Monday, November 01, 2010

Tropical Storm Tomas: November 1, Update A

Little Tomas is looking quite messy at the moment. He's still moving westward at 12mph, and is currently officially centered at around 13.4N, 69.7W. I'll go with that because I can't tell. I'm not sure he's a Tropical Storm at the moment - officially the wind speeds are 45mph (range: 39-73mph) which means he is a weak TS, but the central pressure of 1005mb is quite high for a Tropical Storm. Convection is strong, but it is to the east of the center because of wind shear. There is some vorticity in the lowest half of the troposphere, but that is south of the official center. He is still experiencing strong wind shear and it looks like if he will continue to experience strong shear if he moves anywhere in the northern half of the Caribbean. Of course now I'm back in a place where hurricane happen I hear what is being said in the news about them. <Sigh> (she says, shaking her head resignedly). Just in case you were wondering... the wind shear will not 'push' the storm in any particular direction. It will impact the intensity of the storm because it will not allow it to develop fully, but it won't do too much to the track a storm takes. <Sigh> 
About the track... it looks like high pressure is building up all around him, which means he will be forced to move southwards, or will slow down. If it continues to build up across the Caribbean (from the east to the west) he might not even make it north to Haiti. If he slows down then things become tricky(ier) to predict - he could become more intense because of the warm waters underneath, or he could fall apart if wind shear continues. Tomorrow the thing to look for is what is happening to his forward speed and then we'll reassess things.
To sum up... because he is so weak and because high pressure is building up around him, I can't really say what he's going to do until we know whether he slows down or moves southward.
What an interesting little beastie this one might be.
More fun tomorrow!
p.s. The photo I posted yesterday was a pumpkin Dalek (Gary M. was the first to get the right answer). A Dalek (pronounced Darlik) is one of the aliens from a fabulous British sci-fi show, Dr. Who. This is the longest running sci-fi tv show in the world. The first episode aired in November 1963 and it is still running (although it took a bit of a break in between).   
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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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