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Hurricane OPHELIA


ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM OPHELIA DISCUSSION NUMBER  30
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM EDT TUE SEP 13 2005
 
DATA FROM SATELLITES...NOAA COASTAL DOPPLER RADARS...AND AN AIR
FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE OPHELIA HAS CONTINUED TO
SLOWLY BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED AS INNER CORE CONVECTION HAS
INCREASED IN BOTH COVERAGE AND INTENSITY. THE HIGHEST RECON 700 MB
FLIGHT-LEVEL HAS BEEN 76 KT IN THE NORTHWEST QUADRANT...AND DOPPLER
VELOCITY DATA FROM WILMINGTON HAS BEEN AS HIGH AS 80 KT AT 9900
FEET IN THE NORTHWEST QUADRANT. THESE VALUES WOULD NORMALLY SUPPORT
68-72 KT SURFACE WINDS AND MAKE OPHELIA A HURRICANE. HOWEVER...
THESE HIGHER-LEVEL WIND VALUES HAVE BEEN OBSERVED VERY CLOSE TO
NOAA BUOY 41004...WHICH HAS ONLY BEEN REPORTING SUSTAINED WINDS OF
43 KT. SINCE THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS NOT DECREASED DURING THE DAY
...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS BEING MAINTAINED AT 60 KT...ALTHOUGH
THERE MAY SOME LOCALIZED SMALL PATCHES OF HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS
BENEATH THE STRONGER WINDS ALOFT.
 
THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 345 DEGREES AT 3-4 KT OVER THE PAST
12 HOURS. THE INNER CORE WIND FIELD AND CONVECTION HAS TIGHTENED UP
SOMEWHAT SINCE THIS MORNING AND THERE HAS BEEN LESS WOBBLE ALONG
THE NORTH-NORTHWEST TRACK. WATER VAPOR IMAGERY INDICATES THE
MID-LEVEL RIDGE AXIS OVER THE NEW ENGLAND STATES HAS CONTINUED TO
MOVE GRADUALLY EASTWARD...WHILE 18Z SPECIAL UPPER-AIR DATA FROM THE
CAROLINAS INDICATES THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE RIDGE HAS NOT
ERODED AS QUICKLY AS THE 12Z GLOBAL MODELS WERE FORECASTING. AS A
RESULT...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS A LITTLE TO THE LEFT OF THE MODEL
CONSENSUS THROUGH 24 HOURS...AND THEN A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT OF THE
GUIDANCE AFTER 72 HOURS AS WESTERLY MID-LEVEL FLOW IS EXPECTED TO
DRIVE OPHELIA MORE TO THE EAST AT HIGHER LATITUDES BY DAYS 4 AND 5.
 
THE LARGE INNER-CORE WIND FIELD AND RELATIVELY COOL SSTS SHOULD
PREVENT SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING FROM OCCURRING. HOWEVER...THE 
UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR THE NEXT 48
HOURS...SO SOME MODEST STRENGTHENING IS STILL POSSIBLE AND OPHELIA
COULD PEAK AT 70 KT BEFORE LANDFALL OCCURS. AFTER OPHELIA CLEARS
THE NORTH CAROLINA OUTER BANKS...INCREASING WESTERLY SHEAR SHOULD
CAUSE SLOW WEAKENING UNTIL OPHELIA TRANSITIONS INTO A FORMIDABLE
EXTRATROPICAL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE NORTH ATLANTIC.
 
FORECASTER STEWART

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      13/2100Z 32.6N  78.1W    60 KT
 12HR VT     14/0600Z 33.3N  77.8W    65 KT
 24HR VT     14/1800Z 34.3N  77.2W    65 KT
 36HR VT     15/0600Z 35.2N  76.1W    65 KT...INLAND/PAMLICO SOUND
 48HR VT     15/1800Z 35.7N  74.7W    65 KT...OVER WATER
 72HR VT     16/1800Z 37.8N  70.7W    60 KT
 96HR VT     17/1800Z 42.5N  62.5W    55 KT...EXTRATROPICAL
120HR VT     18/1800Z 48.5N  49.5W    45 KT...EXTRATROPICAL

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