Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tropics Heating Up: Invest 99L

Good Evening,
 Despite a rather dull July in the tropics, things are starting to heat up and become more active. Yesterday an area of low pressure was designated Invest 99L by the National Hurricane Center. This area currently has a 50% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours. Also entering the northeast Carribean sea is a vigorous tropical wave. While this wave is not currently expected to develop in the short term, it may have to be watched should it enter the GOM where conditions in 4 to 5 days could be more favorable.

Forecast for Invest 99L
99L is currently embedded within the ITCZ or Intertropical Convergence Zone. Before significant development can occur 99L must lift itself west-northwest and detach from the ITCZ. Conditions are fairly conducive for development as 99L approaches the Lesser Antilles islands this weekend. Most operational model guidance bring 99L to tropical storm status before entering the Carribean Sea. Once in the Carribean wind shear could be a limiting factor to the intensification of 99L due to a weak El Nino. During El Nino years trade winds are typically stronger in the Carribean limiting development of tropical systems. Once in the Carribean the TCHP or tropical cyclone heat potential will come into play in strengthening 99L. The TCHP is the amount of deep hot water available to fuel a tropical cyclone. A recon flight is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 3. If recon can find a closed area of low pressure the models should be able to get a better handle on where 99L will eventually track.

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