As Gustav becomes a tropical depression all eyes turn now to an extremely busy Atlantic region. As high time has come upon us for the hurricane season, storms develop across the Atlantic region just north of the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone). As of 11:00 am EST we have 3 named storms still over water, Hanna, Ike and Josephine.
As of 2:00 pm EST, Tropical Storm Hanna has decreased forward speed to just 3 mph heading in the Southeast direction with a wind speed of 70 mph and is located at approximately 20.6N, 72.9W. Tropical Storm Hanna has yet to fully form in circulation and has remained erratic in development mostly due to a strong vertical wind shear. On Wednesday morning the storm will begin moving Northwest as a mid-latitude low pressure in the western Atlantic moves North and the sub-tropical high pressure comes in. Tropical Storm Hanna is still expected to make landfall in the Southeast coastal states by the end of the week as a category 1, but because it has been uncoordinated thus far we will have to keep an eye on it.
Tropical Storm Ike is moving West at a high speed of 18 mph with wind speeds slightly less than Hanna at 60 mph. The storm is currently located around 18.9N, 45.0W and is expected to start to move in a slight Northwest direction until it gets to about 22.5N where it is expected to reach Cuba by the end of the weekend. Ike is much more structured than Hanna showing a strong circulation pattern, so this storm is expected to intensify into a stronger storm possibly reaching category 2.
A new storm has been named, Tropical Storm Josephine, which is still out in the Eastern Atlantic at 13.2N, 25.3W, but is moving West/Northwest at 15 mph. This storm has wind speeds of 40 mph and has already started to develop its circular formation. There is such a low vertical wind shear that the storm is expected to intensify quite rapidly. We will have to see how this storm develops as it moves over the Atlantic.
The images below are generated from the GES DISC GIVER tool which is in development to generate dynamic visualizations of TRMM Merged IR data and MODIS TERRA RGB.