Civicane49's WunderBlog

Category 4 Hurricane Katia will bring dangerous rip currents

By: Civicane49, 3:37 AM GMT on September 06, 2011

Hurricane Katia has become the second major hurricane of the Atlantic season. As of the latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory, Katia's maximum sustained winds is 135 mph and has the minimum pressure of 946 mbar, making her a Category 4 hurricane. It is moving northwest at about 10 mph and located roughly 450 miles south of Bermuda. Over the past several hours, satellite loop shows Katia's eye and cloud pattern remains well organized. Currently, Katia's main threat is bringing dangerous rip currents to the U.S. east coast and Bermuda.

Katia is anticipated to move in a general northwest direction over the next 2 days. A high pressure or subtropical ridge, that is northeast of her, should keep the cyclone in a general northwestward path at least the next 2 days. By late Thursday, the system should commence moving toward northeast to east-northeast and avoid hitting the U.S. east coast and Canada. All computer models are in good agreement as well as the latest NHC's official forecast track show Katia not hitting the U.S. and Canada.

Katia will be in a favorable environment, with warm waters and light wind shear over the next 12-24 hours. However there may be an eyewall replacement cycle happening at that time as well. Therefore, I think Katia may have reached or near peak intensity. After 24 hours, she will encounter increasing shear into moderate range and slightly cooler waters which these should weaken her. Katia is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone by late Saturday.

Figure 1. Infrared satellite image of Hurricane Katia.

Invest 95L
A vigorous tropical wave, located about 600 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands is moving at about 15 mph towards west to west-northwest. It is producing little shower and thunderstorm activity from satellite imagery. However, the environmental conditions for this system remain favorable. The disturbance is in the region of warm ocean water, moist environment and decreasing wind shear. These factors should allow 95L to organize further and become a tropical depression by the next day or two. The NHC is giving it a 60% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. Residents in northern Lesser Antilles should keep an eye on 95L as some of the models show the system passing over it.

Figure 2. Infrared satellite image of Invest 95L.

There is a trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico that may become a tropical depression in the next several days in Mexico's Bay of Campeche indicated by some models. We will continue to monitor this disturbance over the next several days. We will also continue watching the tropical waves that are coming out of Africa in case of any development that may occur.



Updated: 6:08 AM GMT on September 06, 2011


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