No rest for the storm weary

Well, with Ophelia finally out of the way, there's now Philippe, which came while I was out running errands this afternoon, and TD 18, which in all likelihood will become Rita in a day or so.

If Philippe stays on its current track, it probably won't be a bother to us. It does have plenty of juicy warm water to travel over before reaching striking \distance, so it could become another big storm. TD 18 looks to be headed into the Gulf, which could be a concern to people trying to recover from Katrina. More weather to keep an eye on.

If TD 18 does become Rita, then there will be 4 names left on the list before having to resort to the Greek alphabet.

From the 11 PM discussion for TS Philippe:

STEERING CURRENTS ARE UNUSUALLY WEAK FOR THIS REGION OF THE ATLANTIC...AND PHILIPPE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD AROUND THE SOUTHWESTERN PERIPHERY OF A WEAK MID-LEVEL RIDGE THROUGHOUT THE FORECAST PERIOD. BY THE END OF THE PERIOD...THE RIDGE IS FORECAST TO STRENGTHEN TO THE NORTH OF THE CYCLONE...AND THAT MAY RESULT IN A MORE WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION THAN WHAT IS INDICATED BY THE OFFICIAL FORECAST. THE NHC MODEL GUIDANCE IS RATHER DIVERGENT...BUT IS IN GENERAL AGREEMENT ON THE FORECAST MOTION AND THE FORECAST TRACK IS CLOSE TO THE MODEL CONSENSUS.
PHILIPPE IS FORECAST TO REMAIN OVER 30C AND WARMER SSTS FOR THE NEXT 5 DAYS...AND THE VERTICAL SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO BE LESS THAN 15 KT. THEREFORE...STEADY STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND THE LATEST SHIPS MODEL OUTPUT.

From the 11 PM discussion for TD 18:

THE VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO DECREASE TO LESS THAN 10 KT IN THE 36-60 HOUR TIME FRAME...WHILE THE CYCLONE IS OVER 30C AND WARMER SSTS. THIS WOULD FAVOR RAPID INTENSIFICATION IF DRY MID-LEVEL AIR DOES NOT GET ENTRAINED INTO THE CENTER. AFTERWARDS... THE GFS-BASED SHIPS INTENSITY MODEL GRADUALLY INCREASES THE WESTERLY SHEAR TO MORE THAN 20 KT AND LEVELS OFF THE INTENSITY AT 73 KT. HOWEVER...THE NOGAPS...UKMET...AND CANADIAN MODELS SHOW A 200 MB ANTICYCLONE WITH AN EAST-WEST ORIENTED RIDGE AXIS EXTENDING ACROSS THE FLORIDA KEYS BY 48 HOURS. EVEN THE GFS DEVELOPS A SIMILAR UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN...ONLY ACROSS THE SOUTHERN FLORIDA PENINSULA. THE CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SUCH A FAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN SUGGESTS THAT THIS TROPICAL CYCLONE COULD BE MUCH STRONGER BY 72 HOURS THAN WHAT IS CURRENTLY FORECAST BY THE SHIPS MODEL. THE 18Z GFDL MODEL RAPIDLY INTENSIFIES THE SYSTEM INTO A 120-KT HURRICANE IN 72 HOURS. WHILE THAT RATE OF INTENSIFICATION MAY BE A LITTLE EXCESSIVE...THIS SYSTEM REACHING STRONG CATEGORY 2 STATUS WITHIN THE NEXT 72 HOURS IS CERTAINLY A VIABLE SCENARIO.