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Tropical Cyclone Activity Report – Atlantic Ocean / Caribbean Sea / Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Cyclone 17L (Ophelia) is located about 200 miles south of the Azores

Hurricane Ophelia remains active over the far eastern Atlantic…as a Category 3 system

Here’s a satellite view, with the looping version…along with what the computer models are showing

Here’s a graphic showing where Ophelia is, along with other current information

Hurricane Ophelia is not a threat to the United States, although potentially brushing parts of the Azores this weekend.

Only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851, according to NOAA’s historical hurricane database.

Ophelia may become a dangerous post-tropical system next week…near the Irish Coast.

While the storm poses no threat to land at the moment, it has become the 10th consecutive storm to grow to hurricane strength…a streak of intense systems that have tied a record last set in the late 1800’s.

It comes in a season that has already produced five major hurricanes, including three Category 5 storms…and 15 named storms.

Maximum sustained winds are 115 mph

According to the NHC:

Hurricane Ophelia  Discussion Number 20
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
1100 AM AST Sat Oct 14 2017

During the past few hours, Ophelia’s satellite presentation has improved significantly. The eye has become even more distinct with a temperature of 16 deg C, and has been surrounded by very deep convection. T-numbers from TAFB and SAB have reached 5.5 on the Dvorak scale, and the objective numbers from CIMMS have been oscillating around T5.8 and T5.9 recently. Based on these estimates, the initial intensity has been increased conservatively to 100 kt, making Ophelia a category 3 hurricane on the SSHS. Ophelia is a quite intense and rare hurricane for its location in the northeastern Atlantic. Increasing shear and cold waters will soon begin to impact Ophelia, and the hurricane should begin to acquire extratropical characteristics in about 36 hours or sooner. Although some weakening is anticipated, Ophelia is expected to reach the British Isles as a powerful extratropical cyclone with hurricane force winds. Dissipation is forecast in about 4 days after the system moved over these Isles.

Satellite fixes indicate that Ophelia is moving toward the northeast or 055 degrees at 22 kt. The hurricane is well embedded within the southwesterly flow associated with the southern extension of a large mid-latitude trough, and this pattern should continue to steer the cyclone northeastward and north-northeastward with increasing forward speed for the next 2 to 3 days until dissipation. Track models are in excellent agreement and the guidance envelope is quite tight. The NHC forecast is not different from previous ones, and it is very close to the HFIP corrected consensus HCCA and the multi-model ensemble TVCX.

Given that Ophelia is forecast to become extratropical, the wind field should expand, resulting in impacts over portions of the British Isles regardless of its exact location or strength. Although the center of Ophelia is not forecast to reach Ireland or the UK for another couple of days, wind and rains will arrive well in advance of the cyclone center. Individuals in those locations should consult products from their local meteorological service for more information on local impacts.

Tropical-storm-force winds are possible throughout the Azores after Ophelia passes to the south and east later today and tonight as a cold front moves through the islands. Interests in the Azores should refer to products issued by the Azores Weather Forecast and Watch Center.


1. Ophelia is expected to be a powerful extratropical cyclone with hurricane force winds Monday 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.


Atlantic Ocean

Tropical cyclone 17L (Ophelia)

NHC textual forecast advisory
NHC graphical track map
NOAA satellite image

1.) Radar and surface observations from the eastern Caribbean indicate that a broad area of low pressure is gradually approaching the Leeward Islands. This low is accompanied by showers and squalls mainly to the east of the center, and this activity is expected to spread westward over the Leeward Islands and the Virgin Islands today and Sunday. Upper-level winds are expected to be unfavorable for development during the next couple of days, but the environment could turn favorable for some development early next week when the system begins to move northward and then recurves over the west-central Atlantic Ocean.

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…10 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…medium…40 percent

NOAA satellite image of the Atlantic

Caribbean Sea

NOAA satellite image of the Caribbean Sea

Gulf of Mexico

Latest satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico


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