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...Slowly moving depression gradually organizing in the western
At 11 PM EDT...0300z...the government of the Cayman Islands has
issued a Tropical Storm Warning and a Hurricane Watch for all of
the Cayman Islands. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical
storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the
next 24 hours. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions
are possible within the watch area...generally within 36 hours.
Tropical Depression 24 is here, but it won't be called that for very long. All indications are that this will be Tropical Storm Wilma on Sunday, and Hurricane Wilma by Tuesday. The areal coverage of the deep convection continues to increase, low-level spiral banding has appeared, and upper-level outflow is now good on the west and north sides of the depression. The upper level anti-cyclone has overhead has grown better defined, and wind shear remains a low five knots.
Global computer models forecast that the shear will continue to remain low the next several days over the western Caribbean, where the depression is expected to remain. The chances of this storm growing to hurricane strength are high, and I expect this will be a major hurricane of a least Category 3 strength five days from now. The last three GFDL model runs have consistently been bringing the storm to major hurricane strength.
Figure 1. Historical tracks of tropical depressions that have formed in the western Caribbean in October.
Steering currents are expected to remain weak, and the computer models are forecasting a slow movement to the west or west-southwest the next three days. After that, most of the models agree on a more northerly track towards Cuba as a trough of low pressure swinging across the U.S. exerts a pull on the system. This is a typical track for October systems forming in the western Caribbean, as we can see from the historical track map shown in Figure 1. If this system does eventually affect the U.S., the most likely target would be the Florida Keys or the southwest coast of Florida. Historically, however, most storms forming in October in the western Caribbean miss the U.S. entirely, affecting just the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and the Bahamas. There is a chance that this trough would be too weak to recurve the system, and that instead it would continue west or drift southwest towards Honduras like Category 5 Hurricane Mitch did in October 1998.
Originally posted by sylvrshadow
I seem to be experiencing a borderline obsession with hurricanes here lately.
Originally posted by Toxic Fox
So this might be Hurricane Wilma? That's the last one on the list, isn't it? Then we have Hurricane Alpha, right?
An Air Force reconnaissance aircraft will be reaching
the depression early this afternoon to better assess the strength
of the cyclone. The upper-level flow pattern remains extremely
favorable for development...with low shear and good anticyclonic
outflow...and there is a deep supply of warm water in the northwest
Caribbean. The rapid instensification component of the SHIPS model
is increasingly suggesting the likelihood of rapid development...
but a better defined inner core structure needs to form first. The
GFDL model brings the depression to major hurricane status within
three days...and the large scale factors are certainly in place to
allow this to happen.
If nothing changes Hurricane Wilma will be making history. I am always concerned when these storms are female by name......
Tropical Depression Twenty-Four Discussion Number 6
Statement as of 11:00 PM EDT on October 16, 2005
the convective structure of the depression has certainly changed
during the past 24 hours. While outer bands have dissipated...
some very deep convection has erupted near and especially to the
south of the circulation center tonight... although the convection
has been percolating rather than maintaining consistency near the
center. Dvorak intensity estimates at 00z were t2.5/35 kt from
TAFB and SAB and t2.0/30 kt from AFWA. Wind observations from NOAA
buoy 42057 about 60 miles west of the center and outside of the
convection have been no stronger than 19 kt during the evening...
and it is not certain that the winds are twice that strong beneath
the deep convection. Even though the advisory intensity is held at
30 kt... the depression appears very close to tropical storm status
and will likely reach it on Monday morning.