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Hurricane Omar weakens to a tropical storm

October 17th, 2008 Category: Tropical Storms

Hurricane Omar - October 16th, 2008

Hurricane Omar - October 16th, 2008

Omar has now weakened to a tropical storm. As of 11:00P.M. AST, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, it was about 810km (505mi) northeast of the Leeward Islands and 1150km (715mi) southeast of Bermuda. It is moving northeast at approximately 41km/h (25mph). It is expected to continue moving north-northeast over the next few days, while decreasing slightly in forward speed. Its maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 110km/h (70mph), with higher gusts; it should weaken somewhat over the next couple of days. It has tropical storm force winds extending up to 230km (145mi) from its center.

In the main image, the eastern end of the Dominican Republic is mostly visible on the left, with Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands to its right, partially visible below the clouds. The coast of Venezuela can also be seen in the bottom of the image. Other islands, such as Antigua and Barbuda , are covered by the tail of the storm.

Hurricane Omar - enhanced image

Hurricane Omar - enhanced image

After having strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane early on October 16th, increased wind shear caused Omar to weaken rapidly after passing by the Leeward Islands. Although Omar went over the Leeward Islands at peak intensity, its eyewall remained over water so damage was relatively light. Some flooding was reported and some trees were knocked down, but there were no reports of significant structural damage.

Omar caused wind damage in the southern part of the Windward Islands, including Aruba, CuraƧao and Bonaire. While the trade winds usually blow from the east to the west, and all coasts and beaches are on the west side of the islands, on October 14th Omar brought strong west winds with it and caused severe damage at the coasts, a lot of power outages and fallen trees.

source Wikipedia

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