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 , 4:16 PM GMT on July 21, 2007
A tropical wave a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico is moving into a region where an upper-level low pressure system is spinning. The two weather systems are producing plenty of clouds and thunderstorms over a wide region of ocean. Wind shear is about 20 knots over the area, so not much development today is expected. However, wind shear is expected to drop to about 15 knots Sunday in the area, which could allow some slow development. Water vapor satellite loops show that the tropical wave has brought copious moisture into the previously dry upper level low, and this low could gradually develop a surface low pressure area as thunderstorm activity continues to moisten the region. This system is currently stationary, but is expected to drift northwards over the next two days. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the area Sunday afternoon.
Figure 1. Water vapor image from this morning showing the upper level low that is sucking in moist air from a tropical wave.
Carolina low pressure system
Thunderstorm activity is starting to pick up off the Carolina coast waters, thanks to a cold front that has pushed off the coast. A regular extratropical low pressure system is expected to develop here today, an move northwards, bringing rain to New England on Monday. Due to high wind shear of about 30 knots and cool SSTs, this low is not expected to be tropical.
In case you missed it, here is my blog on the science of QuikSCAT that was presented at Thursday's Congressional hearing on NHC's turmoil.
OK, now you can go back to reading Harry Potter :-)
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