16 October 2012

Hurricane Rafael heading toward Bermuda

At 03Z today (11pm EDT last night), Rafael was upgraded to the season's 9th hurricane.  At the 21Z advisory, the central pressure was 985mb with 60kt sustained winds, then at the 03Z advisory, it was 974mb and 75kts.  Both advisory intensities were supported by aircraft measurements.  The last time a storm had such a low pressure at its first advisory as a hurricane was Alex in 2010 (973mb).

The satellite appearance is not the best anymore, but as of 11am EDT today, the intensity is 75kts and 971mb.  It is expected to gradually weaken over the next couple of days until it transitions to an extratropical cyclone.  It is forecast to make its closest approach to Bermuda later tonight as a hurricane, and the center should pass just 100-150 miles east of the island.

Rafael is already in radar range from Bermuda now, and you can find a growing radar loop at http://andrew.rsmas.miami.edu/bmcnoldy/tropics/radar/

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