2012-10-17: This is out last update of Rafael, now a post-tropical cyclone.

2012-10-15: UPDATE: Tropical Storm Rafael has just been upgraded to a category one hurricane as a result of NOAA/NHC surveillance aircraft overflights.

2012-10-15: Name updated from Raphael to Rafael to match the NHC terminology. Rafael is expected to reach hurricane strength later today. While it appears it will miss Bermuda as a hurricane, it will be felt as a tropical storm on the island.

2012-10-14: Storm tracking for Bermuda is now setting the storm east of Bermuda. Storm surge should still be a factor but rain impact likely will be lessened if the storm stays true to course. High seas and heavy rains are still forecast for the Virgin Islands, Culebra and Vieques. Rafael is projected by the NHC to reach hurricane status tomorrow.

2012-10-13: Tropical Storm Rafael pounded portions of Trinidad and Tobago and the lower Carribean and continues to cause strong seas and rain as it moves northward along the inside of Leeward Islands. Bermuda places Rafael as passing over The Virgin Islands Sunday morning, and Bermuda Tuesday night, and is holding it as a tropical storm (SS cat 0)

[For general monitoring of the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricane season, follow our post at Atlantic and eastern Pacific Hurricane activity 2012)]

EWR currently monitoring: none
___________________________________

Tropical Storm Rafael, as tracked by the Bermuda Weather Service

Model Tracking of Rafael, from Weatherbell Models, Dr. Ryan Maue.

GOES East satellite – visible – Hurricane Rafael – image links to loop

GOES East satellite – AVN presentation – Hurricane Rafael. Image links to loop.

WTNT32 KNHC 172049
TCPAT2

BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE RAFAEL ADVISORY NUMBER 21
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172012
500 PM AST WED OCT 17 2012

…RAFAEL NOW AN EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE…
…THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…40.2N 56.5W
ABOUT 475 MI…760 KM SE OF HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 35 MPH…56 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…972 MB…28.70 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…THE CENTER OF POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE
RAFAEL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 40.2 NORTH…LONGITUDE 56.5 WEST.
THE LOW IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 35 MPH…56 KM/H. A
TURN TOWARD THE EAST-NORTHEAST WITH SOME INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED
IS EXPECTED ON THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH…120 KM/H…WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. GRADUAL WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS…
HOWEVER THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN A STRONG EXTRATROPICAL
LOW OVER THE NORTH ATLANTIC DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 80 MILES…130 KM…
FROM THE CENTER…AND GALE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 310
MILES…500 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 972 MB…28.70 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
SURF…SWELLS GENERATED BY THE CYCLONE ARE EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE
COAST OF EASTERN CANADA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THESE SWELLS ARE
LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENTS. PLEASE
CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON RAFAEL. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM CAN BE
FOUND IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE…UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC.

WTNT42 KNHC 172050
TCDAT2

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE RAFAEL DISCUSSION NUMBER 21
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172012
500 PM AST WED OCT 17 2012

ALTHOUGH SOME WEAK CONVECTION HAS REDEVELOPED NEAR THE CENTER OF
RAFAEL THIS AFTERNOON…THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE CYCLONE HAS
BECOME THAT OF AN INTENSE EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE. EARLIER ASCAT
DATA SHOWED A FRONTAL BOUNDARY IMPINGING ON THE NORTHWESTERN
PORTION OF THE SYSTEM…AND AS OF THIS AFTERNOON…THE FRONT IS
ANALYZED INTO THE CENTER OF THE CYCLONE. THEREFORE…RAFAEL
HAS BECOME EXTRATROPICAL…AND THIS WILL BE THE FINAL NHC
ADVISORY ON THIS SYSTEM. THE ASCAT DATA INDICATED A LARGE AREA
OF 50-60 KT WINDS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN PORTION OF THE
CIRCULATION…SO THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 65 KT. SOME
GRADUAL WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS…
BUT THE LOW IS FORECAST TO REMAIN A LARGE AND POWERFUL SYSTEM OVER
THE NORTH ATLANTIC FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

RAFAEL HAS TURNED NORTHEASTWARD. THE TRACK FORECAST REASONING
REMAINS UNCHANGED FROM THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY. THE CYCLONE SHOULD
TURN EAST-NORTHEASTWARD DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO…AND THEN
COMPLETE A CYCLONIC LOOP AROUND A DEEP-LAYER LOW OVER THE
NORTH-CENTRAL ATLANTIC IN 2 TO 3 DAYS. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND IS BASED ON A BLEND OF THE
GFS AND ECMWF MODELS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 17/2100Z 40.2N 56.5W 65 KT 75 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
12H 18/0600Z 42.9N 50.9W 60 KT 70 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
24H 18/1800Z 46.0N 41.8W 60 KT 70 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
36H 19/0600Z 49.0N 33.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48H 19/1800Z 52.0N 29.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 20/1800Z 54.0N 33.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
96H 21/1800Z 47.6N 33.0W 45 KT 50 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 22/1800Z 43.0N 28.0W 35 KT 40 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP