Tropical Atlantic update: All is proceeding as the GFS predicted

Well, not precisely, of course – no computer model is that accurate.

However, the present situation in the eastern Atlantic has a very familiar look for those who have been checking out the GFS for this weekend.

National Hurricane Center

National Hurricane Center

That yellow circle on the eastern coast of Africa is, I believe, one of the two waves I mentioned earlier, probably the second, as the NHC gives it an 80% chance to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next five days. It will stay out to sea, threatening neither western nor eastern Atlantic shores; if the GFS is right about it, and if this amateur is reading the GFS correctly, that’s a very good thing, because this one looks like it might turn into a truly major storm.

In the current satellite shot (visible channel) you can also see the wave that was the first wave shown on the GFS:

The little swirl to the clouds coming off the continent show that this thing already has a bit of spin.  (NOAA, Satellite Services Division)

The little swirl to the clouds that are coming off the continent shows that this new tropical wave already has a bit of spin. (NOAA, Satellite Services Division)

The GFS shows it developing and going strong for the next 180 hours, which is a surprisingly long time for a hurricane. The model runs it north pretty much right up the -30 degree longitudinal line and then in about a week veers it to the northwest into the open Atlantic.

The NHC, however, currently thinks it will have a westward movement at about 10 mph for a couple of days and then west-northwestward over the open Atlantic.

Indeed, if this develops as forecast by the GFS, it will be the season’s first hurricane.

Jeff Masters, in his post today about the fate of ex-Gabrielle and the future of this possible storm, discusses why the season has been so slow.

Categories: Weather

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