Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rafael Churns Up Atlantic

Hurricane Rafael passed a fair distance east of Bermuda last night, bringing wind gusts to 50 mph to the island overnight.  As of 5 AM, Rafael has 80 mph max winds as it is centered to the east of the Mid Atlantic and northeast of Bermuda.   Rafael is now in the process of transitioning to a nontropical storm as it moves northeast and then turns to the east-northeast as evidenced by satellite imagery below.

Unlike tropical systems, which feature a central core of rain and wind near them, the nontropical Rafael will feature frontal boundaries and its wind and rain spread out to the north of the storm system.  Rafael's strongest winds and heaviest rains will not be near the center of lowest pressure by this time tomorrow but will be spread out to the north of the storm's low.

Rafael will churn up the waves a bit on the East Coast today and this evening, with swells of up to five feet expected along the coast.  Some rip currents are also possible at the Shore later today; however, because Rafael is accelerating to the northeast and will quickly move farther away from the East Coast the wave and rip current impact from the storm will not last terribly long.