Omar steadily strengthening

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:45 PM GMT on October 15, 2008

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Hurricane Omar is steadily intensifying as it heads northeast towards an encounter with the Virgin Islands and northern Lesser Antilles early Thursday morning. The latest center fix from the Hurricane Hunters at 3:23 pm EDT put Omar's pressure at 973 mb, a 12 mb drop in six hours, and a drop of 5 mb in just the past two hours. The surface winds measured by the SFMR instrument were in the 85-90 mph range. Omar's current rapid pressure fall will lead to an increase in winds to Category 2 strength late tonight. The Hurricane Hunters noted that the eyewall was open to the southwest, and this is also apparent by examining Puerto Rico radar (Figure 1). Omar is still having trouble with wind shear of 15 knots from the west, and the eye has been visible only intermittently today. It appears that Omar is trying to build a new eyewall inside the current eyewall. It is unlikely Omar will be able to reach Category 3 strength until after this new eyewall is built, a process that will probably not be complete until after the hurricane passes through the islands.


Figure 1. Current radar image of Omar.

The forecast for Omar
There is no change to the forecast track, with the models tightly clustered along a path that would take Omar through the Virgin Islands early Thursday morning. Wind shear is about 15 knots, and is forecast to remain in the moderate 10-20 knot range until landfall. This should allow steady strengthening for the remainder of today. Some dry continental air has arrived on the northwest side of Omar, and I expect that this dry air will begin to penetrate into the vortex by early Thursday morning, slowing down intensification. The latest 12Z (8 am EDT) intensity forecasts from the various models have quite a spread, with the HWRF forecasting a 70 mph tropical storm at landfall; the SHIPS model, a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds; and the GFDL model, a borderline Category 2 or 3 hurricane with winds of 110-115 mph. The official NHC forecast of a Category 2 hurricane at landfall seems like the best compromise. There is about a 20% chance Omar will be a Category 3 hurricane at landfall.

Links to follow
Puerto Rico radar
Eastern Caribbean buoy 42059
San Juan, Puerto Rico weather
St. Croix, Virgin Islands weather
Martinique radar

Tropical Depression 16 off the coast of Honduras
There has been little change to Tropical Depression 16, near the Honduras/Nicaragua border. Satellite loops show that TD 16 is a very large but poorly organized storm, with several far-flung spiral bands that are spreading heavy thunderstorms over a wide area of the Western Caribbean and Central America. The center of circulation is broad and difficult to pin down, but appears to be over the water, within 50 miles of the coast of Honduras.

The forecast for TD 16
The system is expected to track very close to the coast of Honduras, and this proximity to land should limit intensification potential. None of the models are calling for TD 16 to become any stronger than a 40 mph tropical storm. Given the storm's current disorganization, I doubt that it will ever become a tropical storm. However, the depression is going to bring potentially dangerous amounts of rainfall capable of causing flash flooding and mudslides.

Hurricane Ike relief efforts
There continues to be an urgent need for relief supplies in the wake of Hurricane Ike. I recommend contributions to the portlight.org charity fund, formed by wunderground memebrs to serve the needs of those often bypassed by traditional relief efforts. Contributions are fully tax-deductible, and more details can be found at StormJunkie's blog.

Jeff Masters

ts omar aruba (nibiru)
ts omar aruba

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1016. caribbeansail
3:06 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting theshepherd:

Mornin' Carib....glad you faired well...Just curious, does the elkhorn coral still look as grand around you as it did back in the early 80's ?


Dunno, I was not here in the 80s! There is a lot of dead coral though. Overall though the coral here is in better shape then the USVI and BVI though.
1015. Prgal
2:54 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
New blog
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 921
1014. MissNadia
2:50 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:


Not here, but I am pretty sure he would fit right in a 77WABC

Your right about the weather, and it looks like its going to get a lot worse before it gets better

I have a kid living across the straits in Sequim so keep an eye on the wx..
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3003
1013. WxLogic
2:45 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting Tazmanian:
Omar may be are last name storm for 2008 if you look at the pass name storms it stoped at the O storm


You would think... but based on NHC there's an average of 61 Tropical Waves and we had so far 57... but anything goes... we'll see what happens from now until Nov. 30th.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
1012. Tazmanian
2:41 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Omar may be are last name storm for 2008 if you look at the pass name storms it stoped at the O storm
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
1011. Orcasystems
2:39 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting MissNadia:
Good Morning Orca
Looks like a yuckey day in the Northwest...
BTW... I sent "my man" out to your place for a job interview around lunch yesterday.....were you able to get him a position?


Not here, but I am pretty sure he would fit right in a 77WABC

Your right about the weather, and it looks like its going to get a lot worse before it gets better
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
1010. theshepherd
2:36 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting caribbeansail:
Well here on Culebra we lucked out, most we saw of Omar is 25 knots of wind. Hope everyone on the other islands made it through okay!

Mornin' Carib....glad you faired well...Just curious, does the elkhorn coral still look as grand around you as it did back in the early 80's ?
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10147
1009. MissNadia
2:36 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Good Morning Orca
Looks like a yuckey day in the Northwest...
BTW... I sent "my man" out to your place for a job interview around lunch yesterday.....were you able to get him a position?
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3003
1008. Bonedog
2:36 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Thanks for checking in folks. Stay safe out there
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1007. RobDaHood
2:33 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Thanks for the post storm reports. Be careful out there.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33298
1006. WxLogic
2:32 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Glad to hear that most of the people in the Leeward Islands and Northern Islands are doing well and thankfully nothing major has happened... knock on wood.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
1005. ERPazo
2:25 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Hey everyone, thought I'd chime in and give you all a perspective from a little further south in the Leewards.

I'm in Dominica, just south of Guadaloupe. Today the Prime Minister asked for a nationwide closing of all business effective at 10 AM due to storm-surge effects and mud-slides, which have blocked many parts of the main road on the island. We are currently receiving bands of heavy rain on the West side of the island, which lasted throughout the night, and the surf has been heavy and elevated for the last 24-36 hours.

I hope that the people in the VI and further north faired well, and thankfully this was a fast mover.
1004. wreckchick
2:24 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Good morning all!

St. Thomas reporting in. I never really lost power except for a couple blinks around 1:00 AST. Looking around my yard I see a lot of leaves down but nothing too major. I'll get out in a few hours and take a drive and see what's going on elsewhere but it seems pretty obvious to me we dodged a major bullet on this one.

I count myself as very lucky right now.
1003. Orcasystems
2:22 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting usa777:

Thanks Orca, I just didn't remember seeing anything on the models. Omar turned into a nasty little sucker. Great to see it threaded the needle.


Thats the only part I did get right. You could see it was running east of track and cone the entire time.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
1002. caribbeansail
2:21 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Well here on Culebra we lucked out, most we saw of Omar is 25 knots of wind. Hope everyone on the other islands made it through okay!
1001. usa777
2:20 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:


Yes, the CMC

Thanks Orca, I just didn't remember seeing anything on the models. Omar turned into a nasty little sucker. Great to see it threaded the needle.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 164
1000. JUSTCOASTING
2:19 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Still - I have swam with the manatee in Boca Grande Florida a few times, What a great experience they are like big puppies
Member Since: August 15, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 666
999. weatherg8r
2:19 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting stillwaiting:
I've seen many manatee's and they are one of god's most gental creatures...wouldn't even hurt a fly!!!!!...they don't even scare the fish away as they are vegatarians(dolphins due chase the bait away)....if you ever get the chance you can swim w/them durn the winter at a hot spring in crystal river,FL...well worth the money!!!



I didn't mean to say that they were scary! They will just spook you if you are not expecting them to come up by the boat while you are fishing...they are so big that they catch you off guard. They are entertaining to watch while the scratch themselves all over the boat.
998. Bonedog
2:15 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Gotcha NE will try a search see what i come up with
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
997. groundswell
2:14 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
FL to NC-Omar swell forecast to be arriving beginning tonight and linger to Sat-nothing big, but local winds to be a predominant offshore flow: Good conditions, the board is already on the car.....
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 381
996. NEwxguy
2:12 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Sorry Bone,was looking at them on my home computer,don't have the links with me.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 887 Comments: 15965
995. KEHCharleston
2:11 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
978. Tazmanian - Awesome - thanks for the link

982. Orcasystems
- thanks for the refresh
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
994. ncleclerc
2:11 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting NEwxguy:
Also of note,saw several sites with some indications it could be a rough nor'easter season Nov. and Dec,from Carolinas north.


NEwxguy...can you give me a couple of those sites? Thanks!
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
993. stillwaiting
2:09 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
I've seen many manatee's and they are one of god's most gental creatures...wouldn't even hurt a fly!!!!!...they don't even scare the fish away as they are vegatarians(dolphins due chase the bait away)....if you ever get the chance you can swim w/them durn the winter at a hot spring in crystal river,FL...well worth the money!!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
992. Bonedog
2:06 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
NE links to those reports ;)

KEH looks like they made it well. Dont even see that much debris in the waters and they look kinda calm actually
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
991. Orcasystems
2:05 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting Bonedog:
LOL Orca your right it did.


Whats funny is alot of folks (myself included) always dismiss it when it builds something that makes no sense but then a system does appear and the CMC is the star. Its funny LOL


Take a look at the latest 00Z run.. it shows the Caribbean still trying to flare up, for almost the entire run.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
990. RobDaHood
2:03 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting usa777:
Does anyone know if Omar was picked up by any of the models within 10 days of it forming??


if you go to:

NCEP/EMC tracks page

you can scroll down the left column and select by date time and see output from various model runs on a map. format is 2008101606 which would mean 2008 Oct 16 06Z runs. That takes you to a page where you scroll down to the second group that says "Atlantic Ocean Basin: Model Storm Tracks"

click on the green check marks (multimodel means all) to view the tracks that were active at that time. Read the info page. The tracks shown are only for storms forecast in 2 consecutive model runs. (filters out abberitions)

Hope this is helpful
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33298
989. Bonedog
2:03 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
LOL Orca your right it did.


Whats funny is alot of folks (myself included) always dismiss it when it builds something that makes no sense but then a system does appear and the CMC is the star. Its funny LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
988. weatherg8r
2:03 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting melwerle:
Thanks Bonedog - i think i might be a bit shaken though if one decided to come up and say hello to me...I'll lookout for them...there are signs posted all over for boaters but I haven't been lucky enough to see one yet.



They love to scare you when you go fishing....they love to rub on the boat.
987. KEHCharleston
2:03 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Good morning folks

Chocolate Hole, St. John USVI page down, give it a moment to load.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
986. NEwxguy
2:01 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Also of note,saw several sites with some indications it could be a rough nor'easter season Nov. and Dec,from Carolinas north.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 887 Comments: 15965
985. HFWBura
2:00 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
http://stormcarib.com/reports/current/stkitts.shtml

Just a quick update. There's no school today. The roads are being
cleaned up and residents are asked to stay home. Some businesses
including a pharmacy and insurance company are opened today.
Oldroad bay is said to be impassable. Some houses on the coast of
Oldroad as well as Sprat Net, (a local business popular for it's local
cuisine eg. Fish, lobster etc) are reported to be badly damaged and
have boulders deposited inside them. In my area looks fine but we
have no electricity or water.
More later on.

--
Sent from my mobile device

☼ S.Vaughan
984. newt3d
2:00 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Yes, manatee's wiskers tickle very much. :)
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
983. Orcasystems
1:59 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting usa777:
Does anyone know if Omar was picked up by any of the models within 10 days of it forming??


Yes, the CMC
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
982. Orcasystems
1:58 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Complete Refresh Blog
Mirror Site
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
981. Bonedog
1:58 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Agree NE nothing would surpise me anymore in the tropics.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
980. Bonedog
1:57 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
mel if one comes by it feels like a wet dog nose kissing you their wiskers tickle. When boating look for a ripple in the water or a dark lump like an old tire. Thats them :)

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
979. NEwxguy
1:55 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
I think Omar fits in this season of the unexpected,its been a crazy season,and although it pretty late now I wouldn't discount anything forming yet.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 887 Comments: 15965
978. Tazmanian
1:54 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
look at this


Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
977. melwerle
1:52 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Thanks Bonedog - i think i might be a bit shaken though if one decided to come up and say hello to me...I'll lookout for them...there are signs posted all over for boaters but I haven't been lucky enough to see one yet.

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
976. Hurricane4Lex
1:52 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
So Omar made no landfall? Sound good but that Cat 3 status was crazy talk about rapid

anyway there goes our last major for this year I hope
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
975. Bonedog
1:47 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
think of them as the dolphins slow (as in speed) cousins
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
974. Bonedog
1:46 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
yes Mel very docile and loving creatures.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
973. HobeSoundShudders
1:45 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
re:St Martin reporting....


thanx dan for taking time to give us a report, be careful as you go out,

jo
972. melwerle
1:43 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
was reading a few pages back...manatees...are they really that friendly? I live in an area that has them and fortunately have not had one sneak up on me...I think I would freak out. Lots of dolphins follow up when we're sailing around but haven't seen a manatee yet...
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
971. WxLogic
1:42 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting usa777:
Does anyone know if Omar was picked up by any of the models within 10 days of it forming??


That I can recall... NAM was hinting towards a Low developing N of PR for a long time... but it developed S of PR which became Omar and I believe CMC and NOGAPS hinted at it early but backed off.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
970. Tropicaldan
1:42 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
St Martin reporting....

Wild night, but only superficial damage in the area I live (Orient Bay) . Thanks to underground cables we only lost power for a couple of hours, but other parts of French side are not so lucky and all of Dutch side is currently without power or water.

We have no water on French side, taken as a precaution last night to protect the desalination plant intakes from the swells in Marigot. Not sure when that will be restored or if the intakes escaped damage.

There is a curfew both sides until midday to allow utility services time to clear roads and repair electric cables etc.

Only major damage I am hearing about is Simpson Bay and Maho area, particularly Beacon Hill and Juliana airport where seas invaded inland and left residents in four feet of water and sand this morning. Nasty.

Dan

Member Since: February 17, 2006 Posts: 3 Comments: 96
969. RobDaHood
1:42 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Quoting RMM34667:
Anyone here reports from USVI on damages? Looked like St. Thomas would be fine, but what about St. Croix? Thanks


Someone posted a news report a couple pages back. Sounds like they came through pretty good. Tone of report was sigh of relief.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33298
968. HobeSoundShudders
1:41 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
nhc surface map shows low at 11 & 83 +/- both 48 & 72 hours don't know if that is 16 leftovers or something new

jo
967. Bonedog
1:41 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
yup Rob thats why i like late October :)
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
966. RMM34667
1:40 PM GMT on October 16, 2008
Anyone here reports from USVI on damages? Looked like St. Thomas would be fine, but what about St. Croix? Thanks
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 912

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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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