National Hurricane Center 5am update: Although deep convection has redeveloped near and to the northeast of the low-level center, the overall convective appearance is somewhat ragged. However, curved rain bands have been evident in Doppler radar data from Miami and Melbourne since around 0300 UTC, and Doppler velocity values of 35-40 kt have been detected in those bands between 15,000-20,000 ft. In addition, three ships located about 50 nmi northeast and east of the center have reported 28-29 kt wind speeds. Although those wind reports were elevated at 30-60 meters above the surface, they were reported outside of the rain bands. Based on this wind speed and radar information, the initial intensity has been increased to 30 kt. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft will investigate the depression later this morning to provide a better estimate of the cyclone’s intensity.
The depression is now moving northward or 360/10 kt. There is essentially no change to the previous track or reasoning. The 06Z track model guidance continues to indicate that the cyclone will continue to move around western periphery of the sprawling Bermuda-Azores high pressure ridge. A northward motion is expected through today, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed tonight. A northeastward motion is forecast on Wednesday, which will keep the center and strongest winds away from the coast of the southeastern United States. The new NHC track forecast is similar to the previous advisory and lies close to the various consensus models.
Although significant strengthening of the depression is not expected, it is certainly possible that the cyclone could briefly reach tropical storm status in the 12-to-24-hour period when the system will be accelerating and the vertical wind shear decreases to less than 5 kt. However, in the event that the cyclone should become a tropical storm, the rapid northeastward motion will act to keep the strongest winds to the east of the center, well offshore of the U.S. coastal areas. By Wednesday afternoon, the combination of strong southwesterly vertical wind shear and interaction with an approaching cold front is expected to result in rapid weakening and dissipation of the cyclone. The official intensity forecast is similar to the previous advisory and shows dissipation by 36 hours.
Direct impacts from the depression are expected to be limited to
1 to 3 inches of rainfall across the Bahamas today.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 23/0900Z 27.0N 79.5W 30 KT 35 MPH
12H 23/1800Z 29.6N 79.4W 30 KT 35 MPH
24H 24/0600Z 34.0N 76.5W 30 KT 35 MPH