Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tropical Storm Gordon: August 16, Update A

This evening I was minding my own business and I wandered into an impromptu mini single-malt scotch tasting. Funny how these things just happen. On the menu was a 12 year old Glenlivet, and two 10 year olds: a Glengoyne and a Speyburn. But rest assured that it won’t have any impact on this update whatsoever. Now, what was I saying? ;-)

Tropical Storm Gordon is not a bad looking Tropical Storm really. His center is at 34.7W, 49.9W, heading East(ish) (ENE) at 17mph. Central pressure is estimated to be 995mb with a wind speed of 70mph (TS range: 39-73mph). I’m not sure I agree with the official estimate of his wind speed. Although his circulation is good in the lower half of the troposphere he is actually interacting with an area of low pressure (more front-like than tropical) as well so his wind speed would be higher, but not as a tropical storm. They forecast him to reach hurricane strength by tomorrow afternoon. Here is the latest satellite image of his convection:

There is almost no convection on the south and west side because of wind shear (as you can see with the clouds being mostly to the north and east) and dry air. Unless this changes by tomorrow afternoon I really don’t think he should be classified as a hurricane! Looking at the wind shear, it looks like it should continue to increase ahead of him tomorrow so I’m really not convinced with this hurricane strength business. (I am bracing for a rant – if you see me wandering around muttering and scowling with steam coming out of my ears tomorrow, you’ll know why! ;-)). It looks like he is planning on visiting the Azores on Sunday evening as a Tropical Storm. The track looks more-or-less ok to me, so nothing to say there. I’d like to visit the Azores one day. Maybe not this Sunday though.

Now, remember that Caribbean Blob that ran into Central America? Well, according to the NHC he has crossed Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico in the last couple of days and is now over the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf. I am looking at the data. The circulation for this system is over the land-part of Mexico, not over the Bay of Campeche. Not only that, but there isn’t much circulation in the lower half of the troposphere. There is some convection over the Bay, but the convection is mostly over Central America at the moment. Currently this er… blobette… has a 40% chance of developing into a storm. They may send in a plane to investigate tomorrow if needed. Not sure if this is needed, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

Did I stump you with what do the movies ‘Up’, ‘Moonstruck’ and ‘Jaws’ have in common? (other than they are one-word titles). J Well… <drumroll> they were all nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but didn’t get the award. ‘Moonstruck’ was in the 1987 line-up and lost to ‘The Last Emperor’.

More tomorrow!

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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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