The recon plane has returned back to base, but not before accomplishing two distinctive tasks: Locating the center of 95L and proving without doubt that the center is closed. The first is important so that models will run more accurately and so that we can have a point to watch on satellite and eventually radar. The second is important because it is a requirement in order to be a tropical cyclone. Although I was not looking for wind strength with this flight, some valuable data was collected that may allow 95L to jump right over the TD classification, but more on that in a bit.
- Minimum pressure: 1006.3mb
- Maximum Wind: 46kt FL — 41kt Surface — 47mph (extremely well removed)
- Structure: Weak banding; thunderstorms moderately removed
- Movement: WNW at 7mph
- Location: 20.6N 93.5W in the central Bay of Campeche
The winds that were measured at 40mph and greater were 50+ miles away from the low level center, so I am using winds measured early in the flight to estimate the true intensity of 30mph. Most of the winds were off to the east and northeast of the center in the Gulf of Mexico. Along with the winds, the storms are also removed to the NE. I have seen an increase in organization throughout the day today, which I expect to continue into tonight and tomorrow. There is some uncertainty on the movement due to the uncertain center positions yesterday.
- Generally WNW movement toward the coast of eastern Mexico
- Will move west after landfall in Mexico late tomorrow evening
Not really a whole lot to push 95L around. There is an upper level high over Texas, which may create a turn to the west before the coast, but i’m not completely sure when this will happen…before vs. after the coastline.
- Slow, general organization
- Slow increase in wind strength
I think that winds will wrap up toward the center in the next few hours. With Diurnal Max coming tonight, we may see a burst of convection near the center which will bring winds up. Even if that does not occur, I believe winds will get to the crucial 40mph mark to be named Arlene. I think that winds will get to about 45mph just before landfall tomorrow evening. Shear is falling and an upper level anticyclone is building, to help the organization of 95L.
Heavy rain will fall in coastal Mexico and across the Gulf in Cuba and in Florida where a stream of moisture has set up. The National Hurricane Center has said that there is a 90% chance of development before landfall, and at this point I tend to agree. The Hurricane Hunters will be back into the Bay of Campeche tomorrow early afternoon, at which time 95L should be Arlene.