Ophelia departing, TD 17 arriving?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:15 PM GMT on September 15, 2005

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Storm surge levels observed last night in Bogue Sound, which is the bay between Morehead City and its barrier island, reached seven feet--near the record levels set there from Category 3 Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The storm surge reached 10 feet in some of the smaller creeks in the Neuse River and may have reached 12 feet, a remarkably high storm surge for what was a tropical storm for that area. High storm surges can result from just tropical storm force winds, if they blow over a large area for a really long time, like Ophelia's did.


Figure 1. Storm Surge heights measured in Ophelia.

For those of you who can handle a 1.6Mb animation, the radar loop from Morehead City, NC during the time Ophelia's northern eyewall passed over the city is fascinating. The turbulence created by having part of the eyewall over land and part over water created some smaller vorticies along the inside edge of the eyewall.

While Ophelia did dump it share of heavy rain--around 5 - 7 inches near Wilmington, and over 10 inches around Cape Fear, south of Wilmington--the rain was mostly confined to the coast, and did not cause widespread flooding problems. Ophelia's winds also did relatively light damage--sustained hurricane force winds (74 mph) were only observed at one location, on Cape Lookout near the Outer Banks. The storm surge was what caused the main havoc with Ophelia.


Figure 2. Estimated rainfall from the Morehead City radar for Ophelia's passage.

Ophelia is very slowly lumbering out to sea, and is a mere shell of her former self. The eyewall has disintegrated, and the latest hurricane hunter flight found a rising pressure (987 mb) and winds at flight level (78 knots) that may support downgrading Ophelia to a tropical storm this afternoon. Cooler waters, dry air, and wind shear are all taking their toll on Ophelia, and by the time she races past Cape Cod on Saturday, the worst she will be able to do there is generate wind gusts of 40 mph.

TD 17?
A well-organized tropical wave 900 miles east of the Windward Islands is slowly improving in organization and may become Tropical Depression 17 by tommorow. The wave, located near 9N 47W, is a little too far south to develop quickly, but is moving WNW towards higher latitudes. The shear over the wave is marginal for development, about 10 - 15 knots, but is expected to drop by this evening. Wind measurements from the QuikSCAT satellite show that an elongated surface circulation has already formed, but winds around the disturbance are below 20 knots. The upper level environment is favorable--an anticyclone has formed on top of it, which should provide very favorable outflow for any deep convection that fires up. The disturbance is expected to continue moving west-northwest at 10-15 mph the next few days, then possibly slow down and turn more northwest under the steering influence of a large mid-Atlantic trough.


Figure 4. Early track model runs for the disturbance that may turn into Tropical Depression 17. The 2am GFDL run disippated the disturbance immediately.

Elsewhere in the tropics
No other tropical storm developent is expected elsewhere in tropics through tomorrow. However, conditions for development are expected to improve over much of the tropical Atlantic over the coming week, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Jeff Masters

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87. hatterasman
2:31 AM GMT on September 16, 2005
MyamuhNative Many thanks just emailed you. Any info you have please send
86. MyamuhNative
11:25 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
hatterasman,
email me when you get a chance.
info in my blog

and MuffinAnne,
I heartily support you!
I am still cleaning up from Katrina's damage to my yard in South Dade and don't need any more damage.
85. muffinanne
11:04 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Stormdee - "I hope I wake up and have a TD or two or three tomorrow" Stormdee - let me guess --- age 15, residence Indiana, experience with mortality zero. We want no more TDs. And, I don't care what anyone says about me.
84. MyamuhNative
11:01 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
hatterasman,
woodall and empire gem.
she has been down to teach's Lair three times today and every thing is fine.
water hasn't come up yet that is noticeable.
she said she will go back down and take another look.
will let you know...
83. shoals
10:42 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Shoals here...finally just got power back. whew what a day! Its still a blowing North 45-50 with gusts in the 60's easily rain off and on. When it switches to the NW tomorrow is when we will get it from the sound. No major damage, one trailer flipped in Hatteras...minor ocean overwash and no soundside flooding...let me rephrase that, NO soundside water as you can see from the photo I got earlier today at Hatteras Harbor Marina-the charter boats were high and dry! I know I have never seen it this low.

We never got a break today and probably won't until late friday.

Link
82. 8888888889gg
10:42 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
SO WHAT IS GOING ON WITH TD17?
81. hatterasman
10:15 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
MyamuhNative its off of Woodall across from Teachs Lair on Sand Road. Where is your house? Thanks!
80. MyamuhNative
10:01 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
hatterasman,
where is your house?
I have family near Teach's Lair, oceanside.
might be able to give you an idea of your street condition tomorrow after things settle down.
79. Jedkins
8:52 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
On TWC is where I saw this at.
78. Jedkins
8:51 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
OMG that is strange,the are where jeff morrow was took quite a beating to category 1 ophelia,there were at least 3 homes destroyed and quite a few with significant damage,and no they were not mobile homes eather!It seemed that it was the combination of surge winds and waves did this damage,there is also extensive heavy rain flooding where as much as 12 to 15 inches fell near and along the NC coast.
77. obxcartwright
8:47 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Avon is probably OK right now. But the flooding could come from the sound side tonight or whenever O decides to move northward.
76. hatterasman
8:46 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
goodenough what street are you on in Hatteras Village?
75. WisCheese
8:44 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
I've come to OBX several times, but this is the first with a hurricane. Been glad for this blog so I get some idea of what's happening.
74. weatherdude65
8:31 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
sorry about that

Link
73. weatherdude65
8:30 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
nothing showing up on PR radar.......yet

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/radar/loop/DS.p19r0/si.tjua.shtml
72. Goodenough
8:28 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Hi I just got a phone call from friend in Hatteras Village...I have a home by the ferry docks up a few streets...so far no damage...all is dry....the water has not come up yet...but its not dry in the marinas either..so hopefully the water will not rush back in...I am praying too!
Member Since: March 28, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
71. WisCheese
8:18 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Avon area
70. subtropic
8:16 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Mia NWS has now removed the "breezy" wording from the So Fl extended forecast. Based on the discussion, they have backed off of the assumption that the system near P.R. is going to develope and move west until the models get more of a concensus going. Now THAT'S more like them!
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
69. AM91091
7:54 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
NWS says were getting heavy rain and 15-mph winds on Friday and Saturday.
68. AM91091
7:52 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
were gonna get rain, but only 10 mph winds ( according to Accuweather), I've haven't been through anything since Floyd.(Charley was to weak when it came our way)
67. hookedontropics
7:47 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Bastardi is calling for you to get some of TD 17..
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 127
66. AM91091
7:46 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
NJ SHore...hoping to get some Ophelia. Mabye next time around.
65. hookedontropics
7:41 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
am910 where u from?
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 127
64. AM91091
7:41 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
63. AM91091
7:37 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
62. obxcartwright
7:36 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
WisCheese,

What part of the Outer Banks?
61. ciwsailing
7:35 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Anyone know if they have power in Emerald Isle?
60. hookedontropics
7:33 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Looks like Ophelia is going to be a Nor'easter.

Pretty impressive flare up east of PR..
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 127
59. jorick
7:30 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
billsfaninsofla: Sure, another hurricane, just what I need. I came down to Ft. Lauderdale in a 15 foot travel trailer for a software contract just before Katrina breezed through. I had to evacuate for a couple of days since the trailer won't handle a hurricane. If another one comes this way, I'm outa here for a few.
Member Since: September 15, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
58. WisCheese
7:28 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Good Afternoon. I have been reading you all for about 2wks now. Heading to the OBX sunday, hopefully. Always interested in damage anyone hears about.
57. obxcartwright
7:27 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Looks like O's starting to do a loop and head back into Hatteras.
56. AM91091
7:24 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
i have a blog about the tropics.
55. stormydee
7:09 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
well, I gotta go, Im sure more bloggers will be on to answer any questions. I hope I wake up tomorrow and have a TD out there...or maybe two...or three! :-) goodnight.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
54. flacanefan
7:07 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
east coast florida
53. aquak9
7:06 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
maybe we'll have some good news today....
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26675
52. stormydee
7:05 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
i can almost see a rotation in the PR disturbance. But, I don't think it has all the conditions favorable for a quick development right now. Seems to have a lot of westerly shear (or nw shear). So, depending on how fast it moves (which the past few days, its been sitting there)...if they say maybe sun/mon it will effect so. FL, well, I think it will be very weak if it is a storm at all...but if it moves into the gulf...well, I just don't know, no computer models here, just guessing and observing.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
51. stormydee
6:59 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
they stated O would hug the coast throughout the day, then pull off NE late tonight into tomorrow...I think that trough coming off the US will push her NE, however, anything is possible...but I don't think she'll come back south, besides, I am tired of her...I am ready for Phillipe and Rita and Stan...maybe they will all be friends out there at the same time. lol
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
50. aquak9
6:59 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
gulf don't need more action...my offer still stands, send a cat3 my way just to keep it outta the gulf.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26675
49. billsfaninsofla
6:56 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Stormydee- Joe Bastardi is talking about the PR disturbance, he thinks it may be over South Florida on Sunday/Monday.. he didn't say as what though, wave, depression. TS, hurricane... and then into the Gulf
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5809
48. billsfaninsofla
6:53 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
the area further behind is supposed to be td #17.. not sure about the blob near PR... locals (I'm in South FL) didn't say much... where are you Subtropic?
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5809
47. kerigangirl
6:51 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
It does look like O is drifting a little southeast... what's left of her anyway. Looks like stormydee's going to have to put up with that old woman a little bit longer. Any thoughts on her doing another loop and heading south.
46. aquak9
6:49 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
afternonn, ya'll...any port orange, florida folks in here?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26675
45. stormydee
6:28 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
THE VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 900 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS HAVE ALSO BECOME MORE FAVORABLE...AND THE SYSTEM COULD BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION LATER TODAY OR FRIDAY AS IT MOVES WEST OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.....Yummy!!!! Here we go.....
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
44. stormydee
6:22 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Willjax, that has some dust with it, so its hard to say what that will do, surely take its time with the dust in the way...
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
43. jcpoulard
6:19 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Fine,I think in five days Ophelia will still be some where between Virginai and NY.
Member Since: September 15, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 114
42. HurricaneZane
6:13 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
thx ; )
41. subtropic
6:12 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Latest animated GFS (850mb) Link
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
40. weatherguy03
6:11 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Here ya go..Link..Has alot of frames so if you have dial-up will take awhile..lol...
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
39. WillJax
6:11 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Speaking of blobs, what's with the enormous cluter of storm that's trailing right behind what could become TD17?

Will that cluster simply dissipate with time?
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 33
38. HurricaneZane
6:07 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
Weatherguy.. where's your link?
37. stormydee
6:04 PM GMT on September 15, 2005
lets just hope that if our PR blob becomes a T.S. that it moves way quicker than Ophelia...those trough tropical storms seem to meander, not sure what they want to do and of course, if the blob by the islands gets named 1st, the PR one will be another woman.....go figure!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517

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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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