It’s a little early to be talking about Cape Verde storms, but that’s what we have this late July morning as tropical storm Dorian has formed over the far eastern Atlantic.
As of 11am, Dorian was located 410 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands with winds of 50 mph. Dorian is moving at a good clip, 21 mph, to the west-northwest. Dorian is expected to continue to the west-northwest over the next 24 to 36 hours before turning a little more due-west.
There is a very good model consensus as to the future track of Dorian. Surprisingly good consensus too, I may add. The “spaghetti models” seem to have a good handle on the path, so I won’t deviate from them as of now. Currently there is a very large ridge of high pressure located over the Atlantic, which you can see on the graphic below. This will be what keeps Dorian to the west-northwest and west – with not much opportunity to recurve out to sea.
This morning’s upper level analysis of the Atlantic shows a large subtropical ridge, which will keep Dorian on a general WNW to W track over the next 3-5 days.
Here’s the famous spaghetti models forecast path, and with the exception of a few outliers (we’ll throw those out), shows the general track for Dorian through the next 120-168 hours.
The intensity forecast is a little tricky, because there are a few obstacles that will be in Dorian’s way. Dorian is currently over an area of relatively warm sea surface temperatures, as well as low shear, which has allowed it to strengthen this morning. However, the future doesn’t look quite so bright for this little guy. This morning’s analysis shows that drier air and more shear (which would prevent the storm from growing vertically in the atmosphere – hence that would not let it strengthen) ahead of Dorian in a day or so.
This morning’s shear tendency map shows that as Dorian moves westward, it will encounter a more hostile environment for strengthening.
This map shows how the moisture content in the Atlantic decreases towards the west of Dorian.
Thus with these inhibiting factors, Dorian may only slightly strengthen the next day or so before leveling off or even weakening a little bit thereafter. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center this morning has Dorian peaking at 60mph over the next 24 hours, then gradually leveling off to around 45 mph through 5 days.
Right now with Dorian well out in the Atlantic, we have plenty of time to monitor its progress – so that it what we will do. Check back for updates throughout the week.