As has been warned for several months, conditions across the Atlantic have become favorable for tropical systems to finally begin forming in earnest. This afternoon we have THREE systems of interest that bear watching. For the sake of organization I’m going to divide each of them into their own specific section. The graphic below depicts all three systems.
Hurricane Danielle has been organizing for the better part of the day. After looking quite well early this morning she began to fluctuate but by late morning it had once again begun to organize and show an intermittent eye feature. As you can see above from the images taken at 3:15 PM CDT Hurricane Danielle now has a well established eye, which can be easily seen on the Inferred shot. While the eye feature is certainly impressive and a sign of a significant system, dry air entrainment has been disrupting the eastern part of the circulation for most of the day and as such only a steady strengthening has been taking place. However, convection has begun to slowly increase on the eastern side of the circulation and the Hurricane Center has upgraded Danielle to 110 MPH, or just below major hurricane status. If Danielle is able to fire up convection on the eastern side of the circulation and overcome the fifteen knots of shear and dry air impacting it I don’t see any reason why it should not be able to gain five knots and become a major hurricane. The DVORAK ADT numbers are rising and its quite possible Danielle will be upgraded to 100 knots later tonight. The peak forecast from NHC takes her up to 105 knots before she begins to encounter cooler water and increasing shear.
A majority of the dynamic and statistical models bring Danielle up to a Category 3 hurricane before she begins to encounter less favorable conditions in two days. Right now the system is heading northwest but should begin a north/northeastward movement before too long. This system is expected to remain east of Bermuda and remain a fish storm.
Tropical Storm Earl
Many tropical weather enthusiasts have been watching the system known as Earl even before it left Africa. It was quite active and was expected to ramp up into a tropical system fairly quickly once it moved into the Atlantic. Alas that did occur and we now have Earl nearly in the same location Danielle was a few days ago. This afternoon Earl does not look particularly impressive on Inferred but has in fact become more organized this afternoon in terms of it’s structure.
The above graphic depicts all three systems of interest, with Earl being the middle most system. A significant amount of dry air is surrounding Earl which is inhibiting much strengthening but even then Earl should be able to gain some organization as we go on through the next several days.
Most models are in agreement that Earl will begin to gain organization and strengthen beginning tomorrow and then maintain a steady rate of strengthening through the time period, with many models suggesting Earl will be a hurricane by the end of the weekend. This does seem probable considering the warm SST’s and the improving conditions. In fact if Earl was able to gain convection tonight and work out any dry air it’s likely it would take off quite quickly. As of now the Hurricane Center is forecasting Earl to become a major hurricane by early next week and if it can become organized enough and everything is timed right this system does have the potential to become quite a hurricane. Both the HWRF and GFDL are indicating Earl as a Category 4 hurricane north of the Virgin Islands by next week. While each of those models has a high-intensity biased it does seem probable Earl will become a Major Hurricane. So that leaves one very important question. Where is Earl going?
A majority of the models take Earl on a similar track to Danielle with the system being turned north/northeast by a strong trough come early next week. Now there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the tracks above. A few days ago the models had Earl turning north by 55W and those outputs have been shifting west almost every model run now and we’re past 65W. If this system continues to near 70W the potential will be there for this system to be turned more westerly before making the north turn, thus having the potential to make an impact on the United States (Florida to be specific). However as of this time it looks like it will end up being a recurve, with a potential impact on Bermuda as a strong system. This system will need to be watched for any changes that could change the path.
Invest 97 (Fiona)
PM CDT Edit: Invest 97 has become better organized in the past several hours and NHC has raised the probs for development from 20% to 60% within the next 48 hours.
Invest 97 moved off Africa yesterday and since then has been maintaining a steady amount of convection. Conditions are favorable for this system to become tropical in nature and it’s almost guaranteed it will. This system is at a lower latitude then Danielle or Earl thus increasing the potential this could be a cribber runner and eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico. Systems in this location have done that, so at this point this system seems to have the most potential to affect the United States in the next two weeks. At this point there is not much to say so I’ll go ahead and post the track/intensity guidance from the 18Z suites.
Invest 97 was declared earlier this afternoon thus not many models have picked up on it yet, but those that have develop this into a Tropical Storm within the next day which is possible, but not overly likely at this point. We’ll see what the storm does tonight and how well it can organize. The point is this system, out of all three, has the highest potential to impact the United States down the road.
Hurricane Frank will likely peak out between 90 and 100 MPH this evening before beginning to weaken due to enviormental factors as many models are showing. The system is going to turn north towards Baja California but will likely dissipate before it arrives. In La Nina seasons normally the Atlantic is more active then the pacific so we may not see many more systems in the eastern pacific this year, but tropical weather has its mysteries so who knows.
The tropics should continue to boil for the next several weeks so stay tuned. Not all the Atlantic systems will re-curve and its inevitable before one comes strolling on in towards the United States.
– David Reimer