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August 21, 2009

Bill staggers, keeps spinning

Hurricane Bill weakened a bit more overnight, with top sustained winds falling to 115 mph amid increasing disorder in its central structure. But the storm remained a Category 3 powerhouse and a continuing threat to both Bermuda and the eastern beaches of the U.S. The Canadian Maritime Provinces were also on alert.

storm trackThe storm's center this morning was about 800 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, moving to the northwest at 17 mph. Its course was expected to shift to the north northwest today, and to the north by tomorrow as the storm curves around the Bermuda/Azores high to the east, and in the face of the jet stream and cold front moving into the eastern seaboard to the west. Here's AccuWeather.com's take on the atmospheric mechanics steering the storm.

Forecasters say Bill lost some of its classic organization overnight, but could regain some strength over warmer Gulf Stream waters between the Carolinas and Bermuda. You can see in satellite images that the storm lost its open "eye."  We can probably blame wind shear for that - the high altitude winds that cut off the tops of the thunderstorms that fuel the storm. Its this kind of shear that becomes more pronounced in El Nino years like this one and make it harder for Atlantic hurricanes to form and hold together.

Here is the latest advisory on Bill. Here is the forecast track

 

Tropical storm warnings and a hurricane watch remain in effect for Bermuda. Forecasters are also continuing to warn beachgoers about the danger of heavy surf and rip currents along the East Coast this weekend as Bill passes by. The hazard will be enhanced by high astronomical tides, since we are near the time of the new moon.

"RIP CURRENTS ARE
LIFE-THREATENING TO ANYONE WHO ENTERS THE SURF. BE ESPECIALLY
CAUTIOUS WITH OUTGOING TIDES WHICH IMPROVE RIP CURRENT FORMATION.
ALL BEACH GOERS SHOULD REMAIN AWARE OF INHERENT DANGERS WHEN
ENTERING THE SURF INCLUDING SWIFT LONGSHORE CURRENTS...POUNDING
SHORE BREAK AND SHALLOW SAND BARS."

Posted by Frank Roylance at 9:28 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Hurricanes
        

Comments

thank you Frank for this headline. I have seen my father-in-law Bill in this condition more than once.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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