Steve, I agree that the upper-low could have an impact upon the storm...and if there is going to be a big turn, it's gotta happen soon in conjunction with that feature. However, given how it is weakening, I suspect only a short-lived jog northward might occur in response to the weakness. To get there, though, I'm largely going off of water vapor trends and northward jogs around this time in the last few FSUmm5 forecasts, so it is a low-confidence forecast. A stronger upper-low than predicted would likely have more of an impact of turning it a bit further north; without anything to compensate for that later on down the line, it would certainly shift the track projections northward.
As for the motion of the storm...if only we have visible imagery at night! The mid-level center is much more evident than the low-level center, particularly given that the low cloud motions don't show up well in the infrared imagery, so I'll preface this by saying that it might be tracking the midlevel feature a bit more than the actual surface circulation. That said, overlaying the NHC initial spot with the recent satellite imagery gives a good match to where I think the surface center is right now -- to the WNW of the deepest convection and on the SW side of the convective area on the NW side of the whole mass. Most of the convection to the SE does give the appearance of a more NW motion, but overall, I think the 290 motion is about right for the past few hours. It's tough, though...the overall circulation expanse is weakest to the SW, as indicated by QuikSCAT, but extends very far to the west and very far to the S & SE -- it'll tighten up with time, but it's not there yet. Needless to say though, 290 looks good on this end right now.
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