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Weakening Tropical Storm Ophelia hits Newfoundland

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:15 PM GMT on October 03, 2011

A weakening Tropical Storm Ophelia passed over Southeast Newfoundland this morning, bringing tropical storm force winds and heavy rains. Ophelia's center passed over Cape Race at about 10:30 am local time, and that station measured sustained winds of 41 mph, gusting to 61 mph. Ophelia's highest winds were recorded at Sagona Island on the south shore of Newfoundland, where sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 59 mph, occurred at 9:30 am local time. The capital of St. John's received 0.94" inches of rain, and recorded a peak wind gust of 40 mph this morning. Ophelia's greatest rains at any airport in Newfoundland were 1.72" at St. Pierre. Ophelia is headed out to sea at 35 mph, and will transition to an extratropical storm this afternoon.

Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Ophelia.

Tropical Storm Philippe no threat to land
In the middle Atlantic, Tropical Storm Philippe continues to struggle against dry air and high wind shear. Satellite loops show Philippe is a small system with modest heavy thunderstorm activity, with the surface circulation partially exposed to view by wind shear. Wind shear is a high 30 knots, thanks to the upper-level outflow from Ophelia. Shear will remain high through Tuesday, but may relax to the moderate range as Philippe turns towards the north on Wednesday. Philippe could become a hurricane in Wednesday or Thursday when the shear relaxes. It is unlikely that Philippe will trouble any land areas.

92L over the Azores no threat to develop for several days
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, an extratropical storm with plenty of spin but no heavy thunderstorm activity is located over the Azores Islands. This storm, designated Invest 92L by NHC this morning, is over cold waters of 22 - 23°C and under very high wind shear of 40 - 50 knots. 92L is not a threat to develop today and Tuesday, and is not being given any mention in NHC's tropical weather outlook. However, 92L could start to build some heavy thunderstorms by Wednesday, as it moves west-southwest and finds warmer waters and lower wind shear. The system is unlikely to threaten any land areas.

Tropical Storm Nalgae headed for Vietnam
In the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Nalgae will be skirting China's Hainan Island on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will make final landfall over Vietnam on Wednesday afternoon. Nalgae is not expected to regain typhoon strength. Nalgae roared ashore over the Philippines' main island of Luzon as a super typhoon with 150 mph winds at 9 am local time on Saturday morning, and is being blamed for eighteen deaths. The typhoon dumped heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches across a large swath of Northern Luzon, on soils already saturated from the rains of Typhoon Nesat just five days previously. Typhoon Nesat killed at least 52 people in the Philippines and three in China.

Jeff Masters


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