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October 8, 2010

Otto becomes 8th hurricane of the season

Tropical Storm Otto has graduated. It is now Hurricane Otto, the 8th of the 2010 Atlantic season. But it continues to move off to the northeast, of no concern to the U.S. mainland. It could become a NOAA/GOESproblem for the Azores early next week.

The National Hurricane Center said Otto is more than 400 miles south of Bermuda, moving east northeast at 17 mph, with top sustained winds of 75 mph. Forecasters say the storm will strengthen some before beginning to weaken again late Saturday as it accelerates into the northeast.

Even so, the NHC indicates Otto is leaving its calling card in the islands of the northeast Caribbean Sea:

"RAINFALL...ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE IN THE NORTHERN
LEEWARD ISLANDS...THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...PUERTO RICO...AND THE EASTERN
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TODAY.  THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-
THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES."

Here is the latest advisory on Otto. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the view from space.

Elsewhere in the tropics, forecasters are watching a stormy region in the southwestern Caribbean. It is expected to get better organized in the next few days, but is given only a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. If it does become the next tropical storm, it would be named Paula.

So, how are the prognosticators doing so far this season, with a little more than 7 weeks to go? They predicted an active season compared with the long-term averages, and that has certainly held true.

AVERAGE (1966-2009): Named: 11.3   Hurricanes: 6.2  Major (Cat. 3 or higher): 2.3

ACTUAL 2010 TO DATE: Named: 15 Hurricanes:  8  Major:  5

SPRING FORECASTS:

Colorado State Univ.:  Named:  15  Hurricanes:  8  Major:  4

AccuWeather:  Named: 17  Hurricanes:  10  Major:  4

NOAA:  Named:  14-23  Hurricanes:  8-14  Major:  3-7

Fortunately, nine of the 15 named storms have blown themselves out at sea (although a few have sent dangerous surf ashore). Only one - TS Bonnie made landfall in the U.S., a brush with South Florida. Nicole sent loads of rain our way, and Hermine caused serious flooding in Texas after a landfall in Mexico.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes
        

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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