Sep 24, 2011

DAY 115

It was kind of an up and down day for Tropical Storm Ophelia. She was nearly back down to a depression at one point and then back up. But late tonight, Ophelia is struggling once again with sustained winds of 50 mph and a pressure of 1006 mb. The center of circulation was still visible past any convection. Just as the sun was going down, Ophelia did produce a large plume of convection in the northeast quadrant. And also a decent feeder band to the south of her center. But the dry air and the northwest wind shear kept Ophelia from gaining any concentration.

(Tropical Storm Ophelia)
Conditions in Ophelia's path will remain unfavorable for a few more days. Ophelia will likely experience an up and down pattern of strength during this time. It is even possible that she will be reduced to a depression at some point. But once she turns to the north, away from all resistance, she will be able to strengthen quite a bit. Despite her current appearance, Ophelia does have a shot at becoming the 4th hurricane of the season. The CMC model is forecasting this at the moment, but the GFS is dissipating Ophelia over the next 48 hours. The NHC is not forecasting Ophelia to become a hurricane over the next 5 days.

A new tropical wave has emerged off the coast of Africa and is displaying some nice rotation. It has been designated Invest 90L by the Hurricane Center today. It does not have full model support for development, but a couple of the computer models do develop this into the next tropical storm, and the NHC is giving it an 80% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. The next name on the list is Philippe. The trending direction of travel for 90L is northwest into the open Atlantic.

(Invest 90L)
The Hurricane Center has also circled an area near the Bahamas as a location of possible development. NHC is giving it a 10% chance of developing in the next 48 hours.

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