Hurricane 08L (Gonzalo) remains active in the Atlantic Ocean (near the Caribbean Islands)…located approximately 640 miles south-southwest of Bermuda
Hurricane 08L (Gonzalo) is moving out into the Atlantic Ocean…now rated category 4 major hurricane
Hurricane Gonzalo, which is the sixth hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. Gonzalo has become the Atlantic’s first Category 4 hurricane since October 2, 2011…when Hurricane Ophelia reached 140 mph winds.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), tropical storm 08L Gonzalo is located approximately 640 miles south-southwest of Bermuda…and is moving northwest at near 12 mph.
Data from an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft indicate that Gonzalo has strengthened a little. Based on these data, the initial wind speed is increased to 115 knots, making Gonzalo a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The aircraft data and microwave images clearly show concentric eyewalls, with the inner radius of maximum wind now only about 4-5 nautical miles from the center.
A high amplitude trough over the eastern United States is expected to slowly move eastward during the next couple of days, and will erode the subtropical ridge that is currently steering Gonzalo.
This change in the large-scale pattern should cause the hurricane to turn northward by early Thursday and north-northeastward Thursday night and Friday, likely bringing Gonzalo near Bermuda in about 2 days.
Beyond 48 hours, the hurricane is forecast to accelerate generally northeastward.
Given the evidence of concentric eyewalls, and with the inner eyewall already about as small as it can get, the current period of intensification may be over. The hurricane will likely fluctuate in strength while the environmental conditions remain favorable during the next day or two.
Thereafter, weakening is forecast when the hurricane moves into an atmosphere of increasing southwesterly shear and drier air…and over much colder water. Post-tropical transition will likely occur in 3 to 4 days when the cyclone is forecast to cross the north wall of the Gulf Stream current.
The approach of category 4 Hurricane Gonzalo has caused a hurricane watch to be issued for Bermuda.
The latest forecast shows Gonzalo passing within 50-100 miles west of Bermuda Friday. At that time, hurricane-force winds should extend outwards about 35-45 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds should extend 160-170 miles from the center. Bermuda is likely to see tropical storm force winds, but not hurricane force winds. In their Wednesday Wind Probability Forecast, the NHC gave Bermuda a 94% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds of 39+ mph,…and a 37% chance of hurricane-force winds of 74+ mph.
Gonzalo may also become a threat to Newfoundland, Canada…which may hit Newfoundland between on Saturday. In their Wind Probability Forecast, NHC is giving Cape Race, Newfoundland a 55% chance of experiencing tropical storm force winds…and a 7% chance of hurricane force winds.
Here’s a looping radar image showing the extended view of this strengthening hurricane…credit: Brian McNoldy, University of Miami
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE OVER BERMUDA ON FRIDAY... WITH TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS POSSIBLE BY LATE THURSDAY NIGHT. 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.
Meanwhile, there’s an area of disturbed weather, being referred to Invest 91L
This area of low pressure is located about 1100 miles east of the lesser Antilles.
Development of this area, as it moves generally northward, is expected to be slow.
The NHC is giving is a low chance of developing during the next 48 hours…which increases only slightly over the next 5-day period.
Here’s a satellite image of this area in the central Atlantic Ocean…well to the east-southeast of hurricane Gonzalo
This disturbance doesn’t appear to pose any threat to land areas well into the future.
Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC…CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO…
Hurricane 08L (Gonzalo)
NOAA textual forecast
NOAA graphical track map
NOAA satellite image
A broad area of low pressure located about 1100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles continues to produce a large area of showers and thunderstorms to the east of the center. Strong upper-level winds should limit significant development of this system while it moves generally northward over the central tropical Atlantic.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…10 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent
There are no active tropical cyclones
Gulf of Mexico
There are no active tropical cyclones