Hurricane Ophelia Steams Up the East Coast to Newfoundland

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Hurricane Ophelia will bring stormy weather to the East Coast – Image Credit: dimitri_c

Hurricane Ophelia may have been downgraded to a Category 3 storm, but she’s still no shrinking violet.

As of Sunday, October 2nd, Hurricane Ophelia’s power had waned, but it was still strong enough for forecasters to predict powerful wind and rain in Newfoundland in the wee hours of Monday morning. By midday Sunday, the hurricane’s winds had decreased to 77 km/h. The storm is heading up the East Coast of Canada and will move into Eastern Newfoundland on Monday, October 3rd.  The Avalon Peninsula is under a tropical storm watch.

Hurricane Ophelia Caused Widespread Flooding on Dominica

Late last week on the island of Dominica, Hurricane Ophelia caused flooding and property damage after it developed into the season’s fourth hurricane of the year. Over 1000 people were cut off in communities on the island. Soon after, the hurricane moved east of Bermuda and up the East Coast.

 

While southern England basks in warm weather, the North may get the remnants of Atlantic hurricanes – Image Credit: hortongrou

A Moveable Beast: Hurricanes Create Stormy Weather Across the Atlantic

Across the Atlantic in England, beach-goers basked in the southern sunshine, with demand for ice cream and beach chairs still going strong in October.  However, in the north of England and into Scotland, residents braced for the rain and wind from Hurricane Ophelia, who plans to pay a visit to the country that inspired her name.

Although not all Caribbean hurricanes make it as far as the UK, fast-moving westerly winds can push hurricanes west across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing the wind and rain from the American tropics over to the British Isles.

The End of a Hurricane

What will happen to Hurricane Ophelia if it doesn’t traipse across the Atlantic? Hurricanes end in a number of ways. Sometimes, a hurricane will arc outwards from land, moving into the ocean. Occasionally, these hurricanes will move downward into the warmer ocean and regain strength.

Eventually, a hurricane will move into colder water or onto land, where its force will start to diminish. Hurricanes get their power from the low pressure zones that form in the tropical oceans. Water evaporates from the surface of the ocean, and this water warms the air. As hurricanes move from warm water to cold water, their source of fuel wanes, and so does their power. When they hit land, hurricanes lose power because they no longer have warm, evaporating water vapor to sustain them.

References

NASA. How do Hurricanes Form? Accessed October 2, 2011.

The Telegraph. October 2, 2011. North Braced for Hurricane Ophelia as south basks in record-breaking heat. Accessed Oct 2, 2011.

Weather Underground. Hurricane Ophelia Tracking Map. Accessed October 2, 2011.

 

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