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Hurricane Dorian Tracking Towards Florida

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Hurricane Dorian continues to move away from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands this morning. Yesterday, wind gusts to hurricane force were reported on Saint Thomas as Dorian moved through the Virgin Islands. As of the 5:00 a.m. AST (0900 UTC) advisory this morning, Dorian remains a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and minimum central pressure of 991 mb.
The eye of Dorian has become less pronounced this morning, and NHC did note in their 5 a.m. discussion that some dry air entrainment has occurred. Despite this, wind shear and dry air are forecast to subside in the next day or two, with Dorian then expected to move over very warm ocean waters. This should allow for steady intensification, and Dorian is likely to become a major hurricane (category three or higher). NHC notes that rapid intensification may even be possible.

In terms of the track forecast, Dorian is moving northwest this morning into a weakness in the semi-permanent Azores high, but this…

Barry Moving Ashore: Heavy Rain Still to Come

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After briefly attaining hurricane status this morning, Barry has made landfall near Intracoastal City, LA, and has since weakened back to a tropical storm. Wind gusts to tropical storm force are being felt across south-central Louisiana with New Iberia recently reporting a wind gust to 61 mph. Lafayette has also hit tropical storm force, reporting 40 mph during the past couple of hours. Even as far inland as Baton Rouge has had a few tropical storm force wind gusts.

Radar shows that the north and west sides of Barry are largely devoid of convection, but some fairly robust convection exists to the south and southeast of the center. It is hard to get a read on how strong the winds are in this convection as Doppler radar doesn't have a great view of it. As an aside, wind must have a component moving towards or away from the radar for the radar to measure it. In this case, the wind in the region of interest is moving perpendicular to the radar beam, thus, the radar is unable to sample…

Barry Just Off the Louisiana Coast

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Tropical Storm Barry is about 75 miles south of Morgan City, LA per the 10 p.m. NHC advisory. Barry continues to track very slowly towards the west-northwest, but a turn towards the northwest, then north is expected during the next 12-24 hours. On satellite, Barry is looking a little better organized this evening. Earlier today, the center of circulation was largely exposed with little in the way of deep convection around it. Now, the convection is trying to wrap around the center, and infrared satellite indicates that cloud tops are cooling -- a sign that the convection is getting more intense.

Despite the northern side being almost totally devoid of convection, gusty winds have made their way onto the Louisiana coast. New Orleans, Houma (Terrebonne Parish), and Patterson (St. Mary Parish) have all reported tropical storm force wind gusts in the past hour. Even Lafayette has been gusting over 30 mph during the past hour. Expect winds to ramp up slowly through the night and into Satur…

Tropical Storm Barry Strengthening over Northern Gulf of Mexico

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As of the 10 a.m. CDT advisory, Tropical Storm Barry has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and minimum pressure of 998 mb. This represents an increase in winds of 15 mph, and a drop in pressure of 7 mb since this time yesterday.

The forecast has not changed that dramatically during the last 24 hours. The official forecast track continues to bring the center of Barry near the Louisiana coast in the vicinity of Morgan City on Saturday morning as a category one hurricane. After landfall, the center should track roughly along the U.S. 90 corridor, bringing it near or just east of Lafayette, then into Central Louisiana. Barry should weaken after making landfall.

The main concern with Barry continues to be rainfall. The slow-moving nature of Barry, combined with already wet soil conditions and high rivers in South Louisiana will result in a very significant threat for life-threatening inland flooding. 10-20 inches of rainfall will be likely near and to the east of where the center ultimatel…

Potential Tropical Cyclone #2

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NHC this morning initiated advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone #2 (PTC #2). As of the 10 p.m. CDT advisory, this area of low pressure is not yet a tropical depression, though NHC notes that it is quite close. Indeed, the minimum pressure is now down to 1,009 mb, and winds have ticked up slightly to 30 mph.

As for the forecast, there remains a bit of uncertainty, stemming largely from the fact that we do not yet have a well-defined low-level center of circulation. Nevertheless, the majority of model guidance brings PTC #2 towards the Louisiana coast by Saturday afternoon. In their 10 p.m. discussion, NHC noted that their forecast lies on the west side of the guidance envelope, so it is possible we see an eastward shift in the forecast with time, but one should not count on that, as there has been considerable run-to-run discrepancy with the models (i.e. each run of the same model has looked, sometimes markedly, different than the previous run).

As for the intensity, this is one pl…

Invest 92L Developing Over Northeastern Gulf of Mexico

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Over the last few days, we have been tracking Invest 92L. The weak area of low pressure was initially over Georgia, but has now moved out over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Conditions are favorable for development, and NHC is forecasting a high chance for tropical cyclone formation during the next 24-48 hours. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly into the area of low pressure on Wednesday to determine whether a tropical depression (or tropical storm) has formed.

I'm just getting this blog and website up and running again, and I hope to keep some tropical stuff (and other things) going throughout the season, so stay tuned!