Thursday, September 8, 2011

GFDL Hurricane Model has Maria Close in on Florida, Landfall Likely in this scenario

The latest GFDL has Maria travel NW, dance around the islands before likely making landfall on Florida as at least a hurricane. As of right now, it appears Maria may degenerate into a tropical wave but restrengthen, and here's why.
Maria is currently a weak tropical storm. She does not have a defined circulation, which I am anticipating a RECON aircraft will confirm tonight. She has a patch of clouds in her center (figure 1), which you can see is exposed from the main convection to the north of Maria (figure 2) with center roughly drawn in.
Figure 1- red and blue box is storm's center.

Figure 2- red areas indicate heaviest storms
Maria isn't in an environment favorable for development, and several models are not calling for any strengthening. Below, in Figure 3, you see Maria with a superimposed image of current wind shear in knots. Figure 4 is the official NHC track right now.
Figure 3

Figure 4

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