Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tropical Storms Gordon & Helene: August 17, Update A

A relatively rant-free Friday! No steaming ears or muttering needed today. ;-)

The NHC downgraded TS Gordon's forecast to say that it is unlikely that he will reach hurricane strength, although he is teetering on the edge. Officially his winds are 70mph which makes him close to a borderline TS/hurricane (TS range: 39-73mph). Central pressure is 990mb. He is currently at 34.2n, 42.1w,  heading eastward at 18mph. I agree with the NHC on all of this! The circulation is very strong in the lower half of the troposphere, and actually it looks to me like the circulation is strong enough in the upper troposphere for a hurricane but the convection is not quite there, so 70mph is good with me (gosh... I better go and buy a lottery ticket! ;-)). I also agree with the forecast track too... continuing east and then heading ENE towards the Azores for Sunday evening. Convection is not as strong as we would see in a weak cat 1 hurricane because the sea surface temp is only 27 deg c and waters warmer than 26 deg c are only in the upper 25m. This is enough to maintain a storm, but not to strengthen it by much. There is also some dry air to his south and wind shear is umm middling (hmm... how does one say it's not weak but it's not too strong either? It's ok? It's average? It's like a newly broken-in pair of shoes?...)

And then there's Helene. A phrase that's often heard, I'm sure. Tropical Storm Helene is the remains of the Caribbean Blob who found some snazzy high-heels as it crossed Central America. She is now officially at 21n, 96. 4w and heading NW at 7mph. The NHC named this in the 4.30pm CDT advisory after a plane was sent into the system. I don't think this one should have been named. Convection is not bad, but the circulation has been over land mostly, skirting the edge of the Bay of Campeche all day. She is not very strong with winds barely at Tropical Storm level at 40mph (central pressure 1006mb). She is forecast to officially make landfall in Mexico tomorrow. So short-lived! Such a waste of a name! (Especially as I know a real-life Helene and it's her birthday this weekend... oh what fun I could have had!). C'est la vie.

There is another Atlantic Blob out there in the eastern Atlantic. I'll look into it tomorrow. I have to get back to my British retro-TV evening. It's been years since I heard the name 'John Craven's Newsround' (now just Newsround). This is a British news program for Children. We really know how to have a wild time over there. This show was part of my childhood. Apparently it started in 1972 & I think it's still ongoing! Not bad for a news show methinks.

More tomorrow!

Twitter @JyovianStorm

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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