OPHELIA WEAKENS BUT STILL POWERFUL AND WILL MOVE NORTHEAST AFTER ARRIVING ON SOUTH COAST - say US forecasters

Latest imagery shows storm passing over centre of Ireland

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Hurricane Ophelia

US National Hurricane Centre latest updated map

Latest predictions from the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in the United States show that Hurricane Opehlia is weakening but that it remains powerful and its course is set to cross the centre of Ireland in a Northeast direction.

The NHC has been monitoring Ophelia for the past week and been in contact with Met Éireann about its projected strength and course. 

In its latest update issued in the past hour it says that after displaying a distinct hurricane eye overnight, recent satellite imagery indicates that the cloud pattern of Ophelia has begun to deteriorate and the eye is no longer apparent.

It says Ophelia is forecast to gradually weaken and become a post-tropical cyclone later on Sunday.

As for direction the US forecasters say satellite fixes indicate that Ophelia is moving toward the north-northeast and this pattern is expected to persist.

It says a post-tropical storm Ophelia is still on course to reach the southern coast of Ireland Monday morning. It says the strong winds and rains associated with Post-Tropical Ophelia will arrive well in advance of the cyclone centre. 

Its key message continues to be that Ophelia is expected to be a powerful extratropical cyclone with hurricane force winds while it moves near Ireland and the United Kingdom. It says direct impacts from wind and heavy rain in portions of
these areas are likely, along with dangerous marine conditions.

READ MORE BELOW IMAGE

Hurricane Ophelia Discussion Number 26
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL172017
1100 AM AST (Miami time) Sun Oct 15 2017

After displaying a distinct eye overnight, recent satellite imagery
indicate that the cloud pattern of Ophelia has begun to deteriorate
and the eye is no longer apparent. The deep convection is also
weakening fast and consequently, Dvorak numbers have begun to
decrease while analysts are trying to lower them as much as the
technique allows. The best estimate of the initial intensity is 80
kt. Given the cold waters of about 20 deg C, and the strong shear,
Ophelia is forecast to gradually weaken and become a post-tropical
cyclone later today.

Satellite fixes indicate that Ophelia is moving toward the
north-northeast or 025 degrees at 33 kt, well embedded within the
fast flow ahead of a large trough. This pattern is expected to
persist, so no significant change in track is anticipated before
dissipation. Guidance continues to be in remarkably good agreement
and most of the models bring a weakened post-tropical Ophelia to the
southern coast of Ireland Monday morning (AST or Miami time).
Thereafter, the cyclone will continue over northern Great Britain
until dissipation.

Strong winds and rains associated with Post-Tropical Ophelia will
arrive well in advance of the cyclone center. Residents in those
locations should consult products from their local meteorological
service for more information on local impacts.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Ophelia is expected to be a powerful extratropical cyclone with
hurricane force winds while it moves near Ireland and the United
Kingdom. Direct impacts from wind and heavy rain in portions of
these areas are likely, along with dangerous marine conditions. For
more details on the magnitude, timing, and location of impacts from
post-tropical Ophelia, residents in Ireland should refer to products
issued by Met Eireann, and residents in the United Kingdom should
refer to products issued by the Met Office.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 15/1500Z 41.6N 16.0W 80 KT 90 MPH
12H 16/0000Z 46.0N 13.0W 75 KT 85 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
24H 16/1200Z 51.5N 9.5W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
36H 17/0000Z 57.0N 5.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48H 17/1200Z 60.5N 1.5W 35 KT 40 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 18/1200Z...DISSIPATED