Tropical storm Carlos is still strengthening. At 200 am PDT - 0900 UTC the center of Tropical Storm Carlos was located near latitude 10.5 north...longitude 116.3 west or about 955 miles - 1535 km south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Carlos is moving toward the west near 13 mph - 20 km/hr. A motion just north of due west at this forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph - 100 km/hr with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours and Carlos is expected to become a hurricane later today. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles - 110 km from the center. Estimated minimum central pressure is 994 mb - 29.35 inches. Carlos is located to the south of a westward-expanding mid-level ridge and is moving at 275/11. The dynamical guidance continues to be tightly clustered around a west to west-northwestward motion as the ridge impedes a northward component to the motion. However the models have increased the forward motion a bit and the new official forecast is just a little faster than the previous forecast.
The key problem for the intensity forecast is the short-term rate of strengthening. The SHIPS rapid intensity index now indicates a 63% chance of rapid intensification over the next 24 hours. The official forecast makes Carlos a hurricane within the next 12 hours and is supported by nearly all the intensity guidance. it is possible that Carlos could intensify quicker during the next 24 hours than is shown in the forecast. Vertical shear is expected to remain light...and ocean temperatures will remain sufficiently warm through 96 hours to allow further strengthening beyond 24 hours. There are some indications that Carlos could come under the influence of strong southwesterly upper-level winds between it and Hawaii so the official forecast shows slight weakening at that time.
Published on: Jul 11, 2009 @ 6:09
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