18 September 2005

Ophelia dissipates, Philippe and TD18 form...

Late Saturday night, the NHC wrote the final advisory on Ophelia, as she was zipping off past Newfoundland into the north central Atlantic and becoming an extratropical cyclone.

The large tropical wave I have been discussing in the central deep tropics was upgraded to TD17 on Saturday morning, and then upgraded again to TS Philippe on Saturday night.  Although forecast to become a major hurricane, it is also expected to turn to the north and recurve by 65W, never affecting land.  As of 15Z today, Philippe was located at 15.2N 55.7W and tracking NNW at 6kts.  Satellite-estimated intensity is 45kts and 1000mb.

And the area of disturbed weather I mentioned on Friday near Puerto Rico was upgraded to TD18 on Saturday night and continues to get better organized by the hour.  It is currently located at 22.0N 72.2W (over the far eastern Bahamas) and tracking W at 10kts.  The estimated intensity is 30kts and 1008mb, but aircraft recon missions are planned for it to get a better handle on actual intensity.  This should become TS Rita later today.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the western Bahamas and for the Florida Keys.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the eastern Bahamas.  This storm is forecast to pass between Cuba abd Florida and enter the Gulf on Wednesday as a powerful hurricane.  The latest computer model guidance shows a westward track, heading toward TX/Mexico, but all eyes should be on it anywhere along the Gulf, and certainly southern Florida.

Elsewhere, there's an area of interest in the deep tropics, near 11N 37W.  This is forecast to move westward toward the Lesser Antilles and gradually strenghten.  It's currently poorly organized, but conditions should improve.  The next number/name on deck is 19/Stan.

I should also point out that the Eastern Pacific basin presently has three named storms as well (Jova, Kenneth, and Lidia), so someone must have turned on a switch!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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