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Tropical Storm Don Fizzled; Tropical Storm Emily Meanders

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Tropical Storm Don, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico, completely fizzled once it made landfall along the Texas/Mexico border.  I thought I was the only one that would have been surprised by such an event, but analysts at NOAA and tropical meteorologists I know and whose material I read were also surprised by that turn of events.  Most of the rain that fell on land was on the southern half of the storm – the part over Mexico.  Due to this, I expect the drought conditions over southern Texas to be largely unchanged as a result of Tropical Storm Don – a truly unfortunate result.

Tropical Storm Emily formed during the evening of the 1st of August.  She was a vigorous tropical wave over most of the eastern and central Atlantic Ocean.  She fought dry air and moderate wind shear to gather enough organization to be classified a Tropical Storm about 36-40 hours ago.

Here are T.S. Emily’s current vitals:

Center located near 16.7N, 69.7W; moving W @ 14mph; maximum sustained winds of 50mph.

T.S. Emily’s cloud features present fairly cold cloud tops, with decent outflow, but lacks spiral bands still.  Emily’s official forecast path takes her across the southwestern coast of Haiti in the next 12-24 hours, across the southeastern coast of Cuba tomorrow, and along the western islands of the Bahamas Friday.  Thereafter, Emily passes by the east coast of Florida, then is supposed to curve back out over the Atlantic by early next week.  A number of factors can change that forecasted path, especially given the difficulty in tracking where her exact center is so far in her life.

T.S. Emily’s intensity depends largely on how she interacts with the rugged mountainous terrain of the island of Hispanola (Haiti & the Dominican Republic).  Many storms have fallen apart after traversing near the island.  Still, other storms have been able to maintain their integrity and gone on to make landfall at one or more other locations.  If Emily survives Hispanola, she will likely maintain Tropical Storm strength through her travels back into the Atlantic.  A long-term strengthening to hurricane status is indicated in the long-term, but this is by no means assured.

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