93L slow to develop, but bringing heavy rains to Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:50 PM GMT on June 22, 2010

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A modest region of intense thunderstorms (Invest 93L) is over the central Caribbean, a few hundred miles south of Hispaniola. This disturbance has the best chance to become Tropical Storm Alex of any system we've seen so far this year. We don't have any buoys near 93L, but pressures at the ground stations surrounding the storm are not falling. A pass of the ASCAT satellite over the Central Caribbean at 9:45 pm EDT last night revealed a modest wind shift associated with 93L, but nothing at all close to a surface circulation. Top surface winds seen by ASCAT were 15 - 20 mph. Water vapor satellite loops show that 93L is embedded in a large region of moist air. The atmosphere over the Caribbean has moistened over the past day, which should aid development of 93L. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots. The high wind shear associated with the strong winds of the subtropical jet stream are over the northern Caribbean, too far north to interfere with development, but close enough to provide good upper-level outflow for the storm. Visible satellite loops show high level cirrus clouds streaming away from 93L to the northeast, evidence of the upper-level outflow channel that is developing to the storm's north. Sea Surface Temperatures are plenty warm, a record 29 - 30°C. The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) currently favors upward motion over the Caribbean, which will act to increase the chances of tropical storm formation this week. The Madden-Julian oscillation is a pattern of enhanced rainfall that travels along the Equator from west to east. The pattern has a wet phase with large-scale rising air and enhanced thunderstorm activity, followed by a dry phase with large-scale sinking air and suppressed thunderstorm activity. Each cycle lasts approximately 30 - 60 days. When the Madden-Julian oscillation is in its wet phase over a hurricane-prone region, the chances for tropical storm activity are greatly increased. The main negative for 93L continues to be lack of spin. The University of Wisconsin 850 mb relative vorticity analysis is showing that spin at 850 mb (roughly 5,000 feet in altitude) has increased over the past day, but 93L needs to acquire additional spin before it can grow more organized. I speculate that it is this lack of spin that contributed to the loss of much of 93L's heavy thunderstorm activity last night. The storm is now going through a cycle where it is building another respectable mass of heavy thunderstorms, and the increased inflow of low-level air that will feed these thunderstorms will likely enhance 93L's spin today. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 93L on Wednesday afternoon.


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of the central Caribbean disturbance 93L.

Forecast for 93L
NHC is giving 93L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday morning, which is a reasonable forecast. Given the storm's current lack of spin and relatively modest amount of heavy thunderstorms, the earliest I'd expect 93L to become a tropical depression would be Wednesday afternoon, with Thursday more likely. Wind shear is expected to be low, less than 10 knots, over the central and western Caribbean this week. Water temperatures will be warm, dry air absent, and the MJO favorable. I don't see any major impediments to the storm becoming a tropical depression by Thursday, and it is a bit of a surprise to me that the computer models have been reluctant to develop 93L. The GFS, NOGAPS, and UKMET models do not develop 93L, and the ECMWF model doesn't develop 93L until after it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico in a about a week. The current (2am EDT) run of the GFDL model predicts 93L will be a weak tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico in five days; its previous run had 93L as a major hurricane in the Gulf. Given all this model reluctance and the current disorganization of 93L, I give the storm a low (less than 20% chance) of becoming a hurricane in the Caribbean. Expect 93L to bring flooding rains of 3 - 6 inches to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and southwestern Haiti today through Wednesday. These rains will spread to the Cayman Islands and central Cuba by Thursday, and western Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Friday. The current run of the SHIPS model has 93L slowing down late this week to a forward speed of just 6 knots (7 mph) from its current speed of about 10 mph, in response to a weakening in the steering currents. A trough of low pressure is expected to swing down over the Eastern U.S. early next week. If this trough is strong enough and 93L develops significantly, the storm could get pulled northwards and make landfall along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast in the oil spill region. This is the solution of the Canadian GEM model. If 93L stays weak and/or the trough is not so strong, the storm would get pushed west-northwestwards towards the Texas coast. This is the solution of the ECMWF model. The amount of wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico next week is highly uncertain. There is currently a band of high shear near 30 knots over the Gulf, and some of the models predict this shear will remain over the Gulf over the next 7 - 10 days. However, other models predict that this band of high shear will retreat northwards and leave the Gulf nearly shear-free. The long-term fate of 93L remains very murky. My main concerns at this point are the potential for 3 - 6 inches of rain in Haiti over the next two days, and the possibility 93L could become a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico next week.

Elsewhere in the tropics
None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone formation elsewhere in the Atlantic over the next seven days.

Floods in China and Burma kill over 250
The deadliest and most destructive weather-related disaster on the planet so far this year is occurring in southern China and northern Burma, where a week of heavy rains has caused flooding that has claimed over 250 lives. The heavy rains and floods ravaging 10 southern Chinese provinces had killed 199 and left 123 missing as of 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, a Ministry of Civil Affairs statement said. Damage is estimated at $6.2 billion. Floods and landslides in neighboring areas of Myanmar (Burma) have claimed at least 63 lives in the past week.


Figure 2. Paramilitary policemen help evacuate residents from Wanjia village of Fuzhou City, East China's Jiangxi province, June 22, 2010. Days of heavy rain burst the Changkai Dike of Fu River on June 21, threatening the lives of 145,000 local people. Local authorities have ordered immediate evacuation, and the army and paramilitary police have begun conducting rescue operations. Image credit: Xinhua.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
Southeast to east winds less than 10 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Saturday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting weak ocean currents should cause little motion of the oil slick, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The long range outlook is uncertain, and will depend upon what 93L does.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA's interactive mapping tool allows one to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

"Hurricane Haven" airing again this afternoon
Tune into another airing of my live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", at 4pm EDT today. Listeners will be able to call in and ask questions. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question in the comments area on my blog. You can also email the questions to me today before the show: jmasters@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line. Some topics I'll cover today on the show:

1) The latest on 93L
2) Which model is the most reliable?

Today's show will be 30 - 40 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

Jeff Masters

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AL, 93, 2010062218, , BEST, 0, 155N, 744W, 25, 1010, WV,
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1045. xcool
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1923 UTC TUE JUN 22 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL932010) 20100622 1800 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
100622 1800 100623 0600 100623 1800 100624 0600

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 15.5N 74.4W 16.1N 76.6W 16.9N 78.7W 17.4N 80.6W
BAMD 15.5N 74.4W 16.1N 76.3W 16.5N 78.1W 16.7N 79.6W
BAMM 15.5N 74.4W 16.0N 76.5W 16.6N 78.5W 17.0N 80.1W
LBAR 15.5N 74.4W 16.1N 76.8W 16.9N 79.3W 17.5N 81.6W
SHIP 25KTS 28KTS 35KTS 42KTS
DSHP 25KTS 28KTS 35KTS 42KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100624 1800 100625 1800 100626 1800 100627 1800

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 18.0N 82.5W 18.9N 85.6W 19.9N 88.3W 21.2N 90.9W
BAMD 16.8N 81.0W 17.1N 84.1W 17.6N 87.1W 18.1N 90.1W
BAMM 17.2N 81.6W 17.8N 84.4W 18.6N 87.1W 19.6N 89.8W
LBAR 18.1N 83.9W 19.8N 88.0W 21.5N 91.1W 22.6N 92.7W
SHIP 52KTS 71KTS 86KTS 96KTS
DSHP 52KTS 71KTS 86KTS 36KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 15.5N LONCUR = 74.4W DIRCUR = 280DEG SPDCUR = 14KT
LATM12 = 15.1N LONM12 = 71.5W DIRM12 = 279DEG SPDM12 = 14KT
LATM24 = 14.5N LONM24 = 68.8W
WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1010MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 120NM SDEPTH = S
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672
1044. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:


MLB Wx discussion not out yet but good point on this definitely would be a factor if something is in the Gulf then, if 93L never develops I can see it just going into Mexico and never effected by this.


I agree. Fascinating to follow.
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Its gained .2 degrees of latitude and gained 1.5 degrees of longitude
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Just curious, are there any current or former Met students from Oswego State that follow this blog?
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IN THE EXTENDED PERIOD FRIDAY INTO NEXT WEEK, MODEL FORECAST
SOUNDING SHOW PWAT INCREASING TO JUST OVER TWO INCHES BY FRIDAY INTO
THE WEEKEND WHICH IS ONLY SLIGHTLY ABOVE LATE JUNE AVERAGES. THIS
WOULD CERTAINLY TEND TO INCREASE THE CHANCES FOR SEEING MORE
CONVECTION SO PLAN TO INDICATE THAT IN THE AFTERNOON PACKAGE. BOTH
THE GFS AND ECMWF ALSO ONLY SHOW A BROAD LOW DEVELOPING ALONG THE
WAVE AS IT MOVES INTO THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN WHILE THE NAM IS THE
OUTLIER AND SHOWS A MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT SYSTEM. THIS HAD BEEN THE
TREND OF THE GFS AND ECMWF WITH EARLIER RUNS BUT BOTH HAVE SINCE
BACKED OFF ON THIS SCENARIO. FORECAST SOUNDINGS DO SHOW HOWEVER PWAT
INCREASING FURTHER TO WELL OVER TWO INCHES SO THIS WILL BE A TREND
THAT WILL NEED TO BE CLOSELY MONITORED. BUT WE ALSO HAVE SEEN THESE
MODELS BACK OFF THESE HIGHER PWAT VALUES FOR THIS WEEK SO NOTHING TO
GET EXCITED ABOUT JUST YET. Miami NWS Discussion
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Quoting DestinJeff:


please correct me if need be, but those 12Z models are initialized at 12Z ... meaning the 18Z set should reflect the consitions we see currently.


I just "look" at the models.....Still learning the details......... :)
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Thus, a little further north than some of the model guidance I looked at earlier I think....


The models are out to lunch with this and every other system before they are classified. I pay no attention to models when we are dealing with a large amorphous mass with no well defined circulation. One run a Cat 4 the next nothing.

I have been watching that deep convection to the North of where the so called center of 93L is supposed to be. There is no vorticity to speak of further South.

It may well be that the only circulation it has is at the 5000 foot level so for now that stands the best chance IMO of reflecting to the surface and taking over, assuming it doesn't run aground in Haiti first. Those mountains will do a number on it pretty quickly. The Barahona Peninsula has decapitated much stronger systems than this.
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Coordinates are out
AL, 93, 2010062218, , BEST, 0, 155N, 744W, 25, 1010, WV, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 120, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,

It's heading just north of due west
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
1036. hydrus
Link Link to ECMWF.
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Quoting IKE:
Tampa,FL. extended...how does a strengthening system avoid it?

"BY TUESDAY THE GFS IS SHOWING AN UNUSUAL LATE JUNE
PATTERN WITH A DEEP VORTEX CARVING OUT A LONGWAVE TROUGH IN THE
EAST. WILL NOT DO MUCH TO THE TAIL END OF THE EXTENDED UNTIL THIS
FEATURE HAS MORE SUPPORT FROM THE MODELS OVER A FEW DAYS."



MLB Wx discussion not out yet but good point on this definitely would be a factor if something is in the Gulf then, if 93L never develops I can see it just going into Mexico and never effected by this.
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1033. Crawls
I am having trouble posting a picture. I am using the instructions Dr. M has posted. Am I missing something?
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
and still no 18Z coordinates on 93L

I was just wondering why.
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
1031. SeALWx
Quoting Drakoen:
Seems like this thing isn't going to develop until it gets into the central or western Caribbean.


Did anyone else read this in a spooky ghost-of-John-Hope voice?
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1029. IKE
Look at the above normal precip in the SE USA on the 6-10 day outlook. Higher chances then yesterday...

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Quoting MississippiWx:
Circulation is moving W to WNW. Convection is moving north around the center, making it appear to have a northward movement. If you speed up the visible loops, it's easy to discern movement.
Exactly
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:




position seems about right,maybe a little bit further west!!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970


EURO 240 hours out. Probably good for TX that the EURO is pointing at it right now. Usually, if you're in the initial "forecast path," you don't stay there!
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I am expecting a big turn to the west the north track is temporary and head either north of Jamaica or south of Jamaica either a FAY or GUSTAV track
FAY

GUSTAV
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1024. IKE
Knoxville,TN...Morristown,TN weather office....

"GFS AND
ECMWF MODELS AGREE THAT ANOTHER STRONGER COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH
THE FORECAST AREA ON MONDAY...WITH AN UNSEASONABLY STRONG UPPER-
LEVEL TROUGH PUSHING IT ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE NATION. AS A
RESULT...IT APPEARS THAT THIS NEXT COLD FRONT MAY ACTUALLY BRING
COOLER TEMPS CLOSER TO NORMAL."
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Anyone got a link to the EMCWF?
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Quoting kmanislander:


I agree, and that matches up with the 850 mb vort. 93L looks to be heading off to the NW


Thus, a little further north than some of the model guidance I looked at earlier I think....
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Does it look like the apparent COC is to the SE of that south "tip" of Haiti around 17N-72W? Thats what I am seeing on the vis loops.


Yep.
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1019. IKE
Tampa,FL. extended...how does a strengthening system avoid it?

"BY TUESDAY THE GFS IS SHOWING AN UNUSUAL LATE JUNE
PATTERN WITH A DEEP VORTEX CARVING OUT A LONGWAVE TROUGH IN THE
EAST. WILL NOT DO MUCH TO THE TAIL END OF THE EXTENDED UNTIL THIS
FEATURE HAS MORE SUPPORT FROM THE MODELS OVER A FEW DAYS."

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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Does it look like the apparent COC is to the SE of that south "tip" of Haiti around 17N-72W? Thats what I am seeing on the vis loops.


I agree, and that matches up with the 850 mb vort. 93L looks to be heading off to the NW
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and still no 18Z coordinates on 93L
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Does it look like the apparent COC is to the SE of that south "tip" of Haiti around 17N-72W? Thats what I am seeing on the vis loops.
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1014. IKE
Jacksonville,Fl. extended mentioning a cold front...

LONG TERM...DEEP LAYER MOISTURE STILL EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY
RETURN DURING THE UPCOMING WEEKEND...PARTICULARLY ACROSS NE
FL...IN RESPONSE TO W MOVING TROPICAL WAVE WHICH WILL MOVE BY TO
THE S. A COLD FRONT IS PROGGED BY THE GFS AND ECMWF TO APPROACH
FROM THE NW BY TUE OF NEXT WEEK...AND THIS SHOULD FURTHER
INCREASE POPS ACROSS THE AREA.
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area around 15N,75W appears to be showing vorticy at the surface by watching the low level clouds,almost closed,needs less sheer for 93L to develop further!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
http://aviationweather.gov/adds/satellite/displaySat.php?region=CARIB&isingle=mult_big&itype=wv.

I beleive, based on satellite and surface readings the COC for 93L is South of Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic. The water vapor satellite image shows that the interaction with Hispaniola is having an impact. I don't expect much development for the next 24 hours.
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Quoting Floodman:


And if there's another BP style blowout? What do we do with two?


We didn't stop flying airplanes for six months after 9/11, did we? You put the necessary precautions in place and move on. For instance, there's virtually NO RISK at all in drilling through rock and earth. Its not until you tap the oil reservoir that the risk arises. So, you keep the wells drilling until right before they tap in. In the meantime, you define the parameters for going forward. Risk is avoided and the working folk keep their jobs...its a win-win.
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1009. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
17:30 PM IST June 22 2010
===================================

A low pressure area likely to form over west central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal around June 24th.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


93L better get its act together sooner than later if it wants to live, it has to get an LLC before it enters that thin band of higher shear or it may not survive


that shear is forecasted to move NW away from the system; should not be a problem
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1007. 900MB
Quoting hydrus:
I believe ya..:)


Lots of believers here!
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93L better get its act together sooner than later if it wants to live, it has to get an LLC before it enters that thin band of higher shear or it may not survive
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Quoting Chicklit:
The anticyclone keeps shifting west, ahead of convection.


a displaced anticylcone can reek havoc on a developing system. StormW noted the GFS nailing the forecast of the anticyclone moving eastward yesterday and that misalignment of the anticyclone with 93L caused some shear
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1004. bwi
Looking at TPC's marine forecast graphics, it appears they project a low about 1009mb at 24hrs well south of Jamaica; at 48 hours 1008mb about midway between Jamaica and Belize; and at 72 hours hitting 20n near Cozumel. So my two cents is that they might still be looking at the area around 15-16n and maybe 74-75w as a possible area of low formation?

They may be discounting the big storms and cloud swirl at around 17n that is southeast of the southern tip of Dominican Republic because pressures aren't falling up there maybe? Either way, if that area around 17n 71w developed, it would have to move due west to hit TPC's current 24 hour forecast point I think.
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I couldn't find TUTT on a surface map with both hands and a flashlight but I know a strengthening system on radar when I see one.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman09:
look like 71.5 west 17.5 noth look like the low is..this storm look like is moving move north to me.


Nah, that's too far north; the center is closer to 16.4 or so. Your longitude seems correct, though...
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Quoting btwntx08:
actually all of tx and la needs to watch this like i said


Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida need to watch it, not to mention Mexico. No reason to single out one or two states at this point.
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Quoting Chicklit:
93L has a taranchula appearance in that sat pic VA.


haha, hopefully its bite wont resemble one though
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Hello to everyone, I will put my 2 cents in. What we have to remember is this is not a normal June, I live in South Central Texas and for 6 weeks we have been close to 5 degrees above normal in temps, more like end of July or early August weather. I think this is why we will have a very active season. I think if this system develops it will move more west than north. I have been following the weather for a very long time and I love it. I enjoy reading most people's comments.
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Quoting 900MB:
I think we will have Alex sometime tomorrow. The spin looks like it is picking up and centered at 71.7W 17N. A little dmax and I think we are on our way....
I believe ya..:)
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Quoting DestinJeff:
12Z Euro and 12Z GFS both show a north to NE movement at end of runs.
Yep. keep yours eyes on that trough.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.