[IMG: Luis; Credit: Norm Nelson, Bermuda Biological Station for Research - http://www.bbsr.edu/~norm]

The Hurricane Page

the 1996 season

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Don't forget to look at the local reports and weather discussions from the Leeward islands' point of view.

| 1996 Summary | Marco | Lili | Isidore | Hortense | Fran | Edouard | Bertha |

- Isidore -

Oct 2, 1996 11:00am EDT
Yesterday's 5PM advisory announced that Isidore has become a non-tropical system. Hopefully this is the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season!

Sep 29, 1996 12:40m EDT
Looks like the end of Isidore. It is moving North East! Isidore has weakened to 75 mph winds, current location is 21.8N, 41.1W. This northward motion is expected to continue for the next 3 days, although it may get a more westerly swing to it later on. However, it is pretty safe to say that it is not going to threaten any landmass, incl. Bermuda (located at about 32N, 65W).

Sep 28, 1996 11:20am EDT
Weakening of Isidore has started! And more important, movement is now North North West, away from the Islands. Current location is 17.3N, 43.2W. Too far north, and too far to the east to pose any threat for the Leewards.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 105mph, the central pressure is higher as well (970mbar). What it will do next is still uncertain though, it could head for Bermuda... Check out Bermuda Biological Station for Research's website for developments into that direction.

Sep 27, 1996 11:00pm EDT
Isidore upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane. A major one... Maximum sustained winds are 115 mph. Current position 16.4N, 43.1W, so it is moving north west. Pressure is still dropping, now 960 mbar, however, no further strenghtening is expected.

The 3 day forecast still shows that the center of Isidore will not pass the 44.5W longitude line. Therefore we are quite confident that it will not pose any threat to the Leeward islands. The 72 hour forecast looks pretty interesting:

     INITIAL     28/0300Z 16.4N  43.1W   100 KTS
     12HR VT     28/1200Z 18.0N  44.5W   100 KTS
     24HR VT     29/0000Z 20.0N  44.5W    90 KTS
     36HR VT     29/1200Z 23.0N  44.5W    90 KTS
     48HR VT     30/0000Z 26.0N  44.5W    85 KTS
     72HR VT     01/0000Z 30.0N  44.5W    85 KTS

Isidore is going straight North after 12 hours and will weaken (1 knot = 1 nautical mile = 1.15 mile)

Sep 27, 1996 10:50am EDT
It is still looking good for the Leewards (and the US mainland). Although Isidore has further strenghtened to a Category 2 Hurricane with 105 mph winds, satellite images indicate that the shearing by the trough has begun. Further, the direction is more to the north as well, the three day forecast shows that Isidore will not even pass the 44.5W line (the islands are around 61W, a safe distance). In 3 days Isidore is even expected to move more towards the East, further back into the Atlantic.

Current position 14.5N, 41.7W; winds near 105 mph; not much further strenghtening expected; moving toward toward the northwest near 15 mph; it will turn more to the North in the next 12 to 24 hours; min. pressure 970 mbar.

Sep 26, 1996 11:00am EDT
At 5AM this morning Isidore was upgraded to a hurricane. So within two days it developed from a tropical wave into a hurricane! According to the latest NHC advisories (11AM) the center is located at 12.7N, 36.2W; winds are near 85mph; it's moving west north west near 15mph; min. pressure is 979 mbar.

The 3-day forecast shows an intensification towards 105 mph winds within 36 hours, after that further strengthening is not expected due to unfavorable atmospheric conditions. The good news is that as it looks right now it will not threaten the islands. The center is forecasted to be in three days at 20N, 45W. The NE islands are located around 18N, 62W, so with its forecasted direction towards the NW Isidore should go way north of the Leewards!

Sep 25, 1996 5:00pm EDT
Center of Isidore located at 11.1N, 32.3W; maximum winds are near 65 mph; min. pressure 994 mbar. Its movement has slowed down to 16 mph.

Intensification is still expected. However, atmospheric conditions will become less favorable for intensification in about 3 days. Furthermore, the current three day forecast is slightly to the right of the previous one (i.e. takes a more northerly path than previously anticipated). Therefore, our best guess is that it will go north of the islands. Hope that will come true.

Sep 25, 1996 11:00am EDT
The tropical wave that emerged from the African coast on Sunday (see below) has become better organized. At 5pm yesterday it was upgraded to a tropical depression, and at 5am this morning it was further upgraded to tropical storm Isidore.

Current position is 10.8N, 31.0W which is pretty far south (and still far to the east of the Leewards of course). Maximum sustained winds are already 65mph! It is moving pretty fast to the West North West at 21mph. Minimum pressure only 994mbar.

So it is already a pretty strong storm which has developed fast. Satellite imagery shows that an intense convective band has wrapped nearly all the way around the system, a sign of good potential for further intensification. Other factors which point to intensification are the good upper-level outflow and the fact that it is moving over warm (above 80F) waters.

On the positive side, as it looks right now it will probably be steered more towards the North due to a fairly large mid- to upper-level tropospheric cyclone, accompanied by a through. This system will also increase the vertical shearing over Isidore. Looking at the latest 3-day forecast track and interpolating that over even a longer timescale indicates that it will stay well clear to the North of the Leeward islands. But of course it is still too early to tell...

Isodore is currently located around 2000 miles from the Islands. If it keeps moving so fast at 21 mph it could reach the islands within 4 days.

Sep 24, 1996 4:00pm EDT
More info taken from the latest Tropical Weather Discussion: there is a 1010mbar low associated with the below mentioned wave. Current position around 8N, 24W.

Sep 24, 1996 1:00pm EDT
Satellite imagery indicates that the below mentioned wave in the far Eastern Atlantic has become somewhat better organized. More disturbing is that there is some evidence of a surface circulation center...

Sep 24, 1996 10:30am EDT
A couple of days ago a strong tropical wave got off the African coast. It is now located several hundred miles south of the Cape Verde islands. This system has some potential for development during the next day or two. Will keep you informed...

Sep 19, 1996 11:00am EDT
Not much new. There are currently three waves East of the Islands: along 53W/54W, south of 20N; along 41W/42W, south of 20N and along 20W/21W south of 14N. Neither of them show signs of development.

Sep 17, 1996 11:30am EDT
Still pretty quiet. There is a tropical wave at 18N, 30W. But no development expected for the near future.

Sep 16, 1996 12:25pm EDT
This is how we would like to see it for the rest of the season:

     ABNT20 KNHC 161557
     1130 AM EDT MON SEP 16 1996




It seems that this advisory hasn't been this short for ages!

Sep 15, 1996 1:25pm EDT
It's pretty quiet in the Atlantic now. No tropical storm development expected for the next two days.

Sep 13, 1996 11:55am EDT
The 1012 mbar surface low (see below) is centered near 21N, 45W (about 1200 miles from the Leewards). Conditions for development are still not favorable. The tops of the convection are being sheared towards the northeast by a upper level jet.

It is still located pretty far North, and seems to be moving west northwest, so even if this tropical disturbance develops into something more, it will probably travel north of the islands, which are located around 18N.

Sep 12, 1996 2:45pm EDT
According to the latest National Weather Service Tropical Weather Outlook and Discussion is the center of area of low pressure (see below) located around 20N 44W. Ship reports indicate that it remains rather strong; producing gusty winds to near 40 mph in squalls. However, satellite images show that the shower activity is disorganized. Since strong upper level winds prevail over the area development, if any, will be slow.

Sep 12, 1996 11:10am EDT
Center of disturbance (see below) located 19N, 42W. Moving westward, associated with a 1010 mbar low. Upper level winds continue to inhibit development. However, these winds may become more favorable during the next day or two.

Sep 11, 1996 11:30am EDT
The tropical wave (see below), associated with a 1014 mbar low, is currently at about 20N, 43W. It is moving westward. Conditions have become somewhat more favorable for development during the next day or two. However, it's center-position is quite far to the North. Even if it develops into something it will probably go North of the Leeward Islands, which are located around 18N.

Sep 10, 1996 11:30pm EDT
Upperlevel winds are not favorable at the time for the below mentioned 'disturbed' area to develop.

Sep 10, 1996 1:00pm EDT
Although all eyes are on Hurricane Hortense right now (see below), we should still keep watching the Atlantic for other possible developements. According to the latest Tropical Outlook of the National Weather Service an area of cloudiness and thunderstorms, associated with a tropical wave, is located about 1300 miles East North East of the Leeward islands. It is moving west about 15 mph. It has the potential for some development during the next day or two.

- Hortense -

             Sources National Hurricane Center Advisories
Location                     Public Adv.  Discussion  Marine Adv.  Strik Prob.
U. of N. Carolina-Charlotte    xxxxxx       xxxxxx      xxxxxx       xxxxxx
Ohio State University          xxxxxx       xxxxxx      xxxxxx       xxxxxx
National Hurricane Center      xxxxxx       xxxxxx      xxxxxx       xxxxxx

Sep 12, 1996 12:05pm EDT
Just received the following update from Pamelah Jacobson of Fort Recovery Estate on Tortola, BVI:

     Hurricane update. Basically the BVI was on the edge of Hurricane 
     Hortense, which meant we had tropical storm conditions for about 
     twelve hours. No damage, minor flooding. Road debris all cleaned 
     up. The government public works department and disaster 
     preparedness center is very organized about these storms, so 
     we're in good hands.

     No flights available from Puerto Rico to USVI or BVI until 
     Saturday, so that has delayed a bunch of people. Otherwise I 
     don't know many details of St.Croix or Puerto Rico, however, I 
     heard major amount of wind and water, not a pretty picture.

     Local weather for two days now has been partly cloudy and great
     temperatures. Swimming is divine.

Sep 11, 1996 2:00pm EDT
I just received a local update from Arjan Stoof (BVI Yacht Charters, Roadtown, Tortola, BVI).

He reports that on Tortola they didn't experience Hurricane Force winds, though the highest measured windgust was 65 mph. Sustained winds were around 40mph from the south. The eye of the storm didn't get closer to the BVI than about 120 miles. The people on the island were prepared for the worser conditions, luckily it didn't turn out as bad. Most businesses were closed for two days, partly because the government had some vacation time to spare. The biggest problem with Hortense on the island was the rain. Rocks ended up on the roads. The road along the coast was somewhat damaged due to the high waves. Ferry service to the surrounding islands was discontinued over the last two days. Arjan and his co-workers removed the genuas and bimminis from their yacht in Inner Harbour Marina, which wasn't really necessary after all. Right now the weather in Tortola is sunny and bright!

Sep 11, 1996 11:00am EDT
This will be the last weather discussion regarding Hortense from our side since it is already way past the Leeward Islands. We kept putting updates on this page because of its immense popularity and since we had many people visiting from Puerto Rico. For new information take a look at the above advisories or visit some of the web-sites in our links section. USA Today for example, has an excellent website with Weather Info.

In any case the center of Hortense is just 35 miles to the East of Turks Island. The earlier trend in forecasting a more easterly track (see below) was apparently correct. Current date on the winds around the center of the storm:

     64 KT....... 50NE  25SE  25SW  25NW
     50 KT.......100NE  50SE  30SW  60NW
     34 KT.......175NE 150SE  50SW 120NW
     12 FT SEAS..175NE 150SE  50SW 120NW

For help on how to interprete this go to our Practical Guide.

Since Turks Island is 35 miles (30 nm) to the West of the center they are just outside the range of (sustained) hurricane force winds. However, since there are gusts to 105 kt (121 mph) they will experience hurricane force winds from time to time.

For the central Bahamas and the US the latest 3 day forecast looks promising. The approaching troughs over the US mainland will push Hortense more to the North. It's most Westerly position is expected to be 72.1W, wel clear from the coast of Florida (~80W).

Sep 10, 1996 11:15pm EDT
The 11pm NHC advisories are in. Hortense continues to go to the Northwest, the center is still fairly close to the North coast of the Dominican Republic. The hurricane has not really weakened by Hispaniola's landmass. It is forecasted to strengthen after it is in open waters again (12 hrs - 80 mph; 24 hrs - 92 mph; 36 hrs - 98 mph).

Current position is 19.8N, 69.4W; or about 35 miles N-NW of Cabo Samana (D.R.) and about 155 miles southeast of Turks Island; moving at 10mph; maximum winds 75mph; min. pressure 983mbar (quite a big drop from the previouse advisory).

It is still forecasted for the center to go over the Turks and Caicos Islands. Although, again, the newest forecast is a little bit further to the North than previous ones. The center is currently 155 miles from Turks Island (135 nautical miles, nm). Based on the Marine Advisory and the systems current speed, Turks island can expect tropical storm winds (34kts) by 5:30am, 50kts winds by 8:00am and hurricane force winds (64kts) by 11:00am.

Will it hit the eastern coast of the US? Still too early to tell. Although a trough is developing over the Eastern US which could steer it to the North, would lessen the threat considerably for Florida. However, if it will curve to the west and thereby miss the US coast totally is not sure yet.

Sep 10, 1996 4:35pm EDT
Some bad news for the Turks and Caicos Islands, the most recent NHC three day forecast takes the center right over the islands, instead of passing by below as earlier reported. This is within 24 hours for the Turks...!

Current position is 19.3N, 68.8W. Movement is currently Northwest near 12mph. Maximum sustained winds near 75mph, minimum central pressure 987mbar.

The center of the storm is still skirting the coast of the Dominican Republic. At El Macao (Dom.Rep.) sustained winds of about 70mph and gusts near 80mph were measured. Rain is still heavy on Puerto Rico...

It is expected that Hortense will strengthen when it is back in open waters (24 hr: 80kts; 36 hr: 85kts, reaching Category 2 status). Satellite imagery revealed that an eye was forming, another sign of strengthening. The forecast shows that it will steer more to the north (i.e. away from the US Coast) once the center reaches the vicinity of the southeastern or central Bahamas.

The current 3 day forecast is as follows:

                                              64 kts winds radius (nm)
                                                   NE    SE    SW    NW
     INITIAL     10/2100Z 19.3N  68.8W    65 KTS   75     0     0     0
     12HR VT     11/0600Z 20.3N  70.1W    70 KTS   75    25    25    25
     24HR VT     11/1800Z 21.5N  71.7W    80 KTS   75    50    50    50
     36HR VT     12/0600Z 23.1N  72.9W    85 KTS   25    25    25    25
     48HR VT     12/1800Z 24.9N  73.6W    85 KTS
     72HR VT     13/1800Z 28.5N  74.0W    85 KTS

Sep 10, 1996 2:30pm EDT
New data from the 2PM Intermediate Advisory: current position 18.9N, 68.4W; just offshore from El Macao (NE coast of Dominican Republic); winds near 75 mph; min. pressure 990mbar.

Torrential rain continues to fall over Puerto Rico. Rainfall totals of 18 inches have already been reported, an additional 5-10 is expected, even higher in mountainous areas! Hurricane warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos, and the SE Bahamas. The center of Hortense will keep moving along or near the Northeastern shore of the Dominican Republic.

Because it is so close to the shore, strenghtening is not likely in the near future. Hurricane force winds extend outward to up to 20 miles to the NE of the center, tropical storm winds up to 175 miles.

A new 3 day forecast will be issued at 5pm.

Sep 10, 1996 10:45am EDT
Hortense did make landfall after all on the southwest side of Puerto Rico. Winds may not have been the biggest problem, but as was expected Hortense came with a lot of rain. Local (unofficial) reports of over 15-20 inches! The rains will continue even while the center of Hortense pulls away from PR.

Current position of Hortense 18.4N, 68.2W; just east of Cabo Engano on the estern tip of the Dominican Republic; moving towards the west northwest near 12 mph; max. sustained winds 75mph; min. pressure 990mbar.

So what is Hortense going to do next? It seems to have weakened somewhat, but not as much as we hoped for. If it would have crossed the mainland of Hispaniola, instead of what it is doing right now, skirting the North-Eastern coast of the Dominican Republic it would have weakend considerably due to the fact that it wouldn't have been over warm waters for a while and the high mountains would have ripped the system somewhat apart. The current track is of course much more favorable for the people in the Dominican Republic and for the people on the Bahamas.

It is moving at 270-290 degrees (270 degrees is due West, 360 degrees due Nrth), but a more NW track is expected for the near future. Also, it will strengthen somewhat more after is is in the open waters again. The three day forecast is as follows:

     INITIAL     10/1500Z 18.4N  68.2W    65 KTS
     12HR VT     11/0000Z 19.3N  69.8W    65 KTS
     24HR VT     11/1200Z 20.5N  71.7W    65 KTS
     36HR VT     12/0000Z 21.6N  73.1W    70 KTS
     48HR VT     12/1200Z 23.5N  74.2W    75 KTS
     72HR VT     13/1200Z 28.0N  75.0W    75 KTS

This means that the center will remain very close to the NE shore of the Dominican Republic for the next 12 hours (hence little strenghtening). But it also means that the people of the Bahamas should get prepared for a big, wet hurricane. They will be located on the 'windy wet side' of Hortense, since it looks like the center will pass just to the southwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands. According to the Marine Advisory be prepared for 50 knt winds. Tropical storm winds extend to 150 nm NE, 125 SE, 50 SW and 50 NW (1 nm = 1.15 mile).

And the US? A trough is building over the South East of the US, this may push Hortense away to the North before it comes to close to the mainland. However, it is still too early to relax...

Sep 9, 1996 17:05pm EDT
The 5pm advisory confirmed the fact that Hortense has not strengthened during the last couple of hours. In addition, satellite imagery shows a decrease in the organized deep convection. So the good news is that NHC does not forecast further strengthening for the next 12 hours, however it will become somewhat stronger before Hortense will make landfall in the Dominican Republic. Also, keep in mind that the behavior of this system has shown to be quite difficult to predict.

Curren position 16.8N, 66.0W; about 95 miles south-southeast of Ponce (PR); moving toward the west-northwest near 7mph; maximum winds still near 80mph, and minimum pressure up from 987 to 989mbar.

The current forecast track still takes the center of Hortense over Hispaniola (around 24 hours). However, it's path is on the far-eastern side. If it will go a bit further to the east and skirt along the coast, the hurricane won't weaken before it proceeds it's way to the Bahamas and US.

It is still a category 1 hurricane, but because it is moving so slowly it is accumulating a lot of moisture, making it a very wet hurricane, capable of flash flooding of land in it's path.

Sep 9, 1996 2:05pm EDT
The 2PM intermediate advisory: center Hortense at 16.5N, 65.3W; about 130 miles southeast of Ponce (PR); drifting northwestward; maximum winds near 80mph; min. pressure 987 mbar.

So it hasn't really strengthened over the last 3 hours, but it is hardly moving at the moment which is not good. Expect a lot of rain (6-12 inches or more) along the path of the hurricane. More news at 5PM when a full adivisory will be released by the NHC. Power is back up on St.Maarten though, still a bit windy/rainy but nothing to worry about.

Sep 9, 1996 10:50am EDT
And again, Hortense surprised forecasters by becoming a Hurricane overnight! The latest reconnaisance flight reported winds of 89kt (102mph) and a min. pressure of 987mbar! And it doesn't look to good... The satellite imagery shows an impressive cloud pattern. Since it is still in open waters, and will be for the next 36 hours (at least the center) there is ample opportunity for further strengthening.

The current 72 hour forecast from the NHC takes the center of the Hortense about 85 miles south of the Puerto Rican coast. A hurricane warning has therefore been posted for PR. Tropical storm warnings remain into effect for the US and British Virgin Islands. Furthermore a hurricane watch has been issued for the sourthern coast of the Dominican Republic.

Hurricane force winds (64kt) extend to 50 nm towards the northeast and 25 nm towards the northwest (1 nm = 1.15 mile), 50 kt winds extend to 75 nm to the NE, 50 nm to the NW and about 50 nm to the SE. Current NHC forecast is as follows:

     INITIAL     09/1500Z 16.4N  65.3W    70 KTS
     12HR VT     10/0000Z 16.5N  66.2W    75 KTS
     24HR VT     10/1200Z 17.0N  67.5W    80 KTS
     36HR VT     11/0000Z 17.8N  69.2W    85 KTS
     48HR VT     11/1200Z 19.0N  71.1W    50 KTS == Hispaniola
     72HR VT     12/1200Z 22.5N  75.0W    55 KTS

The track is a little bit more to the right than in the previous forecast. The interaction of the landmass of Hispaniola with the Hurricane should weaken it somewhat, since it's source of energy are the warm waters. At the moment it is moving very slow, if it misses or skirts along the East coast of the Dominican Republic, it could become a very strong hurricane, on it's way to the Bahamas and the US.

It is a very big, wet storm, flooding will be a problem along with the high winds. Hortense current position is 16.4N, 65.3W; or about 135 miles southeast of Ponce (PR); moving slowly towards the west near 6mph; maximum winds are near 80mph; min. pressure 987 mbar.

The current situation on St.Maarten, currently on the outer limits of the system: heavy overcast, little rain, little wind. Except for the heavy overcast nothing unusual. Although, because the hurricane is such a slow mover, and remains towards the south/southwest of the Leeward's, heavy surf will be expected. And maybe that's why parts of the island are without power, because the powerplant shuts down when the surf is getting too high... Also, some parts of the USVI have reportedly lost power. However, temporary power outages are not unusual for the islands.

Sep 8, 1996 11:00pm EDT
The 11:00pm facts taken from the advisories released by the National Hurricane Center in Miami (Fl): location 16.2N, 64.7W; about 105 miles south of St.Croix; moving slowly to the West near 6 mph; max. sustained winds near 60mph; min. pressure 990mbar.

Current forecasts shows a more westward track, the center should stay well south of the US and British Virgin Islands (~120miles), in fact it has basically passed the islands already. However, heavy showers exist to the east of the center and will affect the islands. It also should pass at least 70 miles of Puerto Rico, and should reach Hispaniola (Dominimcan Republic and Haiti) in about 1.5 days.

It remains a storm which doesn't want to cooperate with the forecasters. This afternoon it looked like it was strenghtening because the pressure in the center was dropping significantly. However, the last three center penetrations by the hurricane hunters showed that the central pressure has levelled off. Also, the deep convection on Infra Red imagery has not become better organized. Hy the hurricane hunters showed that the central pressure has levelled off. Also, the deep convection on Infra Red imagery has not become better organized. However, conditions are still quite favorable for further development. But it will get weaker when it will hit Hispaniola (before 55 kts/after 40kts).

Tropical storm force winds (at least 39mph) extend to about 105 miles to the southeast and northeast of the center, and about 45-55 to the westside. Fifty knots winds (58mph) extend towards around 30 miles around the center.

Sep 8, 1996 1:45pm EDT
Hortense, Hortense, what are you doing to us! It is really a forecasters nightmare. Yesterday's forecast indicated that winds in the next 24 hour would reach 45knts, but it almost looked like it would become a hurricane when the central pressure quickly dropped to below 1000mbar. Hurricane watches has been posted for Puerto Rico and the USVI, but dropped later on because it weakened again.

The center of the storm passed just under Guadaloupe. Maximum winds recordeed on Guadaloupe was 51mph. The latest advisories show that Hortense didn't stenghten that much, it remains weak. All tropical storm warnings have been discontinued for the Leeward Islands, but remain into effect for the USVI, BVI and Puerto Rico. The 2pm position is 16.4N 63.8W, or about 110 miles southeast of St.Croix, it is slowly moving toward the west at 9mph, central pressure 998 mbar, max. sustained winds 50mph.

Right now it doesn't look like it that Hortense will become a hurricane. In spite of the excellent outflow which persisted during the past 24 hours, the system has become sheared. None of the forecast models had indicated this... The current forecast track (11am) is:

                                    max.winds   radius of winds around eye (nm)
                                                  NE   SE   SW   NW
 INITIAL     08/1500Z 16.3N  63.4W    50 KTS      75   75    0    0 (34knt)
 12HR VT     09/0000Z 16.5N  64.6W    50 KTS     100   75   25   25 (34knt)
 24HR VT     09/1200Z 17.0N  66.5W    50 KTS     100   75   25   25 (34knt)
 36HR VT     10/0000Z 17.5N  68.5W    50 KTS     100   75   25   25 (34knt)
 48HR VT     10/1200Z 18.0N  70.0W    40 KTS
 72HR VT     11/1200Z 20.0N  74.0W    40 KTS

This puts it's path south of the USVI, BVI and Puerto Rico. The weakening in 48 hours is due to the fact that it hits the big landmass of the Dominican Republic. Most of the grunt is located at the east side of the center. So in a way it looks good for the Leeward's...

Sep 7, 1996 11:00am EDT
Winds of TD#8 have reached the critical 40mph mark, and is therefore upgraded to Tropical Storm Hortense. Yesterday the forecast was slow intensification, however the first visible satellite pictures this morning revealed a better organized and faster-moving system.

The center is located at 15.7N, 60.1W, aboute 90 miles to the east of Guadaloupe/Dominica. Maximum winds are 40 mph, it's moving near 12 mph toward the west northwest, minimal pressure 1005mbar.

It's forecasted track takes it over Guadaloupe, south of Montserrat (about 20 nm) - Saba island line. According to the forecast it will pass just south of St.Croix and the other US and BVI. Heading for Puerto Rico. Tropical storm winds extend to 50 nm NE, 30 nm SE, 0 NW and 0 nm NW. (1 nm = 1.15 mile).

Current forecast:

                                   max.winds   radius of winds around eye (nm)
                                                 NE   SE   SW   NW
INITIAL     07/1500Z 15.7N  60.1W    35 KTS      50   30    0    0 (34knts)
12HR VT     08/0000Z 16.1N  61.9W    45 KTS      75   30   30   50 (34knts)
24HR VT     08/1200Z 16.7N  63.8W    45 KTS      75   30   30   75 (34knts)
36HR VT     09/0000Z 17.5N  65.5W    50 KTS     100   50   50  100 (34knts)
48HR VT     09/1200Z 18.4N  66.9W    50 KTS      25   25   25   25 (50knts)
72HR VT     10/1200Z 20.5N  70.0W    55 KTS      30   30   30   30 (50knts)

Please, use this forecast as a guidance only, previouse forecasts have been fluctuating quite a bit. The track of this tropical system has been difficult to forecast. Tropical storm watches have been posted for the islands extending from Martinique through BVI. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the USVI and Puerto Rico. However, according to the forecast, the Northern Leeward islands (Barbuda, St.Barts, St.Maarten and Anguilla) will not see tropical storm winds. Nevertheless, since the heaviest part of this storm is located to the NE/NW. And since its unpredictable path please be prepared for the storm.

Sep 6, 1996 7:00pm EDT
TD#8 remains poorly organized. The center appears to be declining again and is therefore difficult to find. The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center puts it on 14.5N, 57.0W. It is getting close to the Antilles, 250 miles (~21 hours/moving at 12 mph). Maximum sustained winds still 30 mph, pressure 1008 mbar.

Stenghtening is still in the forecast, albeit slow. Tropical storm intensity is expected in about 36 hours. This is after it has past Dominica, so good news. Therefore no tropical storm watches or warnings will be posted for now... But as always, you never know.

The current three day forecast:

     INITIAL     06/2100Z 14.5N  57.0W    25 KTS
     12HR VT     07/0600Z 14.6N  58.6W    30 KTS
     24HR VT     07/1800Z 15.1N  60.6W    30 KTS
     36HR VT     08/0600Z 15.6N  62.7W    35 KTS == Tropical Storm Hortense
     48HR VT     08/1800Z 16.6N  64.8W    35 KTS
     72HR VT     09/1800Z 19.1N  68.6W    40 KTS

To get knots converted to mph multiply by 1.15 (see our Practical Guide to Hurricane Tracking for more tips and tricks)

Sep 6, 1996 10:50am EDT
Tropical Depression Number Eight is still a tropical depression. A reconnaisance airplane went into the system and found a poorly defined center. Although Dvorak Intensities are still indicating winds of 35 knts, the reconnaisance flight measured only 25 knt winds. Further, the forecast indicates a slower trend of intensification. Tropical storm status may be reached in 36 hours.

The facts: 11AM position 14.1N, 56.2W (further to the South!); 310 miles from the Leeward Islands; moving west near 13mph; maximum sustained winds 30mph; minimum central pressure a little up to 1008mbar.

Since tropical storm winds are expected (though the system is not well organized and strengthening will be very slow) watches maybe posted in the near future. The wind forecast is: 12 hrs - 30kts, 35mph; 24 hrs - 30kts, 35mph; 36 hrs - 35kts, 40mph (tropical storm winds); 48 hrs - 35kts, 40mph; 72 hrs - 40kts, 46mph.

It current forecasted track takes it further south than earlier anticipated. The eye (if you can call it an eye) is heading for the southern tip of Dominica (in about 28 hours if it keeps travelling at the same speed). It will move south of Montserrat, Nevis, St.Kitts, Statia and Saba, and thus St.Maarten as well. It is forecasted that the storm will pass 165 miles south of St.Maarten in about 36 hours. So it doesn't look to bad at this point of time...

Sep 5, 1996 7:10pm EDT
That Fran... Looks pretty bad especially when compared to TD#8. Latest advisories regarding TD#8: current position 14.6N, 53.1W; 535 miles east of the Leeward's; moving west near 13 mph; central pressure 1006mbar. So not much has changed. Deep convection has somewhat increased, but still not well organized. Forecasted track is the same as the previous one (see below). Maximum sustained winds at 'landfall' in the Leewards islands (if it makes landfall) around 50 knts. Not a hurricane, but still something to be prepared for...

Sep 5, 1996 11:10am EDT
All eyes are on Fran, however we continue keeping a close watch on TD#8. The latest advisory shows that the current location if further to the south than expected: 14.5N, 52.1W. It has not strengthened, winds are still 35mph, pressure 1006mb.

Since its current position is more to the south, the forecasted track is also more to the south. The current forecast takes TD#8 right over Antigua and steering it just north of Nevis, St.Kitts, Statia and Saba, and just south of St.Barts, St.Maarten/St.Martin and Anguilla, heading for the BVI.

However, at the moment it is not a powerful system. On satellite images the deep convection doesn't look very well organized, though the low level circulation is well defined. The upper level environment appears still favorable for further development, albeit slow; little strengthening is expected over the next 24 hours. The maximum sustained winds are forecasted to be in 48 hours 40 knts and in 72 hours 50 knts.

Its current position is 770 miles to the east of St.Maarten, its current movement is 13 mph; expected time of arrival within 60 hours.

Sep 4, 1996 11:40pm EDT
At 11:00pm winds/pressure/movement still the same. Current position: 14.8N 49.1W. Forecasted track is a little bit south to the previous one.

Sep 4, 1996 7:40pm EDT
The 5:00 pm National Hurricane Advisories don't give much new information regarding TD#8. Winds still 35mph, pressure a little bit lower (1005mb). Moving at 14mph. Current position: 14.9 N, 48.1 W. The only thing is that the forecasted track is a little bit more to the south of the previous forecast. It still looks like that TD#8 (or Hortense at that time) will go North of the islands, but it will be very close. Hopefully this is not a trend... Maximum expected winds in 72 hrs still 60knts (strong tropical storm, not a hurricane).

Check out the alternate links below for the latest advisories. NHC and Ohio State's webservers still overloaded.

Sep 4, 1996 11:50am EDT
Tropical Depression #8 has formed! Yesterday it looked like the conditions were unfavorable for development of the wave we were following since August 30 (see below). However it has become better organized, and upgraded to TD#8.

From the 11AM National Hurricane Center Advisories: Current location is 14.9N 47.4W, about 925 miles east of the Leeward islands, min. pressure 1008 mb, winds 35 mph (close to Tropical Storm winds, so I guess Hortense is almost born). Moving West near 15mph. For the next few days it should continue on a west or west-northwest track due to a ridge to the north. Strengthening is expected over the next few days. The current forecast shows that in 72 hours the storm should be located at 18.0N, 60.0W, with 60 knt winds or 200 miles (~13 hours) to the east of St.Maarten. However, judging from the forecasted track it will (again) go just North of the Leeward Islands. But too soon to relax.

At the moment both National Hurricane Center and Ohio State's Web Servers are overloaded due to Fran's close proximity to the US coast. The most reliable website for NHC advisories is currently at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (http://ws321.uncc.edu). Alternative links can be found in our hurricane websites section.

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Some good news though about the other tropical wave which just came of the African coast: it has moved northward and further development is not likely (530am NHC Tropical Weather Outlook).

Sep 3, 1996 12:30pm EDT
Good news and bad news. First the good news: according to the 11:30 Tropical Weather Outlook upper-level winds are interacting with the below mentioned wave. This means that tropical storm development is not likely at this time.

The bad news: a new well-organized wave emerged from the west coast of Africa. We will watch it for signs of development.

Sep 3, 1996 11:00am EDT
Not much new; the 5:30am Tropical Weather Outlook reports the following about the wave (see below):


Current location (according to the 8:05am Tropical Weather Discussion) 15N 41.5W, moving to the west at 13kt. Distance from the Leeward Islands (~61W) is around 1100 miles (approx. 3 days).

Sep 2, 1996 11:45am EDT
The most recent Tropical Weather Outlook with regards to the tropical wave far East (see below) is basically a repeat of yesterday's T.W.O., with the addition that the system is currently undergoing some unfavorable winds aloft. It can still become a tropical depression in the next day or two.

Sep 1, 1996 11:20am EDT
The tropical wave (see below) seems to get better organized. It is still far, far away. Too early to predict its path if it becomes a depression/tropical storm/hurricane. The 5:30am Tropical Weather Outlook reports the following about this wave:

     ABOUT 15 MPH.

Aug 30, 1996 6:00pm EDT
Hurricane season is not over yet... We were threatened by Edouard and Fran. A next tropical system is inevitable. So what else is brewing in the far Eastern Atlantic? Our first candidate: a very impressive wave came off the African coast a couple of days ago, but as soon as it hit the waters of the Eastern Atlantic it got disorganized (see below). The Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of the Tropical Prediction Center in Miami says the following about this wave:


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