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 767 
 WTNT43 KNHC 151454
 TCDAT3
 
 HURRICANE GONZALO DISCUSSION NUMBER  13
 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL082014
 1100 AM AST WED OCT 15 2014
 
 Data from an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft indicate that
 Gonzalo has strengthened a little. The maximum 700 mb flight-level
 wind reported was 123 kt and the highest SFMR wind observation was
 116 kt.  Based on these data, the initial wind speed is increased to
 115 kt, making Gonzalo a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson
 Hurricane Wind Scale.  This is the first category 4 hurricane in the
 Atlantic basin since Ophelia in 2011.  The aircraft data and
 microwave images clearly show concentric eyewalls, with the
 inner radius of maximum wind now only about 4-5 n mi from the
 center.
 
 Smoothing through the trochoidal oscillation of the eye yields an
 initial motion estimate of 320/10 kt.  A high amplitude trough over
 the eastern United States is expected to slowly move eastward during
 the next couple of days, and will erode the subtropical ridge that
 is currently steering Gonzalo.  This change in the large-scale
 pattern should cause the hurricane to turn northward by early
 Thursday and north-northeastward Thursday night and Friday, likely
 bringing Gonzalo near Bermuda in about 2 days.  Beyond 48 hours, the
 hurricane is forecast to accelerate generally northeastward.  The
 track model guidance remains tightly clustered, and the official
 forecast is near the GFS and ECMWF solutions and only slightly to
 the left of the previous one.
 
 Given the evidence of concentric eyewalls, and with the inner
 eyewall already about as small as it can get, the current period of
 intensification could be about over.  The hurricane will likely
 fluctuate in strength while the environmental conditions remain
 favorable during the next day or two.  After that time, weakening
 is forecast when the hurricane moves into an atmosphere of
 increasing southwesterly shear and drier air, and over much colder
 water.  Post-tropical transition will likely occur in 3 to 4 days
 when the cyclone is forecast to cross the north wall of the Gulf
 Stream current.  Little change was made to the previous intensity
 forecast, and this one lies near the middle of the guidance
 envelope.
 
 FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
 INIT  15/1500Z 23.5N  68.0W  115 KT 130 MPH
  12H  16/0000Z 24.6N  68.7W  115 KT 130 MPH
  24H  16/1200Z 26.3N  68.9W  115 KT 130 MPH
  36H  17/0000Z 28.6N  68.0W  110 KT 125 MPH
  48H  17/1200Z 31.6N  66.2W  105 KT 120 MPH
  72H  18/1200Z 40.6N  60.8W   90 KT 105 MPH
  96H  19/1200Z 50.5N  46.0W   65 KT  75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
 120H  20/1200Z 54.0N  24.0W   50 KT  60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
 
 $$
 Forecaster Cangialosi
 
 
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It was last modified on: , 17 2014 - 1841 UTC
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