Friday, September 02, 2011

Hurricane Katia and Tropical Storm Lee: September 2, Update A

I think some of you are wondering what planet I’m visiting at the moment… it’s called Georgia. ;-) It’s very entertaining and informative here, with a surprise around every corner. It’s tricky getting time to write here though, but I have a few moments, so on with the show….

Hurricane Katia
Officially Katia is at 18.4N, 53.5W moving NW at 12mph. She is still a weak cat 1 storm with winds of 75mph, central pressure 989mb.

She was due to make that NW turn last night, so she did continue on a more westward track than initially forecast. Although the NHC say she is moving NW, I think it’s still a little west of that (WNW), but there is a definite north component, which is great because she will miss the NE Caribbean islands. As expected, she has slowed down a bit because of that high pressure in front of her. It is still there, but the low pressure from the north is beginning to break through – we will know if it succeeded if she picks up speed again.

I know the NHC downgraded her to a Tropical Storm earlier, with winds of 70mph (so she remained a very strong TS: range 39-73mph). I think she was a hurricane the entire time because convection remained strong, and the circulation was very good at all levels of the troposphere. I think she is a mid-level cat 1 rather than a weak cat 1 (range: 74-95mph), but generally I agree with keeping her as a category 1 storm because although she has strong convection and good circulation, she is not very coherent (she’s been drinking or something! ;-)).  I think she might strengthen a bit because it looks like the wind shear will weaken, the upper level circulation is already getting better, and the lower level convergence and upper level divergence is looking good.

At the moment she is no threat to land, so I’m not too worried about her strengthening. Just don’t go sailing in that area!

Tropical Storm Lee
The Gulf of Mexico Blob morphed into Tropical Storm Lee. He is currently at 27.8N, 91.6W, moving N at 3mph. Winds are 45mph, so he is a weak Tropical Storm. Central pressure is 1001mb. As expected, he is heading for the Louisiana/Texas area. I think he might be heading to the western side of the cone of uncertainty rather than the Mississippi delta side:

He is not very well organized so I can’t clearly see his center of circulation. It looks like it is more to the northwest than the NHC center (maybe closer to 28.2N, 92W), but I will go with their assessment of this for now. Because he is such a mess and his center is difficult to locate, I will also go with the NHC assessment of his speed – very slow! The forecast calls for landfall on Sunday morning.

Earlier today his convection was worse than his intensity suggests because he was interacting with the deep warm waters of the Loop Current in the Gulf. However, it looks like he is moving away and the convection is easing up a bit too… it still looks like you guys along the northern Gulf (from LA to FL) will get clouds and a bit more rain. Just keep your umbrellas handy!

That’s it from me for today. Time to get back to my fellow friends, countrymen, and aliens.

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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.


Rob said...

Oh, so in town for DragonCon? That's definitely another planet!

Jyo said...

I am here, along with ~70,000 (or whatever the number is now) fellow interstellar travellers. :-)

Rob said...

I think it has become our largest convention. So much for the power of poultry