Hurricane Lorenzo Prompts Watches for the Azores

The risk posed by Hurricane Lorenzo prompted the issuance of watches for the Azores.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Lorenzo was located at latitude 27.6°N and longitude 43.5°W which put it about 1195 miles (1920 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Lorenzo was moving toward the north-northeast at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 952 mb.

Hurricane Watches were issued for the western and central Azores including Flores, Corvo, Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, Terceira.  Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the eastern Azores including Sao Miguel and Santa Maria.

Hurricane Lorenzo weakened on Sunday when it moved into a less favorable environment.  Lorenzo moved over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was a little cooler.  In addition, an upper level trough west of Hurricane Lorenzo was producing southwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those upper level winds were causing more vertical wind shear.  The combination of cooler water and more shear was responsible for weakening Hurricane Lorenzo.

Even though Hurricane Lorenzo weakened on Sunday it remained a large and powerful hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 90 miles (145 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 19.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) 32.6 was and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 51.8.  Hurricane Lorenzo was capable of causing widespread serious damage.

Hurricane Lorenzo is likely to continue to weaken slowly during the next several days because of the less favorable environment consisting of cooler water and more vertical wind shear.  Since the circulation around Lorenzo is so large, the hurricane will weaken slowly.

The upper level trough will steer Hurricane Lorenzo toward the northeast during the next two or three days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Lorenzo could reach the Azores by Tuesday night.  Lorenzo could be a large hurricane capable of causing widespread serious damage when it reaches the Azores.