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 , 1:29 PM GMT on September 25, 2006
The tropical wave (96L) we've been watching, about 1000 miles east of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, is struggling against 20-30 knots of wind shear this morning. The shear has reduced the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, and it appears less likely that 96L can organize into a tropical depression. The Canadian model is now the only model developing the system; the other models all indicate that wind shear will remain too high to allow development. The system will move northwestwards towards Bermuda, and probably turn to the north late this week before it reaches the island.
Figure 1. Preliminary models tracks for Invest 96L.
Superdome reopens tonight
A major milestone in the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts occurs tonight, when the New Orleans Superdome reopens. After nearly $200 million in repairs and renovations, the Superdome is ready to host a football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. The bands U2 and Green Day will be on hand to celebrate the event, and former president George H.W. Bush will perform the opening coin flip. While New Orleans and the entire coast of Louisiana and Mississippi devastated by Katrina and Rita still have a formidable recovery effort ahead, the reopening of the Superdome will provide a wonderful psychological boost. Residents of the region can also take cheer that the hurricane season of 2006 has no plans to spoil the event. Recall that last year at this time, Hurricane Rita had just powered ashore in Southwest Louisiana, and the season still had 11 more named storms coming. The tropics have gone very quiet this year, and there are no signs that the coming weeks will bring any major hurricanes to the Atlantic.
Weekend severe weather
The first major Fall severe weather outbreak occurred over the weekend over portions of the Midwestern U.S. Five people were injured Friday afternoon in Perry County, Missouri, when a tornado 350 yards in diameter ripped through Crosstown. Preliminary assessments by NWS survey teams estimated that this was an F3 or stronger tornado with 200 mph winds.
The same storm system also brought flooding rains to Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee on Friday and Saturday that were blamed for at least nine deaths. Mayfield, KY reported 13.82 inches of rain in the deluge.
I'll have an update Tuesday morning.
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