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The 2021 Altantic Hurricane Season Begins June 1st, 2021. 2020 is officially over, but still a 30% chance area lingers.
Days since last H. Landfall - US: Any 91 (Zeta) , Major: 154 (Laura) Florida - Any: 840 (Michael) Major: 840 (Michael)
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#1013601 (Received by flhurricane at: 5:02 AM 24.Aug.2020)

Tropical Storm Laura Discussion Number 18
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL132020
500 AM EDT Mon Aug 24 2020

Satellite data indicate that Laura has moved back over the warm
waters of the Caribbean Sea south of Cuba. Modest northerly vertical
wind shear has kept the bulk of the deep convection displaced into
the southern semicircle of Laura`s circulation. Earlier ASCAT-B/-C
scatterometer passes around 0210Z-0250Z revealed a small
circulation just offshore southeastern Cuba. However, this feature
is considered to be a leeside vortex, possibly having developed in
response to the long-fetch southerly low-level flow passing over
Jamaica, and not the primary low-level center associated with Laura.
The initial intensity is being maintained at 55 kt based on 43-46 kt
wind vectors located just offshore southeastern Cuba that were
present in the aforementioned ASCAT data, and allowing for some
undersampling by the scatterometer instrument.

The initial motion estimate is 290/18 kt. The deep-layer
Bermuda-Azores ridge to the north of the cyclone is forecast by all
of the models to build and expand westward across the Bahamas,
Florida, and into the eastern and central Gulf of Mexico over the
new few days. This dominant steering flow pattern is expected to
keep Laura moving west-northwestward just offshore the southern
coast of Cuba today, followed by the cyclone emerging over the
southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. By late Tuesday and early
Wednesday, a mid- to upper-level trough located over the
south-central U.S. is forecast to pinch off and dig southwestward
and merge with the remnants of Tropical Storm Marco over the western
Gulf of Mexico, eroding the western extent of the ridge in the
process. This is expected to cause Laura to slow down and gradually
turn northwestward and then northward toward the northwestern Gulf
coast by late Wednesday and early Thursday. The latest NHC model
guidance is in excellent agreement on this developing synoptic
pattern, and the official forecast is similar to but slightly left
or south of the previous advisory track to account for the expected
northerly to northeasterly wind shear keeping the convection and
low-level center displaced to the south for the next 24 hours or so.
On the forecast track, Laura is expected to remain just offshore the
southern Cuba today, move into the Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday
morning, and approach the U..S northwest Gulf coast area Wednesday
night and early Thursday.

Since Laura`s center is expected to remain over water just south of
Cuba, there is the possibility that some slight strengthening could
occur today or tonight before the cyclone reaches the Gulf of Mexico
in 24 hours. After that, Laura will be moving over the very warm
and deep waters of Gulf Stream and Loop Current located over the
southeastern Gulf, which could trigger a brief period of rapid
intensification. The GFS and ECMWF models, along with the
statistical and corrected-consensus models, only strengthen the
cyclone to a peak intensity around 75 kt. In contrast, the HRWF and
HMON models bring Laura to major hurricane strength by 60 hours.
Given the very favorable environmental conditions of high SSTs near
31 deg C and low vertical shear values less than 10 kt after 24-36
hours, subsequent intensity forecasts might have to trend more
toward the regional models. But for now, the official intensity
forecast will continue to follow a blend of the regional and global
model intensity forecasts, and lies at the high-end of the
intensity guidance at 60 and 72 hours.

Users are again reminded to not to focus on the exact details of
the track or intensity forecasts as the average NHC track error at
72 h is around 100 miles and the average intensity error is around
15 mph (13 kt). In addition, winds, storm surge, and rainfall
hazards will extend far from the center.

Key Messages:

1. Tropical storm conditions are expected across much of Cuba
today. Heavy rainfall is likely across Cuba and Jamaica today, and
these rains could cause mudslides and life-threatening flash and
urban flooding. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Dry
Tortugas, and the Middle and Lower Florida Keys later today.

2. While the details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts
remain uncertain, Laura is forecast to strengthen over the Gulf of
Mexico and there is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge,
wind, and rainfall impacts along portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast by
the middle of the week. This could result in a prolonged period of
hazardous weather for areas that are likely to be affected by Marco.
Interests along the Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of Laura
and Marco and updates to the forecast during the next couple of


INIT 24/0900Z 20.8N 78.9W 55 KT 65 MPH
12H 24/1800Z 21.7N 81.5W 55 KT 65 MPH
24H 25/0600Z 22.9N 84.6W 60 KT 70 MPH
36H 25/1800Z 24.5N 87.6W 65 KT 75 MPH
48H 26/0600Z 26.1N 90.2W 75 KT 85 MPH
60H 26/1800Z 28.0N 92.3W 85 KT 100 MPH
72H 27/0600Z 29.8N 93.3W 90 KT 105 MPH
96H 28/0600Z 35.4N 91.5W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
120H 29/0600Z 37.6N 82.1W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW

Forecaster Stewart