Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Atlantic Tropical Weather Update 9/10/09

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Sorry for the break in posts.  A technical workshop was on tap at work this week and preparations had to be made.  All that is over, so I expect to return to a more regular posting frequency.

The Atlantic hasn’t kept quiet this week.  The tropical wave I noted in my last Update was vigorous enough to develop into a Tropical Depression, Tropical Storm, Hurricane and Major Hurricane in the past two and a half days.  That’s pretty impressive.  During that time, Fred moved around to the south and west of the Cape Verde Islands, where he resides now.  Here are Hurricane Fred’s vitals as of this evening:

Center located at 17.3N, 35.1W; moving N @ 5mph; maximum sustained winds of 90mph.

Those wind speeds were enough to make Fred a major hurricane, as I noted above.  At peak strength, Fred packed 105mph winds and had a minimum central pressure below 975mb.

So thus far in the Atlantic basin, we’ve seen one Tropical Depression, 4 Tropical Storms and 2 Major Hurricanes.  It is worth noting that both Hurricane Bill and Fred were Cape Verde Storms.  Fred intensified a large distance to the southeast that Bill did, but both strengthened out in the middle of nowhere.  In contrast, all of the Tropical Storms have formed much further west and for one reason or another, never managed to organize themselves enough to become hurricanes.

Hurricane Fred has dredged up a large volume of colder water as he ingested the warm surface waters off the Cape Verde Islands.  That should, all other things being equal, prevent another tropical wave from developing in the same area for a couple of weeks, regardless of the wave’s intensity coming off from Africa.

Hurricane Fred is forecasted to stall over the next few days, slowly losing strength as he does so.  He is moving in reaction to an upper-level trough moving from west to east to Fred’s north.  Once it passes and the subtropical ridge builds back in, Fred should move off to the west again.  At that time, he is currently expected to be a remnant low with little chance of redevelopment.

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