Tropical Storm Emily – A Florida Threat??

Tropical Storm Emily has continued to trek more toward the west than west-northwest and is still a minimal tropical storm. Recon is investigating Emily as we speak and will give a better estimate of the intensity at that time. Although the center seems to be well defined, the center has decoupled from the mid-levels with all the convection well far from the center of circulation. The dry air to the NW of Emily along with some shear from the westerly wind shear has the culprit for Emily. There is also a high south of Emily and the flow from that is also helping to remove some of the convection from the center of Emily. Some convection may try to wrap around the center again, whether or not it can sustain it is difficult to say. EDIT The convection has started to wrap around the center of Emily and the “naked swirl” is no longer shown in the latest images.

As I alluded to in my previous post, Emily is expected to make a turn to the northwest as it approaches either the western end of the Dominican Republic or Haiti. One of the problems right now is that the trough that was to pick up Emily is beginning to lift out and Emily has still been on that westward track. The forecast was for Emily to picked up by that trough. There is the possibility that since the trough is lifting out and Emily is a weak storm, Emily may not be picked up by that trough. Why Emily has not turned northwest as of yet is because there is a high pressure ridge in the Atlantic and another high pressure ridge in the midwest heading east. Emily being too far south and also being a weak storm, the two different ridges may have somewhat shielded the trough from picking Emily up. A shortwave trough in the southeast US is forecast to head southeast and this is expected to then pick up Emily and this will make a sharp turn taking Emily to the northeast. The problem is if Emily misses the first trough then Florida may be in Emily’s sight.

Now assuming that survives the trip over Hispaniola, Emily should regenerate and slowly strengthen. The high pressure ridge from the midwest will bring both subsidence and dry air off the coastline of the Southeast. This will make the strengthening gradual. Although there is no real consensus within the intensity models, some have Emily near a high category two where as others have it below hurricane strength. The intensity models that have it over hurricane strength I think have to be discounted unless Emily survives the crossing over Hispaniola in somewhat intact.

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