Cat 4 hurricane LORENZO packing a punch in central tropical Atlantic

Friday 27th September 2019

Disturbance Thirty Eight has dissipated off the lower Texas coast and the risk of heavy rain and localised flooding seem to have diminished. So much for the Canadian guy.

KAREN is hanging onto tropical storm intensity by a hair's breadth, past peak with a hurricane severity index rating of just 2 (1 each for size and intensity) which translates into a maximum wind speed of 35 knots and a small windfield radius of 40 miles. In the most recent satellite pass, the circulation centre was barely distinguishable and the convection column appears to be collapsing. Wind shear and dry air are set to impinge in this storm's formation and will cause further weakening. KAREN is still loafing about some 350 miles south east of Bermuda and there is still a wide variety of tracks being suggested, but this will be largely academic if this rate of weakening continues.

A weak disturbance is expected to form in the north-western Caribbean by Tuesday of next week. This is expected to slowly push to the west-nor'west into the southern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday where conditions may be marginally favourable for development. Irrespective of development, this will enhance showers and thunderstorms across the western Gulf late next week. Personally, the concept of any accuracy a week ahead is highly speculative. What is pleasing is that this is typical of a late season development pattern and often heralds the season's early twilight. Wishful thinking perhaps.

Powerful category 4 fish hurricane LORENZO is now centred around 1100 miles to the west of the Cape Verde Islands. Satellite imagery is showing a clearly defined eye and a track north-nor'west at 12 knots over warm water will almost certainly indicate further intensification ahead. This is producing sustained winds of 140 knots with some violent gusts of 160 knots in places. LORENZO should turn north and then north-east during the next few days as it moves around the western edge of a mid-level ridge centred over the eastern Atlantic with a possible close pass of the western Azores late on Tuesday night. Acceleration may take the edge of this for the islands.

Hurricane conditions at sea in the central tropical Atlantic, otherwise, stand easy.