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Atlantic Tropical Weather Update 5/28/09: 1st Storm of 2009

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Well, it’s obviously not June 1st, which is the official start date for the National Hurricane Center’s Atlantic Tropical Season.  As usual, nature doesn’t contort itself around people’s arbitrary dates and definitions.  The 1st storm in the Atlantic basin has formed today: Tropical Depression 1.  Unlike last year, it doesn’t look like nearly every storm will strengthen to Tropical Storm strength.  TD1 moved offshore from North Carolina a couple of days ago as a midlatitude cyclone.

TD1 is currently centered at 37.7N, 69.4W; maximum sustained winds of 34mph; moving northeast @ 16mph; minimum central pressure of 1006mb.

TD1 could potentially strengthen to a Tropical Storm in the next 24-48 hours since it is sitting on top of the Gulf Stream current in the western Atlantic.  Sea surface temperatures are marginal for that to happen; of greater concern is the shear in the area.  TD1 has okay, but not great features on satellite imagery.  Convection remains disconnected from the central low on the southeast portion of the storm.

I didn’t think this system would organize as it crossed into the Atlantic.  I thought an MCS moving southeast from Texas to the Gulf of Mexico would have a better chance at development due to the better water conditions inthe Gulf.  It hasn’t developed, of course, and it isn’t likely to any time soon.  It just goes to show how suitable conditions can develop where you least expect them to.

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