08 October 2010

Hurricane Otto heading out to the north central Atlantic...

Since my last update on Tuesday, the disturbance I referenced was upgraded to STD17 on Wednesday morning, STS Otto on Wednesday afternoon, TS Otto on Thursday morning, and now Hurricane Otto as of 15Z today.  Sorry about the lack of updates since Tuesday!
The storm took a while to get organized and acquire purely tropical characteristics, and as such, it was sub-tropical for at least a couple of days.  As I write this, it definitely is tropical, and has a rather impressive satellite presentation with nearly -85C cloud tops in the CDO.  There is not yet an eye apparent in the VIS or IR, but that could certainly change in the coming hours.
The current intensity is 65kts and 979mb, making Otto the 8th hurricane of the season.  Right now, we're just one TS away from matching the active 2008 season which had 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.  The storm is located about 550 miles north of Puerto Rico and tracking ENE at 15kts.  The forecast is for some additional strengthening, then a rapid transition to extratropical as it merges with a mid-latitude trough which will whisk the system out to the north central Atlantic over the next 3 days.

Elsewhere, there's a low-level swirl associated with an easterly wave located north of Panama.  This doesn't look too likely to develop in the foreseeable future.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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