Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday (8/24) Tropical Update

Here is your tropical update for South Louisiana for August 24th, 2014.

The 3rd named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season formed over the weekend.  Tropical Storm Cristobal developed around the Bahamas where it remains this Sunday evening.

T.S. Cristobal remains a very poorly consolidated tropical system.  Maximum sustained winds remain at 45 mph.  T.S. Cristobal is having hard time getting aligned vertically in the atmosphere.  The lower level and mid and upper level circulations are displaced.  Until they align Cristobal will be unable to truly strengthen.  T.S. Cristobal is also dealing with some wind shear although the shear is not significant enough to limit some development.

The continuing good news for the Gulf Coast States is that T.S. Cristobal is moving away from the Gulf and also the East Coast of the United States.  The official National Hurricane forecast track calls for T.S. Cristobal to slowly drift north over the coming days and strengthen some.  It could reach hurricane status Thursday morning.  T.S. Cristobal is being steered by a weakening high pressure system to its east and west and a trough to its north.  The consensus is that the trough will help guide this system out over the open waters of the Atlantic away from land.

The weather guidance model forecasts are also becoming a little better aligned.  We no longer see any models suggesting a Gulf of Mexico track.  The biggest disagreement is how fast this system moves out to sea once it makes its northeastward turn late Wednesday.

A new tropical wave has developed in the Central Atlantic this afternoon.

The wave has been given very minimal chances for immediate development.  Dry air and high wind shear should keep this wave very disorganized and weak over the next several days.  Weather guidance models show a due west track at about 15 mph for the next couple of days.  Only the very aggressive Canadian Model shows some development of this system over the next 5 days.

10 DAY OUTLOOK: ***(DISCLAIMER: 10 day outlook is a long range forecast and can change rapidly and should NOT be accepted as "gospel" truth but only a small possibility and something to keep an eye on over next several days.)***
Long range model guidance does appear to show things becoming "a little" more active across the intertropical convergence zone.  That is the central Atlantic just off the coast of Africa.  This is typical time of season that this area of the tropics becomes a little more active, so that's not out of the norm.

The image above is the GFS model 10 days from now.  We see the tropical wave currently in the Central Atlantic that is given a minimal chance of development over the Bahamas as a weak tropical wave.  But another system out to the west over the central Atlantic does look more impressive.  This would appear to indicate a tropical depression or weak tropical storm.  We also see a few more waves moving off the coast of Africa (indicated by the solid clump of rain from the African coast to the west).  Keep in mind this is 10 days from now and model guidance accuracy this far out is highly suspect.

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