Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hurricane Gordon and the Atlantic Blob: August 19, Update A

How did it become Sunday evening already?!? Time flies when you are having fun and/or have a long to-do list. I better have some pretzels dipped in Nutella to help me along…. It looks like the NHC had fun with their crayons again today because there are a few blobs and blobettes out there, but I’m only going to talk about the Atlantic Blob for now. The other blob-like things they are watching have less convection in them than the northern Gulf and parts of Florida have had today!

Hurricane Gordon

His estimated winds have been decreasing steadily since last night and were 100mph when I checked this morning. They are now estimated to be 85mph, making him a mid-strength cat 1 storm (range: 74-95mph) with a central pressure of 978mb. He is currently at 36.4N, 26.5W, in the vicinity of the Azores, and is heading ENE at 21mph. This decline is expected for all the reasons I gave yesterday – strong wind shear, dry air to the south, sea surface temperatures are now cooler than 26 deg C.  Unfortunately I cannot have a close look at him from the NOAA/NESDIS website because for some inexplicable reason they don’t have satellite information posted for Gordon today! (they have other, lesser, areas of investigation). However, there are other places outside NOAA to look, for example, the Navy. His circulation is very good in the lower half of the troposphere, but not too strong in the upper troposphere. Also, the convection is elongated (because of wind shear), not circular. I think he is now a weak cat 1 storm and 85mph may be a little high. He is moving over/past the Azores and from the forecast, it looks like he will stay in the Atlantic (around the latitude of Portugal) and peter out by Wednesday. The data I have for the eastern side of the Atlantic is not as good as for the western side, so I will go with this scenario.

Atlantic Blob

This area of investigation by the NHC currently has a 80% chance of forming in the next 2 days. It is currently at around 15N, 40W, heading westward at about 20-25mph. I really think this is a Tropical Depression already! It has some circulation in the lower half of the troposphere. What it is struggling with is the convection as you can see in this satellite image:

Because of the dry air (SAL) to its north, the northern side is er.. well, not surprisingly drier than the southern side. J  At the moment it looks like it will continue westward and cross into the Caribbean.

More tomorrow. I have to focus on my pretzel/nutella dessert… it’s all about achieving the correct chocolate/non-chocolate balance.

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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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