Watching Hurricane Ophelia (Advisory #34)

Hurricane Ophelia maintains major hurricane status with 120mph winds and 956mb pressure.

The latest advisory out of the National Hurricane center has shifted Ophelia’s track slightly to the west and towards Bermuda. Forecast models have shown a slight trend to a more westward track than initially thought and so Ophelia may pass closer than originally thought.  But as for now, since a similar shift occurred last night, the NHC is keeping faith in its track. Although the storm isn’t expected to make a direct hit on Bermuda, it will pass close enough to get sliced by Bermuda Radar so I expect some excellent images as the storm passes closeby. Little, if any, change in strength is expected to occur between now and Ophelia clearing Bermuda sometime Sunday.

Bermuda should expect a gust or two to 50mph from a northerly direction. So those who live on north shore and hillsides with northerly exposures will feel the brunt of this storm in Bermuda. While south shore will be churned up with the major hurricane’s swells and waves up to 17 feet are possible outside the reef. Thunderstorms and showers, enhanced by both the hurricane and a trough are expected to bring around an inch of rain to Bermuda while they could prove to be squally in and of themselves.
The isobaric zone setup is looking less favorable as the storm has strengthened much more and therefore has a greater pressure gradient farther from the center than previously forecast. However, Bermuda will still be on its weaker side if she passes to our East.
Tropical Storm Phillipe may be a threat to Bermuda after five days as a pattern remains favorable for storms to continue to recurve towards Bermuda and Atlantic Canada. However, its intensity at such a time is highly debated and could play a huge role in its track – along with Ophelia’s track in terms of inter-cyclone interactions.

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