Pablo Strengthens into a Hurricane Northeast of the Azores

Former Tropical Storm Pablo strengthened into a hurricane northeast of the Azores on Sunday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Pablo was located at latitude 42.8°N and longitude 18.3°W which put it about 535 miles (865 km) northeast of Lajes, Azores.  Pablo was moving toward the north-northeast at 32 m.p.h. (52 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 983 mb.

Thunderstorms around the eye of former Tropical Storm Pablo strengthened on Sunday morning and Pablo intensified into a hurricane.  The circulation around Hurricane Pablo was still small.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 10 miles (15 km) from the center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Pablo.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) from the center.

Hurricane Pablo was moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was near 18°C.  Water that cold would not normally contain enough energy to support a hurricane.  However the temperature of the air in the middle and upper troposphere is cold enough to allow for potential instability.  Convergence around the center of Hurricane Pablo generated enough rising motion to produce thunderstorms with tall, cold clouds tops around the eye at the center of the hurricane.  Enough water vapor condensed in the thunderstorms to produce a warm core which made Pablo a tropical cyclone.

Even though Hurricane Pablo is over Sea Surface Temperatures that would normal cause a hurricane to weak, Pablo could strengthen a little more during the next 12 hours.  It will move through a region where there is not a lot of vertical wind shear.  A larger low pressure system west of Pablo is likely to absorb the hurricane in a day or so.

Hurricane Pablo will move around the eastern side of the larger low pressure system.  The low will steer Pablo toward the north during the next 12 hours.  The larger low will turn Pablo toward the northwest on Monday.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Pablo is forecast to remain southwest of Ireland.