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Ophelia - 2005

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HURRICANE OPHELIA

ophelia.jpg
Hurricane Ophelia slowly creeps towards the Carolinas

On September 6, at the same time that Nate and Maria were spinning in the open atlantic, a mass of thunderstorms in the Bahamas developed into Tropical Depression Sixteen. The following day, it became Tropical Storm Ophelia. Ophelia sat off the floria coast stationary for over a day, initial forecasts predicted a landfall on the Florida Coast as it started to barely drift NE. On September 8th, it became a hurricane, only to be downgraded the next day back to a tropical storm. As the storm continued to sit off of Florida, massive beach erosion was taking place as the high surf pounded the coast. Finally, On September 9, the storm started to gain some momentum, not towards Florida, but out into the Atlantic. It was a tropical storm in the morning of September 9, but regained Hurricane Strength later that afternoon. It continued to travel NE very slowly, although it was starting to curve on more of a northward track towards the Carolinas.

Between September 10 and September 13th, it fluctuated between tropical storm and hurricane strength an additional 2 times, and was downgraded to a tropical storm for the last time on September 15, as the eye wall of the storm brushed North Carolina's Outer Banks. The eye was massive, over 100 miles wide after the inner core of convection collapsed after encountering wind shear and cooler waters. After sitting off the Carloina shore for 5 days, it finally began to pick up some good speed and headed NE out to sea. As it moved out to sea however, New England got a little taste of Ophelia with some gusty winds, and the last advisory was issued as the storm made landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada. One fatality was caused by the storm, when a man drowned from the high surf in Florida.

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