Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Blobette: August 14 Update A

I know I kept quiet on this for a couple of days because there wasn't
much to report. But it looks like the Blobette that was heading towards
the Leeward Islands is making a break for it... in the last three hours
alone her appearance has improved dramatically and it looks like she's
by-passed the TD stage and may actually be a Tropical Storm. Convection
has increased and is better defined. The NHC are most likely going to
send a plane into the system later today to get better data but I would
not be surprised to hear we have something more substantial than a mere
'invest' (blobette).

So, given the lack of official information at the moment, I estimate her
center is somewhere near 18N, 61W and she's moving in a W-NW direction.
This takes her center just to the north of the Islands for now, although
as I said a couple of days ago, it looks like they will be getting rain
- I hear that there's been light drizzle on St. Thomas today... but get
ready for a tad bit more. Computer models are in pretty good agreement
and show the track skimming the northern edge of all the islands -
Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic/Haiti, Cuba, and taking the system
through the Bahamas before curving away from the US and out into the
Atlantic. This is pretty close to my estimate based on the pressure
fields - there's a possibility that the system will be a little south of
these tracks, which means greater interaction with land. So the track
will really help to determine how strong this system gets.

Sea surface water temperatures are over 28 deg C and water temperatures
of over 26 deg C extend down to about 75 m depth. So there is plenty of
nice warm water for this blobette, should she wish to improve her looks
further. Wind shear has decreased and remains low in her path - which is
partly why she's improved. There is still plenty of dry dusty air
surrounding the system. We'll see how much that helps to inhibit her

That's it for now... very possibly another update later today... if you
all behave ;)

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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.

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