Nate makes landfall; Maria organizing, but pulling away from the islands
Tropical Storm Nate made landfall at 11 am EDT this morning just north of Barra de Nautla in the Mexican state of Veracruz, as a tropical storm with 45 mph winds. Satellite loops show that there is very little heavy thunderstorm activity associated with Nate, and the storm should not cause significant flooding or damage as it pushes inland and dissipates later today.
Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Nate as it made landfall in the Veracruz state of Mexico near 11 am EDT Sunday, September 11, 2011.
Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Maria has managed to organize in the face of the persistent moderate wind shear that has affected it, and now looks a little more like a tropical storm should. Though the center of circulation lies partially exposed to view, satellite imagery shows a large area of heavy thunderstorms lies to the northeast of Maria's center. These rains and the storm's strongest winds lie well away from the Lesser Antilles Islands, though one spiral band is bringing heavy rains to the islands, as seen on Martinique radar. A wind gust of 40 mph was reported on St. Martin at 11 am EDT, and one of 36 mph affected St. Kitts and Nevis at 9 am EDT during a rain squall. The trough of low pressure that is bringing hostile wind shear to Maria is predicted to slowly weaken over the next few days, which should allow the storm to grow to hurricane strength by Tuesday. On Wednesday, Maria will be making its closest approach to Bermuda, and the island could see sustained winds in the 20 - 40 mph range. Most of the models show that Maria will brush or strike Newfoundland, Canada on Friday or Saturday, and residents there should anticipate the possibility of tropical storm conditions late this week.
Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Maria.
Extratropical Storm Katia
Hurricane Katia brushed by Newfoundland, Canada yesterday morning, and is now racing east-northeast at 50 - 60 mph across the open Atlantic. On Monday, the storm will pass very close to the northern British Isles, bringing winds of 50 - 60 mph to the offshore waters of Northern Ireland and Western Scotland. Ex-Katia will bring 2 - 4 inches of rain to the coast, and its strong winds will likely cause significant tree damage and power failures.
Figure 3. The center of Extratropical Storm Katia is predicted to pass just north of the British Isles on Monday, bringing a large area 45 - 50 knots (52 - 58 mph, red colors) to the coast. This wind forecast is from the 00Z (8 pm EDT) run of the GFS model made last night. To convert from knots to mph, multiply by 1.15.
Elsewhere in the tropics
Most of the models predict the development of a tropical depression or strong tropical disturbance 5 - 6 days from now off the coast of Africa.
I'll have an update Monday morning. Peace to all this September 11!