Bill Unexpectedly Weakening

Hurricane Bill Visible Satellite Imagery

Hurricane Bill Visible Satellite Imagery

Hurricane Bill has weakened to a category three storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.  According to the 11AM discussion from NHC, this estimate “is probably on the high side.” Judging by their discussion, NHC believes most of the intensity change is due to eyewall replacement cycles in the storm.  This is a common phenomenon in large, intense tropical cyclones.  When the inner eyewall disintegrates, the winds weaken as they expand into the outer eyewall.

To use the common analogy, think of a figure skater spinning in place.  They bring their arms in toward their body to spin faster and spread them apart to slow down and finish the spin (dramatically, of course).  In essence, Bill has spread his arms out from the center and slowed, slightly.  Unlike the figure skater, Bill is not finished.  The outer eyewall will tighten and help reintensify the storm over the next 24-48 hours.

The forecast track still brings Bill west of Bermuda and well east of the US.  A hurricane watch is in place in Bermuda, but it does appear now (as it has for the last few days) that Bill’s center will pass far enough west of the island to avoid the severely damaging effects of a major hurricane.  A land mass that may feel Bill’s fury directly? Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in eastern Canada.  By the time Bill interacts with our neighbors to the north, it should resemble an extratropical (non-tropical, not super-duper tropical) cyclone rather than the near-perfect hurricane structure it possesses at the present.

Forecast track of Hurricane Bill

Forecast track of Hurricane Bill

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