Tropical Storm Ophelia is centered near 13.6N/8.5
W, or about 725 miles east of Barbados. Maximum sustained winds are now near 50
mph with higher wind gusts of up to 65mph. Movement is to the west at 12 mph.
Ophelia is forecast to move just north of the northern Leeward Islands by this
Forecasters have said that Ophelia remains
disorganized due to wind shear and dry air intrusion. Therefore, slow weakening
is likely through the next 3 days. Thereafter, conditions may become a bit more
favorable for strengthening. Dynamical models are in good agreement regarding
significant intensification after 3 days. Because of this, forecasters believe
that Ophelia will become a hurricane in about 5 days.
The track reasoning is similar to the previous
forecast. A track just north of the Leeward Islands is likely, followed by a
turn more to the north toward Bermuda. If Ophelia weakens more than forecast, a
more westward track closer to the islands may occur.
Squalls are likely to impact the Leeward Islands
from Saturday evening and could last into Monday afternoon after the passage of
the center of circulation. The outermost squalls are expected to impact the
Northeast Caribbean Sea by early Sunday morning, bringing wind gusts to
tropical storm force and rough seas. Almost all of the squalls will occur
behind the passage of the center.
All residents should remain in a high state of
readiness as they continue to monitor the progress of Ophelia and make
necessary preparations. The Department of Disaster Management will continue to
monitor the storm and provide updates when necessary. Please visit the
Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com and subscribe to
the notification link.
Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological
Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a
number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such
information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has
interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI
Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information
appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may
result in the loss of finances, property or life.