Monday, October 15, 2012

Tropical Storm Rafael: October 15, Update A

A quick breakfast note with my morning tea.

There is an area of high pressure ahead of Rafael, which means he will probably slow down today (he is already beginning to slow down actually). In turn, this means he will stay over the very warm waters, where the upper 100m is warmer than 26 deg C for longer. Although he will continue to experience some wind shear, I don’t think this will be enough to stop him from becoming a cat 1 – there is already very good circulation in the lower half of the troposphere, and some in the upper troposphere. Therefore I agree with the NHC and think he will become a cat 1 hurricane. He is a borderline TS/cat 1 with winds of 70mph (TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure 985mb. They are sending in a plane and will have better information later.

Officially he is at 22.5N, 65.5W, heading NNW at 9mph. I think he may be a little northwest of this location. Although they did shift his forecast track to the east and away from Bermuda overnight, you guys should definitely keep an eye on him. If he slows down there may be a readjustment in his track to the west again (tricky to tell because it depends on that high pressure and also on how strong he gets). The models are forecasting the high pressure to weaken – we will know this if he turns north today. I have to say, post-Isaac, the models have been doing a pretty good job with the track of these storms but regardless of where his center goes, if he grows you guys in Bermuda may need to cancel your golf games for a day or two because you’ll get a couple of buckets of rain.

I’ll be back later. Must finish my cuppa before it gets cold. J

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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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