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Hurricane Rafael (17L) Completing Extra-Tropical Transitioning

46.0N 53.9W

October 18th, 2012 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Rafael (17L) – October 18th, 2012

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Track of Hurricane Rafael (17L) - October 18th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17L

A tropical wave exited the coast of Africa on October 5. On October 8, the NHC first monitored a tropical wave about halfway between Cape Verde and the coast of South America, which had a weak low pressure area and elongated convection. The thunderstorms gradually became more concentrated, and the system became better organized.

By October 10, the area was producing tropical storm-force winds in its northern periphery. Early on October 12, the system crossed into the eastern Caribbean Sea, passing near Saint Lucia. Later that day, a Hurricane Hunters flight confirmed a closed circulation, which prompted the NHC to initiate advisories on Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) about 125 mi (200 km) west-southwest of Dominica. At the time, the deepest convection was located to the east and southeast of the center, due to southwesterly wind shear from an upper-level low near Puerto Rico.

A weakness in the subtropical ridge allowed Rafael to track north-northwestward, and conditions were expected to favor further intensification. On the morning of October 13th, Rafael was observed to be moving north-westward followed by a slight left turn caused by a rebuilding mid–level ridge. On October 15, 2012, Rafael strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 knots (85 mph, 140 km/h) as it was moving northeast. Rafael’s center was found to be relocated which has resulted in a track proceeding farther to the east. Rafael slowly intensified further, and reached its peak winds of 90 mph. Soon after, it began to weaken very slowly as it entered an environment of very strong vertical wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures. During the afternoon hours of October 17, Rafael transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone, but remained powerful.

Hurricane Rafael (17L) South of Bermuda

21.1N 65.7W

October 16th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Hurricane Rafael (17L) – October 14th, 2012

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Track of Hurricane Rafael (17L) - October 14th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17L

As of 8 p.m. AST October 15 (0000 UTC October 16), Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) is located within 25 nautical miles of 24.5°N 65.7°W, about 545 mi (880 km) south of Bermuda.

Maximum sustained winds are 75 knots (85 mph, 140 km/h), with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure is 974 mbar (hPa; 28.76 InHg), and the system is moving north at 9 kt (10 mph, 17 km/h). Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 mi (75 km), and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) from the center of Rafael.

Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) North-Northwest of Puerto Rico

19.3N 65.8W

October 15th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) – October 13th, 2012

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Track of Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) - October 14th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17L

As of 11 p.m. AST October 14 (0300 UTC October 15), Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) is located within 25 nautical miles of 21.6°N 64.8°W, about 225 mi (365 km) north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and about 760 mi (1220 km) south of Bermuda.

Maximum sustained winds are 60 knots (70 mph, 110 km/h), with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure is 989 mbar (hPa; 29.21 InHg), and the system is moving north-northwest at 9 kt (10 mph, 17 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center of Rafael.

Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) Moving North at 12 Knots

15.2N 67.2W

October 14th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Rafael (17L)

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Track of Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) - October 12th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17L

As of 11 a.m. AST (1500 UTC) October 13, Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) is located within 30 nautical miles of 18.4°N 63.6°W, about 40 mi (60 mi) west-northwest of St. Martin, and about 95 mi (150 km) east-northeast of Saint Croix.

Maximum sustained winds are 45 knots (50 mph, 85 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 1004 mbar (hPa; 29.65 InHg), and the system is moving north at 12 kt (14 mph, 22 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center of Rafael.

Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) South-southeast of Saint Croix

16.2N 67.9W

October 13th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Rafael (17L)

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Track of Tropical Storm Rafael (17L) - October 12th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17L

As of 11 a.m. AST (1500 UTC) October 13, Tropical Storm Rafael is located within 30 nautical miles of 15.9°N 64.1°W, about 135 mi (215 km) south-southeast of Saint Croix. Maximum sustained winds are 35 knots (40 mph, 65 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 1006 mbar (hPa; 29.71 InHg), and the system is moving north-northwest at 8 kt (9 mph, 15 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center of Rafael.

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