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August 24, 2010

Danielle falters; new storm brews off Cape Verde

The pace of storm formation is picking up in the waters near the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern tropical Atlantic. Even as a slightly weakened Hurricane Danielle continues to move across the central Atlantic, forecasters are preparing to issue advisories on a new storm brewing off West NASAAfrica.

First Danielle. After reaching Cat. 2 strength late yesterday, the storm has been downgraded Tuesday morning to a Cat. 1 storm again, with top sustained winds of just 80 mph. Erosion of the storm's eye wall by an infusion of dry air ended Danielle's acceleration "with a thud," forecasters said.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Danielle was downgraded this afternoon to a tropical storm, with top sustained winds of just 70 mph. But forecasters predicted the demotion would be temporary. Restrengthening to hurricane stature is expected within 48 hours.

The weakening seems to have caught hurricane-watchers by surprise. Here's how they see the storm's immediate future:

"SHIPS GUIDANCE SHOWS WESTERLY TO SOUTHWESTERLY SHEAR INCREASING TO BETWEEN 15 AND 20 KT OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS OR SO...AND IT IS UNCLEAR HOW WELL DANIELLE WILL BE
ABLE TO MIX OUT THE DRY AIR.  ONLY SLOW STRENGTHENING IS INDICATED
IN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST."

For now, they have set aside previous advisories that the storm would reach "major" (Cat. 3) status in the next few days. Although the track has edged a bit farther to the left than expected, Danielle is still expected to make a turn to the north before ever becoming a threat to the East Coast of the U.S. It would pass well east of Bermuda, too.

The storm continues to move toward the west northwest at 20 mph. Here is the latest advisory on Danielle. Here is the forecast track. And here is the view from space.

Not far behind Danielle, the next Cape Verde storm is brewing off West Africa. Forecasters give it a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. For now, it is a tropical depression about 1,100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It is moving west northwest at 15 mph. 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:29 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Hurricanes
        

Comments

In addition to the hot weather coming, no real relief to the drought in western maryland is forecast. In fact, there is no rain to speak of for this region well into the first week of September (per most NOAA models). Tropical systems will get steered east of Bermuda and after two or three of these duds, the headlines might start get to smaller print regarding these non-threatening tropical systems (except for mariners). Long range forecasts show the drought deepening in western and southern maryland given the jet stream configuration, and 90 degree days will probably come to an end by November :)

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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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