Say Hello to Tropical Storm Gustav!



To track the remnant of Fay via radar imagery, you can click on this Interactive Radar (Click Here) and zoom in to street level, loop and navigate anywhere in  the entire nation.

Tropical Depression 7 11AM Track 0825

Tropical Storm Gustav 11AM Track 0825

As I had mentioned previously, I suspected that we would be seeing the birth of Gustav this week and indeed has happened.  The satellite imagery of Invest 94L is very impressive.  The National Hurricane Center has went ahead and made it a depression prior to the arrival of the Hurricane Hunter which is, by the way, officially the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the Air Force Reserves based in Biloxi, MS.  I’m not sure what the procedures are of when and if they send out the high altitude Gulfstream.  Anyway,  I looked at some limited buoy data yesterday and thought one might be able to make an argument for some surface circulation then, though I had no clue as to how broad it was. I know the central pressure yesterday was 1008mb from maritime advisories.  Anyway, just 4 hours after they made it a depression, the flyboys got into the storm and they quickly upgraded TD7 to Tropical Storm Gustav with winds of 60 mph and hoisted hurricane warnings for the Domincan Republic and Haiti. The recon flight reported a closed eyewall with a diameter of 30 nm.  This guy is developing rapidly and now you know why I’ve been keeping you to date on this and marginalizing invest 95L.

Tropical Depression 7 Spaghetti Model 0825 12Z

Tropical Storm Gustav Spaghetti Model 0825 12Z

The official track takes it up across Cuba and then along the northern coast

Tropical Storm Gustav Spaghetti Intensity Graph

Tropical Storm Gustav Spaghetti Intensity Graph

 of Cuba toward Key West.  However, from the spaghetti models, it appears this is the mean track of the models and so it will remain to be seen how this develops and where it goes.  A large number of the models, as indicated by the Spaghetti Intensity graph, increases the storm in strength rather rapidly to hurricane level.  I would think that the entire coast from Jacksonville, FL to the Texas coast will want to watch this guy.  My view is echoed by the last line of the discussion which says HOWEVER IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE CONFIDENCE IN THIS
TRACK FORECAST IS NOT HIGH…PARTICULARLY AT DAYS 4 AND 5.

 It seems to be in a good spot for development and it is certainly climatologically in a favored region and time of year.  Here is the special discussion followed by the initial discussion:

TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER   2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL072008
200 PM EDT MON AUG 25 2008

THIS IS A SPECIAL ADVISORY TO UPGRADE THE DEPRESSION TO TROPICAL
STORM GUSTAV WITH ESTIMATED WINDS OF 50 KT…AND TO CHANGE THE
TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND WATCH TO A HURRICANE WARNING AND WATCH
FOR HISPANIOLA.  THE TRACK FORECAST IS UNCHANGED…HOWEVER THE
INTENSITY FORECAST HAS BEEN MODIFIED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE HIGHER
INITIAL INTENSITY.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL      25/1800Z 15.8N  70.5W    50 KT
12HR VT     26/0000Z 16.5N  71.1W    60 KT
24HR VT     26/1200Z 17.6N  72.2W    65 KT
36HR VT     27/0000Z 18.8N  73.3W    65 KT
48HR VT     27/1200Z 19.7N  74.2W    70 KT
72HR VT     28/1200Z 21.0N  75.5W    55 KT
96HR VT     29/1200Z 22.0N  77.0W    60 KT
120HR VT     30/1200Z 22.5N  78.0W    60 KT

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/PASCH

TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVEN DISCUSSION NUMBER   1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL072008
1100 AM EDT MON AUG 25 2008

VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN ORGANIZATION
OF THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE BEEN MONITORING IN THE
CARIBBEAN.  WELL-DEFINED CURVED BAND FEATURES HAVE DEVELOPED…
PARTICULARLY OVER THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE SYSTEM.
ANALYSIS OF DIRECTIONAL AMBIGUITIES FROM A QUIKSCAT OVERPASS
INDICATED A SURFACE CIRCULATION CENTER.  THEREFORE WE ARE
INITIATING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVEN.  AN SSM/IS
IMAGE FROM SEVERAL HOURS AGO DEPICTED AN EYE-LIKE FEATURE AT THE 91
GHZ FREQUENCY…BUT IT WAS NOT EVIDENT ON THE 37 GHZ CHANNEL.
SINCE THE LATTER CHANNEL IS MORE SENSITIVE TO THE LOWER-LEVELS…
THIS EYE-LIKE FEATURE WAS PRIMARILY ALOFT.  INTERESTINGLY
HOWEVER…THE GEOSTATIONARY IMAGES ALSO SHOW A RELATIVELY CLEAR
AREA NEAR THE CENTER THAT RESEMBLES AN EYE.  OUR INITIAL INTENSITY
ESTIMATE IS CONSERVATIVELY SET AT 30 KT BASED ON AN EARLIER REPORT
FROM NOAA DATA BUOY 42059.  OBSERVATIONS FROM AN UPCOMING AIR FORCE
HURRICANE HUNTER MISSION SHOULD GIVE UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE
STRENGTH OF THE SYSTEM.  UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW IS WELL-DEFINED OVER
ALL BUT THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT.  ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CONDITIONS
APPEAR FAVORABLE FOR INTENSIFICATION AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS
CLOSE TO THE LATEST SHIPS GUIDANCE.  CURIOUSLY…THE GFS HAS FAILED
TO PREDICT DEVELOPMENT OF THE CYCLONE THUS FAR.

INITIAL MOTION IS ABOUT 305/13 ALTHOUGH RECENT IMAGES SUGGEST THAT
THE MOTION MAY BE A BIT TO THE LEFT OF THIS VALUE.  THERE IS AN
UNUSUALLY LARGE SPREAD TO OUR TRACK MODEL GUIDANCE THAT SEEMS TO BE
THE RESULT OF TWO PRIMARY SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE MOTION OF THE
SYSTEM.  ONE WOULD BE A GENERALLY NORTHWARD TRACK INTO A WEAKNESS
IN THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC…AND THIS IS
DEPICTED BY THE NOGAPS AND ECMWF SOLUTIONS.  A SECOND SCENARIO IS
FOR THE TROPICAL CYCLONE TO BEND MORE WESTWARD IN RESPONSE TO A
MID-LEVEL ANTICYCLONE OVER FLORIDA…AND THAT IS DEPICTED BY THE
BAM TRACKS…THE HWRF…AND THE GFDL.  OUR FIRST OFFICIAL TRACK
FORECAST SOMEWHAT SPLITS THE DIFFERENCE BUT LEANS TOWARD THE LATTER
SCENARIO.  HOWEVER IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE CONFIDENCE IN THIS
TRACK FORECAST IS NOT HIGH…PARTICULARLY AT DAYS 4 AND 5.

THIS FORECAST TRACK REQUIRES THE ISSUANCE OF TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS
AND WATCHES FOR PORTIONS OF HISPANIOLA AT THIS TIME.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL      25/1500Z 15.5N  70.1W    30 KT
12HR VT     26/0000Z 16.5N  71.1W    40 KT
24HR VT     26/1200Z 17.6N  72.2W    50 KT
36HR VT     27/0000Z 18.8N  73.3W    50 KT
48HR VT     27/1200Z 19.7N  74.2W    55 KT
72HR VT     28/1200Z 21.0N  75.5W    55 KT
96HR VT     29/1200Z 22.0N  77.0W    60 KT
120HR VT     30/1200Z 22.5N  78.0W    60 KT

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/ROBERTS

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