15 October 2008

Omar now a hurricane, TD16 scraping the coast...

At 03Z today (11pm EDT Tuesday), Omar was upgraded to a hurricane, the 7th of the season.  It's presently a 75kt storm with a minimum pressure of 982mb, and still intensifying gradually.  You can spot the eyewall now from San Juan's long-range radar: http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/omar08/Omar_15-16Oct08_long.gif

The motion has finally picked up, as predicted, and it's heading NE at 8kts, and it's expected to maintain that motion for the next 3 days.  Within the next day however, it will have its only encounter with land: Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  The latest official forecast track takes it directly over the Virgin Islands early Thursday morning as a strong CAT1 hurricane, possibly CAT2.  But intensity forecasts are tough, especially when considering rapid intensification.  Yesterday evening, the central pressure fell 22mb in 12 hours, but that rate has slowed down since then.  It appears that moderate vertical shear is putting a brake on Omar's previous rapid intensification.  A hefty trough is digging down into the subtropics and tropics, and imposing shear over the system, as well as the northeast motion which will eventually take Omar out into the Atlantic's tropical cyclone graveyard.

TD16, which was located right at the "corner" of Nicaragua and Honduras yesterday, has drifted west and is now just miles off the eastern Honduras coast.  Its proximity to land is preventing it from organizing or intensifying.  As of 15Z, the intensity was 25kts and 1005mb, and heading W at 4kts.  The biggest threat with this system will be flooding and mudslides in Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

No comments:

Post a Comment