06 October 2011

Philippe becomes a hurricane after 12 days

The first advisory was written on Philippe on Sept 24th, and since then, it has fluctuated in intensity from 35-60kts, but never dropped to a depression, and never made it to a hurricane... until this morning.  At 15Z today, Philippe's estimated intensity was 70kts and 985mb, making it the 5th hurricane of the season.  It's located about 415 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving NNE at 8kts.

However, this is also its last gasp as a tropical system.  Over the next couple of days, it will encounter SSTs nearing 20C and vertical shear up to 50kts and it will become an extratropical storm then finally merge with its mid-latitude trough.

To support the 70kt hurricane classification, the microwave image below (from NRL in Monterey CA... at 1023Z this morning) shows what appears to be an eye and eyewall, and definitely some strong tightly-curved rainbands.  The latest visible and infrared images are indeed showing a slightly clearing eye... I included an enhanced visible image from 1445Z below the microwave image so you don't just have to take my work for it!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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