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July 14, 2005

Emily upgraded to a hurricane

Ok, I was wrong. I am man enough to admit it. The only people looking more foolish than me are all the islands that discontinued their hurricane warnings only to have just reposted them. I laugh in their general direction. Previously Emily was packing winds of 60 mph with a central pressure of 1000 mb. Dropsonde data indicates that Hurricane Emily has bombed out and is now packing winds of over 90 mph with a pressure of 992 mb! The IR satellite image also shows a far different picture from yesterday. Hurricane Emily has a lot of very deep convection that is symmetric with excellent outflow.So, what happened with Emily? Check out this map of tropical cyclone heat potential (TCHP) which is basically the heat energy available to hurricanes.
As you can see, Emily has moved from some lower energy waters into an area with enough latent energy for a rapid intensification. You can see the same type of hot spot in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico where Hurricane Dennis bombed out. Another hot spot is present where Emily formed to the east of her current location. Seeing a pattern? What does this mean for the future? Notice the drop in available energy to the west? Hurricane Emily is still moving very quickly for a tropical system at 18 mph. Sea surface temperatures in this area are still warm but the warmth is not as deep. A rapid movement throughout this area would help to decrease the effect of water with less available energy. I'll leave you with a few more charts to digest. Notice the close packing of the different model tracks.

Tracking God's Fury:
ATLANTIC
Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Nate
Hurricane Ophelia
EASTERN PACIFIC
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