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 , 10:20 PM GMT on November 19, 2005
Just a reminder, this is Shaun, not Dr. Masters.
Well, some new developments have transpired since my last update. A hurricane hunter that investigated Gamma found that the center of the storm was considerably farther southeast than originally thought. You can see the storm center on the visible satellite loop spinning just north of the Honduras coast. While looking at this loop, you can see a very slight eastward movement which is expected to be short-lived.
The storm center is exposed to the south with the main convection field still observed well north of the center, which has a minimum low pressure of 1004 mb. Flight level winds were reported at 49 knots, with an initial intensity of 40 knots. The storm's convection also remains unorganized.
Gamma is faced with some obstacles with regards to intensification. Wind shear is still considerably strong over the system (20-30 kt of southwesterly vertical shear) and this value is expected to increase even more. This by itself should be enough to inhibit any significant strengthening. Secondly, the ridge of high pressure to the system's north is expected to weaken, allowing a trough and low pressure system to develop over the eastern United States. This should turn northeast and again hamper any significant intensification.
Models have once again trended more to the east and south and this is again reflected in the official NHC forecast track, which now takes it across central Cuba and well south of Florida towards the southern Bahamas. This track follows the GFDL closely with regards to position. The GFS loops a weak Gamma through the northwest Caribbean south of Cuba while the BAM takes the storm just south of Florida.
Also, the storm created landslides in Honduras today and claimed the lives of two people.
Figure 1. Most recent computer models for Gamma.
Figure 2. Official NHC forecast track taking Gamma even farther south that previous forecasts.
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