Well... let's start with Flossie. Her winds are down to 100 mph and everything else is on track for a glancing blow to the Big Island of Hawaii where Tropical Storm Warnings and Hurricane Watches are in effect. The infrared image is showing that Flossie's eye is still clouded over; however, her eyewall is still visible on the satellite and she remains a potent hurricane.
Already the Big Island is seeing upslope flow and rain associate with Flossie, with more on the way. Previous forecasts seem to be playing out very well, but early forecasts certainly underestimated Flossie's ability to persevere in less than ideal conditions. Overall I am very impressed with this system which is server as a reminder to all of Hawaii.
In the Atlantic, we now have two systems to deal with. Tropical Storm Dean seems to be getting his act together and is undergoing a period of organization and intensification. Convection has again flared up and a recent QuikScat satellite pass has revealed that Dean is packing winds of at least 50 mph. This is a prime example of how QuikScat is a crucial tool for hurricane forecasters that, like former NHC director Bill Proenza, is unfortunately looking likely to become a sad political casualty.
Interests in the Caribbean should pay close attention to Dean as he is likely to become a very dangerous hurricane heading their way.
As a fair warning, the models show surprisingly strong agreement in forecast Dean to progress to the west and steadily intensify to a major hurricane. Shear has been limiting the systems development but it has begun to lift and will continue to do so. I am now forecasting Dean to steadily strengthen into a formidable hurricane.
Below are the model forecast charts which will automatically update:
While Dean is a serious, but distance threat to the Atlantic, there is now a tropical depression roaming the Gulf of Mexico. Convection has become steady around a weak circulation in the Gulf, so advisories have been issued.
TD Five is over a very favorable area for strengthening, however, it is unlikely to have time to reach its full potential. For a depression to really reach hurricane strength, it needs more time to solidify and develop its supporting circulation. Regardless of a lack of time, a Tropical Storm Watch has already been issued for much of south Texas. Landfall is expected during the afternoon Thursday.
Below are computer model forecasts for TD Five which will update automatically: