Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hurricane Gordon and TS Helene: September 14, Update A

Hurricane Gordon:

Now a cat 3 with sustained winds of 120mph (cat 3 = 111-130mph), Gordon
is a mid-strength cat 3 storm. However, he is definitely beginning to
encounter some shear (from the south-west) to the north because the
northern side is looking a bit ragged and not as circular as the
southern part. The clouds tops are also warmer in the northern parts of
this storm compared to the southern part. The asymmetry could be part of
a cycle, but I doubt it. He still has a good eye though, and is still
symmetric closer to that center. He's moving forward at a faster pace
too (about 13 mph), and will soon be over waters of 26 deg C. Therefore
I think this is the strongest we will see this storm and I expect him to
have lower winds in the next advisory, and by the 5pm advisory he'll
might even be a cat 2. He is heading on a north-northeast track to nowhere.

Tropical Storm Helene:
Although Helene has a circulation, it is still difficult to pinpoint the
exact center of that circulation. There is a broad area that could be
considered to be the center. The convection around her is not very well
organized at the moment either, but there is a lot of water vapor in the
system already so the dry air outside won't be as important as it has
been in other storms. She is moving westward vey quickly, at 22 mph -
which is about as fast as any storm I remember. Her sustained winds are
about 40mph (TS: 39-72 mph) so she's barely a TS. All wind product sites
just went down, so the shear portion will have to wait until later. But
she's in pretty warm water (28degs C), which will help her to slowly get
her act together (depending on the wind shear).

More later...
These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms (my
storm blog). If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your
local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official
forecast. This is not an official forecast.

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