours: 

You can see her center of circulation in the visible satellite imagery:

And the associated convection in the infrared satellite imagery, which is not very well organized but is dumping a bunch of rain onto Florida. 

She is heading directly towards the Big Bend area. It does look like the strongest winds may skirt the northern Florida coast as she heads in towards Appalachee Bay. As I said yesterday, it's not just the center of the storm but the larger area of convection to watch out for, as well as the storm surge. 

Looking at NOAA's Tidesonline (see yesterday's post for details on what the graphs mean), I see that water levels are 2.5 ft above normal and rising in Appalachicola, St. Petersburg, and Port Manatee; they are currently 3ft above normal in Clearwater; and, Cedar Key is currently around 3.5 ft above normal (it looks like Cedar Key has peaked though).

She is experiencing wind shear, which you can see because the clouds are streaming off to the northeast - as we see in the satellite imagery above because the convection is not very symmetrical around the eye. 

There is some really cool data in the Gulf off the coast that you can look at - amazingly it is being collected in the stormy choppy conditions right under Hurricane Hermine. USF's College of Marine Science/Ocean Circulation Group's COMPS mooring array shows the wind speed at their C12 mooring to be around 20m/s which is about 45mph - and this is at 27.5N, 83.7W, so around 110 miles away from the current center of the storm. 

This data is part of a Coastal Ocean Observing System being developed for the entire US coast, and is super useful in storms and in other situations. Check out the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing System (twitter @secoora or website http://secoora.org/for information, including high resolution storm surge models and other data for any systems from Florida to North Carolina, and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (http://gcoos.org/) for anything from Texas to Florida.  

Before I leave Florida, there was an explosion of an unmanned SpaceX rocket at Cape Canaveral today (alas), and it was caught on the weather radar! Check it out here (sorry about the super large size... there doesn't seem to be any control over the embedding of tweets!):
Hurricane Gaston - Atlantic
Officially he is now a cat 1 storm with winds of 80mph, central pressure of 984mph (cat 1 range: 74-95mph) and is still heading to the Azores for tomorrow, although his outer bands will be getting there a bit sooner (like right now actually):

I don't think he is a Hurricane anymore - I think he is just a Tropical Storm, and one that is caught up in a front given how he is sort of drifting like a discombobulated Dementor (Harry Potter) instead of moving with purpose like any decent tropical system would. His vorticity (circulation) is almost non-existent in the upper troposphere, although it is still strong in the lower and mid troposphere - which suggests Tropical Storm to me. Still, he has a bunch of convection in him still, so expect rain on the those islands if you are out there! 

Tropical Storm Madeline - Pacific
She is at 16.5N, 157.6W heading W at 13mph and is passing Hawaii. Winds are now 45mph, central pressure is 1004mb. She is barely a Tropical Storm (TS range: 39-73mph) and her convection has continued to deteriorate:

As she is moving away from the islands, this is my last update on Madeline. We have Hurricane Lester close on her heels... 

Hurricane Lester
Hurricane Lester is now officially a very strong cat 2 storm with winds of 110mph, central pressure 968mb (cat 2 range: 96-110 mph). He is at 18.4N, 144.8W, heading W at 13mph (these storms do like to be consistent!). It looks like he will clip the northern edge of Hawaii on Saturday:

He has weakened a bit since yesterday - his upper tropospheric vorticity is weaker. But the wind shear around him has also died down a little, and his convection and symmetry is increasing again, so I think he may be a cat 3 storm again... he is quite good looking:

There is still some wind shear ahead of him, but that is now a day away at least alas. Will be back to talk about this one again tomorrow!

That's it for today. Clouds are getting a little darker here too... clearly it is time to go out and eat! 

Stay safe my friends!!

Ciao (chow! :-)),
J.

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Hurricane Gaston, Tropical Storm Hermine, TD8, Tropical Storm Madeline, Hurricane Lester: August 31, Update B

After traveling all day, I am writing from another planet where I've seen dancing dinosaurs (so cute), R2-D2 (always cute), and the hulk in a kilt (not cute). Meanwhile back on Earth, I've developed a new management tool to keep track of all the storms! It's called 'Making-A-List' on a 'Piece of Paper' with this device called a 'Pen'. It's so great, I can even use it when there is no power, and replacement parts are really cheap! ;-) 

Hurricane Gaston - Atlantic
He's been fluctuating between being a cat 2 and cat 3 storm today. At the moment he's a strong cat 2 with winds of 105mph (cat 2 range: 95-110mph), central pressure 970mb. He is heading NE at 20mph and is currently at 36.0N, 45.4W.

He is actually caught up in both some strong wind shear, but also a front. His lower and mid-tropospheric vorticity (circulation) is that of a tropical storm system, but his upper level vorticity is now part of a front, so he is a hybrid system and is transitioning to being a front. This is why he has such a fast forward motion (20mph is really quite speedy for a hurricane!). You can see the wind shear in his satellite imagery...
 ... the convection is streaming off to the northeast of the eye. I would agree that he is a cat 2 storm though, because he is maintaining a pretty strong eye structure, despite the wind shear. However, it does look like he is weakening as that eye is beginning to collapse. 

He's about a day or so out from the Azores and given how he is deteriorating now I expect that he will be no more than a Tropical Storm by the time he gets there, which matches the official forecast:
Be ready for a breezy day, with some rain!

Tropical Storm Hermine - Gulf of Mexico
I heard it was "raining cats, dogs, pigs, goats - the whole barnyard in the Tampa Bay area" this morning (thanks for the note Al H.). Photos of the flooding have also been pouring in all day (all puns are intended), with a lot of flooding in areas that are prone to flooding of course. It looks like quite a mess along parts of the western coast of Florida. 

Hermine is mid-size Tropical Storm now with winds of 60mph (TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure 998mb.

She is currently at 25.8N, 87W, heading NNE at 10mph. Her track takes her into the Florida Big Bend area by tomorrow evening/Friday morning:
As I've said before, the NHC are now pretty good at the track one day out - better than me! so I will go with this. (At the moment, I personally think she'll be towards the eastern edge of that cone - near or south of Cedar Key, possibly just north of Tampa Bay - but that's because I can't see her center where they say it is, it looks like it is southeast of that location to me). The important thing is that it isn't really just where landfall will occur, and it isn't actually just about the glowing cone of whiteness (new technical term I just made up ;-)). Her convection is bigger than that, and another part of the impact will definitely be the storm surge.  

This is a bad approach as far as storm surge and flooding along the west Florida coast. Storms swirl in an anti-clockwise direction, which means they push water onto the coast as they go past. You can look at the storm surge from this Tides Online link. At the moment they have kindly pulled the links out for areas on the west coast of Florida to make it easy for you to see those, but in general click on the 'State Maps' tab on the left, and then click on the State you are interested in, and then the location within that State. For example, here is the data from Cedar Key, Florida at the moment:

The top graph shows the water level. In this graph, the red line is the actual observed sea level, the blue line is what the predicted water level would be because of the tides, and the green line is the difference between the two. The height of the green line gives you the storm surge level, so Cedar Key reached a maximum of over 2ft above normal and it is now declining.  The graph below that is wind speed and direction. Below that is air pressure (which you can see has been fluctuating), and below that is air and sea surface temperature. 

Although Hermine was named until later in the day, she wasn't solely responsible for this mess of rain. The fluctuating air pressure we see in the sensors along the coast suggests that things were more complicated than a straightforward tropical storm.   

Yesterday, we saw that the vorticity from this system was connected to a region of higher vorticity over Florida. Here are the latest maps for the lower troposphere, mid-troposphere, and upper troposphere:


You can see Hermine in the Gulf, marked by the sign for a tropical storm. If you look at the lower troposphere, you will see that her circulation is connected to another strong circulation area in the Atlantic, off the coast of South Carolina and over the Gulf Stream, and the connecting bands are over Florida. Both areas of low level circulation are over warm water, where the upper 75-100m of the water column are warmer than 26.5 deg C. This means they would generate a LOT of rain. 

However, now we are definitely seeing the outer rainbands from Hemine moving over Florida, so although today may not have been only the fault of a tropical storm, tonight and tomorrow will be! 
About tomorrow... the upper troposphere vorticity map shows some circulation in the upper troposphere associated with this storm. This suggests that Hermine is actually close to being a hurricane, if she isn't actually one already.

Here is her latest satellite imagery:
Although officially her winds are 60mph, I think they are closer to 75mph. I wouldn't be surprised if she was upgraded to a hurricane fairly soon. 

Tropical Depression 8 - Atlantic
Meanwhile, back in the Atlantic, TD 8 is now moving away from the US east coast in an ENE direction at a rapid 18mph. Winds are 30mph, central pressure is 1010mb. He is centered at 36.7N, 70.1N. Not much else to say about this baby, so I think this will be my last post on him. 

Tropical Storm Madeline - Pacific
I hadn't realized how many of you gentle readers were interested in the storms that visit Hawaii until I posted the update this morning on Madeline! Crumbs! I definitely need the TARDIS XPRIZE asap!! (plus, having time travel would really really help make my 'predictions' 100% accurate! ;-)).

So, quick update from this morning... 

In addition to that strong wind shear, you can really see that once she started to interact with the Big Island, she really took a dive (... into the Pacific to see the green turtles and other lovely things, not sharks... I had an encounter with three of those whilst snorkeling off Hawaii, but that's another story):

It looks like most of the rest of the island chain will get cloudy weather with some lighter rain as the Big Island is taking the brunt of the rainfall. Just a note, in case you missed it - the blue areas in the infrared imagery are generally just cloudy, then as you approach the orange, the rainfall gets heavier, and orange-to-red is thundery weather. Gray is not good. 

She is currently at 18N, 155.1W, heading WSW at 12mph (a very respectable speed for such a storm). Winds are now 65mph, estimated central pressure is 998mb, making her a strong Tropical Storm (TS range: 39-73mph).  Her center of circulation is to the southwest of the main convection. It is not that easy to see, but you can just about make it out in the visible satellite imagery:

She is forecast to pass to the south of the islands. She no longer has any circulation in the upper troposphere, just the middle and lower troposphere - another indication that she is no longer a hurricane. 

Hurricane Lester - Pacific
Lester on the other hand has circulation all over the place, and is most definitely a Hurricane. He is currently a major hurricane with winds officially at 130mph, central pressure of 954mb. This makes him barely a cat 4 (cat 4 range: 130-156mph).

He is at 18N, 139.9W, heading W at 13mph. His forecast track currently takes him to the north of the islands on Saturday:
He is also heading into the same wind shear that Madeline met, so he should weaken a bit before he gets there. He is not the best looking storm (partly because he looks like he is already running into that wind shear to the north) and really doesn't have the strong convection we would expect to see in a cat 4, so I don't think he is actually that strong - I think he may be a weak cat 3 actually (winds around 115mph). 

Phew! This is quite possibly the longest update I've ever written! Time to sleep now. 

Stay safe out there as almost all of these are interacting with land of some description or another!

Night from this other planet (set in Atlanta - where I expect to see some rain from Hermine!) 
Ciao,
J.

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pacific Special Edition 1: Hurricane Madeline: August 31, Update A

I don't normally venture into the Pacific (unless I tweet about it), but I now have a handful of requests for information on the two hurricanes heading for Hawaii. So, from LAX, here's the first of a few short updates today. 

Hurricane Madeline
Madeline is officially currently a mid-size cat 1 storm with winds of 80mph, central pressure 988mb. I don't think she is actually this strong. There is hardly any circulation in the upper troposphere, which means she is really now a strong Tropical Storm - I would estimate her winds around 70 mph actually. 

She isn't very well organized, but does have some convection and it is quite widely spread out, so all the island will feel some of her impacts - rain and cloud with your mai tai?

As soon as she starts to interact with the Big Island, she should start to deteriorate further. She is heading into an area of high wind shear as she gets closer to the islands, and you can see this in the satellite image above as the clouds are streams off to the northeast. This shear will increase, so she should weaken even further. 

Ok... gotta board. Will check in on Hurricane Lester (Pacific), Hurricane Gaston and our two TDs later. 

Ciao for now,
J.   

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Hurricane Gaston and Tropical Depressions 8 and 9: August 30, Update A

So much going on, but not enough time to cover it all! I need an XPRIZE in time travel... or even better, I'll settle for the TARDIS XPRIZE... then I won't ever have to pack again either (which is next on my list for this evening). That would definitely save oodles of time! :-) 

Hurricane Gaston
He's been fluctuating in intensity and is now a major cat 3 storm again, with winds of 120mph, central pressure of 956mb (cat 3 range: 111-129mph). He is currently at 32.9N, 50.9W and is heading ENE at 10mph:
I do agree with NHC's cat 3 assessment, but I have to say, there is something weird about this storm... for a cat 3 storm, he has an unusual and remarkable persistent eye (for at least 7 hours)! There is usually a little more variability. Impressive... just like the Disney song said! ;-)

He is moving over temperatures of 27-28 deg C, with only the upper ~25m warmer than 26.5 deg C. However, there was very little wind shear until the last few hours (you can see this in the satellite image as he changes from being more circular to being a little more elongated), so it's not too much of a surprise that he intensified. 

He is still on track to reach the Azores on Friday. Get ready out there!! 

Tropical Depression 8
This blob is now moving away from the eastern US coastline, as predicted. He is currently over the Gulf Stream and because it is a region of warm water that extends deeper into the ocean than the general surrounding area (around 75m of the upper water column is warmer than 26.5 deg C), his convection has increased as expected:
The vorticity maps (circulation) show that he has strong circulation in the lower troposphere, but the mid-tropospheric circulation is not well developed, which means he is still not really a Tropical Storm. So I agree with the NHC keeping him as a TD (for now).

Tropical Depression 9
This is the one I've heard the most about from you today! First, let me remind you about the words of wisdom from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: "A towel is the most important item a hitchhiker can carry"... er... no, I meant "Don't Panic". ;-) (although I don't want to diminish the importance and versatility of towel). 

As I thought, this blobette did move farther west, so her entire track forecast has now been shifted slightly northward. This makes a lot more sense to me.  
 
Her winds are still at 35mph, central pressure is 1004 mb. She is currently at 24.3N, 88.1W and she is heading... nowhere. Just like Gaston a couple of days ago, she has essentially stalled. The nominal movement is W at 1 mph, which doesn't count for beans. 

Here are her latest satellite images: 

She is still a little messy so it is hard to see a clear center of circulation, although for the first time in days, I can see an approximate center in the same place as the official center location - 24.3N, 88.1W.

Here are the vorticity (circulation) maps for three levels in the troposphere - lower, middle, and upper:


First, there is no signal in the upper troposphere, which means that she is nowhere near being a hurricane. 

Second, and more interestingly, the lower level vorticity (circulation) is now connected to an area already over Florida - this pattern is actually more like a front than a storm! The vorticity in the mid-level is not looking very well defined either. Overall, this does not have the circulation patterns of a tropical storm! Meanwhile, to see the signal of a strong tropical storm, you can also look at the circulation that Hurricane Gaston has. Can you see the well defined, red circular pattern in all levels of the troposphere? - that's a hurricane! 

This Gulf of Mexico blobette is over warm waters - temperatures warmer than 29 deg C. But Florida has put up it's force fields (well done Florida!) and wind shear is increasing between this storm and the Florida coast, so if she turns in that direction, she will be facing increasing wind shear:
(increasing wind shear is marked by the yellows and reds on this map). 

The track currently takes her into the Big Bend area by Thursday evening. This is possible, although she may move a little more west than that position as well. Actually, the Florida panhandle and Alabama folks should also have their bottles of wine, ice cream, and other supplies ready. As I mentioned before, a stationary storm's future track is harder to predict! 

Overall, with wind shear building, it doesn't look like she will intensity too much once she starts to get closer to the coast. 

Tomorrow, I am on an interstellar journey ... I'm traveling to another planet where nice friendly aliens abound. :-) I'll try and post an update tomorrow if I can! 

Toodles! 
J.

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
-------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.