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 , 1:34 PM GMT on May 09, 2007
Throw away the calendar, hurricane season is here! The Hurricane Hunters are in the air, and found that the intensifying storm of the Georgia coast had acquired enough organization to be called Subtropical Storm Andrea. Here's the special advisory put out by NHC at 9am:
Special tropical disturbance statement
905 am EDT Wed May 9 2007
Satellite imagery and preliminary reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft this morning indicate that the area of low pressure centered about 150 miles east of Jacksonville is acquiring the characteristics of a subtropical cyclone. The system continues moving generally westward at about 5 mph. If present trends continue... advisories on subtropical storm Andrea would be
initiated later this morning.
Dangerous surf conditions continue along the coasts of the
Carolinas... Georgia... and northeastern Florida. Interests in these areas should continue to monitor products issued by local National Weather Service forecast offices.
Andrea has developed several bands of intense thunderstorm activity, well removed from the center. Tropical storm-force winds cover a wide swath of ocean surrounding the center. Winds from the 6:44am EDT pass of the QuikSCAT satellite (Figure 2) were as high as 50 knots (57 mph) in the heaviest thunderstorms on the southeast side. Winds overnight at buoy SKMG1 located about 60 miles off the Georgia coast were as high as 50 mph, gusting to 56 mph. These strong winds will continue to bring coastal flooding and significant beach erosion from North Carolina to northern Florida today.
Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Subtropical Storm Andrea shortly before it was named on May 9, 2007.
Figure 2. QuikSCAT image of the surface winds at 6:44am EDT Wed May 9. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.
Andrea is currently under about 10 knots of wind shear, but this shear is expected to increase to over 30 knots late tonight, so only a small window of time exists for the storm to intensify. Andrea is very unlikely to grow to hurricane strength, due to the combined effects of increased wind shear and cooler waters it will find near the coast. Landfall should occur Thursday morning over the region between northern Florida and southern South Carolina.
I'll have another update on Andrea this afternoon.
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