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 , 4:26 PM GMT on September 02, 2005
New Blog started
Hello all, I have created a new blog titled KatrinaBlog for all Katrina-related discussions. I plan to post all Katrina-related material to both this blog and to my regular JeffMasters blog, but ask you to use the JeffMasters blog for only non-Katrina related subjects. On both blogs, I ask you to keep it positive and use it for discussions. Avoid making posts that more properly belong in a chat room (for example "How are you today?", etc). In the future, we plan to create a multi-threaded blog to allieviate the congestion that has developed on my blog, but that software will take several months to write. Thanks for all the great material many of you have posted, and I'm sorry I haven't had more time to read all your comments and respond directly to many of them!
No TD 15 yet
Yesterday, I was quite concerned about the possibility of a
significant threat developing from a tropical wave spinning midway between Africa and the Leeward Islands, near 8N 35W. This morning, the deep convection around the low has diminished, and Quikscat winds have fallen to about 20 knots surrounding the storm. This tropical wave is not a threat to develop for the next day or two. Why did this wave fall apart? Steering currents pushed the wave somewhat south of due west, bringing the low so close to the equator (latitude 8N) that the low was unable to use the Earth's spin to help it maintain its own spin. The Coriolis Force--that component of the Earth's spin pointing in the vertical direction--is zero at the equator, and a tropical system cannot maintain the spin needed to develop if it ventures too close to the equator, since a portion of the Earth's spin is required. I have never seen a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic spin up south of 8N.
Nevertheless, this wave needs to be watched the next few days as it tracks westward towards the Leeward Islands. When the wave moves a bit further north two or three days from now, the low wind shear and warm waters should be conducive to develpment.
Development by the Bahamas
An area of concentrated clouds has developed east of the Bahamas, but the wind shear is too high here now for any tropical development to occur. However, the shear will decrease over the next few days so that by Sunday or Monday tropical depression could develop in the waters between the Bahamas and Bermuda. This development would occur at the tail end of a cold front that is expected to push off of the East Coast. The latest GFS model run shows that any storm that develops in this area would move slowly, and might take an erratic and unpredictable path.
Tropical Storm Maria
Maria is of little concern. She is a weak system tracking over open ocean, with little chance of impacting any land areas.
Wunderphotographer mudkow60 also happens to be a helicopter pilot rescuing people stranded in Mississippi. He's posted a few amzazing photos below, and adds on one of the captions, "THANKS FOR ALL YOUR RESPONSES. SORRY I HAVE NOT REPLYED.... I AM REALLY BUSY AT WORK.. THANKS."
Remember to post comments about his photos and other Katrina-related material to the KatrinaBlog. It is quite possible that creating a second blog like this won't work; if enough of you find this second blog to be a bad idea, we'll scrap it and go back to the original single blog. Thanks.
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