Official Discussion issued by the National Hurricane Center

Don (AL052023) DATA RELEASED: 7/18/2023 3:00:00 AM UTC

Copy of official data

Tropical Storm Don Discussion Number  16
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL052023
300 AM GMT Tue Jul 18 2023

The convective structure of Don this evening has improved somewhat, 
with a decent area of -55 to -65C cold cloud tops centered a bit to 
the northeast of the low-level center. The center is also perhaps a 
bit better defined than earlier, with the ongoing convective 
activity possibly helping to tighten the center up. While subjective 
Dvorak classifications have not increased much this evening, an 
ASCAT-C pass at 2302 UTC caught the eastern portion of the 
circulation, with several believable wind vectors of up to 35 kt. 
Thus, Don is being upgraded to a tropical storm this advisory with 
sustained winds of 35 kt. 

Don continues to move southeastward at 125/11 kt. This motion is 
expected to continue curving clockwise over the next several days as 
the cyclone remains steered by a building mid-level ridge that is 
forecast to shift southwestward to northwestward relative to Don. 
Eventually this ridge will fold over the storm, allowing Don to 
begin gaining latitude again in 48-60 h. Overall, the track guidance 
this cycle has shifted a bit to the east and the NHC track has been 
shifted a little in that direction, though still remains much 
further west than the ECMWF model. There continues to be a large 
spread in guidance solutions by the end of the forecast period, and 
the current forecast remains low-confidence in that time frame. 

Even though Don is a bit stronger currently, the overall forecast 
environment is not all that conducive for much intensification in 
the short-term. Sea-surface temperatures under the cyclone are 
around 24C currently, and are only forecast to warm perhaps another 
degree C over the next 36-48 h. However, model-derived soundings 
from the GFS and HAFS models suggest that tropospheric instability 
does increase as environmental temperatures subtly cool in the 
mid-levels. The simulated IR imagery from these models around that 
time shows better organization of convective activity around a 
smaller core, and if this structure were to verify, some gradual 
intensification is possible. The latest NHC intensity forecast shows 
a bit more intensification than before, mostly related to the 
initial intensity, but still caps the system off as a 45-kt tropical 
storm by the end of the forecast period, which remains a bit under 
the model consensus. The latter part of the forecast is likely 
dependent on the Don's ultimate track. A further left track, like 
the GFS and HAFS-A/B, may take the cyclone over warmer SSTs, and 
result in a stronger storm. However, a more rightward track like 
the ECMWF would take Don over its cold wake and likely would limit 
additional intensification.


INIT  18/0300Z 37.4N  40.4W   35 KT  40 MPH
12H  18/1200Z 36.3N  39.3W   35 KT  40 MPH
24H  19/0000Z 34.9N  39.0W   35 KT  40 MPH
36H  19/1200Z 34.1N  39.3W   35 KT  40 MPH
48H  20/0000Z 33.8N  40.4W   40 KT  45 MPH
60H  20/1200Z 34.2N  41.6W   40 KT  45 MPH
72H  21/0000Z 35.0N  43.2W   45 KT  50 MPH
96H  22/0000Z 37.4N  46.8W   45 KT  50 MPH
120H  23/0000Z 41.3N  49.2W   45 KT  50 MPH

Forecaster Papin