Thursday, September 8, 2005

TROPICAL TRIO


Trio


And now we have another hurricane. What else is new? Ophelia has intensified rather quickly today, possibly because as Nate slowly departs, the environment has improved allowing our newest storm to hit her stride. This latest tropical trouble may be aiming for Category 3 status, and an eventual landfall along...yep, you guessed it, the Florida, Georgia or South Carolina coast. Some forecasters believe this storm may also make it into the Gulf, which would be a worse case scenario...a Cat 3 striking Florida from the east, weakening and then regenerating and striking in the Gulf as a 2 or 3. It is not an impossible outcome, and all interests in Florida and in the Katrina-ravaged areas should keep a close eye. There is also the possibility this gets too close to the coast, and makes a run UP the Eastern Seaboard. Either way, this storm will be with us for at least the next week.

Ophelia 1



Model mayhem is ruling the day, and no one really know for sure where Ophelia will go, how long it will take to get there, and how strong she will be once that happens. The trend has obviously been the northern Gulf this season, and given this storm is stuck on the underside of the big Northeast high, it's mostly likely final destination is the Gulf of Mexico. It will probably loop around east of Florida, then suddenly charge westward, crossing the state as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane. Once in the Gulf, waters are warm enough to sustain a Category 2, and even 3 is not out of the realm of possibility. Why? if it traverses the northern Gulf where waters were not as disturbed from Katrina and have warmed since Dennis in July, and it does this slowly, areas ravaged and raw from the big K could be sideswiped by her wicked step-sister. This will be a long duration storm, hanging with us for at least another week, which by that time there could easily be the start of a Cape Verde storm heading west from Africa. It is going to be a long and toilsome month.

Ophelia 2

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