Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TS Omar and TD16: October 14 Update A

TS Omar:
As we all expected, he's now a Tropical Storm (and actually looks like
one :) ). The wind shear is decreasing, and the strong convective
activity seems to be centered closer to the center of circulation now,
at around 13.8N, 68.9W. Central pressure is 989mb, and wind speeds are
near 50mph (TS range: 39-73mph) - this is all information from a plane
that is currently in the system and hasn't finished investigating. I
would not be surprised if he's just a bit stronger than that - the
convection is really strong. I don't think he's a hurricane yet though,
because I don't see any hint of an eye. He's currently lumbering along
at 5mph in a Southeast direction.

The forecast still calls for him to head Northeast, just a little later
than previously expected. Later today they expect him to make an
eastward turn, then a northeastward turn. This will take him east of PR
and the VIs. The intensity forecast still says he'll be a hurricane by
Thursday morning shortly after exiting the Caribbean into the Atlantic.
In general I'd agree with his intensification, but the timing is
difficult to assess. It depends on the wind shear. Water temperatures
are still warm enough to help him along - 29-31 deg C - and there's very
little interaction with land.

I still don't have good wind information or pressure field information,
so I'll just use what I have - the satellite imagery and my crystal
ball, and for good measure I'll toss a coin every once in a while. :)

That low pressure front I mentioned yesterday is now passing over the
southern Bahamas and still heading south, so it may remain intact as it
gets into the Caribbean after all. The track depends on where he'll be
when the front gets to him and carries him off - given that the front is
still well defined, the forecast track shift eastward seems reasonable.
As you may remember, in the northern hemisphere storms (and winds) move
clockwise around high pressure systems, and counter-clockwise around
lows... which would be indicated by his east and then northeast forecast

Update from St. Thomas: " having the center east of us is far better
wind wise than being in the northeast quadrant with bulk of winds west
of us as it passes...........looks like PR will be spared as
well..........the winds are great for cleaning out cobwebs but leave
spidy alone now!"

And for you guys in Bermuda about to embark on the research cruise - if
you could just stay behind the low front, you'll be more or less o.k....
it'll still be windy though. At least you won't gain any weight. ;)

TD 16:
Meanwhile on the other side of the Caribbean ... the blobette in the
western Caribbean is trying to look fierce. But it is very close to
Honduras so it's not very likely to develop into anything more than a
Tropical Storm. The circulation is good, and is centered at 15.6N,
83.2W, and it's heading WNW at 5mph. Winds are near 30mph, central
pressure 1005mb. However, the convection is not as strong as Omar's
despite it being over warmer water temperatures of 30-32 deg C - it's
interacting with land. They are sending in a plane to investigate this
system later today. Satellite winds look like they are about 46 mph, so
I think it's already strong enough to be a Tropical Storm (Paloma is the
next one).

The track takes it generally westward, along the northern coast of
Honduras and into Belize. There's a chance it could make landfall in
Honduras. In either case, this will be more of a rain event than a wind
event. Hopefully not a great rain event either as that can be a mudslide
prone area.

More later,

Blogs archived at: http://www.jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
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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