Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Subtropical Storm Otto: October 6, Update A

Our blob was upgraded to Subtropical Depression early this morning and, as of the 5pm NHC advisory, it is now Subtropical Storm Otto. The wind shear I mentioned yesterday gradually subsided, which allowed the convection to finally wrap around the center.
His center is  just a bit north of Hispaniola and a smidge east of the Turks and Caicos, at 23.3N, 68.3W. The NHC have his maximum winds at 60mph (central pressure 990mb) making him a mid-sized Subtropical Storm (range: 39-73mph). He has good vorticity throughout the troposphere but he really isn't fully formed yet because there is still a dry area just southeast of the center and what passes for convection is looking a little ragged (one could say he was a bit under the weather... ;-)).
At the moment he's moving N at 5mph, which is rather slow for a storm. He's trying to get past an area of high pressure that's blocking him - it's like going uphill for him, and he's not in the best of shape anyway! The official forecast track has him heading generally northward until tomorrow afternoon and then he'll pick up the pace and head northeast as a hurricane (for a short while). He is heading towards some Atlantic islands. Not Bermuda though (that makes a nice change, hey?) but towards the Azores instead. Actually, it looks like he's already making that northeast turn but I don't have good enough data to be able to judge that with certainty, so tomorrow I will be looking out for more evidence of a turn to the northeast and an increase in forward speed.
The folks on the VIs (and probably PR and adjacent islands) have already got drenched by the convection from this blob. From Tom J. on St. Thomas early this morning:
 "...the rain has been deluging stt. we are all flash flooded here. have had NO POWER  for 5 hours and am on generator. NHC was at least right about the flash flooding warning. still deluging as I write this quick note. you'll get this as my pooped dingy is being circled by sharks. WOW WHAT A RAIN!!!"
They were without power for about 18 hours, but it's back now. You might as well just throw away the umbrellas at this point!  
That's all for today. More tomorrow!

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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 was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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