September 28, 2011

Ophelia and Philippe

Ophelia is still churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

The upper trough affecting Ophelia is tracking east and should continue to shear Ophelia over the next 24-36 hours, so the feature will continue to pulse up and down to the northeast of the Leeward Islands.

The upper trough will move away from Ophelia on Thursday and Friday and the upper-level shear may lessen, so Ophelia could strengthen as she moves to the northwest across warm waters.

An upper trough deepening over the eastern U.S. this weekend will help to steer Ophelia to the north and northeast, away from the East Coast and possibly to the east of Bermuda.

It's not out of the question that Ophelia strengthens to a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Philippe continues to track slowly northwestward at this time over the open waters of the Atlantic.

Environmental conditions are still hostile with strong westerly wind shear affecting the system. Philippe is barely holding on to tropical-storm strength.

In fact, satellite images show that the low-level center of circulation is still disconnected from the thunderstorms that are to the north and east.

The shear will continue to affect the storm in coming days, preventing the possibility of any strengthening.

In fact, it should weaken into a depression soon if the wind shear does not let up at all.

By Meteorologist Rob Richards

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