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After a few days of quiet in the Eastern Pacific, the season has resumed with the formation of Tropical Storm Norbert, located south of the southern tip of Baja California. Norbert has winds of 35kts, and has some deep convection over the LLCC, along with formative banding in the southwest quadrant. Waters are warm, and shear is moderate, so Norbert should at least intensify steadily over the next few days. Norbert is expected to get close to the west coast of Baja over the next few days so it is worth watching.

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After not doing much overnight, Norbert has started a rapid intensification phase. Winds are up to 55kts. Norbert has developed a strong inner core with a solid central dense overcast flanked by strong banding features. There are hints of an eye trying to form. It seems that Norbert will become a hurricane this evening, and then should go on to become a category 2 hurricane west of Baja. However, due to the observed rapid intensification and no change in environment expected for the next day or so, Norbert could easily become a Major Hurricane (cat 3 and above). Baja California look in for a bumpy ride as Norbert's track has shifted a little closer to the west coast too.

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Norbert has become the seventh hurricane in a row for the East Pacific (eighth if you include the Central Pacific's Genevieve), winds winds of 70kts. Some shear has begun to affect Norbert again, so NHC have backed off on the intensity forecast a bit. Shear isn't expected to completely stop Norbert form intensifying at least a little more over the next day or two as it passes close to the west coast of Baja California.

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Norbert has strengthened to 80kts. The hurricane isn't far away from cooler waters, so it is running out of time to strengthen. Heavy rains are spreading across Baja California, and conditions are set to worsen here as Norbert passes very close by.

 

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Edited by Somerset Squall
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Norbert continues to have a classic category 1 hurricane. It still shows a warm spot in visible imagery, yet this eye had a lot of trouble to become better defined (as of 20:30 UTC). 

 

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Visible satellite loop of Norbert 

 

What can also be seen is a large SC (stratocumulus) field to the west of Norbert moving eastward, while to the southwest of Norbert, clouds are flowing toward the center of Norbert. Those clouds can unlikely be high-level clouds, as the upper-level winds to the southwest of Norbert are moving from east to west. (see CIMSS shear analysis). Does anybody have an explanation for this?

 

Sources:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/14E/14E_floater.html

http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/#

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Norbert has moved over a patch of warmer waters again as it brushes Baja California. As a result, Norbert has strengthened. The eye has become fully formed and is surrounded by intense convection. Winds have increased to 95kts, a high end cat 2. Despite proximity to land, Norbert could become a major hurricane today before cooler waters finally weaken the system.

Edited by Somerset Squall

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So much of a classical category 1 hurricane. Norbert has intensified into the 8th major hurricane of the 2014 Eastern Pacific hurricane season! Norbert has likely reached its peak, though, as convection is already thinning on the northern side of the system.

 

The 2014 Eastern Pacific hurricane season continues to be a season of overachievers. This stands in stark contrast with the 2014 Western Pacific typhoon season, which has faced below-normal activity so far.

 

Sources:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Pacific_hurricane_season

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Yeah, the lack of recent activity in the Western Pacific has been quite something, no new named storms since July 27th!

And then we have Norbert, the sixth major of this busy East Pacific season (seventh if you include Genevieve which achieved this status in the Central Pacific). Winds are up to 105kts. As Vorticity has said, this is probably Norbert's peak as already the convection is thinning on the north side of the eye.

Edited by Somerset Squall

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Norbert has veered westwards away from the coast of Baja. This has put Norbert over much colder water. As a result, Norbert's convection has collapsed considerably, and winds have fallen to 65kts, meaning that Norbert is barely a hurricane. Waters get even colder along track, as Norbert veers north again over the next couple of days west of northern Baja California, and remnant low status is expected in 36hrs.

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Norbert has become a convectionless remnant low west of northern Baja California. The remnant low should continue to weaken before it veers eastwards and makes landfall.

Edited by Somerset Squall

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