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Tropical Cyclone Pat (14P) Expected to Strengthen Slightly

15.4S 159.6W

February 10th, 2010 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone Pat (14P) - February 9th, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Pat (14P) - February 9th, 2010

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Track of TC 14P - February 10th, 2010 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 14P

Tropical Cyclone Pat (14P), located approximately 275 nautical miles north of Raratonga, has tracked southward at 7 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 17 feet. This image shows convection associated with the system.

Animated multispectral imagery shows the system has developed an eye-like feature as convective bands deepened and consolidated further over the past 12 hours.

The current position is based on a 1-km resolution visible satellite imagery showing a well defined low level circulation center and the current imagery is based on a T4.5 (77 knots) Dvorak estimate. Upper level analysis indicates the system is now tracking along the western edge of a subtropical ridge to the East in an area of low- to moderate, albeit increasing, vertical wind shear (VWS).

TC Pat is expected to turn southwestward and strengthen slightly over the next 24 hours as the poleward outflow will intensify as the system approaches strong westerly upper level winds. Beyond TAU 24, TC 14P will gradually weaken with increasing VWS and cooling sea surface temperatures. By TAU 96, Pat will round the western edge of the steering ridge and turn more southward ahead of an approaching mid-latitude trough and begin extra-tropical transition.

Numerical model guidance is in fair agreement in the initial TAUs, but diverges into two groupings in the later TAUs, with some models indicating an unlikely westward track due to excessive direct cyclone interaction with a developing cyclone to the West, while other models support the current forecast track.

Tropical Cyclone 14P Tracks East-Southeastward

14.8S 160.3W

February 8th, 2010 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone 14P - February 7th, 2010

Tropical Cyclone 14P - February 7th, 2010

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Track of TC 14P - February 7th, 2010 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 14P

Tropical Cyclone 14P, located approximately 540 nautical miles east-northeast of Pago Pago, has tracked east-southeastward at 15 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 11 feet.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows improved deep convection over the last 12 hours with divergent outflow aloft. A recent TRMM microwave image, in concert with SSMIS image, shows multiple convective bands starting to wrap into the developing low level circulation center (LLCC).

Despite Dvorak estimates from ranging from 25 to 30 knots, the current intensity of 35 knots is based on the microwave signature and takes into account the small size of the system (perhaps causing erroneously low Dvorak estimates), which is embedded within the well-developed trough.

Over the next 24 to 36 hours, TC 14P will continue to track east-southeastward with the northwesterly flow on the south side of the near equatorial ridge. At the same time, the system will further consolidate and intensify due to the favorable environment.

After TAU 24, a subtropical steering ridge, currently anchored east of 120W, will gradually build westward and cause the system to make a turn toward the South. Around TAU 72, TC 14P will begin to track more westward as it remains equatorward of the subtropical ridge axis. By the end of the forecast period, the system is expected to weaken slightly as the vertical wind shear increases ahead of an approaching mid-latitude trough.

Beyond the extended TAUs, the passing trough may weaken the steering ridge and enable TC 14P to turn poleward. The early model guidance is limited and a bit spread out, though it has consistently pointed to the westward turn over the last three model runs.