Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:19 PM GMT on September 25, 2008
Our 10-day lull in tropical cyclone activity is over. The tropical disturbance (93L) that has been bedeviling Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Virgin Islands finally developed a well-formed closed circulation and enough heavy thunderstorm activity to be classified as Tropical Storm Kyle. Visible satellite loops show the classic signature of a tropical storm undergoing high wind shear--an exposed low-level circulation center, with all the heavy thunderstorm activity pushed over to one side by the shear. This afternoon's Hurricane Hunter flight found top winds of about 45 mph in the heavy thunderstorms on the east side of Kyle.
Figure 1. Current satellite image of Kyle.
Wind shear has dropped to about 15 knots, and this allowed Kyle to organize sufficiently to get a name today. The current wind shear forecast from the SHIPS model keeps the shear at 10-20 knots for the next two days, which should allow Kyle to intensify to at least a 65 mph tropical storm. Kyle is currently over waters of about 28°C. Waters will stay this warm Friday, then cool to 26°C on Saturday. After Kyle crosses north of 40° latitude (east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts), the waters cool dramatically to 15°C (59°F) and shear is expected to increase. This should weaken Kyle by about 10-15 mph before landfall on Sunday afternoon. I'm expecting Kyle to be a 50-60 mph tropical storm at landfall Sunday afternoon in Nova Scotia. According to the forecast wind radius from NHC, tropical storm force winds of 39 mph and higher will miss Massachusetts, but may affect eastern Maine. Tropical storm force winds are also expected to miss Bermuda. (Use the wundermap with "wind radius" turned on to see the expected radius of tropical storm force winds).
The Hurricane Ike relief effort continues
Thanks go to everyone who has contributed to the portlight.org charity! We raised enough money to send another truck with relief supplies to Winnie and Bridge City, Texas, where traditional relief efforts have fallen short. Wunderground member Presslord (AKA Paul Timmons, Jr.), who is coordinating this effort, has announced that if we raise an additional $10,000 mark, he will pose in a dress for our wunderphoto gallery. I know I personally will be contributing to help decorate our wunderphoto gallery (but more so to help out the people of Winnie and Bridge City!) We're up to $2500 so far.
Figure 2. The town of Bridge City was inundated with a massive storm surge even though it was far displaced from Ike's landfall point. This speaks to just how massive Ike was. The people of Bridge City, Winnie, and other small towns in Ike's path will need help for a long time to come: www.portlight.org. Image credit: Storm Junkie.
Your contributions do make a difference, and you can read more about the effort at at stormjunkie's blog.
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