Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hurricane Ophelia: October 14, Update A

Ooh, I see a few Shakespeare fans out there! Jolly good. In this topsy-turvy year, a bit o’culture and art is a nice change, isn’t it? J

Hurricane Ophelia was upgraded to a cat 3 storm today, and currently has winds of 115mph, central pressure of 960mb. This makes her a relatively weak cat 3 storm (cat 3 winds: 111-130mph):
There is a little circulation (vorticity) in the upper troposphere, which means she is a hurricane because her structure is good throughout this part of the atmosphere. And she's definitely still a cat 2 with that good eye. But the vorticity isn't as strong as we see with a cat 3 storm. She is moving over cold water – the surface water is less than 26 deg C – not great there either for a storm. Normally, I would say she is a cat 2 storm, but I can see why they increased the category based on wind speed. The reason is that she finally merged with a front which was working its way across the Atlantic, which added its own energy and forward motion to the storm, so the winds are higher. Otherwise, she should not be more than a cat 2 at the most. Here are a few stills to show the front (the long curvy line of blue and yellow clouds north of Ophelia) moving across to the east and south and meeting up with Ophelia earlier today (I wasn’t able to get a moving satellite image- and oopsie on the layout too! :-)):

She is currently at 35.9N, 23.7W, heading NE at 28mph. This incredibly fast forward speed is another indication that she is actually caught up and is moving along with a low-pressure front. She is passing just south of the Azores at the moment, still forecast to head to Emerald Isle and then bonnie Scotland…
Over the last couple of days she has been forecast to be a hurricane more-or-less all the way to Ireland, but I see that today the NHC have downgraded that to a Tropical Storm by the time she gets to Ireland. There is some wind shear ahead of her so this is reasonable.  An autumn front on its own in Ireland and the UK would bring a blustery, rainy day. A front plus the energy from a tropical storm means gale force winds and a rainy day. Here’s the forecast from the Met Office, which pretty much sums it up:

Wet and windy in western Scotland, rain spreading into parts of southern Scotland and northern England later. Elsewhere, will be warm, dry with some sunny spells and easing winds.
Monday to Wednesday:
Windy with severe gales in the west on Monday. Breezy, warm and bright in the east. Strong winds in the north Tuesday, settled and cooler further south. Unsettled on Wednesday.

Pretty much a normal wintery storm over in these parts. 

I’m traveling tomorrow, so I won’t be checking in on progress - unless I run into a weather delay. J But I’ll be flying over Ophelia and will tell her to turn it down a notch! I’m currently in the UK and will be heading to the US, personally evacuating some vital Jaffa Cakes, Jelly Babies, Prawn Cocktail crisps, and Pickled Onion Monster Munch. It was a hastily planned visit because I was actually supposed to be in Puerto Rico... and next week I am supposed to be in Sonoma County, CA, and after that er, hmm... maybe I should just stay put for a while…?

Anyway, enough of that silly storm stuff! Here’s what you have really been waiting for… the Answers from the Shakespeare quiz:
1. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. From Julius Caesar. (No, he’s not asking for people to do a Van Gogh and literally lend him their ears!)
2. …when last we met… From er… that well-known Shakespearean piece that I remember well, called er… Star Wars. Umm, ok, that was a deliberate red herring. Although don't you think Darth Vadar was based upon Romeo?
3…. O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! From As You Like It. (Shakespeare accidentally hit copy and paste too often – easily done when the keyboard is sensitive)
4. … And so, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more! From Henry V. (I use this one quite often in daily conversation – especially when I’m talking to myself)
5. …glass of fashion… From Hamlet (the glass of fashion means a mirror of comportment or mirror of form… not to be confused with Harry Potter’s Mirror of Eirised)
6. Tempest From The Tempest (ok, this was more of a title than a quote… I won’t hold it against you if you didn’t count this one)
7. …though she be but little, she is fierce. From A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Sounds just like me)
8. …more things in heaven and earth. From Hamlet. (with Ophelia around, how could I not have Hamlet in this list?)
9. …all that glisters is not gold… From The Merchant of Venice (sometimes contorted to all the glistens is not gold – I think)
10. …
it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. From Hamlet (more about humans than storms, but it works oh so well… I admit I was rubbing my hands in glee at this one)
11. … royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle. From Richard II. (luckily Shakespeare wrote a few words about the British isles).
12. … Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will. From Macbeth (meaning that Scotland has enough treasures to satisfy you… very apropos for this storm methinks)
13. …this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. From Richard II (pretty much continued from the quote above)
14. …do not compare Ophelia to a summer's day. From Sonnet 18 (with a slight modification of course… the actual line is Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?)
15. You may be saying a plague upon this howling! They are louder than the weather or our office. From The Tempest. (of course!)
16. …where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, when the battle 's lost and won. From Macbeth (that Scottish play!)

If you remove the red herring, the title, and the split Richard II quote, then we have 13. Otherwise, I’d say 14. J

Back when I can! Stay safe my peeps on this side of the Atlantic... keep the smarties safe for me! :-) 

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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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