Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurricane Danielle, Hurricane Earl, and the Atlantic Blobette: August 30, Update B

Hurricane Earl:
Hurricane Earl is officially a strong cat 3 storm with winds of 125 mph (range: 111-130mph), central pressure of 955mb. His center is at about 19.1N, 64.4W, and according to the NHC he's moving WNW at 15mph. His eye isn't as clear as I'd expect from a storm of that magnitude (although it is clearing up as I write this). And he just had a 'wobble' (they do that sometimes) which took him from a WNW track to a W track. He's back to WNW, but there's a chance that his eye is going to pass a little closer to the US VIs (maybe around 60-70 miles). 
Reports from St. Thomas (from Tom J.):

About 7am their time (6am EST): "Our electric is out already as trees are down pulling wires with them.....not enough wind to justify no power but hurricanes are never of 655am we are just seeing bands roll in with some gusty wind and light rain till the band passes........on computer bat so keeping it short.......not sure how long internet connection will last so that will depend on you getting messages..........we heard that the next storm is still on track."

9.38am their time:  
"at 9:38am it is mostly just sporadic rain showers with some (not much gusty wind) the storm moves westard the VI is getting nearer to the inner band of Earl which has steady winds which is due here around noon..........should be 50mph or so for a few hours...........being on the south side of the eye is saving us from the pounding of the higher force winds...........we hope to LUCK OUT  on this one.........any tracking data on the next system in a few days?.........power has been restored for now but will probably go off when the steady winds hit.........I will try communicating when possible"
About 3.30pm their time (it got to me after an hour or so delay):
"Earl is now 63 miles north of us and there is barely any  wind or rain here..........the satellite pictures are scary looking but the worse part of the storm so far has been losing being on the south side of this storm is the key to having a big BBQ with plenty of beer while the monster passes........perhaps if the storm coming up on us is this forboding there will be free Ribs and Coronas for all!"

I've also had a couple of queries about if this will head to North Carolina. I know I told you guys in NC to keep an eye on this one a few days ago and I still think that. It's too soon to say. I think it's a possiblity that NC will get clipped, even though the center of the cone takes him out to sea - you are in the cone. Everyone in the cone should keep an eye on him. He's been tracking very slightly farther west than the forecast track from the beginning.  There's a small chance he'll slow down (and have a few extra banana daiquiris), which will change a few things. I'll let you know as soon as I have a better idea. 

Hurricane Danielle:
Although the NHC still have her as a cat 1 hurricane with estimated winds of 75mph and central pressure of 970mb, I really think she's less than that. She still has a pretty good circulation in the lower troposphere, but in the mid-to-upper levels she's become more like a front. She's moving NE at 16mph. Her center is at 41N, 50W, but she's over water temperatures of 23-24 deg C. Brrr. Too cold to sustain a storm, which requires at least 26.5 deg C. I need to get a cup of tea to warm up just thinking of those temperatures! And there is next to NO convection in this system - just a bunch of rotating clouds with barely enough water to scare a cat! I think she's a Subtropical Storm.
Atlantic Blobette:
This is still looking a little too wonky to be a Tropical Storm, but a Tropical Depression would fit. There is closed circulation and it has improved during the day, and it certainly has way more heavy rain and thunderstorms than Danielle has had for the last day! I estimate the center to be around 15N, 47.6W and it's moving W at 20mph. Water temps are 28 deg C. Still not sure why it's not been upgraded to an 'L' on the NHC map, although it is listed as having a 90% chance and plane and satellite data both indicate that Tropical Storm force winds are detected in a small area of the storm. Maybe they'll go straight to naming it once it's on top of the northern Leeward Islands because those guys already have their hurricane preparations in place and their shutters up so they won't need any advanced warning, right? Sigh.  
At the moment it looks like this one will continue west and there's a chance it may pass south of Earl's track. It's not as strong as Earl was at this location (I think), partly maybe because Earl is having a bit of an influence on it.  
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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 was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.


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