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Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Atlantic Tropical Weather Update 8/18/09 #1

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The remnants of Tropical Storm/Depression Claudette are slowly making their way up through the southeastern U.S.  There are actually as many showers to her south due to typical August diurnal heating.

The remnants of Tropical Storm/Depression Ana continue to move west across the Bahamas and Cuba.  They are interacting with another upper-level disturbance, which is helping to produce widespread rain showers over the area.  No tropical development of this system is likely in the next day or two.

That leaves Hurricane Bill.  Here are his vitals as of this morning:

Center located at 15.9N, 51.2W (719 miles E of Guadeloupe); moving WNW @ 16mph; maximum sustained winds of 105mph; minimum central pressure of 963mb.

The 105mph winds and 963mb pressure makes Bill a strong Category 2 hurricane.  To become a Category 3 (major hurricane), the winds need to be sustained at 111-130mph.  The satellite imagery on Bill continues to look impressive with a well-defined eye-wall and large spiral bands.

Hurricane Bill’s official track forecast pushes Bill toward the NW starting tomorrow, then NNW Friday, then NNE Saturday.  All the model solutions are in agreement with this general track pattern with only slight differences between them.  This path takes Bill over Bermuda on Saturday.

Hurricane Bill’s official intensity forecast makes Bill a Category 3 storm between 8PM EDT tonight and 8AM EDT tomorrow morning.  A series of hurricane hunter missions are being launched to investigate Bill starting today – they will be able to provide much better detailed storm information than what have been available thus far.  Surface-level wind and pressure readings will be more accurate soon.  It’s that information that I want to see – hopefully the flight returns data right after Bill intensifies to Category 3 strength.

The 2nd tropical wave behind Bill is still entering the Atlantic.  This wave isn’t as impressive as Bill was at the same juncture.  As of now, the NHC doesn’t have an area of interest on the system like it did for Bill.

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