From west to east:
Disturbance Forty Nine is now passing north-east of Bermuda, battered into submission by upper level shear and an approaching frontal system. This has a window of opportunity, but likely to be short-lived and remain well clear of land.
Extratropical Storm ODETTE continues to outstay its welcome, now loafing about some 650 miles south-east of Newfoundland. ODETTE will move to the south-sou’east overnight tonight and may yet today into gain some subtropical characteristics but will in all likelihood dissipate by Sunday to the west or southwest of the Azores. Having said that, it is the time of season that maverick north Atlantic storms tend to recycle and launch themselves towards the Azores. No sign yet, just a possibility.
Category One Hurricane Sam is now around 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands heading west at 15 knots. Intrepid aviators are buzzing the storm and have reported that SAM has intensified and is now producing winds in excess of 90 knots. There is more than a whiff of uncertainty surrounding SAM. A slug of Saharan air has been drawn into the cycle and the track has wobbled a couple of times over the past 23 hours with consequent variation in predicted track. What is certain is that the dry air is finite and SAM is expected to intensify to perhaps a category four storm in the next 2-3 days with a predicted hurricane severity index rating of 20 (7 for size and 13 for intensity). The storm will pass the northernmost Leeward Islands in early next week, but how close, is as yet impossible to forecast but most agencies are indicating tracks thereafter towards Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda being strong possibilities but until SAM settles on a determined and readable course and speed, this is far from certain. Most seem to feel that this will not enter the Gulf of Mexico. I will need to see how SAM pans out over the next day or two before I commit to that.
Stand by for hurricane force winds and high seas in the vicinity of SAM otherwise, stand easy.
Image Richard Desmond