Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:54 PM GMT on November 13, 2008
A small area of surface low pressure (95L) is 300 miles northeast of Puerto Rico and headed is west at 10-15 mph. The disturbance in under a moderate level of wind shear (15-20 knots), and recent visible satellite imagery (Figure 1) shows a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity that is poorly organized and is not changing much in coverage or intensity. There is no surface circulation apparent on satellite imagery, but there has been a slight increase in the organization of the cloud pattern in the past few hours.
Wind shear is forecast to remain in the moderate range, 15-20 knots, over the next two days, as the disturbance heads west. Since water temperatures are a warm 28°C, this should allow some slow development. The central Bahamas can expect some heavy thunderstorms and gusty 25-30 mph winds Friday afternoon through Saturday from 95L. By Saturday afternoon, as 95L approaches the western Bahamas, an approaching trough of low pressure should turn the disturbance sharply northward and northeastward. I'm not expecting 95L to move over Florida, though Florida's east coast may catch the outermost thunderstorms of the disturbance on Saturday evening. High wind shear should tear the disturbance apart on Sunday. The National Hurricane Center is giving a medium (20-50% chance) that 95L will develop into a tropical depression by Saturday afternoon. I put the odds at the lower end of this spectrum, 20-30%.
Figure 1.Latest satellite image of disturbance 95L.
I'll have an update Friday morning.
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