Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane (or soon to be) Katia

Sometime this afternoon, after further aircraft reconnaissance missions through the circulation of Katia, it will likely be determined that hurricane force winds have been established.  This will make for the 2nd hurricane of the season.

Katia will likely intensify into a major Category 3 hurricane by this weekend, but is expected to remain mainly over water with very minimal impacts through the weekend.  Atmospheric steering currents will likely bear a re-curving effect on this storm directing it northward into the Atlantic.  (*Note this steering current is often due to a Atlantic Subtropical high pressure system, or a Bermuda high)  At this point concern for a landfall on the US coastline appears to be low. 

On the other hand, computer models indicate tropical wave over the Gulf of Mexico may have a more immediate effect on the United States.  Pictured below is the GFS forecast model valid Sunday afternoon.  Notice the tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico.