Monday, August 01, 2011

Atlantic Blobette: August 1, Update A

The status of this blobette has not yet been changed (well, they downgraded it overnight to only a 90% chance of development), which is a surprise to me - at the very least it should be a Tropical Depression! (TD range: winds of >17mph and a closed circulation). But there were some communication difficulties with plane that flew through the system yesterday, so they will re-evaluate things today. At least I know that those in the Caribbean Islands have gone through this enough times to not wait for the ‘official’ TS warnings and watches and to go ahead and dust the cobwebs off their umbrellas and wellington boots, because the warnings are a bit too late otherwise (Surprise! You have a Tropical Storm making landfall in the next 6 minutes! ;-)).

Convection in this system has improved since yesterday and is strong in some parts of the storm, but still quite weak in other parts. The strongest convection appears to be around the center(ish) area of the blobette. The circulation is really good in the lowest half of the troposphere (up to about 5-6 km), and it looks like the center is somewhere around 14-15N, 56-57W. Fortunately there has been no change in the circulation in the upper half of the troposphere so this is still, at the most, a Tropical Storm. The western edge has already started to impact the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antillies (rainy weather), which will help to inhibit some development at least. The other factor that will inhibit the storm from developing too rapidly for now is wind shear.  

From the snippet of satellite information I have, I see winds of around 30-35 knots (this is on the edge, this particular satellite did not go over the center part of the blobette), which converts to 34.5-40mph (1 knot = 1.15mph) – so it is fairly weak at the moment (but should be a Tropical Depression at least I reckon). They have sent a plane in to the system this morning to see if it can find a closed circulation (and communicate the data back to the NHC).

That’s it for now. The chances of there being another update from me in the next 48 hours are ‘near 98.93859354 %’. ;-)

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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.

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