Tropical Storm OPHELIA 9/23/2011 4:30am

Colleagues, Ophelia looks like it will nearly mirror Maria. FORECAST: Tropical Storm OPHELIA is weakening with winds of 45 mph and is moving nearly NW at 12 mph. OPHELIA is located about 650 miles East of Leeward Islands. By Sunday Ophelia should be just north of the Leeward Islands. OPHELIA is nearly no long a Tropical Storm. The turn to the north has begun and will be in earnest this weekend. No threat to FLORIDA and anywhere along the East Coast.

DISCUSSION: OPHELIA is moving into an increasingly hostile upper- level winds, at least through the weekend, so there will be weakening during this period. The Western portion of the ridge shows signs of eroding which will, possibly in the next couple of days, promote the northward turn. There will be be no landfall. The big question is after 4 days of weakening, will there be enough left to "regroup" once it gets back into a more favorable environment next week.

NEXT FORECAST: Tomorrow, Saturday.

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