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Dorian Makes a Short-Lived Comeback as a Tropical Depression

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:37 PM GMT on August 03, 2013

Like an annoying fly buzzing around your head that just won't go away, Dorian is back. Dorian began as a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on July 22. Although initially given only a 10% of developing, Dorian surprised forecasters by becoming the 2nd farthest east-forming tropical storm for so early in the year on July 24. Dorian peaked in strength on July 25, when its top winds reached 60 mph. On July 26, Dorian encountered a dryer, more stable atmosphere, and the storm dissipated to a tropical wave on July 27. The remnants of Dorian continued tracking west-northwest, passing north of the Lesser Antilles Islands and into the Bahamas this week. Finally, at 5 AM EDT this Saturday morning, the remnants of Dorian reorganized enough to prompt the National Hurricane Center to upgrade Dorian's remnants to be Tropical Depression Dorian.

Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Depression Dorian, showing the surface circulation exposed to view as a naked swirl of low clouds, and a modest area of heavy thunderstorms well to the south of the center.

Dorian does not have long to live, due to high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots that has removed all of the storm's heavy thunderstorms far from the center, leaving the surface circulation exposed to view as a naked swirl of low clouds. With wind shear expected to rise even further this weekend, Dorian will likely be dead by Sunday, and get absorbed into the cold front lying off of the Southeast U.S. coast. Dorian is not a threat to any land areas.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the reliable computer models is predicting tropical cyclone formation over the coming week.

Video 1. With Discovery Channel's Shark Week approaching, Veronica of the web video series, "Fact or Fictional?" talks with me and a marine biologist about sharknadoes. Is it possible for a ferocious tornado to rip through Southern California, raining man eating sharks? My bit starts about halfway through the video.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.