Monday, September 12, 2011

Maria's ups and downs

This tropical system looks good one moment and poor the next.  As of this moment only Bermuda needs to watch it carefully.

Maria looks sheared this Monday, and its center of circulation is hard to find. You can barely see a swirl due North of Puerto Rico. Most of the strong winds, clouds, and rain are on the eastern semicircle since the western is completely exposed. This is due to shear from a persistent upper low just ahead of it. Even though some models had been forecasting this low to weaken, it hasn't , and it has kept Maria at bay.

Next for Maria is to get pushed away from the Bahamas and the Eastern Seaboard by strong upper level winds. This will act as a wall pushing Maria North.

Unfortunately this will keep the storm on a track toward Bermuda. By then, it could be as strong as a category one system.  This intensification remains doubtful since the shear may not relax throughout its duration. Maria will also be traveling almost the identical route as "Katia" and that system has already soaked up much of the heat energy from the ocean on that route. This means there is little fuel for Maria to use.

We hope this remains a worry only for shipping lanes and that Maria mercifully meets its end over the cold waters of the Northern Atlantic without incident.

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