Colin arrives; extreme heat records fall for Ukraine and 5 U.S. cities

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:16 PM GMT on August 03, 2010

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Tropical Storm Colin has made its debut over the Atlantic, but does not appear to be a threat to any land areas over the next five days. Satellite imagery shows that Colin is intensifying, as both the intensity and areal extent of heavy thunderstorms has increased over the past few hours. A respectable low-level spiral band is developing to the north of the center, and upper-level outflow is beginning to appear on all sides of the storm. Colin is a very small storm, and its tropical storm force winds extend out just 30 miles from the center. Colin passed about 50 miles south of Buoy 41041 early this morning, and generated top sustained winds of 27 mph at the buoy. There is some dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) to the northwest of Colin, but this dry air is not getting entrained into Colin at present. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots and sea surface temperatures are a very warm 28 - 29°C, so continued development is likely today. The main negative for development appears to be the storm's small size, which makes it vulnerable to modest increases in wind shear or dry air entrainment. The first flight of the Hurricane Hunters into Colin is scheduled for Wednesday morning.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Colin.

Forecast for Colin
The latest 6Z (2am EDT) models are fairly unified taking Colin to the west-northwest at 20 - 25 mph for the next three days. This would bring squalls from the storm's outer rainbands to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, such as Antigua and Barbuda, by Wednesday afternoon. The center of Colin should pass to the northeast of the islands, and the storm is small enough that the islands are unlikely to experience tropical storm force winds. As Colin makes its closest approach to the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday night, the storm will begin to encounter strong upper-level westerly winds associated with the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper-level low pressure system centered between Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that these winds will cause wind shear to rise to the moderate level, 10 - 20 knots, by Wednesday morning, and to the high level, 20 - 30 knots, by Thursday. There is considerable dry air associated with the upper level low that should cause problems for Colin, as well. The high wind shear and dry air should weaken Colin. NHC is giving Colin a 25% chance of attaining hurricane status this week.

A trough of low pressure is expected to move off the U.S. East Coast on Friday, and this trough will pull Colin to the northwest and cause it to slow down on Wednesday. By Friday, Colin will be moving at half of its current speed. It is unclear if the trough of low pressure will be strong enough to fully recurve Colin out to sea late this week. Some of the models predict Colin will not recurve out to sea, and that high pressure will build back in this weekend, forcing Colin towards the U.S. East Coast. A second trough of low pressure is predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast next Monday, so Colin will have a second opportunity to recurve out to sea then. It is possible that Colin could make landfall along the U.S. East Coast or in the Canadian Maritime provinces 7 - 10 days from now, though it is still too early to assess the risk of this happening, nor how strong Colin might be.

Ukraine ties its record for hottest temperature in history
On August 1, Ukraine tied its record for hottest temperature in its history when the mercury hit 41.3°C (106.3°F) at Lukhansk. The Ukraine also reached 41.3°C on July 20 and 21, 2007, at Voznesensk. Sixteen of 225 nations on Earth have set extreme highest temperature in history records this year, the most of any year. The year 2007 is in second place, with fifteen such records.

Five major U.S. cities record their warmest month in history during July
July 2010 was the warmest month in history for five U.S. cities:

Las Vegas, NV: 96.2°F (old record: 95.3°F, July 2005).
Atlantic City, NJ: 79.8°F (old record: 78.7°F, July 1983)
Washington, D.C.: 83.1°F (tied with July 1993)
Baltimore, MD: 81.5°F (tied with July 1995)
Trenton, NJ: 80.5°F (tied with July 1955)

Also, in June, Miami, FL recorded its warmest month in history: 85.6°F (old record: 85.4°F in June 1998.)

Commentary
None of the 303 major U.S. cities listed in the records section of Chris Burt's book Extreme Weather has set a coldest month in history record since 1994 (these 303 cites were selected to represent a broad spectrum of U.S. climate zones, are not all big cities, have a good range of elevations, and in most cases have data going back to the 1880s.) There were just three such records (1% of the 303 major U.S. cities) set in the past twenty years, 1991 - 2010. In contrast, 97 out of 303 major U.S. cities (32%) set records for their warmest month in history during the past twenty years. It is much harder to set a coldest month in history record than a coldest day in history record in a warming climate, since it requires cold for an extended period of time--not just a sudden extreme cold snap.

Are the pattern of U.S. temperature records due to the Urban Heat Island effect?
Is the huge disparity between extreme heat records and extreme cold records in the U.S. due to global warming, or the Urban Heat Island effect? The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect occurs when development of former natural areas into pavement and buildings allows more heat to be trapped in cities, particularly at night. During the day, the UHI effect often leads to a slight cooling, since it can increase the amount of turbulence, allowing cooler air to get mixed down to the surface. For example, Moreno-Garcia (1994) found that Barcelona, Spain was 0.2°C cooler for daily maxima and 2.9°C warmer for minima than a nearby rural station.

However, temperature records are typically taken in parks and airports removed from the main heat-trapping areas of cities, and are not as strongly affected as one might expect. There are several reasons for this. One is that when tall buildings are present, they tend to block the view to the sky, meaning that not as much heat can escape upwards. In addition, the presence of moist vegetation keeps the atmosphere moister in park-like areas (which include the grassy fields near airports where temperature measurements are taken). This extra moisture helps cool the atmosphere on a local scale of tens of meters, due to latent heat effects (the energy required to convert liquid water to water vapor). Peterson (2003) found that "Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures." The study used satellite-based night-light detection to identify urban areas. Recent research by Spronken-Smith and Oke (1998) concluded that there was a marked park cool island effect within the Urban Heat Island. They found that parks in typical cities in the U.S. have temperatures 1 - 2°C cooler than the surrounding city--and sometimes more than 5°C cooler. While the Urban Heat Island effect probably has contributed to some of the reduction in record low temperatures in the U.S. in the past decade, research by Parker (2004, 2006) and Peterson (2003) theorizes that Urban Heat Island effect is a factor ten or more less important than rising temperatures due to global warming.

Chris Burt wrote me yesterday about Las Vegas' all-time warmest month record set in July. He noted that none of the sites nearby Las Vegas' McCarran Airport (where the official obs are kept) came close to setting a warmest month in history record. McCarran Airport has set new warmest month in history records in 2003, 2005, and now 2010. These two facts make us suspect that in the case of Las Vegas, an urban heat island effect may be contributing to the spate of recent warmest month in history records there. The heat records for Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Trenton do not appear to have as much of a UHI influence, since record highs were set over such a large area of the mid-Atlantic in July.

Is the Urban Heat Island effect partially responsible for global warming?
Global warming is affecting the entire Earth, including rural areas far from cities, and the 70% of the world covered by ocean. Thus, the Urban Heat Island effect--if not corrected for--can cause only a small impact on the global temperature figures. Since the Urban Heat Island is corrected for, the impact on the observed global warming signal should be negligible. For instance, NASA uses satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations as rural and urban and corrects the urban stations so that they match the trends from the rural stations before gridding the data. Other techniques (such as correcting for population growth) have also been used. Despite these corrections, and the fact that the Urban Heat Island effect impacts only a relatively small portion of the globe, global warming skeptics have persistently used the Urban Heat Island effect to attack the validity of global warming. There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks.

References
Parker, D.E., 2004, "Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", Nature 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a, 2004.

Parker, D.E., 2006, "A Demonstration that Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", J. Climate 19, pp2882-2986, 2006.

Peterson, T.C., "Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found", Journal of Climate, 16, 2941-2959, 2003.

Spronken-Smith, R. A., and T. R. Oke, 1998: "The thermal regime of urban parks in two cities with different summer climates. Int. J. Remote Sens., 19, 20852104.

The surface temperature record and the urban heat island, realclimate.org post, 2004.

Next update
I have a series of meetings today that will probably keep me from making another post, and keep me from doing my weekly Internet radio show, Hurricane Haven. I'll be back Wednesday morning, at the latest, with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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carolina system is more impressive than this Colin has been
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2004: 1-1-1
2005: 8-3-2
2006: 4-0-0
2007: 3-1-0 (one a STS)
2008: 5-2-1
2009: 0-0-0
2010: 3-1-0

By August 3rd, this is what these past season looked like. I think a season more like 2007 is the most possible thing right now, with just a a few more named storms to get us up to around 17 total. If I'm not mistaken, 2007 ended with 15 total.
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1573. centex
TS to remnant low in 6 hours, they really poofed it. So it's now RL Colin.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Yeah. We should watch Ex-Colin. CLOSELY.


There are too many ifs that need to be met that SSIG pointed out earlier. I just find it unlikely but that's just me.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
1571. BDAwx
2004 was Hyperactive with an ACE of 225, but it only had 15 named storms. ok? You dont need 20+ named storms to be hyperactive. 1998 was hyperactive with only 14 named storms - the bottom end of the NHC's forecast and an ACE of 182.
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1570. Patrap
"Cover thy Butt"-casting ?
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Quoting Ossqss:


Par for the course, you did not read or understand the indisputable historical data and processes presented that have nothing to do with climate. LOL ! no more wasted keystrokes here :) L8R


With all due respect, how do you know what I've read and haven't read? At any rate, where something as important as GW is concerned, there's so much peer-reviewed data from credible climatologists to read though that I simply don't have time to waste on a non-peer-reviewed diatribe written by a known skeptic who holds no degree in the GW-relevant earth sciences.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I fear that Colin it pulling an Ana trick on you RIPpers mabe back to a TS be for nearing the Leewards Islands


It is possible but don't bet on it. NHC is covering their butt with this regeneration mumbo jumbo.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I fear that Colin it pulling an Ana trick on you RIPpers mabe back to a TS be for nearing the Leewards Islands


it looks like some of the models (GFS,CMC) have it restrengthening N of PR and DR/Haiti... does this seem like a trend to anyone else?
still learning, be kind... :)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I fear that Colin it pulling an Ana trick on you RIPpers mabe back to a TS be for nearing the Leewards Islands

Yeah. We should watch Ex-Colin. CLOSELY.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


are you hurrkat? because you tend to kill off everything. Colin's dead, we know. But Colin wasn't ever a real threat to the US. Even if Colin had hit the USA, it would have been no more than 40 mph max and could have brought nice heat relief to someone (we're scorching down here in the south! Here in Western Hillsborough, the seabrease never comes it seems)


I don't kill anything. The hostile conditions have killed these disturbances. This is the current story of the season except for Alex. Colin was moving at a breakneck speed and could not currently sustain itself as a tropical cyclone. I'm surprised Bonnie even made it to SFL as a weak tropical storm.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
Drakeon, my best guess is that the upper level low hangs tougher, its been the rule of thumb this season. Thoughts on the wave at 37W and 9-10N?
1563. MahFL
I thought they said a surface circulation was no longer detectable ?
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Quoting Levi32:


Models look to have been too far north again as expected. Cone clearly threatens the US now.
That's true, but cones don't mean much if there's nothing in them. It's something for the more exuberant(not you) to hang a hope and prayer on now. But they should remember when they were 4 and the ice cream ball fell off the cone.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5676
Quoting reid221:
Perhaps we can persuade Dr. Masters to generate a "recognize" button - enabling us to group together and read the entries of people who are enlightened enough to be taken seriously - without having to slog through the incredible amount of garbage now being posted. As this blog has become more popular - the "ignore" option is no longer enough.
Use your filter at the top of the comments; set to "see bad" or "see average". Cuts a lot of the "noise".
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22682
1560. Drakoen
What is amazing to me is how much shear collapses beyond the 72 hour period north of the Greater Antilles, most notably in the ECMWF model. It is really going to come down to whether or not Colin can slow down and allow the upper level cut-off to advect westward into the GOM.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30710
I fear that Colin it pulling an Ana trick on you RIPpers mabe back to a TS be for nearing the Leewards Islands
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1558. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:
Despite the dizzying speed of the low-level flow, the structure of the low-level winds around Colin are favorable to sustain a cyclonic circulation, meaning that the surface center probably won't just go poof and will survive as a detectable feature for quite a while yet. That's why regeneration is very much on the table.


Agree
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30710
1556. aquak9
Quoting MississippiWx:


LOL. Thank you! I needed that!


you can keep it, hahahah
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 175 Comments: 26499
1555. Levi32
Despite the dizzying speed of the low-level flow, the structure of the low-level winds around Colin are favorable to sustain a cyclonic circulation, meaning that the surface center probably won't just go poof and will survive as a detectable feature for quite a while yet. That's why regeneration is very much on the table.
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Quoting Floodman:


Actually I was commenting on the woeful state of some people's education...this guy's only exposure to the name "Fiona" came from a Disney movie? Really?


Hey Flood, isn't Fiona Shrek's wifey poo? LOL Just joking how are ya? Good to see ya.I may be wrong

Sheri
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Quoting aquak9:
(passes barf bag to MississippiWx)


LOL. Thank you! I needed that!
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1551. xcool
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1550. aquak9
(passes barf bag to MississippiWx)
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 175 Comments: 26499
1548. Patrap
Did you pay for that?


aCK !
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Maybe I missed it, but where's the data that ever made this thing a TS??
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1546. Levi32
Quoting DestinJeff:
Current track location at 20N barely made the cone yesterday at the initial advisory:

Current:


Yesterday 11 am:


Models look to have been too far north again as expected. Cone clearly threatens the US now.
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1545. IKE
Colin Weakens as it Races Westward...

Aug 3, 2010 5:20 PM


Colin has weakened to a general area of low pressure Tuesday evening as the convection has become less organized and a closed low-level circulation can no longer be detected. As of 5:00 p.m. EDT, the remnant center of Colin was located at 15.8 north and 53.8 west or about 540 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Colin continues to race westward at 35 mph. We expect the remnants of Colin to continue tracking westward over the next 24 to 48 hours, possibly affecting the northern Lesser Antilles and even Puerto Rico by Thursday before taking a more northwest track. The good news for these areas is that we don't expect what is left of Colin to increase much in strength over the next few days. Colin could re-strengthen into a tropical depression this weekend as it heads into a less hostile environment over the southwestern Atlantic. However, this is uncertain at this time and there are several mitigating factors for regeneration.

First, there is a considerable amount of drier air to the north of this system and also in the region out ahead of it. In fact, this air is laden with Saharan dust from the African continent, which tends to weaken convection needed to fuel tropical systems. This air mass is forecast to push westward in conjunction with the remnants of Colin, and perhaps impinge on development late in the week. A second factor that should limit the re-intensification of Colin will be a projected increase in wind shear. An upper-level trough will push into the northeastern United States on Friday and, ahead of this, trough winds will increase across the western Atlantic. Increasing winds aloft are detrimental to storm development, so this will also play a role in the prospects for re-intensification of Colin.

The aforementioned trough will also likely initiate a more northerly component to the track, and it's quite possible that this system could become caught up in the mid-latitude flow and head out to sea. However, if this trough doesn't pick up the leftovers of Colin, the system could get caught out in the Atlantic Ocean meandering between Bermuda and the Carolinas. If this happens, Colin would be in an environment conducive to strengthening and could re-establish tropical cyclone status. These types of things are notoriously so difficult to predict this far out. Regardless, we will certainly keep an eye on the situation and update the forecast accordingly over the next several days.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, we have one tropical wave moving into Central America, and another tropical wave in the far eastern Caribbean, but development of these features are quite unlikely at this point. Should anything more significant become likely, we'll let you know.

Check back with AccuWeather.com for updates on the status of the remnants of Colin, and all of your weather-related needs.

By AccuWeather.com Meteorologists John Dlugoenski & Carl Erickson.
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Quoting Levi32:


That is not an eye. An exposed surface center usually has low-level clouds swirling tightly around it and sometimes there's a tiny clear spot at the very center, but it's not an eye.
Thank You
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I just look at this map and want to throw up. Sooner or later, a hurricane or two is going to take advantage of all this heat around the US and it's going to be bad.

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18z gfs is weaker and going to be further west. this could impact florida in 5-6 days.
Member Since: July 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
1541. Ossqss
Quoting Neapolitan:


From the paper: "Professor McKitrick holds a BA in economics from Queen's University, and an MA and Ph.D. in
economics from the University of British Columbia...Professor McKitrick is widely-cited in Canada and around the world as an expert on global warming.
" Yet another non-peer-reviewed paper by a known skeptic who happens to not be a climatologist. Sigh...



Par for the course, you did not read or understand the indisputable historical data and processes presented that have nothing to do with climate. LOL ! no more wasted keystrokes here :) L8R
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Quoting IKE:


Then I stand corrected. Why is this up on the WU page for the west-PAC?

abpw10 pgtw 030600
msgid/genadmin/navmarfcstcen Pearl Harbor hi/jtwc//
subj/significant tropical weather advisory for the western and
/South Pacific oceans/030600z-040600zaug2010//
rmks/
1. Western North Pacific area (180 to Malay Peninsula):
a. Tropical cyclone summary: none.
B. Tropical disturbance summary: none.
2. South Pacific area (west coast of South America to 135 east):
a. Tropical cyclone summary: none.
B. Tropical disturbance summary: none.//


Don't know why WU shows that, I went by NRL Monterey.
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1539. Drakoen
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Could it be because it interacts with the TUTT developing more convection and perhaps a more vigorous mid-level center forming resulting in higher 850mb vorticity?


Possibly. The CIMSS charts reveal an area of positive divergence and negative shear tendency in the region where Colin is heading. Satellite imagery is showing convection developing on the western side of the system as well as off to the northeast.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30710
1538. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
all updated info on worldwide tropical basins


NMFC Norfolk Tropical Feed
Active Tropical Warnings in the Atlantic, Caribbean, or Gulf of Mexico
04L (FOUR) FINAL Warning #06

By Maritime.CDO@navy.mil (NMFC CDO) from Naval Maritime Forecast Center Norfolk Virginia. Published on .

As of TUE 03 Aug 2010

2010 Storms
All Active Year

Atlantic
04L REM.LOW
East Pacific
97E.INVEST
Central Pacific
NONE
West Pacific
97W.INVEST
96W.INVEST
Indian Ocean
NONE
Southern Hemisphere
NONE
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55557
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Neapolitan, I am still going with 13/7/3.


Possibly, but it sounds very low to me. Just ten more names with all the positive indicators coming into play starting next week? I see six or seven more named storms for August, six or seven in total for September, and four or five between October and November.

And, yes, I'm prepared to eat crow on this one. ;-)
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1535. Levi32
Quoting belizeit:
Levi32 in the visible we see a nice cerculation moving towards the NW Why is it that the cerculation has a eye to it i thought weak tropical storms did not have eyes


That is not an eye. An exposed surface center usually has low-level clouds swirling tightly around it and sometimes there's a tiny clear spot at the very center, but it's not an eye.
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1533. gator23
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


You're probably right. But it will give everyone something to talk about for the rest of the week!


is the long range track still a ?? or is a fish storm the most likely
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
Quoting Levi32:


Regeneration would have nothing to do with SSTs which are plenty warm in the SW Atlantic. It would have to do with the upper winds relaxing and allowing development of a slower-moving system which would have the things that Colin currently lacks because of its rapid movement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



That's too high, because they were tracking the mid-level center as of 11am EST and then the low-level center became exposed and it ended up much farther ahead than they thought. That's why the coordinates yield a 51mph speed, but that's inaccurate in reality.

Isn't it funny how the "facts" can sometimes be misleading without the proper context?
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Levi32 in the visible we see a nice cerculation moving towards the NW Why is it that the cerculation has a eye to it i thought weak tropical storms did not have eyes
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


I think that's a good prediction, 16 is also very doable.
2007 had 15 named storms and at this time had only had 1 STS and 2 TS so I would not give up on the season just yet.
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Quoting 786:
Mikatnight...so jealous we need some rain!


Us too! Completely missed us (as usual).
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1528. Levi32
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Could it be because it interacts with the TUTT developing more convection and perhaps a more vigorous mid-level center forming resulting in higher 850mb vorticity?


Possible, but one should note that the surface center is still well-defined, just not closed.
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1527. Drakoen
The models forecast for the TUTT axis to positively titled across the Bahamas region with a strong upper level low pressure system developing along the axis of the TUTT and begins moving slowly westward into the Gulf of Mexico. How close Colin comes to the right entrance region of the TUTT will be crucial to its survival.
The new BAMM 18z is slower than the NHC and the dynamic forecast steering is for the low to mid level steering speed to slow down some when the system gets past the Lesser Antilles approaching possibly the Bahamas.
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1525. 786
Mikatnight...so jealous we need some rain!
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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.

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