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Hurricane OPHELIA


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HURRICANE OPHELIA DISCUSSION NUMBER  21
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT SUN SEP 11 2005
 
AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE OBSERVATIONS OVER THE LAST FEW HOURS SHOWED
MAXIMUM FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF 74 KT...WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN CENTRAL
PRESSURE.  THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS REDUCED SLIGHTLY...TO 70 KT. 
THE SYSTEM APPEARS WELL ORGANIZED AND VERTICAL SHEAR IS NOT
EXPECTED TO BECOME PROHIBITIVELY STRONG DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. 
TWO FACTORS MITIGATING AGAINST INTENSIFICATION ARE THE PRESENCE OF
DRY AIR...AS EVIDENCED BY SURFACE OBSERVATIONS FROM SOUTH CAROLINA
AND NORTH CAROLINA SHOWING DEW POINTS IN THE LOW SIXTIES...AND
COOLER WATERS UPWELLED BENEATH THIS SLOW-MOVING HURRICANE.  OPHELIA
IS LIKELY TO TRAVERSE A SECTION OF THE GULF STREAM OVER THE NEXT
FEW DAYS... HOWEVER...WHICH WOULD FAVOR SOME INTENSIFICATION. 
GIVEN THESE MIXED SIGNALS...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST DOES NOT CALL FOR
A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STRENGTH.  THIS IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE
LATEST SHIPS FORECAST AS WELL.
 
OPHELIA CONTINUES STUCK BETWEEN TWO MID-LEVEL HIGH PRESSURE
AREAS...AND UNABLE TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE WESTERLIES.  LITTLE
CHANGE IN THIS STEERING...OR LACK OF STEERING...REGIME IS LIKELY
FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.  BY AROUND 72 HOURS...GLOBAL MODEL
GUIDANCE SHOWS A LARGE MID-LATITUDE TROUGH ADVANCING INTO THE
CENTRAL UNITED STATES.  THIS FEATURE SHOULD BREAK DOWN THE BLOCKING
HIGH TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE HURRICANE AND ALLOW OPHELIA TO BEGIN
MOVING ON A NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD OR NORTHWARD HEADING.  THE LATEST
GFS RUN HAS SHIFTED A LITTLE TO THE WEST OF THE PREVIOUS ONE AT
DAYS 3-5...BUT THE NEW NOGAPS RUN HAS SHIFTED A LITTLE TO THE EAST. 
THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TAKES THE TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER/NEAR EASTERN
NORTH CAROLINA IN ABOUT 3 DAYS...AND IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE FORECAST
FROM THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY.  IT SHOULD BE ADDED THAT 3-DAY TRACK
FORECASTS CAN EASILY BE IN ERROR BY 200 NAUTICAL MILES.

NO ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE TO THE HURRICANE WATCH AREA AT THIS TIME
SINCE THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE MOVEMENT...AND THE FORECAST TRACK
THROUGH 72 HOURS HAS NOT CHANGED.
 
FORECASTER PASCH
 
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      11/1500Z 31.6N  75.7W    70 KT
 12HR VT     12/0000Z 31.6N  75.7W    70 KT
 24HR VT     12/1200Z 31.9N  76.1W    75 KT
 36HR VT     13/0000Z 32.2N  76.5W    75 KT
 48HR VT     13/1200Z 32.7N  76.7W    75 KT
 72HR VT     14/1200Z 34.5N  76.5W    75 KT
 96HR VT     15/1200Z 37.5N  74.5W    50 KT
120HR VT     16/1200Z 40.5N  71.0W    40 KT
 
 
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