Here is the discussion #1:
Statement as of 5:00 PM EDT on August 14, 2003
a reconnaissance plane currently investigating the area of disturbed
weather in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has found a small poorly
defined circulation with winds of 47 knots at 1000 feet to
the north of the developing center. A dropsonde measured a minimum
pressure of 1011 mb and a northwest wind about 300 feet above the
surface....with no data available from below. The information from
the plane in combination with the well-defined signature on both
satellite and radar...supports upgrading the system to Tropical
Storm Erika at this time. The outflow is well established and shear
is forecast to remain low. Therefore...a gradual strengthening is
indicated in agreement with the SHIPS intensity forecast model. It
should be noted that only a small increase in intensity could bring
Erika inland as a Hurricane.
Erika is moving westward at 18 knots. There is a persistent strong
high pressure system over the south central United States providing
a westward steering to the tropical cyclone. Therefore...Erika
should continue westward until landfall either in southern Texas or
northern Mexico in about 36 to 48 hours. This is consistent with
most of the track models.
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