Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:07 PM GMT on July 20, 2005
A strong tropical wave is kicking up showers and thunderstorms over Hispanolia and the waters to the north of the island. This wave has some decent deep convection, but no signs of a circulation yet. It is moving WNW towards the Bahamas at about 15 mph, and could become a tropical depression Thursday.
The wave is currently in an area of relatively high shear; the University of Wisconsin's Wind shear analysis from 2pm EDT today (18 GMT) shows an area of 20 knots of shear over the wave. The visible satellite loop shows this shear is acting to rip away the high level cirrus clouds from the tropical wave and blow them to the east.
Lower shear values, 5-10 knots, lie ahead of the wave, so it is possible it will develop into a tropical depression Thursday as it moves into the Bahamas. A Hurricane Hunter airplane will investigate the wave then, if neccessary. Today's 12Z run of the GFS model takes the wave and develops it into a tropical depression by Friday. The depression then weakens and recurves out to sea past North Carolina on Saturday, when a short wave trough and associated cold front move off the East Coast. At this time, the tropical wave does not appear likely to be another Dennis or Emily!
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