Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Tropical Storm Gabrielle: September 4, Update A

I guess the halcyon days of the hurricane season are over! We have Tropical Storm Gabrielle out there, swirling away in the northeast Caribbean. Although I’ve been on another planet (let’s just call it ‘Atlanta’ to protect the innocent) for the last few days, I have been monitoring the Atlantic with my super ‘They Live’ glasses. (By the way, I *just* saw this classic movie… where have I been? My eyes have been opened! ;-)).

Over the last few days, TS Gabrielle had a conjoined twin, the blob in the Atlantic, just outside the Caribbean (the yellow part):

Together, these Wonder Twins, have been creating a lot of convection over the northeastern Antilles, but that’s because these blobs have been hanging out over some rather warm water. If you look at the infra-red satellite image, it looks like there is more going on with the Atlantic blob – very strong thunderstorms and all that jazz:

However, you should never judge a book by its cover, e.g.:

(!!!! Although I do secretly think this is rather funny! ;-))

The circulation has slowly been improving since yesterday and now we know who the dominant twin is… the Caribbean wins! Although the circulation is still pretty good in both of these at the lowest level of the troposphere, as you move up in the troposphere, the circulation for TS Gabrielle is much better than her twin. I think she is actually still a Tropical Depression, but the NHC have moved ahead with upgrading her. Strictly speaking, she will be a fully-fledged TS once she separates in the lowest level (by tomorrow I reckon), but we’ve not had anything much going on for such a long time (days and days), that we may as well charge ahead… and at least this sets up the correct warnings and procedures for a Tropical Storm!

Officially, Gabrielle is currently located at 17N, 66.6W (uh-oh, 666 huh? ;-)) and she’s moving NW at a stately 8mph. She’s very weak with winds of 40mph (TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure 1008mb.

The track forecast has her moving northwest, over the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic tomorrow evening. I’m not sure yet that this is quite how things will work out, but it’s difficult to say because she really is quite weak. There is a good possibility that she may not clip the DR, but may head a little more northward, over Puerto Rico and out into the Atlantic. However, there is also a chance that she will slow down and get stuck in that region for a little longer than expected. I don’t have enough data to make a good assessment on this. I can say though that she, with a little help from her louder but more disorganized twin, will be bringing rain, followed by a splash of rain, to those Caribbean islands!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more. But in the meantime, here are a couple of lines from a 17th century poet, Michael Drayton, with a very early use of that lovely word, ‘halcyon’, (about 400 years ago):
There came the halcyon, whom the sea obeys
When she her nest upon the water lays.


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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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