TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION: HURRICANE NICOLE
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(T. F. “Storm” Walsh III)
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CURRENT 2016 ATLANTIC TROPICAL CYCLONE TOTALS:
TOTAL STORMS: 14
MAJOR HURRICANES: 3
StormW’s Seasonal Hurricane Forecast:
TOTAL STORMS: 13-15
INTENSE HURRICANES: 3-4
UPDATE: AS OF THE 8:00 P.M. INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY, NICOLE BECAME A MAJOR HURRICANE…CATEGORY 3:
8:00 PM AST Wed Oct 12
Location: 29.6°N 66.4°W
Moving: NNE at 10 mph / 28.23 in
Min pressure: 956 mb
Max sustained: 115 mph
Good evening everyone!
Nicole continues to move toward Bermuda. As of the 5:00 p.m. advisory from the NHC, the following was available on Nicole:
5:00 PM AST Wed Oct 12
Location: 29.2°N 66.6°W
Moving: N at 10 mph
Min pressure: 962 mb / 28.41 in
Max sustained: 110 mph
Satellite loop imagery indicates Nicole’s presentation has become more symmetric than from earlier today, and the improving CDO and more symmetric eye, along with colder cloud tops indicates she may be slowly, further strengthening. Nicole has been moving to the north, but the recent satellite loop imagery may indicate she is now aiming for Bermuda, with a NNW motion. There is no change to the forecast track thinking, which is supported by the official NHC forecast track, and 18Z dynamic model guidance, which is very tightly clustered. On this track, NHC indicates the core of the hurricane may be near, or over Bermuda on Thursday.
Nicole has strengthened to a top end CATEGORY 2 Hurricane. Based on 200 mb streamline and wind shear value information from 12Z today, Nicole has the remainder of the evening to strengthen slightly, and I concur with the forecast in that Nicole may be a CATEGORY 3 hurricane by the time she hits Bermuda. This is a DANGEROUS HURRICANE, and the residents of Bermuda should have preparations complete.
NHC INTENSITY FORECAST
INIT 12/2100Z 29.2N 66.6W 95 KT 110 MPH
12H 13/0600Z 30.5N 66.1W 100 KT 115 MPH
24H 13/1800Z 32.7N 64.3W 95 KT 110 MPH
36H 14/0600Z 34.6N 61.4W 85 KT 100 MPH
48H 14/1800Z 36.6N 57.5W 80 KT 90 MPH
72H 15/1800Z 38.8N 51.5W 75 KT 85 MPH…POST-TROPICAL
96H 16/1800Z 38.8N 50.0W 65 KT 75 MPH…POST-TROPICAL
120H 17/1800Z 40.0N 49.5W 65 KT 75 MPH…POST-TROPICAL
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND WIND:
Hurricane conditions are expected to begin on Bermuda Thursday morning, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin this evening.
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 8 feet above normal tide levels in Bermuda. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
RAINFALL: Nicole is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches over Bermuda through Thursday.
SURF: Swells associated with Nicole will affect Bermuda during the next few days. These swells will create dangerous surf conditions and rip currents. Please refer to products being issued by the Bermuda Weather Service.
TORNADOES: Isolated tornadoes are possible on Bermuda tonight and early Thursday.
Elsewhere, the global models seem to be consistent in development from just south of the Bahamas, to the SW Caribbean Sea, in association with a strong trof split which should initiate now in approximately 5-6 days. By days 8-10, some of the global models indicate a closed low, with the GFS being bullish on a TS or Hurricane coming through the “goalpost” (Yucatan Channel). ECMWF brings a weak system into the W Caribbean, via SW from the Bahamas, stalls south of FL., then pulls it NE. CMC GGEM brings it NNE across the Windward Passage. One note on the CMC GGEM…it develops another storm north of Puerto Rico, and eventually bends it back toward the U.S. The CMC is the outlier so far,but the way this season has been, I cannot rule out the other system as of yet.
In any event, the models are sniffing out some sort of situational development as the trof split leaves a piece of energy in or around the W. Caribbean in a few days, as the “ridge over troubled water” as my colleague Joe Bastardi likes to call it (high pressure anomalies building north of the energy) builds north of the area.
The probability of development looks good at the moment, with the GFS indicating the wind shear/200 mb streamline pattern beginning to become favorable around day 6 (144 hours from 12Z) with an upper level anticyclone forecast to materialize over the area. This is reflected in the Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability products from NCEP and the ECMWF.
Now, just so I am clear on this…I’ve already noticed on social media, some folks are performing the “armchair” forecast track method. As I ALWAYS reiterate, it is way too early to even be discussing “track”, as we do not even have a development to track. As discussed, the models are still pretty much all over the place on this. IF or WHEN development occurs, future track could be tricky as we have witnessed with Matthew. If you recall, the models and forecast track kept shifting, as the global models kept showing a different 500 mb anomaly pattern almost every 4 days…ridging north, no ridging north…deep trof digging down, trof bypassing said storm, etc., etc. IF and WHEN a fairly developed LLC occurs, then a forecast track should be easier to predict. So with that information, I ask that folks hold off on the “Is it gonna hit TX?”…Is it gonna hit MS?…Is it gonna hit AL?” questions.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm formation is not expected during the next 7-10 days.
Have a blessed day!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST /SEVERE WEATHER SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AMS