Ophelia remains weak; TD 17 forms; dangerous Nesat headed for the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:54 PM GMT on September 24, 2011

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There's not much change to Tropical Storm Ophelia today, which continues to battle dry air and high wind shear. Satellite imagery shows that Ophelia has little heavy thunderstorm activity near its low level circulation center, which is mostly exposed to view. Most of the storm's heavy thunderstorms are to the east of the center, with just a few puffs of thunderstorms occasionally popping up near the center. An analysis from the University of Wisconsin CIMMS group shows a high 20 - 25 knots of wind shear due to strong upper-level southwesterly winds. Water vapor satellite images show Ophelia is at the eastern edge of large area of very dry air.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Ophelia showing the low-level center exposed to view, with all the storm's heavy thunderstorms in a band several hundred miles to the east and south. This is not a healthy-looking tropical storm.

Forecast for Ophelia
The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that Ophelia will experience high wind shear of 20 - 40 knots over the next five days, and will move into a region with slightly drier air. This combination of shear and dry air may be enough to dissipate Ophelia, as predicted by several of the models. However, Ophelia has maintained itself better than the models have predicted, so the storm will probably survive until at least Sunday. Even it Ophelia does dissipate, it will have the chance to regenerate by Tuesday or Wednesday, when it may encounter a region of lower wind shear. At this time, it appears that Ophelia will only be a threat to Bermuda.

TD 17 forms
Tropical Depression 17 formed in the far eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa last night, and is likely to intensify into Tropical Storm Philippe later today. TD 17 has some impressive low-level spiral bands and upper-level outflow, and is very close to tropical storm strength. The predicted west-northwest to northwest track of TD 17 will put it in a position where historically, very few storms have ever gone on to hit land.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Hilary at 4:05 pm EDT September 23, 2011. At the time, Hilary was a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Powerful Hurricane Hilary remains at Category 4 strength
In the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Hilary remains an impressive Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds. Hilary is headed west, away from Mexico, and the storm is small enough that its outer bands are not causing flooding problems for Mexico. A trough of low pressure expected to move over the Western U.S. by the middle of the week may be strong enough to turn Hilary to the north, eventually bringing Hilary to Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The timing of this event is highly uncertain, though. Hilary is small enough that it is unlikely to bring significant drought relief to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas if the storm's remnants move north into those states. Hilary is the fourth Category 4 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific this year, and the second strongest, behind Hurricane Dora, which had 155 mph winds.

Invest 91L set to soak North Carolina
A moderate amount of heavy thunderstorm activity has developed over the Northwestern Bahamas in association with the tail end of an old stalled front. This disturbance, Invest 91L, is under a low 5 - 10 knots of wind shear, but water vapor loops show a considerable amount of dry air to the east and west of the disturbance that will likely interfere with development. In their 8 am Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 91L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday. The disturbance has only a short window to develop, as it is headed northwards and is expected to make landfall in North Carolina by Sunday afternoon. The 8 am EDT SHIPS model forecast predicts 91L will hit 35 knots of wind shear by Sunday morning, when the storm will be approaching the coast of North Carolina. Heavy rains from 91L may cause localized flooding in Morehead City, NC and surrounding regions. A moist flow of tropical air over the region has already brought rainfall amounts of 1 - 3 inches to much of Eastern North Carolina today.

Dangerous Tropical Storm Nesat headed for the Philippines
What may be the season's most dangerous storm in the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Nesat, has formed about 700 miles east of the Philippine Islands. Nesat is under a moderate 10 knots of wind shear, is embedded in a very moist environment, has very warm sea surface temperatures of 30°C under it, and a very favorable upper-level outflow pattern above it. Nesat has plenty of time to intensify into a major typhoon before its expected landfall on Luzon Island in the Philippines on Tuesday morning.

I'll have an update before 2 pm Sunday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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413. JLPR2
The Atl isn't producing anything amazing.

This is amazing.


Lets not forget about this too:
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
411. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


lol.

#399.


XD
Ophelia is having some serious LLC problems according to the HHs, but keeps firing convection.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
Quoting Levi32:


Ophelia is even worse looking, but both cyclones look unimpressive at the moment.


Yeah, but Philippe should improve over the coming days. I think it may peak as a Category 2 hurricane...what about you?

As for Ophelia, it is extremely disorganized at this time. However, it should enter more favorable conditions in a similar manner to Maria, and may become a hurricane eventually.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
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Quoting Levi32:
Convective structure and intensity with Philippe is not that impressive:

Levi! your back! levi would you call the 2011 season active and do you know why we dont have that many hurricanes/majors? also if an enso is not el nino does that mean an above average season? thanks :)
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1278
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
most beautiful storm so far this year
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Quoting will40:



i think they hate to move the cone lol
Which storm please?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


lol.

#399.


Ophelia is even worse looking, but both cyclones look unimpressive at the moment.
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Quoting Levi32:


The structure is not great either. Towers are spotty and not forming into solid spiral bands.


lol.

#399.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Convective intensity is not that impressive with Philippe.


The structure is not great either. Towers are spotty and not forming into solid spiral bands.
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399. JLPR2
But then we have Ophelia.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
I think it would be cool if somebody took every Tropical Weather Outlook image from June 1 to November, and made it animated.

Would take a long time..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
397. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:
Convective structure and intensity with Philippe is not that impressive:



Yep.


Still a weak TS that needs D-max, bad...
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
Quoting Levi32:
Convective structure and intensity with Philippe is not that impressive:



Convective intensity is not that impressive with Philippe.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
Convective structure and intensity with Philippe is not that impressive:

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LMAO! *Facepalm*

Fixed it.


lol.

who was it that said "windsh*t"? :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Shame on you :D
LMAO! *Facepalm*

Fixed it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
After Phillipe, it looks like the main focus will shit westward of 60˚W as the Cape Verde season begins to shut down.
Shame on you :D
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If possibilities of the early October storm in the Carib were to come to fruition, it will be named Rina. I really don't like that...
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After Phillipe, it looks like the main focus will shift westward of 60W as the Cape Verde season begins to shut down.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
EP092011 - Hurricane HILARY

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

..click image for Loop


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382. JLPR2
Wind-shear is dropping in Ophelia's general area. She might try to recover.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
Wow! I never realized how small Hilary is.
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I still think there's a good chance that Ophelia will become a hurricane north of Bermuda very similarly to Maria. Seems that Philippe will beat it to hurricane though first.
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Quoting plywoodstatenative:
All I know is that I watched a stove pipe like tornado form over Western Broward today and drop down for a few seconds and then retreat back up. That about sums up my afternoon

Nice! About an hour ago I saw two funnel clouds over the water just off of Naples dangling from the dark base of a quickly-growing cumulus. Neither touched down, though. Obviously some strange atmospheric dynamics today, no? That was today's excitement for me...
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Lily developed on 21 September. She was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 2002. She made landfall in Louisiana on 3 October after causing extensive damage in the Caribbean We lost electric here for four days. The only saving grace was the temperatures were no longer in the 90's or 100 degrees.
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Quoting Seastep:


They do, but that is proper.


yes if not mistaken they use a 6hr average to determine track
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Nesat in pacific is going to become a very bad deal for northern Luzon, and possibly mainland China.
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All I know is that I watched a stove pipe like tornado form over Western Broward today and drop down for a few seconds and then retreat back up. That about sums up my afternoon
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Quoting JNCali:

Never forget renting a minivan in GC while on vacation.. soo scary driving on the 'wrong' side of the street. Sure do miss those rum cakes... yum! Glad the Caymans have been unscathed so far this season.. hoping is remains so..
More countries drive on the left than on the right so maybe it is the US driving on the wrong side. j/k
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I think it will peak as a Category 2 hurricane.


If they predict it to intensify that quickly, that seems very reasonable to me IMO.
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Quoting will40:



i think they hate to move the cone lol


They do, but that is proper.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Looks like Ophelia might have more centers than Grand Cayman has roundabouts!

Never forget renting a minivan in GC while on vacation.. soo scary driving on the 'wrong' side of the street. Sure do miss those rum cakes... yum! Glad the Caymans have been unscathed so far this season.. hoping is remains so..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting charlottefl:
For a 2005 Comparison Rita made landfall Sept 23. So this season is pretty close.


I hope not.
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Quoting charlottefl:
For a 2005 Comparison Rita made landfall Sept 23. So this season is pretty close.


and Stan didn't form until October 1.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
For a 2005 Comparison Rita made landfall Sept 23. So this season is pretty close.
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i havent seen the other models but it looks like they are following the GFS on track
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as soon as nhc downgraded hilary to 135mph she looks like she is back to 140 lol
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1278
Quoting CybrTeddy:
NHC thinks Philippe will become a hurricane on Monday.


I think it will peak as a Category 2 hurricane.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31338
Quoting rockcity340:


lol wow caribboy you really want a hurricane don't you i live in the Caribbean too and i can remember storms like Luis Marilyn Bertha i don't need anymore be careful my friend of what you wish for


Thanks buddy.. don't worry i don't want a Luis a lenny, or a Georges! I just want some interesting weather like nice thunderstorms, a TD or a TS. Ophelia looks good to me ;) weak TS..
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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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