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 , 2:49 PM GMT on October 07, 2013
A tropical wave (Invest 98L) located about 500 miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands is headed west-northwest at about 10 mph. Satellite loops show that 98L has a modest area of heavy thunderstorms and spin. The UKMET model develops the disturbance into a tropical depression late in the week, but the GFS and European models do not. In their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance 2-day development odds of 20%, and 5-day odds of 30%. 98L's projected track will take it into the Central Atlantic, where it is unlikely to threaten any land areas. The models are not showing any other threat areas, and the large-scale Atlantic conditions favor below-average chances of tropical storm formation for the next two weeks. These odds may rise by the last week of October and first week of November, when the MJO has a decent chance changing to a phase that will bring upward air motion to the Atlantic.
Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of 98L over the far Eastern Atlantic, taken at approximately 8:30 am EDT on October 7, 2013. The southernmost Cape Verde Islands are visible at upper right. Image credit: NASA.
Typhoon Danas takes aim at Japan
In the Pacific, impressive Typhoon Danas reached Category 4 status with 145 mph winds this morning as it passed just north of Okinawa, becoming the third strongest tropical cyclone on Earth so far in 2013. Only Super Typhoon Usagi (160 mph winds) and Super Typhoon Utor (150 mph winds) have been stronger. Danas has peaked in strength, and satellite loops show that wind shear has begun eating into the intense thunderstorms on the southwest portion of Danas' eyewall. Danas is expected to weaken to Category 2 strength as it recurves to the northeast and passes very close to Nagasaki, Japan around 12 UTC on Tuesday.
Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Danas, taken at approximately 02 UTC on October 7, 2013. At the time, Danas had top winds of about 140 mph. Image credit: NASA.
Tropical Cyclone expected to form in the North Indian Ocean and threaten India
In India, where one of the longest monsoon seasons ever recorded is finally beginning to wane, atmospheric conditions over the North Indian Ocean are growing more conducive for the formation of tropical cyclones. The waters off the west coast of Thailand feature a large area of intense thunderstorms with a pronounced spin, as seen on satellite images. Both the GFS and European models predict that this disturbance will develop into a tropical cyclone by Wednesday, with the storm expected to track to the northwest and make landfall in Northeast India this weekend. This storm has the potential to intensify into a major storm capable of driving a dangerous storm surge onto the coast.
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