Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tropical Depression 7 Forms, Becomes Gabrielle

Tropical Storm Gabrielle Nearing Puerto Rico

T.S. Gabrielle this morning

The area of low pressure that I mentioned yesterday morning was declared  Depression Number Seven by late afternoon, and then upgraded to Tropical Storm Gabrielle late last night.

The center of the system is nearing the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico this morning.
The satellite image shown here may be a bit confusing until you realize you are actually looking at two systems.  The center of Gabrielle is actually somewhere off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.  The "blob of stuff" to her northeast is actually a separate area of  stormy low pressure (but not an organized system) which could possibly feed moisture into Gabrielle to aid in building convection.I say possibly, because I am not a weather expert, but it sure seems plausible to me.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle's vitals as of 8 o'clock EDT this morning:

LOCATION: 65 miles WSW of Ponce, P.R.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 40 m.p.h., gusting to 50
MOVING:  Northwest at 8 m.p.h.
PRESSURE: 1008 mb, or 29.77 in.

Puerto Rico and the northeastern Dominican Republic are under a Tropical Storm Warning.  (No ships will be porting while this is the case)
The southeastern portion of the Dominican Republic has a Tropical Storm Watch.  Ports are likely closed there, too, at present.)

St. Croix has received heavy rainfall and some wind, as have some of the other Virgin Islands.

The center of the storm is expected to pass just east of the Turks and Caicos tomorrow, then head NNW, passing well to the east of Bermuda a few days later, if she holds together that long.  According the the experts there could be 'some strengthening' today and tomorrow.

Some cruise ships may alter their itineraries to ensure everyone's safety, and / or due to port closures.

As always with the tropics, things can and do change, so keep an eye on the NHC's  Public Advisory, issued every three hours when a system is near land, and every six hours otherwise.

UPDATE:   At the 11 am advisory, the NHC has downgraded this system to a Tropical Depression.   However, heavy rains and TropicaL Storm force winds are still expected today in the area including Puerto Rico and some of the Virgin Islands.