Posted on 17 Aug 09
After a slow start, the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season has begun, and in grand fashion. On Saturday the 15th, the first and second tropical systems of the season, Ana and Bill, developed. By early Sunday morning, Claudette had strengthened from a depression to a tropical storm, and is making landfall along the Florida panhandle and Alabama coast.
The main threat from Claudette will be inland flooding, as 3 – 5 inches of precipitation are forecast with areas of heavier precipitation possible. Sustained winds around 6o mph are expected, with higher gusts also present.
Ana is weakening due to a strong influence from dry Saharan air. Organization is fading quickly and forecasters do not expect the storm to redevelop at this time.
Last, but far from least, is Tropical Storm Bill. Bill is likely to strengthen to a hurricane overnight, and reach “intense” status by Friday afternoon. The models are in good agreement over the next 3 days, but then diverge. A developing low-pressure system over the US is expected to develop, and may steer Bill away from land. Model plot from Colorado State below shows the predicted tracks. These are used for guidance only and can quickly change with each run.
Source: Towers Perrin