Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hurricane Ophelia: October 11, Update A

To write or not to write - that is the question. I thought I’d try and take a few days off and not talk about Ophelia because she’s hanging out in the Atlantic and not bothering anyone in particular, but someone clearly missed that memo and decided to upgrade her to a Hurricane today and send her towards some islands… so here I am. Wine and cheese is armed and ready for some slurping and munching. (Speaking of wine… aaagh… California Fires!! Aaagh!! Stay safe out there!)

Hurricane Ophelia is officially barely a cat 1 storm with winds of 75mph (cat 1 range: 74-95mph), central pressure is 990mb. She is at 30.0N, 36.1W, and heading gently eastward at 3mph.

She has slowly developed over the last few days and her convection now looks quite good – there is clearly an eye:
This suggests that her wind speed is actually closer to 90mph, so I would place her as a mid-to-strong cat 1 storm. The reason I wouldn’t put her any higher than that is because the circulation (vorticity) is not quite well developed in the upper troposphere – she is under an elongated low pressure area (a trough) and it doesn’t look like the structure of a really well-developed storm yet.

Wind shear is quite weak which will allow her to develop. But as she continues to wander eastward, she will move over cooler water where the sea surface is actually cooler than 26.5 deg C, so the convection won’t be very strong and I don’t think she’ll get to be much more than a cat 1 storm.

She is following the northern edge of a high-pressure system and I agree with the official forecast that she will head generally east and then northeastward, arriving in the Azores around Saturday:
And then she’s heading to Scandinavia (of course she is... where else would she go? ;-)), bumping into Ireland and the UK area on her way there next week. It'll be a typical Autumn week over yonder - blustery and rainy. Maybe you can get Monday off work? Practice your Shakespeare or something?

And with that... parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow. ;-)

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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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