08 September 2005

Maria, Nate, and Ophelia are all hurricanes...

Maria stubbornly refuses to become a truly extratropical cyclone, and 
is still clinging onto hurricane status.  At 21Z, the storm was located 
at 39.5N 46.8W and moving NE at 10kts... this is uncharacteristically 
slow for such a high latitude!!  Satellite-estimated intensity is 65kts 
and 982mb.  Although it will remain a powerful cyclone, the next 1-2 
days will see the full transition from tropical to extratropical.

Nate has changed very little in the past 24 hours, but has passed to 
the south of Bermuda and is now safely out of their way.  It remains a 
CAT1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75kts and a central pressure of 
982mb.  As of 21Z, it's at 31.8N 62.0W and tracking NE at 14kts.

Ophelia, sitting at exactly the same spot it was 24 hours ago, was 
recently upgraded to a hurricane, the seventh of the season.  It is 
intensifying just dozens of miles east of Cape Canaveral, and shows no 
signs of moving soon.  However, with the warm Gulf Stream flowing 
underneath it, a constant supply of energy is available.  The latest 
intensity is 65kts and 985mb.  You can track it easily from Melbourne's 
radar at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/radar/latest/DS.p19r0/si.kmlb.shtml.  
In the near term, it is expected to gradually drift toward the NE, but 
the US coast should not let it's guard down... several models project 
that it could loop back around and hit the coast.

The season's NTC is climbing rapidly now, and stands at an impressive 
140%, high for any year, but it's only September 8!  In fact, going back 
to 1900, only 16 years have had higher NTCs for the entire season, so 
it will be interesting to see how many of those will be surpassed by 
the end of the 2005 season.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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