Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tropical Storm Maria: September 13, Update A

Only one storm? It’s been a while since we’ve only had one to chit-chat about… I’m feeling a bit off-balance! Or maybe that’s from the (one) glass of wine I’ve already had this evening? ;-)

Maria is still loitering just north of the Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic area and hasn’t made much of a move since yesterday.

Officially she is at 23.5N, 68.2E, moving N at 9mph. Winds are still 50mph (a weak-to-mid intensity storm, TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure is 1003mb.

I kinda sorta agree with the official information. She is not very well organized, so it is difficult for me to figure out where her center is, and therefore also which direction she is moving in – it looks like the NHC are also ‘guestimating’ her center: “THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER IS BELIEVED TO BE LOCATED NEAR THE NORTHWESTERN EDGE OF THE MAIN MASS OF DEEP CONVECTION.” I think it’s very possible that her center is a little south of this location. Regardless, it looks like the high pressure that has been holding her in place is now shifting. Soon she will really be able to move. It looks like she’ll move to the NW first, then clockwise around the high pressure, to the North and Northeast. Bermuda… got your rain gear out?

The intensity seems reasonable at the moment and I am not sure if it will really increase too much for now. Convection is not very strong, and although the circulation is good in the lower half of the troposphere there is still some wind shear that is now the main reason why the intensity has not increased. It looks like wind shear will continue to remain strong(ish) for now.

Our fabulous reporter from the field, Tom in St. Thomas, said (at ~7am EST this morning): “from the looks of the sat. pics we get a weeks rest from all of these tropical systems forming….. had lots of rain here but nothing flooding us out yet...Puerto Rico coping with the rain today....we can use the rest as yesterday we had 8 hours of no electricity due to some storm issue at the plant.”

Oh dear, 8 hours with no electricity… I hope you had some yummy ice cream to eat! ;-)

Looks like PR is out of the rain, but the Dominican Republic is getting a bit now.

I’ll pop back tomorrow with more about this flibberty-gibbet of a storm.

p.s. Here’s a very cool photo thingy (for want of a better description), that I got from Tim in Florida. For all you world travelers (past, present and future), it’s a 360 panoramic view of the Sunset and the Eiffel Tower in Paris:  http://360.io/EZyhtz. Put your mouse over the photo, hold and drag in the direction you want to see. (Of course I like the clouds ;-)).

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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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