"Rafael" Moving Into SW Atlantic......
Take note of the ragged cut-off & bad data over the far E. Atlantic. The problem is that the GOES-13 satellite is malfunctioning. Work is ongoing but for the time being the satellite -- GOES-15 -- that usually covers the Western U.S. & parts of the Pacific has been moved east to cover more of the Atlantic Basin. Click here for info. from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Studies (CIMSS) & to view other satellite sectors.
"Rafael" has some very cold cloud tops but remains somewhat elongated. Convection has been persistent & explosive near & especially east of the center which is causing the center to "jump" around some. Such erratic behavior within a disorganized tropical cyclone that has bursts of deep convection is not at all uncommon. Air Force Reserve reconnaissance has shown a drop in the central pressure as well as an increase in the stronger winds in the northwest quadrant so that the system is becoming more symmetric -- all are indications of an organizing tropical cyclone. Thanks to significant upper level troughing over the Eastern U.S./far W. Atlantic, "Rafael" will be no threat to the First Coast or any of the U.S. & will even manage to stay east of the Bahamas. There could be a threat to Bermuda by Tue.-Wed. where a tropical storm WATCH is in effect. While this shear will weaken through the weekend, southwest shear will increase again by midweek -- if not sooner -- due to the trough near the U.S. east coast. It still seems reasonable, however, that given other favorable conditions (warm sea surface temps., high moisture), "Rafael" will slowly strengthen on its journey N/NW through the Western Atlantic until the storm becomes extratropical later next week...turns north then accelerates to the northeast.
A large tropical wave has moved into the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa. There's some potential for slow development but given the time of year -- late in the hurricane season -- the chances for the wave to make it across the Atlantic are low. Still...it's something to watch if the wave can avoid recurvature since an upper level ridge will build over much of the W. Atlantic in 10-14 days.