Figure 1 – Courtesy of Wikipedia
This is the only decent visible satellite image that I can find from yesterday of Ophelia as category 3 Hurricane (fig 1). The Met Office of course remain aloof from all the fuss about Ophelia, acting like they don’t have any access at all to high quality satellite imagery, because why on earth would anyone be interested?
What a perfect combination the UKMO and EUMETSAT, just throw in the WMO and you have the perfect triumvirate of ineptitude.
Why is it that I can view any of these types of satellite images or movie loops for the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Western Atlantic courtesy of the Americans:
- IR AVN
- IR Dvorak
- IR enhanced
- IR JSL
- IR RGB
- IR Funktop
- IR rainbow
- Water vapour
But as soon as a hurricane gets any further east than 35° west, we immediately revert to the dark ages. It would be nice to think that Brexit would change all of this, but it’s for certain that the Met Office will sail on into the sunset oblivious to it all as if nothing really matters.
Figure 2 – Courtesy of Intellicast
Ophelia passed to the south and the east of the Azores overnight as a category 2 hurricane. She is racing northeast at 30 knots, and is expected to turn more north-northeast today (fig 2), because if she doesn’t then watch out Bognor!
There’s a remarkable degree of similarity between the T+36 forecasts from the GFS and UKMO models for 12 UTC on Monday this morning (fig 3). The centre of Ophelia is slightly (~1°) further northeast in the GFS solution than the UKMO, this is probably to do with a slightly faster solution rather than a difference in track I would have thought. The centre of Ophelia is at 972 hPa in the GFS and down at 965 hPa in the UKMO, this may be due to the OGIMET contouring or the resolution of the GFS model they are using, I’m sure the Met Office track the centre of vortices in their models, rather than rely on a fixed grid of MSLP values as the GFS does. The isobars are very tight around the centre of Ophelia, which does mean that you would have to reduce the geostrophic wind quite a bit because of the tight curvature of Ophelia to get the true gradient.
No change in the warnings, either from Met Éireann or the Met Office this morning, although I would expect that they will be tweaked by Exeter this morning,. No mention yet of a yellow warning for heavy rain yet either, although Ophelia is moving through very quickly, the models do indicate a shield of heavy rain lying to the west and northwest of the centre.
The irony of this event occurring 30 years after the ‘great’ storm, is that unlike 1987, the southeast are best placed to get away with quite a warm breezy day, with little in the way of rain compared to places further west and north.