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Hurricane RAFAEL


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HURRICANE RAFAEL DISCUSSION NUMBER  14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL172012
1100 PM AST MON OCT 15 2012

AFTER CHANGING LITTLE THIS AFTERNOON...RAFAEL HAS UNDERGONE A
SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING EPISODE THIS EVENING.  FLIGHT-LEVEL...
SFMR...AND DROPSONDE OBSERVATIONS FROM BOTH NOAA AND AIR FORCE
HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM WINDS HAVE
INCREASED TO ABOUT 75 KT.  THE HURRICANE HAS BEEN PRODUCING VERY
VIGOROUS CONVECTION AS EVIDENCED BY ENHANCED INFRARED IMAGERY...AND
REPORTS FROM THE AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTERS OF SEVERE TURBULENCE
NEAR THE CORE.  RAFAEL CONTINUES TO EXHIBIT WELL-DEFINED UPPER-
LEVEL OUTFLOW OVER THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN PORTIONS OF ITS
CIRCULATION...EVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF SUBSTANTIAL VERTICAL SHEAR. 
SOME ADDITIONAL SLIGHT STRENGTHENING IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE ON
TUESDAY...AS INDICATED IN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST.  THE SHEAR IS
FORECAST TO INCREASE TO AROUND 35 KT IN 24 HOURS...AND THIS...ALONG
WITH COOLING SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES...SHOULD CAUSE WEAKENING TO
COMMENCE BY WEDNESDAY.  THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS CLOSE TO
THE LGEM AND INTENSITY MODEL CONSENSUS GUIDANCE.  A STRONG COLD
FRONT IS EXPECTED TO APPROACH RAFAEL IN ABOUT 48 HOURS...AND THE
CYCLONE IS LIKELY TO LOSE ITS TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS SHORTLY
THEREAFTER.

THE HURRICANE IS MOVING NORTHWARD...OR ABOUT 010/10.  THE TRACK
FORECAST PHILOSOPHY IS ESSENTIALLY UNCHANGED FROM THE PREVIOUS
ADVISORY PACKAGE.  A LARGE MID-TROPOSPHERIC TROUGH IS APPROACHING
RAFAEL...AND THE FLOW ON THE SOUTHEAST AND SOUTHERN SIDE OF THIS
TROUGH SHOULD CAUSE THE HURRICANE TO TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST AND
ACCELERATE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.  THEREAFTER...POST-TROPICAL
RAFAEL IS EXPECTED TO TURN EAST-NORTHEASTWARD TO EASTWARD WITHIN
THE MID-LATITUDE WESTERLIES.  NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST
PERIOD...THE CYCLONE IS FORECAST TO SLOW DOWN OVER THE NORTHEAST
ATLANTIC AS IT INTERACTS WITH...AND ABSORBS...ANOTHER LARGE
EXTRATROPICAL LOW OVER THAT REGION.  THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST IS
SIMILAR TO THE ONE FROM THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...AND CLOSE TO THE
MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS.
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INIT  16/0300Z 25.1N  65.5W   75 KT  85 MPH
 12H  16/1200Z 27.6N  64.7W   80 KT  90 MPH
 24H  17/0000Z 31.6N  62.8W   80 KT  90 MPH
 36H  17/1200Z 36.4N  59.4W   75 KT  85 MPH
 48H  18/0000Z 41.2N  54.0W   65 KT  75 MPH
 72H  19/0000Z 48.0N  37.0W   55 KT  65 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
 96H  20/0000Z 48.5N  26.5W   50 KT  60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H  21/0000Z 49.5N  26.0W   50 KT  60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
 
$$
FORECASTER PASCH
 
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