Tropical Storm Maria Still Struggling

Tropical Storm Maria, a resilient storm with maximum sustained winds of 50 MPH (a decrease from yesterday of 60 MPH) continues to struggle despite all it going through. Again, the convection is to the east of the center of circulation and satellite presentation shows the “naked swirl”. Maria is again heading westward but at a turtles speed of about 1 or 2 MPH. Whether this is the beginning of the turn or not is to early to tell. Due to the westward movement, models tracks have been shifted slightly to the left of the original. An upper-level low to the northwest of the storm is creating 20-25 knots of westerly shear and not allowing Maria to better organized. The shear is forecast to decrease slightly in a few days which may allow some gradual strengthening but this is for a short window of time. A sharp increase of shear is forecast and along with some of the upwelling from where Hurricane Katia’s track was will keep Maria in an unfavorable environment and limit further intensification, if any.

IR Satellite Image

Wind Shear

The global models are in very good agreement as to what track Maria will take. A mid to upper level trough which is currently over the eastern US will slowly begin to turn Maria to the north in about 36-48 hours. Another trough, this one much deeper and stronger, later during the week will eventually turn Maria to the northeast along with an increase in the forward speed.

First Trough

Second Trough

Model Tracks

 


 

Elsewhere in the tropics, a few of the models (long term) are hinting that some tropical mischief may appear somewhere between 10 – 14 days most likely in the mid to western Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. The MJO does show upward motion (in green) in that area during those time frames. We will have to see if anything does develop.

Madden Julian Oscillation

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