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Tropical Storm OPHELIA


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TROPICAL STORM OPHELIA DISCUSSION NUMBER   5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT WED SEP 07 2005
 
SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS CONTINUED TO
BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED. THERE IS DEEP CONVECTION BUT STILL NORTH
OF THE CENTER...WITH SEVERAL CONVECTIVE BANDS AND FAIR OUTFLOW.
T-NUMBERS FROM TAFB AND SAB ARE 3.0 ON THE DVORAK SCALE...AND BASED
ON THESE ESTIMATES...THE INITIAL INTENSITY HAS BEEN INCREASED TO 45
KNOTS. A RECONNAISSANCE PLANE WILL CHECK OPHELIA LATER THIS
MORNING. THE CYCLONE IS MOVING OVER WARM WATERS AND A LOW-SHEAR
ENVIRONMENT...SO STRENGTHENING IS INDICATED. SINCE THE GFS BRINGS
STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLIES OVER OPHELIA BY THE END OR THE
FORECAST PERIOD...THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS LEVELED OFF BETWEEN 65
AND 70 KNOTS. THIS IS ALSO INDICATED BY THE SHIPS MODEL.

OPHELIA IS EMBEDDED WITHIN VERY WEAK STEERING CURRENTS AND IT
APPEARS TO BE MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST AT 3 KNOTS. GLOBAL MODELS
SHOW THAT OPHELIA WILL BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SOUTHERN EXTENSION OF
A MID-LEVEL TROUGH. THIS PORTION OF THE TROUGH IS FORECAST TO CUT
OFF FROM THE WESTERLIES AND REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY JUST OFF THE
UNITED STATES SOUTHEAST COAST...RESULTING IN WEAK STEERING CURRENTS
FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS.  MODELS ARE IN GREAT DISAGREEMENT MAKING THE
FORECAST HIGHLY UNCERTAIN. BOTH THE GFDL AND THE ECMWF BRING THE
CYCLONE WESTWARD OVER THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS IS PROBABLY
THE WORSE CASE SCENARIO FOR THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. THE OTHER
MODELS KEEP OFELIA LOOPING NEAR THE SOUTHEAST U.S. COAST. THE BEST
OPTION IN THESE CASES OF LARGE MODEL DISAGREEMENT IS TO FORECAST
LITTLE MOTION. THEREFORE...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST SHOWS A
NORTHWESTWARD AND NORTHWARD DRIFT BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT
OPHELIA WILL LIKELY MEANDER JUST OFF THE NORTHERN FLORIDA AND
SOUTHEAST GEORGIA COASTS FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS. 

ALL INTERESTS IN NORTH AND CENTRAL FLORIDA AND SOUTHEASTERN GEORGIA
SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DEVELOPING CYCLONE.
 
FORECASTER AVILA
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      07/1500Z 28.8N  79.3W    45 KT
 12HR VT     08/0000Z 29.2N  79.8W    50 KT
 24HR VT     08/1200Z 29.5N  80.0W    55 KT
 36HR VT     09/0000Z 29.8N  80.2W    60 KT
 48HR VT     09/1200Z 30.0N  80.3W    60 KT
 72HR VT     10/1200Z 30.5N  80.3W    65 KT
 96HR VT     11/1200Z 30.5N  80.0W    65 KT
120HR VT     12/1200Z 30.5N  80.0W    70 KT
 
 
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