9/6/05 FCST: Tropical Storm Maria

And...we are still ~1 week away from the climatological peak of the hurricane season and we are already looking at our 13th named storm of 2005. Anyway, Maria's satellite presentation is not very impressive with a blob of disorganized convection just to the northwest of the center of circulation. Maria should be forced to the NNW or N for the next few days around the western periphery of a ridge centered roughly at 28N 40W. Nearly all of the models (with the exception of SHIPS which brings Maria to 83kts in 5 days) forecast only slight intensification and the TPC has followed suit, bringing the cyclone to a max intensity of 50kts in 48hrs. Maria has only open waters of the central atlantic ahead of her, which will be >28C for at least the next couple days, and with fairly weak vertical shear forecasted I see no reason to disagree with the TPC intensity forecast.
Maria's cloud pattern continues to slowly improve with deep convection over and to the NW of the center, with a curved band of thunderstorms extending to the E-S-then SW. Observed satellite wind-based shear from CIMMS shows that Maria is in a low shear environment and should continue to be for the next 48-72hrs. The SHIPS model now only brings the storm to a peak of 72kts, whereas the GFDL now rapidly deepens Maria to 966mb in 36hrs. With marginally warm SSTs and light shear this does not appear to be unreasonable, however I'd like to see more improvement in Maria's structure before jumping to conclusions. The models are in excellent agreement that Maria will continue to move on a general NW/NNW track for the next 48hrs around the western periphery of a ridge centered roughly at 35N 45W. However, if Maria deepens rapidly, the track will need to be adjusted slightly to the left and Bermuda may see large swells on the E facing beaches.
Maria looks like a hurricane this morning; an eye is visible in satellite images and her banding features have continued to improve. Maria continues to move to the NNW and will continue to do so for the next couple days around the periphery of a ridge located roughly at 65N 45W. Model guidance is tightly clustered around this solution so I have no real reason to disagree with this track prevailing for another 36hrs. After that, an H5 trough located along 70W will be the main influence on Maria's behavior; at this time it appears that the trough will pick the cyclone up and accelerate it to the NE.

The cyclone should continue to be in a low shear environment in the short term and with >28 C water for at least another 24h, at least slight additional strengthening seems likely. The 06z GFDL rapidly deepened the storm to 962mb in 6hrs and to category four strength by 00z tonight. Obviously this has yet to occur, so I am pretty much discounting this model at this time. The SHIPS has been very accurate in predicting the intensity of Maria so far, so the peak intensity of ~80kts seems reasonable.

ALSO...the next INVEST (93L) appears likely to develop into our next tropical cyclone, probably within the next day or so. This system, to be named Nate, will need to be watched with respect to Bermuda as all guidance brings this feature very near/just south of the island in ~60-72hrs.
The circulation on Maria looks pretty avergae, however, the conditions are still questionable (For Me) for this to weaken or get stronger....I can also see the rain tapering off in the center, and seeing the eye stand out more...
I don't see Maria posing any threat to land.

Maria will not effect much however i am concerned about the possible development just to the east of Florida. NHC has it outlooked for possible development within the next 36 hours. this is a similar area to where katrina formed