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Hurricane Lorenzo Brings Wind and Rain to the Azores

Hurricane Lorenzo brought wind and rain to the Azores on Tuesday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Lorenzo was located at latitude 39.1°N and longitude 32.7°W which put it about 85 miles (135 km) west-southwest of Flores Island, Azores.  Lorenzo was moving toward the northeast at 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 960 mb.

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

Although Hurricane Lorenzo moved into a more extratropical environment, it remained a large and powerful hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 390 miles (630 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Lorenzo was 16.5.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 50.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 66.7.  The radius of hurricane force winds was larger in Hurricane Lorenzo than it was in Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  The overall size of Hurricane Lorenzo was similar to the size of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Lorenzo will move into an extratropical environment during the next several days.  Lorenzo will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is colder than 24°C.  An upper level trough over the north Atlantic Ocean will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause strong vertical wind shear.  The colder water and strong shear will cause Hurricane Lorenzo to weaken gradually.  The cooler, more strongly sheared environment will also cause Hurricane Lorenzo to make a transition into a strong extratropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

The upper level trough will steer Hurricane Lorenzo rapidly toward the northeast during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Lorenzo will turn more toward the east later on Thursday.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Lorenzo will bring strong winds, large waves and heavy rain to the Azores on Wednesday.  Lorenzo will be capable of causing extensive serious damage.  The extratropically transitioned Hurricane Lorenzo could approach Ireland and the United Kingdom on Thursday night and Friday.