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 , 4:34 PM GMT on August 03, 2006
Hello everybody, this is Shaun taking over for Dr. Masters the next few days. You may also hear from another meteorologist here named Rob.
What a difference a day makes, huh? Just yesterday, Dr. Masters was talking about Chris almost being hurricane strength and the NHC had it eventually gaining hurricane status as well. Now the official forecast has it turning into a tropical depression (if it hasn't done so already) and drifting aimlessly west-northwestward towards Cuba.
Official NHC Forecast.
The only real convection noted from Chris is well to the southeast of the storm's center near Puerto Rico. An upper-level system dropped southward overnight and really did a number on the system. This caused an increase in shear to 15-20 knots and dry air that really weakened the storm. The hurricane hunter found a weak storm that may have turned into a tropical depression already. Nonetheless, the convection is expected to hammer Puerto Rico and continue towards Hispaniola later today.
There is some chance for re-development if the wind shear slacks off and the dry air can be cut off. But we will want to see if there is any evidence of that later in the day. The steering ridge system's north will continue to keep the storm to the south on a west-northwestern course towards the southern Bahamas and eventually Cuba.
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