Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tropical Storm Harvey and other assorted Atlantic Blobs: August 19, Update A

Tropical Storm Harvey
Haha... Harvey was named this afternoon (about time). This amuses me no end, as you may have guessed from one or two things I’ve said before. A storm that got upgraded and named as it was already impacting land (and presumably people). Quelle surprise.

His center is just off the coast of Honduras and he is interacting with land. His current center is estimated to be at 16.2N, 85.2W, and he is moving W at 9mph, towards Belize. He has strengthened during the day and apparently has winds of 60mph, central pressure of 994mb. I say apparently, only because the winds I’m seeing from satellites are around 35-40knots or 40.25 – 46 mph (1 knot = 1.15mph). However, I think it is very possible that the snapshot I have access to is a few hours old and the winds (and convection) have picked up since then.  Looking at the physics of the situation (ooh… physics!! How exciting! ;-) ), I can see why the winds and convection might increase, despite his proximity to land: the center is still over warm water (just about), with surface temperatures of 29-30 deg C and the upper 100m of the water column warmer than 26 deg C, so there is plenty to keep Harvey well-fed puppy for a few more hours.

Atlantic Blobette
There are a couple more blobby things out there:

There’s a blobette at around 15N, 52.5W. They give it a 60% chance of forming into a Tropical Storm. It certainly has some circulation in the lower troposphere, but it is still not very well defined. And there is not much in the way of convection at the moment, as you can see in the IR satellite image:

The Saharan Air Layer extends out to the Leeward Islands, which I hear have been put on alert. I am not sure it will pick up much convection until after it has crossed those. I’ll have a better look at this one tomorrow but the official word is that it is moving generally westward at 20mph.

Atlantic Blob
This is the one that came off the coast of Africa yesterday(ish).  The circulation is not very well defined at the moment, although there is more convection in this system than in the Atlantic Blobette. I’ll look at this one more carefully tomorrow as well.

Now it’s time for a bit-o-beauty-sleep (sometimes available in a jar from your local grocery store ;-)).

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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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