28 September 2011

Ophelia makes a comeback, and Philippe struggles

Since my last update on Monday, the remnants of Ophelia made a comeback.  The vertical shear decreased a bit more than expected, and the storm was surprisingly quick to take advantage of the improved environment.  It was upgraded to a Depression on Tuesday afternoon, and at 15Z this morning was upgraded again back to a Tropical Storm.  Though it's still in nearly 20kts of shear, convection has remained much closer to the center than it was a couple of days ago.  The latest intensity is 45kts and 1002mb.

You can view a radar loop of Ophelia from Guadeloupe at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/ophelia11/Ophelia_27-28Sep11.gif
Although it's currently meandering very slowly, it is forecast to accelerate to the north within a day, and like Maria, reach hurricane intensity for the first time thanks to baroclinic enhancement as it interacts with a mid-latitude trough.  It should remain safely east of Bermuda when it passes by there on Saturday.

TS Philippe has a very similar appearance on satellite, but is a little weaker: a 35kt storm with 1006mb central pressure.  The forecast varies greatly depending on whether you're looking at a statistical models or dynamical models.  The official forecast agrees with the statistical models (LGEM, SHIPS, etc), by the way.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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