LORENZO closing on Azores
Tuesday 1st October 2019
From west to east,
Disturbance Forty Four has finally run up the flag in the western Caribbean. This is a disorganised rag bag of scattered thunderstorms and heavy, dark clouds with the odd shower and some signs of horizontal rotation, but far from meaningful This is still expected to track to the west-nor' west over the next few days to enter the Bay of Campeche on Thursday night then track west. Development prospects are pretty remote in my view, but worth watching of course.
More speculation amongst the chattering mob raises the prospect of a new disturbance east of the Bahamas over the next few days but all signs are for this to head harmlessly seaward.
Category 2 hurricane LORENZO is centred 625 miles to the south-west of the Azores moving north-east at 18 knots. This is now the largest hurricane ever recorded in the north-east Atlantic. Aerial images show a deterioration in the eye structure and the storm will shortly move across much cooler water with a belt of wind shear attacking the convection column which should start it weakening. Unfortunately for the Azores, the effect of the scale of this vast system with a 90 mile radius hurricane force windfield and a staggering 350 mile radius tropical storm force windfield will be to prolong intensity despite the core technically weakening, if that makes sense. Think of it as surface rotation driving the centre rather than vice-versa. A large powerful tail wagging a tired dog, if you like. This currently has sustained winds of 95 knots which are unlikely to weaken substantially before passing close west of the Azores overnight tonight. Thereafter, the storm will accelerate towards the north-east and weaken quickly. It does seem as this will have an impact on the western isles of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland as it passes in around 96 hours from now but a long way short of hurricane intensity.
Storm cones aloft over the Azores.