>> Saturday, August 15, 2009
Former Tropical Depression 2 has continued to organize itself, and it has now become Tropical Storm Ana. It will come close to the northeast Caribbean Islands and then bend in the general direction of Florida by around Thursday.
The intensity forecast on Ana is very problematic. Some guidance dissipates the system altogether. However, some guidance ramps this thing up into a Category 2 hurricane.
For at least a few days, I would lean more toward Ana staying on the weaker side of things. It is unlikely to dissipate, but it is still going to be battling dry air for at least several days, and it will be tough for any explosive strengthening.
The weaker Ana stays, the more likely it is to try and sneak across Florida or the Keys and into the Gulf.
Our powerful tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic should become Tropical Depression 3 this morning and then Bill soon thereafter. I think the intensity forecast with this one is a little more straight-forward. Bill-to-be will not have the degree of dry air to battle that Ana does, and shear shouldn't be a HUGE factor. So, overall things still look good for Bill-to-be to become a significant tropical system.
The track guidance is a little tougher with this one though. The European continues to take it way north and recurves it way out in the Atlantic. The latest Canadian also recurves it out in the Atlantic. Most of the other guidance still indicates some sort of US landfall.
Bill-to be's track will be influenced greatly by the intensity and track of Ana. Ana's strength will play a roll in the strength in the ridge north of the systems, and that will play a big role in Bill's eventual track.
At this point, all interests from the Eastern Seaboard down through Florida and over into the central Gulf coast need to closely monitor the progress of these two systems.