Friday, September 17, 2010
Hurricane Igor weakened slightly to become a "top of the scale" Category 3 cyclone. Depending upon what impresses you about natural meteorological/oceanographic phenomena, the size of Igor is amazing at about 1000 miles (1600 km) across its entire wind field.
Igor is about 730 miles (1175 km) South-Southeast of Bermuda tracking Northwest at about 8 knots (15 kmh/9 mph). It has maximum sustained winds of about 105 knots (195 kmh/121 mph). The present motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours and then the cyclone should recurve to the North-Northwest. The forecast track from most models agree and Bermuda is likely to get anywhere from Tropical Storm force effects to those of a direct hit in about 2 to 3 days time. Igor's forecast track keeps it in warm water and a light shear environment so any significant weakening will not likely occur for a few days yet. There is a bit of dry air to the west of it, but the cyclone's size and strength will ward off that effect.
As Igor passed ocean buoy 41044 wave heights of 35.8 feet (11 meters) were recorded.
Bermuda is on Hurricane Watch with the centre of Igor approaching on Sunday morning. Correspondent in Bermuda states that the local marketplace was jammed with people stocking up supplies and that people were charging up electronic devices in preparation for power outages.
Hurricane Julia is behaving pretty much as forecast. It is slowly weakening due to the influence of wind shear. There will be greater influence on Julia from the outflow pattern of Igor which will cause further deterioration. Julia continues to present a risk to shipping with 75 knot (140 kmh/86 mph) winds. Position is about 1450 miles (2330 km) Southwest of the Azores tracking West-Northwest at about 21 knots (39 kmh/24 mph) although a traditional recurve is evident in its track. Julia is being steered by an upper level ridge. It should start tracking to the northeast as it passed around the western edge.
Julia poses no threat to population at this time.
Click any image to enlarge.