Category 4 Igor May Still Strengthen

Based on estimates using satellite information, the clouds spinning around hurricane Igor rise high enough into the atmosphere to cool to a remarkably cold  temperature of -94F, the eyewall of the storm is a tight 15 miles in diameter, and the winds ripping around the eyewall are estimated to be near 150 mph.  Sustained winds of over 155 mph are necessary for a storm to be classified as a category 5 storm, the top of the Saffir-Simpson scale.

BULLETIN
HURRICANE IGOR ADVISORY NUMBER  21
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL     AL112010
500 AM AST MON SEP 13 2010

...CATEGORY FOUR IGOR CONTINUES WESTWARD...

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.7N 48.8W
ABOUT 940 MI E OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...150 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 13 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...935 MB...27.61 INCHES

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Igor to strengthen a little more today, perhaps reaching category 5 status before it encounters less favorable atmospheric conditions and begins to weaken somewhat.

Thankfully, the storm is in the middle of the Atlantic, nearly a thousand miles from any major land areas.  The forecast track, however, takes the storm in the general direction of Bermuda over the next 5 days.

Tom Tasselmyer

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