Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hurricane Omar: October 16 Update B

It's a sunnier day today. After running through the Anegada Passage (the
water between the VIs and the northern leeward islands) as a cat 3, Omar
is now falling apart very quickly in the Atlantic because of the
combined effects of wind shear and that front, which has dry air behind
it that is being entrained into the system. He is currently centered at
20.2N, 61.3W - easy to see as there is very little convection near his
center of circulation because it's been pushed north and east.
Officially winds are near 85 mph (central pressure 980mb) which makes
him a mid-sized cat 1 (range: 74-95mph). I wouldn't be too surprised if
he's a Tropical Storm by the end of the day. Convection has decreased

I got this early this morning from St. Thomas:
"We got what we hoped for and we were prepared for the
worst! was indeed well east of St. Croix. We have power
and internet and winds were probably 40-45 tops...piece of cake for St.
Thomas. thanks for all of the great meterological support and
communication interaction, it is nice to have your own private

Aww thanks. :) No worries. Let's hope we don't have to communicate about
storms any more this year (at least).

And also from our reporter on St. Thomas re St. Criox, which was
probably the closest to the eye of all the islands:
"St. Croix....Reports are that a few trees were down, no structural
damage to buildings, and some power lines down. They must have been very
surprised that the center missed them. The big question is how did St.
Martin, Barbuda, Anguilla and St. Barts fare?"

And from the research vessel out there, yesterday they had 12 feet
swells - and that's when they were heading north of Bermuda, before
heading south... I got this yesterday afternoon:
"Still lumpy as prison porridge out here. Still about 4 hours from the
first station, CTD down to 3000m then we head south and a much
comfortable ride. The ship is the RV Atlantic Explorer. It's about 19
miles long and 3 miles wide. A more realistic figure ~160 feet long and
35 feet fat. Dinner was nice. There is another Aussie on this cruise. he
started to eat lunch, turned pale and ran from the galley."

Aah... the adventures of sea-travel. I think those swells were probably
from the front instead of the storm. A CTD is a
Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensor - it measures the water salinity
and temperature (in case you couldn't tell that part from the name) at
various water depths.

And from the ship today:
"We're at the BATS site now and heading more or less in a straight line
to PR. We're going to duck across to the PR trench and do a deep deep
cast... The seas are behind us now so a pleasant ride. Actually we're
starting to look good for the cruise. Few white caps and a swell 4-5ft
with a pretty long period b/w swell."

(The BATS site doesn't stand for 'location where the bats accumulate',
but for the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Station, which is in the
Atlantic near 31N, 64W).

So it looks like they'll be o.k. Luckily for that Aussie.

Until the next update later,

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DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical
storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are
making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management
and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National
Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run
away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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