Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ophelia is a fighter

Ophelia is up against the ropes with wind shear battering it in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere.

In spite of this,  Ophelia has strengthened this Thursday.

Ophelia drifted over a NOAA buoy that detected stronger winds and thus as of Thursday morning, the intensity is up from 60 mph to 65 mph.

It is still a ragged looking system with much of the thunderstorm formation on the eastern semi-circle. The western side is being impacted by the shear and is almost all exposed to the elements. There are pockets of dry air ahead of it and if any works its way into the center, that could be its demise.

New satellite imagery also suggest the center is farther south than anticipated.

This strengthening should be temporary as the upper shear is expected to get stronger in the days ahead.

The latest suite of models show a more consistent track, not as fanned out as they were a mere 24 hours ago.

The Bermuda high should drift east and open a path for Ophelia to take.

This should happen in about three days.  By then , a front over the Southeast  accompanied by strong upper winds, will move offshore and protect us from Ophelia.

The official NHC forecast cone, keeps Ophelia as a Tropical Storm throughout its life cycle and moves it along the "Favored Route" this tropical season, between Bermuda and East Coast. Hopefully it won't bother anybody.

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