Thursday, October 16, 2008

Major Hurricane Omar Weakens After Passing Virgin Islands;
Heads for Central Atlantic

After developing on Monday in the eastern Caribbean, Tropical Depression 15 became Tropical Storm Omar on Tuesday. Moving northeastward, Omar was a hurricane by Tuesday night.

The hurricane continued strengthening on Wednesday, reaching major status (Category 3) with maximum winds of 120 mph as it approached the northern Leeward and Virgin Islands Wednesday night. The storm passed about 25 miles east of St. Croix and about 70 miles west of St. Maarten and accelerated toward the northeast.

As Omar moved away from the Leeward Islands, reconnaissance reports indicated that maximum winds had increased to 125 mph in the early morning hours today. By 8 am, maximum winds had decreased to 115 mph, and they continued to weaken to 85 mph at 11 am.

Hurricane Omar is now racing north northeast at 26 mph toward the central Atlantic with maximum winds of 75 mph. Continued gradual weakening is expected as the storm also slows its forward speed and turns more toward the east.

Images: Hurricane Omar observed tropical storm and hurricane wind swaths and forecast track from National Hurricane Center

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nana Nearly Negligible
14th Tropical Storm Follows Micro Marco's Minimal Mexican Mark

Following midget Tropical Storm Marco, a very weak Tropical Storm Nana has developed this afternoon in the eastern Atlantic, about 925 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. At 40 mph, Nana's maximum winds are just barely tropical storm strength. The storm is likely to weaken to a tropical depression by Monday as it moves west northwest in the open ocean.

Tiny Marco, which made landfall on the Mexican Gulf Coast near Veracruz last week, was the smallest named storm since size statistics began being collected in 1988. Its area of tropical storm force winds was barely half the size of the previous record holder, Henri of 2001. At Marco's peak, tropical storm winds extended no further than 25 miles in any direction from the center.

Images: Nana forecast track from National Hurricane Center, Marco track from Weather Underground

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.