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ZCZC MIATCDEP1 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM Hurricane Norman Discussion Number 12 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL EP162018 800 PM PDT Thu Aug 30 2018 After the explosive intensification observed last night and earlier today, Norman's intensity has leveled off. The eye of the major hurricane remains quite circular and distinct with a solid eyewall surrounding the center. The eastern portion of the eyewall, however, has eroded a little during the past few hours. Based on the steady state appearance, the initial intensity is held at 130 kt, which lies at the upper end of the satellite intensity estimates. The environmental conditions surrounding Norman are expected to only gradually become less favorable with SSTs and mid-level humidity values slowly decreasing along Norman's track during the next few days. There is a possibility of eyewall replacement cycles in major hurricanes like Norman, which typically cause fluctuations in strength and are challenging to forecast. The intensity models all show a slow weakening trend, and the NHC forecast follows that theme. This forecast is slightly below the previous one, trending toward the latest consensus models. Norman is moving west-southwestward at 8 kt steered by a northeast-southwest oriented deep-layer ridge to the north of the tropical cyclone. This general motion is expected to continue for the next day or so. After that time, a change in the orientation of the ridge should cause Norman to turn to the west and then west-northwest with an increase in forward speed. The track models remain in relatively good agreement, and the NHC track forecast lies near the middle of the guidance envelope. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 31/0300Z 17.3N 119.6W 130 KT 150 MPH 12H 31/1200Z 17.0N 120.7W 125 KT 145 MPH 24H 01/0000Z 16.6N 122.3W 120 KT 140 MPH 36H 01/1200Z 16.2N 124.3W 110 KT 125 MPH 48H 02/0000Z 16.3N 126.3W 105 KT 120 MPH 72H 03/0000Z 17.8N 131.5W 95 KT 110 MPH 96H 04/0000Z 19.5N 137.0W 75 KT 85 MPH 120H 05/0000Z 20.5N 142.0W 60 KT 70 MPH $$ Forecaster Cangialosi NNNN