Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rafael fighting to the last

Rafael is working against the shear as much as it can. We can see the sheared storm environment with the bulk of the cloud off to the north and east of the center. 
Courtesy of CIMSS 
The storm is holding on by the skin of its teeth and from ship observations we see the extent of the wind field is limited to the near storm environment. 

A look at wind vectors and then vorticity we can see the trough moving across the western Atlantic which  is the catalyst for pushing Rafael east of Bermuda. The image below shows the high shear surrounding the storm.
The highlighted areas in the final image indicate 200 mb vorticity which is the trough over the western Atlantic and ultimately what will pick up Rafael and begin the rapid exit of the storm to the northeast of Bermuda. 
Obviously there will be some higher winds across Bermuda but the more important issue will be wind waves and swell from the time Rafael has spent over the open waters. 

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