Caribbean-On-Line's Caribbean Hurricane Blog



HURRICANE OMAR DISCUSSION NUMBER 12

Published on October 16, 2008 5:08 AM | Comments

Omar "threads the needle". It looks like most of the Virgin Islands and the northern Leeward Islands got very lucky as Omar went through the Anegada passage without the eye passing over any islands directly. Only the eastern tip of St. Croix received hurricane force winds. This was probably about the best path this storm could take -

HURRICANE OMAR DISCUSSION NUMBER 12 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL152008 500 AM EDT THU OCT 16 2008

AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE HAS BEEN PENETRATING THE EYE OF OMAR AND MEASURED A PRESSURE OF 959 MB AND TWO SPOT WINDS OF 132 AND 124 KT AT FLIGHT LEVEL. THE CREW COULD NOT SAMPLE THE ENTIRE EYEWALL DUE TO EXTREMELY HIGH TURBULENCE. OBJECTIVE T-NUMBERS OSCILLATED BETWEEN 6.5 AND 7.0 ON THE DVORAK SCALE DURING THAT TIME. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT OMAR REACHED A PEAK INTENSITY OF 115 KNOTS EARLIER. HOWEVER...SINCE THEN...THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS DETERIORATED AND HAS BECOME ASYMMETRIC. THE EYE IS NO LONGER DISTINCT ON IR IMAGES AND THE MINIMUM PRESSURE HAS RISEN. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS SET AT 110 KNOTS. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT 6 TO 12 HOURS OR SO BUT THE GENERAL TREND IS FOR OMAR TO GRADUALLY WEAKEN AS ENCOUNTERS STRONGER SHEAR. THE HURRICANE SHOULD BEGIN TO LOSE TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS IN 96 HOURS OR SOONER.

DATA FROM THE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE AND RADAR FROM PUERTO RICO INDICATE THAT THE CORE OF OMAR WITH ITS STRONGEST WINDS CROSSED THE AREA OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS BETWEEN ST. MAARTEN AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...OR THE ANEGADA PASSAGE. OMAR HAS INCREASED ITS FORWARD SPEED AND IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST OR 040 DEGREES AT 22 KNOTS AND SOON WILL CLEAR THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS. THE HURRICANE IS FULLY EMBEDDED WITHIN THE SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AHEAD OF A LARGE MID-LATITUDE TROUGH AND THIS PATTERN SHOULD FAVOR ACCELERATION AND A CONTINUATION OF THE NORTHEAST MOTION. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS IN AGREEMENT WITH TRACK GUIDANCE AND IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE.




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