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By: wxchaser97 , 6:31 AM GMT on August 01, 2013
The Eastern Pacific is once again active with the season's 7th named storm. It is also the season's 5th hurricane to form. Gil formed from a disturbance from the monsoon trough in a very favorable environment. With the MJO being in a positive phase in the epac, there is enhanced moisture and lift for storms to use, combined with very warm SST's and a favorable upper level pattern, has resulted in good tropical cyclonegenesis conditions. Hurricane Gil had an eye trying to pop out on visible satellite late yesterday, but that eye then got covered by deep convection. Microwave imagery from earlier also showed this eye. While the latest available microwave image shows not much left of the eye, I do expect it to come back pretty soon. Gil has well pronounced banding features and solid upper-level outflow. The latest satellite intensity estimates from TAFB are 4.5, SAB at 4.0, and UW-CIMSS ADT at 3.2. ADT fails to realize that Gil is more organized then ADT thinks it is and thus is giving out a lower T#. The current storm info and satellite image can be found below.
8:00 PM PDT Wed Jul 31
Location: 14.2°N 121.8°W
Moving: WNW at 12 mph
Min pressure: 990 mb
Max sustained: 80 mph
Forecast for Gil
Hurricane Gil has a pretty predictable future ahead of it for intensities. The environment should be plenty favorable for further intensification before conditions become more hostile farther to the north and west. This has been the similar story for most of the Epac cyclones this year. Gil has been rapidly intensifying for the past day. This has caused the intensity forecasts to be bumped up from what they first were and put a little uncertainty into the current ones. Gil is situated in an environment that has very warm SST's, low vertical wind shear, and modest moister values. SHIPS diagnostic message and UW-CIMSS analysis maps show that shear is at or below 10kts over Gil. Depending on how far north Gil gets over the next day or so determines how strong the shear will be over it. If it goes farther north it will encounter more of the higher shear area, but if it stays farther south then it won't deal with as much shear. SST's are very warm right now, with SHIPS initializing Gil over 28C+ temps. Once again, it depends on how far north Gil goes in the forecast period to determine how cool the SST's will get. They fully favor further strengthening right now, but they will get marginal later in the period. 700-500mb Relative Humidity (RH) values should remain around 60% for the entire forecast period, which is moist, but not overly moist. After several days of favorable conditions, Gil should encounter marginal SST's and higher shear which will induce weakening. My forecast is a little above the intensity guidance and mostly in line with the NHC, except a little higher on the peak strength. It should be noted that if Gil gets its core more organized again, RI may resume. If RI resumes it is possible that Gil becomes a strong Cat-2 to low end Cat-3. The NHC gives Gil a 13% chance of becoming a category 3 hurricane while I give Gil a 25% chance.
The track forecast for Hurricane Gil is pretty cut-and-dry without a lot of variables. Gil is currently, and has been, heading west-northwest. Gil is caught up in the west west-northwest flow from the subtropical ridge to its north. This has been the primary steering agent for all of Gil's life and will continue to be. After about 3 to 4 days, the reliable global models show a trough digging down into part of the ridge and weakening it. This will cause a weakness in the ridge and will impact the track and forward speed of Gil. Gil will slow it's forward speed and possibly take a small jog to the north. After going through the weakness created by the trough, Gil should get back in the dominate low-level easterly flow and thus back on a due west path. The statistical, dynamical, and global models mostly agree on where Gil will go, besides some longer range differences. My track forecast is pretty close to the NHC track and model guidance. Hurricane Gil shouldn't impact any land as it will be too far south to bring anything toward Hawaii.
INIT 01/0300Z 70 KT 80 MPH
12H 01/1200Z 80 KT 90 MPH
24H 02/0000Z 85 KT 105 MPH
36H 02/1200Z 80 KT 90 MPH
48H 03/0000Z 75 KT 85 MPH
72H 04/0000Z 70 KT 80 MPH
96H 05/0000Z 55 KT 65 MPH
120H 06/0000Z 45 KT 50 MPH
Have a great morning and I'll be back with a new update, plus a short update on the Atlantic, late today.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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