Colleagues, Ophelia looks like it will nearly mirror Maria. FORECAST: Tropical Storm Ophelia has formed about 1600 miles east of the Leeward Island with winds of 45 mph and not increasing much for the next several days at least. It will remain for nearly a week, at least, a rather weak Tropical Storm. It will be moving westward at about 12 mph in the direction of Puerto Rico through the rest of the week. By late in the week, the full path should be known, but Florida will not be in it's path.
DISCUSSION: For most the of the week Ophelia will be moving west around the southern edge of the subtropical ridge. Just has been the case all year, (with Maria, Irene, etc,) I expect a deep trough off the US coast at just the right time to turn Ophelia North. However, It could be further West, and that is the point of concern at this time. That is, how sharp a turn can we expect as Ophelia is further SW of these other storms at this time in their development. Ophelia will have some catching up to do. I believe Ophelia will not become a major Hurricane and possibly not a hurricane at all and that it will miss the US. I think it will be clear by this weekend and even clearer by the the beginning of next week. It will take several days at least to see how far south this trough will extend when it gets to the Atlantic and how strong it will be at its southern end. We are over a week away from it being even close to the US.
NEXT FORECAST: Tomorrow, Thursday.
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Peter S. Ray
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