2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Birdseye Discussion #134A (Special Update)
...TUESDAY OCTOBER 16 2012...7:30 AM EDT...
Latest satellite-derived upper-level wind barbs in GOES satellite products shows that the western outflow of Rafael is reversing to upper southwesterly winds...indicating that southwesterly shear is beginning to dominate Hurricane Rafael. Therefore...Rafael is no longer expected to strengthen. Here is my updated intensity forecast for Rafael:
5 AM Tue Oct 16 2012...85 mph...initial
11 AM Tue Oct 16 2012...85 mph...6 hr
11 PM Tue Oct 16 2012...80 mph...18 hr
11 AM Wed Oct 17 2012...75 mph...30 hr
11 PM Wed Oct 17 2012...70 mph (Becoming Non-Tropical)...42 hr
Satellite imagery...as well as radar imagery from the Bermuda Weather Service (http://www.weather.bm/radarLarge.asp)...indicate that rains over the island are starting well to the north and in advance of the hurricane. These rains are occurring outside the impact swath drawn in Figure 1 of full discussion #134...driven by upper divergence associated with the incoming upper trough. Expect occasionally heavy rains to overspread Bermuda throughout the day...with the weather in Bermuda quickly improving by tonight and early tomorrow. Aforementioned impact swath was based on tropical storm wind radius as of 11 PM EDT last night...but that radius has slightly grown in the western semicircle of Rafael as of 5 AM EDT. While this seems to increase the risk to Bermuda in terms of tropical storm sustained winds...the actual storm track is a little to the right of the previous forecast track...and with wind shear increasing across Rafael...the weather and hence the wind field is likely to lose ground in the west half of the storm. Therefore as mentioned in full discussion #134...Bermuda will barely experience tropical storm sustained winds if at all.
Return to full discussion #134 for an assessment on the rest of the Atlantic tropics.