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Hurricane Epsilon Discussion Number 12
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL272020
500 PM AST Wed Oct 21 2020
Epsilon has continued to defy expectations and rapidly intensify
this afternoon. The satellite presentation of the hurricane is very
impressive, with a warm well-defined eye and a closed ring of
eyewall convection with cloud tops colder than -60 deg C. An Air
Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft that investigated Epsilon earlier
today measured SFMR winds of around 100 kt and max flight level
winds of 100 kt. Dropsonde data indicated peak surface winds of 106
kt with deeper-layer averages of 95-100 kt, which also lends support
to the higher SFMR winds, and surface pressures have fallen since
the special advisory. Therefore the initial intensity is raised to
100 kt, making Epsilon the 4th major hurricane of the season.
Epsilon's estimated motion is 305/9 kt, and the hurricane is
expected to gradually turn more northwestward tonight as it is
steered by a mid-level ridge building to its north and east.
Epsilon is forecast to pass east of Bermuda and make its closest
approach to the island Thursday afternoon or evening. As the
ridge becomes oriented east of the hurricane, Epsilon will turn
northward and move into the mid-latitudes, where it is expected to
accelerate northeastward across the central Atlantic this weekend.
There was a westward shift noted in a couple of the track models,
and the NHC track forecast has been adjusted slightly westward in
the near-term period to better reflect the guidance consensus.
As Epsilon continues to gain latitude, environmental conditions will
become increasingly unfavorable for additional strengthening. The
hurricane is forecast to move over cooler waters beginning tonight,
and southerly deep-layer shear is expected within the next 24-48 h.
With that being said, small intensity fluctuations cannot be
completely ruled out tonight given Epsilon's development trends and
well-organized structure. The NHC intensity forecast lies closest to
the SHIPS guidance for the first 24-36 h of the forecast period.
Afterwards, the official forecast shows more steady weakening with
the possibility of an eyewall replacement cycle, and the new NHC
intensity prediction follows the intensity consensus. Epsilon could
begin its extratropical transition by Sunday night, and it is
forecast to be a powerful extratropical cyclone over the
northeastern Atlantic by day 5.
1. Tropical storm conditions are expected on Bermuda beginning
this evening and continuing intermittently through late Thursday,
when Epsilon is forecast to make its closest approach east of the
island. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bermuda.
2. Dangerous surf and rip currents are likely occurring along the
coasts of Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the
Leeward Islands. These conditions are expected to spread to
portions of the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada
during the next couple of days.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 21/2100Z 29.6N 60.0W 100 KT 115 MPH
12H 22/0600Z 30.5N 60.9W 100 KT 115 MPH
24H 22/1800Z 31.8N 61.6W 95 KT 110 MPH
36H 23/0600Z 33.0N 62.0W 90 KT 105 MPH
48H 23/1800Z 34.4N 62.1W 85 KT 100 MPH
60H 24/0600Z 36.2N 61.8W 85 KT 100 MPH
72H 24/1800Z 38.3N 59.8W 80 KT 90 MPH
96H 25/1800Z 44.5N 47.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
120H 26/1800Z 54.0N 28.5W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP