Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sorry no update for yesterday. Needed a day away as I'm in the middle of an eleven day stretch at my real gig. :-)
Ophelia got her act together yesterday deepening into a category 3 storm very quickly after being upgraded to a hurricane in the morning. By Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter recon there was a decrease in pressure from dropsonde measurements of 24 millibars in 3 hours by around 8 am on the 30th. This was an indication of RI (rapid intensification). The graph below is of the SATCON winds and CI number which is the Dvorak classification of a system. You can see the uptick in winds overnight from the 29th to the morning of the 30th.
The storm currently looks like it is being shear but this is just the upper level shearing blowing the outflow to the north due to the asymmetry of the circulation. The diagram below  is the phase diagram from Bob Hart at FSU and shows the storm relative thickness, and whether the storm is warm core (truly tropical) or (subtropical) asymmetric warm core. It is in the warm core phase but moving toward the asymmetric very quickly...this was from last night and from satellite analysis this morning it looks more like a subtropical storm or at least transitioning.
The trough moving off the eastern seaboard will keep the storm moving north then take it out over the Grand Banks by day 3. This means that the effects of Ophelia on Bermuda will be a very quick strafing pass to the east. 
Otherwise my friends in Florida are waking to a much drier morning and in the case of north Florida a much cooler morning. 56 was the low in Tallahassee, and dipping below 50 in eastern Tennessee this morning. Brrrrrrr! Tampa has dew points this morning in the middle 50s as far south as Sarasota.

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