Tropical Storm Cristobal failed to strengthen overnight, and in fact looks quite ragged on satellite and radar. The National Hurricane Center’s 5:00 AM EDT advisory maintains Cristobal’s strength at 45 mph, and the discussion states:
THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF CRISTOBAL REMAINED UNIMPRESSIVE-LOOKING OVERNIGHT. THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE DEEP CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER WITH THE PRIMARY BANDS OF THUNDERSTORMS WELL DISPLACED TO THE SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST.
The official forecast still calls for Cristobal to reach 65 mph within 36 hours, but the NHC acknowledges that this is “a little higher” than the computer models are predicting.
The forecast track has shifted a hair to the left, and now has the storm’s center passing almost directly over Cape Hatteras around 5:00 PM today. But with Cristobal’s organizational structure so poor, that means little. Most of the rain and wind is off to the south and east anyway, and thus won’t impact land regardless of the center’s precise track.
Cristobal is expected to pass well east of Cape Cod and the Massachusetts islands Tuesday morning, and then to hit Nova Scotia late Tuesday or early Wednesday as a weakening tropical storm in the process of transitioning into an extratropical system.
In other news, Bertha is finally weakening, albeit slowly. The remarkably long-lived system was downgraded to a tropical storm with 70 mph at 11:00 PM last night, and she remains at that intensity as of 5:00 AM. Bertha is expected to finally become extratropical today.
As for “Invest 94L,” or “proto-Dolly,” here’s what the NHC had to say at 2:00 AM EDT:
THE STRONG TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA CONTINUES TO PRODUCE NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WITH WINDS TO GALE FORCE IN SQUALLS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME INCREASINGLY FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT…AND THIS SYSTEM IS LIKELY TO BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR A TROPICAL STORM WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS WILL AFFECT JAMAICA…PORTIONS OF CUBA…AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TODAY. INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA SHOULD CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS
Interests along the western Gulf of Mexico, including Texas — particularly south Texas — should monitor it as well. Here’s what the computer models are currently showing with regard to the potential track of the Storm That Would Be Dolly:
I’ll be traveling by airplane this morning and early afternoon, but I’ll try my best to sneak in an update here or there at airports and such. In the meantime, you can keep abreast of the latest developments by following the links in my blogroll at right.