Thu Sep 20 2007 11:25 PM
Re: Gulf of Mexico System

Tallahassee radar is shooting the upper low at over 15000ft -- basically 500mb. Compounding efforts to find a low level center are many irritating points: the buoy nearest the storm failed in January and has had its replacement delayed 3 or 4 times now. Most of the other buoys in the region either don't offer winds, aren't currently reporting, or suggest a broad overall circulation. Visible satellite imagery was lost with the setting sun 4 hours ago. The last scatterometer pass occurred at 11z -- 7a ET -- on Thursday.

That basically leaves land observations and ship reports, as infrared satellite imagery is not going to pick up the surface circulation given the existence of the upper low. Attached is a ship data plot from at 02z; linked here is the 03z surface data plot. Whatever is there is broad, yes, but you can make the case for the surface low either moving in tandem with or redeveloping underneath the upper level low.

Given the development of convection near the center tonight and the overall tightening of the circulation as evidenced on WV imagery -- even at upper levels -- I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that there is a 0% chance of development. It may not end up being the best-looking or most tropical of features, no, but a very real shot of subtropical or tropical development still exists with this feature. Whether it develops or not, the end result is likely to be the same -- rains and gusty winds along the coast, potential tornadic threat to the northeast of the system, and locally higher surf. I just wouldn't say that there's zero chance of development

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