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Hurricane OPHELIA


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HURRICANE OPHELIA DISCUSSION NUMBER  32
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT TUE SEP 13 2005
 
THERE HAS BEEN NO INCREASE IN OPHELIA'S WINDS SINCE LATE THIS
AFTERNOON. THE PEAK 700 MB WIND OBSERVED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS
WAS 76 KT.  THE NOAA P3 MEASURED SURFACE WINDS OF 63 KT WITH THE
SFMR AT 2243Z...AND THE NWS/WILMINGTON DOPPLER RADAR IS SHOWING 85
KT AT 7000 FT. ALL THIS SUGGESTS THAT OPHELIA IS MAINTAINING AN
INTENSITY NEAR 65 KT. HOWEVER...ON THE MOST RECENT PASS THROUGH THE
STORM THE MINIMUM PRESSURE HAD FALLEN TO 982 MB...AND THE EYEWALL
HAS BECOME BETTER DEFINED ON RADAR DURING THE PAST HOUR OR SO.  THE
UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN REMAINS STRONG.  IT SEEMS LIKELY THAT
OPHELIA WILL STRENGTHEN A BIT PRIOR TO LANDFALL...ALTHOUGH MARGINAL
SSTS SHOULD HELP TO MITIGATE AGAINST ANY RAPID CHANGES.
 
THERE HAS BEEN VIRTUALLY NO MOTION OVER THE LAST FEW HOURS.  00Z
RAOBS AND OFFSHORE DATA FROM THE GULFSTREAM-IV JET SHOW THAT THE
500 MB HIGH THAT HAD BEEN NORTH OF THE CYCLONE HAS MOVED EASTWARD
AND IS NOW LOCATED SOUTH OF NEW ENGLAND.  THIS...COUPLED WITH THE
APPROACH OF A MID-LEVEL SHORT-WAVE TROUGH IN THE WESTERLIES...
SHOULD ALLOW A NORTHERLY MOTION TO RESUME SOON.  THIS TROUGH WILL
NOT BE DEEP ENOUGH TO SIGNIFICANTLY ACCELERATE THE CYCLONE...
HOWEVER...AND THIS IS LIKELY TO RESULT IN AN EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG
PASSAGE OF THE HURRICANE ALONG THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.  THE SLOW MOTION...COUPLED WITH THE RATHER
LARGE RADIUS OF MAXIMUM WIND...IS EXPECTED TO RESULT IN EXTENDED
PERIODS OF HEAVY RAINFALL...WITH WINDS AT OR NEAR HURRICANE
FORCE...OVER MUCH OF THE WARNING AREA.  THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS
SIMILAR TO...BUT SLIGHTLY SLOWER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...AND
LIES ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE MAJOR MODEL GUIDANCE ENVELOPE.
 
FORECASTER FRANKLIN
 
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      14/0300Z 32.6N  78.0W    65 KT
 12HR VT     14/1200Z 33.4N  77.8W    70 KT
 24HR VT     15/0000Z 34.4N  76.9W    70 KT
 36HR VT     15/1200Z 35.1N  75.8W    65 KT
 48HR VT     16/0000Z 35.7N  74.3W    65 KT
 72HR VT     17/0000Z 38.0N  70.0W    60 KT
 96HR VT     18/0000Z 42.5N  61.5W    50 KT...EXTRATROPICAL
120HR VT     19/0000Z 47.0N  51.0W    45 KT...EXTRATROPICAL
 
 
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