OPHELIA passing the Azores

Saturday 14th October 2017

From west to east

Disturbance Fifty Two is loosely centred around the east central Gulf of Mexico moving slowly west, radiating squalls and bands of heavy rain. This is battling upper level shear which will prevent tropical development as it trudges west.

Disturbance Fifty One is passing north east of the Leeward Islands. Overnight, this has developed a well-defined low-level circulation, but it is being battered into submission by strong upper level wind shear which is pushing thunderstorm activity to the east of the disturbance's nominal centre. The disturbance will move to the northwest over the next few days, bring showers and thunderstorms to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Early next week, the disturbance will be north of the islands, where environmental conditions may become slightly more conducive for development however a trough of low pressure will push this out towards the central Atlantic.

Category 1 hurricane OPHELIA has started to sprint to the east-nor'east as it makes its closest point of approach to the Azores, some 60 miles south east of Santa Maria Island. Currently producing 85 knot winds, this is a relatively small cyclone with a well-defined eye which will become a strong albeit weakening extratropical cyclone as it passes over the cooler waters of northeast Atlantic bringing strong winds to the western British Isles on Monday.

Storm cones aloft over the Azores.