There is decidedly more amplitude to the inverted trough this afternoon. Visible satellite imagery shows more veering of the flow about the trough axis - i.e. the Cu field is showing more N-S component to motion ahead of the trough axis and more S-N motion behind it. As noted by others, there have been numerous rather transient swirls rotating about the trough - this was not occurring at this time Wednesday. This is a definite indicator that the low to mid level cyclonic vorticity (spin) in that general area is increasing, even though the pattern is, for lack of a better term, a swirly mess.
Convectively, the area is still an even uglier mess. Just about all the thunderstorm activity is east of the surface trough axis...not in the area of greatest low level convergence, but instead in the area of stronger upper divergence to the east of the upper trough axis. Hence it is still dynamically (jet) forced and there is very little tropically forced convection ongoing.
Still, the fact remains that the trough did indeed sharpen owing primarily to the ongoing jet-forced convection/ascent. Spinup into at least a weak/broad closed low is looking a little more likely today. However, even if it closes off, the system would still be so disorganized w/r/t both convection and vorticity that one would be loath to call it a TC if it does, at least early on.
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