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Hurricane OPHELIA


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HURRICANE OPHELIA DISCUSSION NUMBER  23
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT SUN SEP 11 2005
 
DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE INDICATE THAT OPHELIA
REMAINS AS A 65-KNOT HURRICANE. THE CYCLONE HAS BEEN MOVING VERY
LITTLE SINCE YESTERDAY AND PROBABLY HAS PRODUCED UPWELLING. NO
WONDER THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION RESEMBLES AN EASTERN NORTH
PACIFIC TROPICAL CYCLONE LOCATED WEST-NORTHWEST OF BAJA
CALIFORNIA...WHERE THE OCEAN IS COOL. THE UPPER-LEVEL ENVIRONMENT
IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE HOSTILE TO THE CYCLONE...AND WHEN OPHELIA
BEGINS TO MOVE...IT COULD ENCOUNTER A LITTLE WARMER OCEAN.
THEREFORE...ONLY A VERY SMALL STRENGTHENING IS INDICATED. THIS IS
CONSISTENT WITH BOTH THE SHIPS AND THE GFDL MODELS WHICH ARE ONLY
SHOWING A VERY MODEST INTENSIFICATION.

IT APPEARS THAT THE EXPECTED SCENARIO OF A STRONG DEEP LAYER-MEAN
HIGH FORMING NORTH OF OPHELIA IS BEGINNING TO MATERIALIZE...AS
INDICATED BY THE UPPER-AIR DATA OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES.
CONSEQUENTLY...OPHELIA HAS BEGUN TO DRIFT WEST-SOUTHWEST OR 240
DEGREES AT 3 KNOTS. THIS WEST-SOUTHWEST MOTION IS EXPECTED TO BE
SHORT-LIVED SINCE THE HIGH IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN AND SPREAD
EASTWARD. THIS PATTERN SHOULD ALLOW THE HURRICANE TO GRADUALLY TURN
TO THE NORTHWEST AND NORTH...PAINFULLY SLOWLY...TOWARD THE UNITED
STATES COAST WITHIN THE WATCH OR WARNING AREA. THEREAFTER...THE
CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO BE STEERED NORTHEASTWARD...WITH AN INCREASE
IN FORWARD SPEED...BY THE MID-LATITUDE SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW.  

MOST OF THE GUIDANCE SHOWED ANOTHER WESTWARD SHIFT IN THE LAST RUN
DURING THE EARLY PORTION OF THE FORECAST AND THEY ARE IN MUCH
BETTER AGREEMENT THAN YESTERDAY.  IN FACT...THE CONSENSUS MODELS
WHICH SKIRTED THE COAST IN THE LAST RUN ARE NOW OVER EASTERN NORTH
CAROLINA.  THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS EAST OF THE CONSENSUS MODELS
BUT I DO NOT WANT TO SHIFT WESTWARD THE OFFICIAL FORECAST YET...IN
CASE THE GUIDANCE SHIFTS BACK TO THE EAST IN THE NEXT RUN. THE GFDL
STUBBORNLY INSISTS ON A TRACK MORE TO THE LEFT. BY INSPECTING THE
STRENGTH OF THE HIGH NORTH OF OPHELIA...I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF
THE OFFICIAL TRACK WILL HAVE TO BE SHIFTED WESTWARD A LITTLE BIT
MORE FOR THE PORTION BEFORE LANDFALL. 

FORECASTER AVILA
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      12/0300Z 31.1N  76.4W    65 KT
 12HR VT     12/1200Z 31.2N  77.0W    65 KT
 24HR VT     13/0000Z 31.8N  77.5W    65 KT
 36HR VT     13/1200Z 32.2N  77.6W    65 KT
 48HR VT     14/0000Z 32.9N  77.7W    70 KT
 72HR VT     15/0000Z 35.0N  76.6W    70 KT
 96HR VT     16/0000Z 38.0N  73.0W    50 KT
120HR VT     17/0000Z 42.0N  68.0W    40 KT
 
 
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