Subtropical Storm Ernesto formed west of the Azores on Wednesday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Subtropical Storm Ernesto was located at latitude 38.1°N and longitude 46.0°W which put it about 695 miles (1120 km) southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Ernesto was moving toward the north at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.
More thunderstorms formed closer to the center of a low pressure system west of the Azores on Wednesday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Subtropical Storm Ernesto. Several bands of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern and northern portions of the circulation. Bands northwest of the center of Ernesto consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The circulation may have been transporting some cooler, drier, more stable air into that part of the circulation. Showers and thunderstorms around the center of Ernesto were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of the subtropical storm.
Subtropical Storm Ernesto will move through an environment that could support some intensification during the next day or so. Ernesto will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 26°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are not too strong and there will not be much vertical wind shear. Subtropical Storm Ernesto could strengthen during the next 12 to 24 hours. Ernesto will move over cooler water later on Thursday and it will start to weaken. An upper level trough east of the U.S. will approach Subtropical Storm Ernesto from the west. Southwesterly winds ahead of the trough will cause more vertical wind shear and Ernesto could make a transition to an extratropical cyclone.
The southwesterly winds ahead of the upper level trough will steer Subtropical Storm Ernesto in a general northeasterly direction. On its anticipated track Subtropical Ernesto will pass between the Azores and Greenland.
Tropical Depression Nineteen strengthened into Tropical Storm Rina on Monday night. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Rina was located at latitude 30.4°N and longitude 49.9°W which put it about 890 miles (1430 km) east of Bermuda. Rina was moving toward the north at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb.
Although an upper level low northwest of Tropical Depression Nineteen continued to produce westerly winds which caused moderate vertical wind shear, stronger thunderstorms developed east of the center of circulation. Downdrafts in those storms were able to transport stronger winds to the surface and winds to tropical storm force were occurring at the surface. The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression Nineteen to Tropical Storm Rina on Monday night.
The circulation of Tropical Storm Rina is asymmetrical. The stronger storms are occurring east of the center of circulation. The winds to tropical storm force are occurring northeast of the center. Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 60 miles to the northeast of the center of circulation. The bands west of the center consist primarily of lower clouds and showers. The upper level westerly winds are tilting the circulation toward the east with height.
The moderate vertical wind shear will continue to inhibit the intensification of Tropical Storm Rina. Rina will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25°C. Although the water is cooler than it is in the tropical, colder air in the upper levels will make the atmosphere unstable enough to allow thunderstorms to continue to develop. The vertical wind shear could decrease during the next 24 to 36 hours and some intensification is possible. When Tropical Storm Rina moves farther north, it will move over colder water.
The upper level low to the northwest of Tropical Storm Rina and a ridge to the east of Rina are steering the tropical storm toward the north. A general motion is expected to continue for another day or two. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Rina will pass between Labrador and the Azores.
Tropical Depression Nineteen formed east of Bermuda on Monday. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Depression Nineteen was located at latitude 29.5°N and longitude 50.4°W which put it about 875 miles east of Bermuda. It was moving toward the north-northeast at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1013 mb.
A small low pressure system has been meandering over the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Azores. More showers and thunderstorms formed near the center of the the low and the circulation became more circular. Because the low pressure system developed the characteristics of a tropical cyclone, the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Nineteen on Monday morning.
The circulation of Tropical Depression Nineteen is being affected by vertical wind shear. An upper level low located to the northwest of the system is producing easterly winds which are blowing across the top of the depression. Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear shear which is tilting the upper portion of the circulation to the east. The surface center of circulation was exposed on visible satellite images. Most of the showers and thunderstorms were occurring to the east of the center.
Tropical Depression Nineteen is forecast to intensify into a tropical storm. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25.5°C, which is marginally warm enough to support intensification. The upper level low will continue to produce vertical wind shear which will inhibit intensification during the next 12 to 24 hours. The shear is forecast to decrease on Tuesday and Tropical Depression Nineteen could strengthen into a tropical storm before it moves over colder water.
Tropical Depression Nineteen is currently in an area where the steering currents are weak. The circulation around the upper level low to the northwest of the Tropical Depression is being deflected around an upper level ridge to the east of the depression. Some of the flow is turning northward and the rest of the flow is turning toward the south. The orientation of the upper low and ridge is forecast to change and the two systems are forecast to steer the depression toward the northeast later this week. However, if the wind shear stays strong enough to prevent the circulation of the depression from growing vertically, then the winds in the lower level could steer the depression more toward the west.
Tropical Storm Alex weakened to just below hurricane intensity as it moved across the Azores on Friday morning. At 10:00 a.m. EST the center of Hurricane Alex was located at latitude 39.3°N and longitude 27.0°W which put it about 35 miles north of Terceira in the Azores. Alex was moving toward the north at 28 m.p.h. (44 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (115 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.
It appears that the center of Tropical Storm Alex made landfall on the island of Terceira. Weather stations on Santa Maria and Sao Miguel have measured tropical storm force winds. However, it seems like the core of Tropical Storm Alex which contains the strongest winds remained over water. Higher wind speeds most likely occurred on the windward sides of mountains in the Azores.
In anticipation of the movement of Tropical Storm Alex away from the islands all Hurricane Warnings and Tropical Storm Warnings for the Azores have been discontinued.
Tropical Storm Alex is over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 16°C. It will move over even cooler water and Alex will soon be unable to extract enough energy from the ocean to sustain the structure of a tropical cyclone. The structure of Alex will gradually change to the structure of a cold core extratropical cyclone during the next several days. It is likely to maintain much of its intensity as it moves through the extratropical transition.
An upper level trough is steering Tropical Storm Alex toward the north-northwest and a general northwesterly motion is expected to continue for the next two or three days. Tropical Storm Alex could end up south of Greenland over the weekend as a strong extratropical cyclone.