Powerful Hurricane Lorenzo Churns Southwest of the Azores

Powerful Hurricane Lorenzo churned southwest of the Azores on Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Lorenzo was located at latitude 20.3°N and longitude 43.6°W which put it about 1575 miles (2535 km) southwest of the Azores.  Lorenzo was moving toward the north-northeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 948 mb.

Hurricane Lorenzo weakened slowly on Friday, but it remained a large and powerful hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 250 miles (400 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Lorenzo was 23.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 20.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 44.3.  Hurricane Lorenzo was capable of causing major damage.

Hurricane Lorenzo weakened on Friday because it moved into a less favorable environment.  Lorenzo continued to move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was near 27°C.  However, an upper level trough west of Lorenzo was producing southwesterly winds which were causing moderate vertical wind shear.  in addition, Hurricane Lorenzo appeared to be drawing drier air into the western half of the circulation.  The effects of increased vertical wind shear and drier air caused Lorenzo to weaken.

Hurricane Lorenzo will continue to move through a less favorable environment and weaken.  Since Lorenzo is a large hurricane, it will weaken more slowly than a smaller hurricane would.  As a result, Lorenzo will likely remain a hurricane for several more days.

The upper level trough will steer Hurricane Lorenzo toward the northeast during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Lorenzo will likely approach the Azores on Tuesday.  Lorenzo is likely to still be a hurricane at that time.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Depression Karen weakened to a trough southeast of Bermuda on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of former Tropical Depression Karen was located at latitude 29.3°N and longitude 58.5°W which put it about 425 miles (685 km) south-southeast of Bermuda.  Karen was moving toward the northeast at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind sped was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.