Activity Ramping Up in Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

NHC Outlook on 8/16/2009 at 8 AM

NHC Outlook on 8/16/2009 at 8 AM

So much for the quiet Atlantic.  As mentioned yesterday, the area of interest in the eastern Atlantic quickly developed into a depression and now a named tropical storm – Bill.  TS Bill is forecasted to track north of TS Ana’s path, which has been adjusted southward quite a bit (more on that in a moment), and this will allow Bill to interact with warmer water as well as more favorable atmospheric conditions (little wind shear).  As a result, the NHC is forecasting Bill to develop into a hurricane and strengthen to a category three with 115 mph maximum sustained winds in 72 hours.  At this time, the forecast track does not have Bill making landfall in the next 5 days, but that can change quickly.

Speaking of tracks changing quickly, take a glance at Ana’s forecasted track as of the 8AM advisory…

Ana's Track as of 8AM 8/16/09

For reference, here’s the map from yesterday morning…

Anas Track as of 5AM 8/15/09

Ana's Track as of 5AM 8/15/09

Ana’s forecasted track has shifted from north of Puerto Rico to south of the island and well north of Cuba to grazing the southern shore of Castroland.  Also, note the change in forecasted intensity.  Ana is now expected to weaken into a tropical depression during its’ interaction with Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  Of course, it is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico where sea surface temperatures are warmer than the southern Atlantic.  So, it’s possible Ana could strengthen when she enters the Gulf, but that’s not worth worrying about for a couple days.

Finally, we have Tropical Depression Four in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.  The NHC is forecasting TD Four to become TS Claudette during the day today, reaching maximum sustained winds of 60 mph by 8pm this evening.  It is forecasted to make landfall near Panama City, FL.  Sea level rise should be minimal (3-5 ft) with flooding from rainfall (3-5+ inches) being the primary concern (as it often is with any tropical storm/hurricane).

Check back for, or comment with, any changes.

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