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Good day everyone!
As of analysis , and the Intermediate advisory from the NHC this morning, Hurricane GONZALO is maintaining CATEGORY 3 Hurricane status with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. The following information was available in the Intermediate advisory as of 8:00 a.m. EDT:
8:00 AM AST Wed Oct 15
Location: 23.1°N 67.7°W
Moving: NW at 13 mph
Min pressure: 951 mb ? 28.08 in
Max sustained: 125 mph
Satellite presentation on GONZALO a few hours ago showed a little larger diameter eye with fluctuations in the structure. I agree with the NHC discussion in that is is unknown if an EWRC may be occurring or not. The last update in microwave imagery did not indicate double concentric structure, and we will know over the next few hours if one may begin to be underway. The last 2 – 3 frames of satellite loop imagery do indicate the eye has reduced in diameter, and the hurricane is taking on a more symmetric shape.
GONZALO had been under some slight shear a few hours ago, however analysis of the current wind shear product from CIMSS indicates shear has fallen to around 10 kts, and examining the streamlines, it appears the upper level anticyclone which is forecast to develop over the hurricane may be taking shape. The recent update to the wind shear forecast does call for upper level winds to become more favorable over the course of today, and remain favorable over the next 48 hours prior to the storm moving close to the island of Bermuda. Based on this, and given the hurricane will still be passing through an area where OCH values are greater than 60 kJ / cm-2, I am calling for additional strengthening over the next 24 hours, and concur with the NHC intensity forecast. Should all of these parameters mentioned remain favorable during this time, I cannot rule out GONZALO peaking at a possible CAT4 briefly, save any dry air intrusion.
NHC INTENSITY FORECAST
INIT 15/0900Z 22.9N 67.3W 110 KT 125 MPH 12H 15/1800Z 24.0N 68.3W 115 KT 130 MPH 24H 16/0600Z 25.5N 68.9W 115 KT 130 MPH 36H 16/1800Z 27.3N 68.5W 110 KT 125 MPH 48H 17/0600Z 29.9N 67.1W 105 KT 120 MPH 72H 18/0600Z 37.5N 62.8W 90 KT 105 MPH 96H 19/0600Z 48.5N 52.5W 70 KT 80 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 120H 20/0600Z 54.0N 30.0W 55 KT 65 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
GONZALO has been moving to the NW, and I expect this motion to continue through today. Soon after, as the deep layer trof gets closer, I expect GONZALO to slow his forward speed, and being a turn more toward the north. Satellite loop images indicate GONZALO took a very brief jog more on a westerly component, as in not quite 320 degrees, and the last couple of frames suggest the center just jogged slightly north. This is not uncommon with major hurricanes as they fluctuate slightly in strength. The official NHC track has shifted slightly left, and inline with the dynamic model guidance from 12Z. IF the current forecast track does not deviate, the center of the hurricane should pass to the west of Bermuda..however this places the island on the stronger side of the storm. One note, any deviation to the right of track, would bring a major hurricane directly over the island.
The following Watches / Warnings are currently in effect:
WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY... NONE SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * BERMUDA A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.
Residents of the Island of Bermuda should be making hurricane preparations at this time, and should complete these preparations as soon as possible.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE OVER BERMUDA ON FRIDAY... WITH TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS POSSIBLE BY EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. SURF...LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY GONZALO ARE AFFECTING PORTIONS OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...THE NORTHERN COASTS OF PUERTO RICO AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...AND PORTIONS OF THE BAHAMAS. SWELLS WILL REACH MUCH OF THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES AND BERMUDA ON THURSDAY. THESE SWELLS ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.
I will continue to monitor this situation for any significant changes in strength and steering over the next 48 hours.
Elsewhere, the area of disturbed weather in the CATL which was designated as INVEST 91L has been dropped. Satellite loop images indicate the area is now under westerly shear, and upper level winds are forecast to be non conducive for further development.
During analysis of satellite loop imagery this morning, another area of disturbed weather popped up in the EATL, south of the Cape Verde islands. I will be monitoring this area for persistence over the next 24 hours, as upper level winds are forecast to be somewhat favorable for development over the area for the next 72 hours.
Closer to home, analysis of the global models indicates over the past 48 hours, we pretty much have a consensus that we could see some development in the extreme SE GOMEX in the BOC within the next 5 – 6 days. The current area being watched in the EPAC is forecast by the steering layers forecast maps to move toward a NWLY direction, and in a few days, be shunted across Mexico and into the BOC. As of this time I have no definitive solution as to possible strength or direction should this materialize, as the global models are in disagreement in strength, while steering indicates should development begin, this would meander in the BOC for about 72 – 96 hours if development initiates. I will be monitoring this situation closely over the next 7 – 10 days.
I will have another complete update late tomorrow morning once again.
Have a blessed day!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST / SEVERE WEATHER SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AMS
OFFICIAL SKYWARN SPOTTER (ADVANCED)