Tropical storm, soon to be hurricane, Ophelia is already causing headaches to the weather forecasting fraternity, and it’s still over 3,200 km away in the mid-Atlantic! The problem is that the models are forecasting that she will track northeast, and then turn north and skirt the west coast of Ireland by next Monday (fig 2). Monday is still along way off, and the NWP models at this range are shockingly poor, but it’s the thought that thirty years, on that Ophelia should coincide with the ‘great’ storm of the 15th and 16th of October 1987, but this time it will be the result of a tropical storm, that’s got everyone’s pulses racing.
- At the moment the forecast track of the low is not that too dissimilar to that of hurricane Debbie that caused so much death and destruction to the Republic of Ireland in 1961.
- And it does raise the question: Is there is a thirty year cycle that no one has noticed?
- And an even more surreal thought about ex-tropical storm Ophelia is that if when she does arrive she might have to undergo a sex change and be rechristened storm Brian by the Met Office!
The NHC seem to think that the Ophelia will track much further east towards northwest Spain, which means it might end up in the western approaches to the English Channel (fig 3).
Just one final check to see if that I’ve not entered the Twilight Zone by taking a peek at how the ECMWF see developments (fig 4).
It’s certainly one to be watched over the coming days.