Friday, August 6, 2010

Tropics Are Flaring Up

Above is the most recent satellite image of Tropical Storm Colin.  As of 4pm Central Time, the center of Colin was located 300 miles South/Southwest of Bermuda.  The system is moving North at about 9 mph.  Maximum sustained winds were approximately 45 mph.  While thunderstorm activity continued to persist on the Eastern side of the system, it has been hard pressed to produce organized thunderstorms around the remainder of the center.  This shows a sign of weakness relative to what we'd normally see in a maturing tropical system.

The official forecast calls for Colin to turn more toward the North/Northeast tonight and Saturday.  This would bring more a direct impact on the island of Bermuda, where tropical storm conditions can be expected during the afternoon & evening hours of Saturday.  The system is then forecast to continue North/Northeast out to sea and would not impact the U.S. coast.

Meanwhile, another system, dubbed "Tropical Invest 93" (because it is not yet classified as a depression or storm), bears watching over the far Eastern Atlantic.  The system (pictured in the satellite image below) is currently located 675 miles West of the Cape Verde Islands, and is moving Northwest at 10 mph.

As you can see, the system is beginning to show signs of development and organization, with thunderstorm activity noted all around the center of the circulation.  This system will be moving into more favorable territory for development over the next few days, and is likely to become a tropical depression or storm over the weekend.

Below is the latest computer model guidance as to the eventual track of this system:

As one would expect in August, the tropics are definitely "heating up".  Both the National Weather Service and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University updated their tropical weather outlooks for the remainder of the season yesterday.  The NWS is forecasting 8-12 hurricanes with 4-6 becoming "major".  Dr. Gray is forecasting 10 hurricanes with 5 of them being "major".  

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