Ophelia stronger; threat to North Carolina increases

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:29 PM GMT on September 10, 2005

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The 1:17 pm EDT hurricane hunter mission saw no drop in pressure, but did visually observe 90 knot surface winds (105 mph), which would make Ophelia a Category 2 hurricane. The flight level winds were only 77 knots, though, so NHC will probably not upgrade Ophelia to a Category 2 storm yet. Satellite imagery shows the formation of an eye for the first time. The upper level outflow to the south is improving, and it now appears that most of the dry air that plagued the hurricane this morning has mixed out. Steady but slow intensification will likely continue, and Ophelia will probably be a Category 2 hurricane on Sunday.

The latest 8am EDT (12Z) model runs show an increased threat to North Carolina. The NOGAPS model has Ophelia hitting the Outer Banks of North Carolina Wednesday, then moving up the coast to hit Long Island, NY as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane on Thursday. The latest GFS run puts Ophelia ashore near Wilmington, NC on Wednesday, and then tracks her along the length of the NC coast and out to sea. The 12Z GFDL model has landfall occuring Tuesday near Wilmington, NC, as a Category 2 storm. The 12Z UKMET has landfall Thursday on the Outer Banks. Only the Canadian model puts Ophelia ashore in South Carolina. Overall, the models have steadily been shifting their landfall points further and further northwards, making North Carolina increasingly likely as a landfall point--and also increasing the chances that Ophelia will miss the U.S. entirely and recurve out to sea. New England and the mid-Atlantic states need to pay close attention to this storm as well; Ophelia may be coming your way late in the week next week.

The most likely scenario now appears to be a strike Tuesday or Wednesday in North Carolina as a strong Category 2 hurricane. As usual, all this is subject to a high degree of uncertainty. South Carolina is still at high risk, and Georgia still at some risk. Remember that a hurricane is not a point, and the effects of this hurricane will be felt over a wide area. Also keep in mind that the median track error for the NHC 3-day forecasts is about 230 miles, meaning that half of the time, the forecast is worse than that. Three-day intensity forecasts are in error by an average of one full category--25 mph. All residents of the Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina coasts need to be prepared for what will most likely be a Category 2 hurricane, but could be a Category 3.


Figure 1. Average track error of official National Hurricane Center Forecasts (in nautical miles, multiply by 1.15 get get the result in miles). Image credit: Dr. Chris Landsea, NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division.


Dr. Jeff Masters

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201. bdnh
8:16 PM GMT on September 13, 2005
According to My Premium Weather Radar The following cities are under the gun: Also the latest Gusts:

As Of 4:00 EDT
Myrtle Beach,SC Heavy Rain Mist N. @ 39 mph
Florence, SC Scattered Clouds N. @ 16 mph
Georgetown,SC Rain ENE @ 26 mph
Goose Creek,SC Overcast 17 MPH
Hanahan,SC
North Charleston,SC
Charleston,SC
Mount Pleasant,SC


-------------------------------
Highway 17,31,526,701,41 Will be effected
--------------------------------
Member Since: September 11, 2005 Posts: 31 Comments: 4
200. Peff
1:28 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
Evening folks. I see Jax got spared (for the time being) one more time.

Lefty, Storm...do you think that the 'blob' south of Ophelia will be getting suck into her? And what effect might that have on her, if any?
199. 8888888889gg
1:07 AM GMT on September 11, 2005

i would like to no have there evere been two landfalling hurrican in the usa at one time?
196. 8888888889gg
12:38 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
hey all her is some news for you all when you see this let me you what you all think about this this is from steve gregory weather blog so her it go


SEP 10,2005 4:55PM CDT - SPECIAL UPDATE #5

OPHELIA NOW NEARLY STATIONARY - HURRICANE CENTER GETTING READY
TO CHANGE WATCH AREA -- GREATEST RISK NORTH CAROLINA

The NHC has now upped the Storm Intensity to my earlier report, however, they are only 'talking'
about extending the watch further north along the North Carolina coast -- they do not want to make
the change until after the 00Z model runs tonight -- which means around 11PM EDT we may see
the Hurricane Watch extended across the entire coastline of North Carolina. From my point of
view -- there is enough evidence to support letting folks know, the whole state is at greatest risk.
There will be a high-level RECON mission flown by the G-IV A/C to sample the environment
above and around the storm that will be used to initialize the dynamic models, and should provide for
a better overall forecast.

The storm was last located near 31.8N/76.2W or 225NM ESE of Charleston SC,
and 240 NM S-SSW of Cape Hatteras, NC. & the forward motion has crawled to about
ONE (1) mph. (Essentially stationary)

MAX winds are estimated near 85MPH. There has not been a VORTEX fix of the storm since
my last update.

Again - for those with a broadband connection, the following Hi-Resolution water vapor loop of the
storm is of 'movie like quality' and can be referred to at anytime to track with great precision, the
location of the storm: http://www.esl.lsu.edu/special_gifs/gulf_wv_loop.gif

Latest Buoy Reports attest to the aerial extent of gale force winds -- with sustained gale force winds
extending about 130NM from the center of the storm (Map shown below)


195. StormJunkie
12:37 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
New blog. They flew a serious upper air mision today. Tonights models will be it. Even with the new data the BAMM continues to move her W for a period and too far out we know the BAMM is no good.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
194. killdevilmax
12:36 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
She's east of Hatteras. New upddate from Jeff
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
193. leftyy420
12:33 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
wow storm you are right. savanah is abot 32n and she is only at 31.8n. good looking man
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
192. leftyy420
12:29 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
yeah it takes her back to her roots lol
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
191. leftyy420
12:28 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
where u getting that from storm junkie
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
190. TipOfIsland
12:28 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
LBAR still heading to Africa?
189. StormJunkie
12:26 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
Intresting side note, she is still S of Savannah. I know it does not look like it on the maps, but she is.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
188. leftyy420
12:26 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
lol ok if u say so.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
187. chicagowatcher
12:25 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
You might end up chasing hurricane O(rten) yet...

/grin
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
186. chicagowatcher
12:23 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
I really don't know enough about it to comment, it's just hot air. Having said that...

I've always been kinda interested in the "sensitivity to initial conditions" dynamic that these storms have. The applied chaos/complexity theory stuff. It's very much like stock market forcasting. When trends are strong it's ALOT easier to make predictions as you can analyze more data. But when they're not moving, it's really tough to do trend analysis. Every wobble looks like a trend. It's tough to sort the noise out of it. Those non-linear models are weird beasties.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
185. StormJunkie
12:22 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
The BAMM of all things is the one that shifted more to the consensus last night. Odd. Hey What's the Lbar and A98E say?lmao.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
184. leftyy420
12:20 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
lavar arrington, sean springs,carlos rogers,sean taylor. thats who u need to be worried about lol.

i hope i get to miss the game and chase a storm but if not nothing like chilling with the wife watching football
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
183. leftyy420
12:18 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
lol well they are in a new system/ #3 in the league and #1 in the nfc. u betetr belive lol

yeah i guess u could look at it that way. i just think that what ever the problem is all the models are seeing it. maybe its the strength of the ridge or the timing of its errosion and movement east we will see
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
182. chicagowatcher
12:16 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
I've seen the Phillip Daniels, Walt Harris show lefty, we'll see.

That's the thing. If the atmospheric conditions are pretty stable, then I wonder if slight changes are magnified out of proportion due to the lack of meaningful data. Like it's having difficulty sorting meaningful data out of the "noise"...
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
181. 8888888889gg
12:10 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
has any look at the 8pm yet it is now move stationary what dos that mean? and it is 255 ESE of charleston SC winds at 80mph with pressure 28.85in/977mb
180. leftyy420
12:09 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
sorry kill, the greg willliams refrence was off topic. thats the defensive cordinator for the redskins. they play the bears tomm and i am a huge skins fan and it was looking like i would miss the game, now i might not be going anywhere lol. who knows not the models


chicago, the models take current conditions added into it like you said but forcast a certain days out the fluidity of the atmosphere and where things like hurricanes will move. usuaally u see them get a handle on the system but with this storm they have not. they looked real good last nigth when we had the recon data runs, this is where they fly gul stream jets into the upper atmospher to gather better data as they have gaps in the data casue they can't release weather ballons over the ocean and what not, but each day they have shifted from the recon run more north and than shifted back the next night when there is another run with recon data. we need to see what happens tonight. data should be out about 130am and we will know for sure if this is a fish storm or what

must note, they do not due recon for the models excpt when a storm is close to landfall or threatning land so they are key to figuring out the landfall
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
179. chicagowatcher
12:03 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
Greg Williams, famous hurricane chaser...
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
178. leftyy420
12:03 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
here u go 889g, this si info on bonnie at this link. read it. all ur questions should be answered here


Link
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
177. chicagowatcher
12:03 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
I'm a rank amatuer, but it would be interesting to know more about how the models work. It sounded like they take a variety of factors into account, including the storms's speed, wind speed and global forcasts. I wonder, with a calm area and an almost stationary storm, if the models get all fubar'ed because the data isn't conclusive. Sorta like, they're taking small changes in the storm and those changes are magnified into large model changes, just because of the lack of meaningful data... sort like the butterfly effect within the model calcs.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
176. killdevilmax
12:01 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
who is greg williams?
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
175. StormJunkie
12:00 AM GMT on September 11, 2005
I am with you Kill, again if it does by some chance come to Chas, the NHC needs to put oup ant monitoring stations.lol.

The pressure gradient seems to have dropped off here in charleston as the winds have died considerably through the afternoon. Pressure dropped to 29.95"H2O. Have no clue what that would mean though!lol.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
174. 8888888889gg
11:59 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
do any one no if hurrican bonnie made landfall in nc or sc? and will this be a cat 2?
173. leftyy420
11:58 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
boy u betetr pump that rookie up withsome pain killers casue greg williams is not afraid to send the heat lol


i am waiting for the next model runs. they contain the recon data and the key is that this is just like jeane. she made that loop and the models were all out to lunch. the problem is with jeane she was way off shore while here she is right near the shore , so they don't have time for the models to get it togetehr. the models have gone from a sc landfall to a fish storm in the last 18 hrs. unheard of. i belive this shows the models are not forcasting something right. we need to models tonight that have the recon data and we will see what we are dealing with
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
172. StormJunkie
11:56 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
I am with you St. Simmon and Don't know. The bubble for the NHC has not changed much in the last 24 hrs. No one is ready to say on this one. Could be a loop and then the exit of the loop is the key. W,WNW,NNW,N?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
171. killdevilmax
11:56 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
sorry I guess I got a little excited...patience
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
170. killdevilmax
11:54 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
Has anyone seen the models so FUBAR as the last couple days on this storm??
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
169. leftyy420
11:54 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
kill devil its not racing anywhere. its mvoine like 2 mph. i thing she will loop or cut back to the east as the ridge build in. we just need to wait 5 hrs for the next models runs. these next model rins are the important ones as they have the recon data included
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
168. chicagowatcher
11:54 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
I'm sorry for that, friend. I know you were looking forward to the chase. Now we may have to focus on how catastrophic the disaster is tomorrow at Fedex Field... LOL
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
167. lowpressure
11:52 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
lefty what do you make of the new gfdl not even comming close the the coast at all
166. killdevilmax
11:51 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
This thing is starting to look like a fish storm. It's racing due east. check the water vapor loop www.esl.lsu.edu
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
164. chicagowatcher
11:50 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
Ophelia sleeps with the fishes...
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
163. leftyy420
11:47 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
they state she is stillmoving ene or e but the se movement might be a wobble
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
161. leftyy420
11:45 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
i am sorry i meant sout east since the last advisory
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
160. killdevilmax
11:45 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
Definitely moving east and getting thrashed. Go to steves link in his blog (www.esl.lsu.edu) the link on his blog is zoomed
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
159. leftyy420
11:44 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
new vortex out. she is moving sw fromthis recon and the last advisory


URNT12 KNHC 102339
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 10/23:26:40Z
B. 31 deg 49 min N
075 deg 52 min W
C. 700 mb 2893 m
D. 50 kt
E. 308 deg 059 nm
F. 040 deg 073 kt
G. 307 deg 028 nm
H. 977 mb
I. 8 C/ 3045 m
J. 14 C/ 3046 m
K. 11 C/ NA
L. OPEN S
M. C40
N. 12345/ 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF302 1416A OPHELIA OB 02
MAX FL WIND 73 KT NW QUAD 23:18:40 Z


Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
158. StormJunkie
11:39 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
And now we are about six hours away from the model that will depict the next 36 to 48 hrs pretty well.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
157. leftyy420
11:38 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
we need those modelruns tonight with the recon data more than anything now
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
156. StormJunkie
11:38 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
Well the BAMM is the lone hold out Lefty, we will have to see, but I agree the model sure make it look like a Fish storm.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
155. iyou
11:37 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
i like an honest Doctor!!
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
153. StormJunkie
11:36 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
Lefty, New GFDL up on Wunderground Models
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152. leftyy420
11:36 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
wow she might be a fish storm lol
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
151. leftyy420
11:35 PM GMT on September 10, 2005
newest gfdl on the wunderblof page storm junkie. now no model shows a landfall anywhere.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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