As expected, the low pressure area off the coast of the Carolinas has become Tropical Depression Two. The satellite signature has improved greatly this morning (Figure 1). In fact, it would not surprise me if the hurricane hunter aircraft that will be investigating the storm around 2PM this afternoon finds gale force winds, which would make this Tropical Storm Beryl. Currently, the Objective Dvorak Techinque numbers from UW-CIMSS, which is a way of determining the intensity of a storm from its satellite signature, show a maximum wind speed estimate of 31 kts (~36 mph). That is just on the cusp of being a tropical storm. The depression is over warm sea-surface temperatures, so it should not be surprising that this storm is intensifying. Also, wind shear is extremely low over the depression, which is also favorable for development. As for the forecast, I think the NHC Forecast Discussion does a great job summerizing the possible outcomes for this storm. This is one of the best forecast discussions I have read. In the mean time, here are the model track forecasts for TD-2. Not a lot of consistency in any of the models. It should be interesting to see if NHC issues an intermediate advisory on TD-2 once the hurricane hunter aircraft fly into TD-2. As flight-level observations come in from the Air Force plane, I'll try to update the site. Stay tuned to the StormTrack for more.