get ready, huh? ready for hype. i'm personally a tad worried.. same way i felt about chris. chris was a glorious bust, after behaving correctly for about 48 hours. in other words, as with any unofficial forecast, my take is just that... use with caution. of course, every now and again... i bag one of these. this is my de-hyped version outlining a few scenarios of what may happen. some aren't so bad, some aren't so nice. t.d. 5 hasn't gotten over all it's hurdles, but if we're looking at a strengthening ernesto on friday and the upper low to the northwest is still detaching and drawing away... hoo boy. if it isn't dead tomorrow then the chances it will find a way to not be a problem start to drop progressively. right now i'm leaning on it surviving and being a threat.. around 75-25. by threat i mean major hurricane. i'm hoping they fly a g4 mission down there in the next day or two to feel out the atmosphere around the storm a little better. i'm also hoping that the 00z runs start to agree on a system being there... if that's the reality we're facing then the sooner they start showing its feedbacks to the environment around it the more confident we can be about where it's going. assuming it doesn't kill itself, there are three basic possibilities with several variations: 1) it stays sheared, travels more quickly and more westward.. and hits areas like honduras and mexico as a weaker system. something probably in the tropical storm range. 2) it more or less follows the nhc track, towards the yucatan channel. leftward would imply that it stays a mexico menace... the yucatan would weaken it and impart a more westward track towards mainland mexico. a track right through the channel would be bad news for texas... a more rightward track near western cuba would imply the central gulf coast. the latter two sub-circumstances would likely mean a mature hurricane strike. 3) it strengthens quickly, travels closer to the greater antilles.. striking them as a hurricane.. being weakened and travelling over them this weekend.. and ending up as a strong tropical storm to low-end hurricane in waters near florida. this would be a slower-moving scenario.
the reason i'm keeping florida out of a major threat is that the h50 ridge is shown in several model plots as being centered more or less over the state late next week. none really show the effect that a large hurricane abutting such a feature.. but it would likely be more peaked than shown and deflecting the storm around it into the gulf. the further west (central america) scenarios include a weaker system, since a stronger one would naturally work its way poleward and the ridging in this situation as well as the deep layer steering imply that a strong system wouldn't simply dash westward into central america. the really serious threat this one could pose would be to the texas or louisiana coasts. i don't think it will turn up east of 90w.. more than likely just gently recurve along the ridge axis, pumping it and amplifying it, causing weaknesses to deepen a tad near the edges. with the leading upper low shown cutting off and then looping back up into texas, i'd expect that a weak inverted trough aloft will be associated with it, and that will be what the storm targets. i.e., the storm should more or less follow the upper low, or just to the right of its path. ah well... point is... unless this thing finds a method of suicide like chris did, it can work itself up into a scary storm and potentially hit the western half of the gulf coast mid-late next week. that is the worst case scenario here. i don't need to tell anybody how big a hurricane can get in the gulf during the last week of august. but right now.. it's just a tropical depression that has the potential to be a problem. HF 0055z25august
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