Update on Hurricane Ophelia



11:00 PM AST Fri Sep 30
Location: 26.2°N 63.1°W
Max sustained: 120 mph
Moving: N at 17 mph
Min pressure: 956 mb

Tropical Storm Ophelia has quickly exploded to Major Hurricane Strength, now being a category 3 with sustained winds at 120 mph. It is quite amazing what wind shear can do to a tropical system. This cyclones life, until about 72 hours ago, was encountering some strong upper level wind shear that was preventing this system from developing.  At one point, it weakened to a depression with the National Hurricane Center giving it one a 10% chance of the system developing back again. Just as the cyclone weakened, upper level wind shear began to weaken and the depression quickly reorganized into a tropical storm again. About 24 hours ago, the National Hurricane Center had most computer models increasing the storm to a category 1 hurricane. Apparently the upper level wind shear was still weak and other atmospheric conditions suggested the hurricane to continue to grow and that is exactly what happened. It quickly exploded to category 3 strength. Currently the closest piece of land near its track is Bermuda. The island is currently under a tropical storm watch. The hurricane is not expected to weaken much but is expected to track east of the island meaning that the left bands of the system will cross over Bermuda. That part is where the weaker winds are located thus why only a tropical storm watch has been issued and not a hurricane watch.  Bermuda is outlined in yellow which signifies the tropical storm watch. So far no watches has been posted for parts of Canada, however that may change in the next day or two as Ophelia gets closer. The system will begin to weaken after passing Bermuda as it enters cooler waters and then turn to the east over the far northern Atlantic Ocean.

-Gino Recchia


12:05AM ET

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