Sunday, August 17, 2008

TS Fay: August 17 Update A

Remind me not to go somewhere with limited internet access when there's a
storm heading towards me! (and you of course :) ).

TS Fay has maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (Tropical Storm range:
39-73mph) and her appearance in the satellite images is still ragged, so
she's not very strong at all yet. Her convection pretty much fell apart
earlier today, but is slowly reorganizing again. However, the convection
is still mostly to her south and east and the west is a bit drier.
Fortunately the interaction she did have with Cuba won out over the very
warm waters she has been traveling over and has kept her intensity low.

Although she's a wee tropical storm at the moment, she is a large system
and it looks like the southern tip of Florida and the Bahamas are seeing
the outer bands – in some places with heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Meanwhile, it looks like the northern part of Florida is experiencing the
low pressure front that I mentioned (was it only yesterday?) coming across
from the north-west. Given that the leading edge of the front is in
northern Florida, it looks like there's a strong possibility that this
storm will curve into the western part of Florida, but where? I know the
models are all over the place, but those that show the panhandle or west I
think may be too strongly following the low to the north, so they will
perhaps curve east further south by tomorrow. I'll have a better idea in
the morning.

The atmospheric pressure fields do show that the high pressure to her
north weakening, and so I would also agree with the NHC that she will make
a turn to the NW within the next few hours taking her over Cuba in the
next 24 hours. This means that she'll be interacting with land further,
and it should reduce her intensity further – in fact if the turn occurs
soon, she might take a pretty big hit crossing Cuba. There is room for
intensification over the Straits of Florida where the water temperatures
are over 30 deg C, but the warm waters are not as deep as they are south
of Cuba.

Her center is somewhere around 21N, 80.2 W and at the 5pm advisory she was
moving in a WNW direction at 15mph. Central pressure is 1003 mb.
That's all for now my friends, as I'm out of computer contact for the rest
of the day. But, like Fay, I'm heading towards Florida and will have
proper access to everything tomorrow. Remember, everyone should be
prepared anyway and heed your National Weather Service/NHC/ Emergency
Management folks.

Until tomorrow...

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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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