Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hurricane Omar and TD16: October 14 Update B

Hurricane Omar:
He continued to intensify this afternoon and evening, and with little wind
shear it was indeed a 'little' faster than the official forecast this
morning. At the 11pm advisory he was upgraded to a hurricane. I agree with
this upgrade.

Currently his eye is at 14.3N, 68.1W and is moving NE at 6mph. The eye is
expected to reach the islands on Wednesday night. Officially the maximum
sustained winds are near 75mph (central pressure 979mb), extending out 15
miles from the eye, so he's a very weak cat 1 at the moment (cat 1 range:
74-95 mph). I think he might be a little stronger than that now, but not
a cat 2. The eye, although present, is not very clear.

Even though the wind is not as strong as it could be, the convection is
really strong with this storm – we're talking torrential rain, strong
thunderstorms and all the bells and whistles that come along with that. At
the moment the worst of this activity is over water, but the islands have
had some rain. I got this report from St. Thomas this evening:

"Am waiting for the 8pm from NHC and it is POURING HERE AND NO
ELECTRCITY…par for STT . . . Still a lot of prep to do as our brains do
not want to believe this storm is coming..........bye for now due to no

The front coming down from the north is now over Hispaniola… I'm not sure
how much farther south and east it will dig. The area of strong convection
is fairly broad and should reach Puerto Rico and the VIs in a few hours –
it'll be a very soggy and er.. breezy... ride for that entire area
regardless of exactly where the eye passes.

TD 16:
Although there is still some circulation, convection remains disorganized.
This blobette is struggling against the combined effects of interactions
with land and having the moist air dragged away eastwards along that same
front, towards Omar (helping Omar). Nicaragua has had quite a lot of rain
from this system though, and Honduras, Belize and Mexico look like they've
had some intermittent heavy rain showers. Given how disorganized the
convection is and the factors working against it, it may not make TS
status – although the NHC are saying that if it stays over water then it
may become a TS tomorrow. We'll see how things develop tomorrow.

The center is currently at around 16.2N, 83.8W and it's moving NW at 6mph.
Winds are near 30mph, central pressure 1005mb. Track is still the
Honduras/Belize area.

And look what the NHC posted about keeping this as a TD for now: "THE

I'm happy someone else thinks storms need to have strong convection near
the center as well as the strong winds. I hope they remember this tomorrow
if they decide to upgrade to TS. Can we downgrade old storms retroactively
I wonder. I know they can upgrade retroactively.

Well my friends, that's it for today. Tomorrow should be interesting I
suppose. For those in the VIs and surrounding islands, STAY SAFE (although
you won't be reading this if you don't have power!). And for those going
on the cruise tomorrow, STAY SAFE as well. Let me know what you encounter.


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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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