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#52226 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:43 PM 17.Oct.2005)
TCDAT4
TROPICAL STORM WILMA DISCUSSION NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM EDT MON OCT 17 2005

A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT HAS JUST ARRIVED IN THE CENTER OF
WILMA...FINDING A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 989 MB...AND PEAK 850 MB
FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF 51 KT IN THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT. WHILE THIS
MINIMUM PRESSURE OFTEN CORRESPONDS TO NEAR HURRICANE INTENSITY...
ENVIRONMENTAL PRESSURES ARE UNUSUALLY LOW...FLATTENING THE PRESSURE
GRADIENT. THOUGH THE OVERALL AMOUNT OF DEEP CONVECTION HAS
DECREASED WITH THE DIURNAL MINIMUM...BANDING CONTINUES TO DEVELOP
AND NEW CONVECTION IS GOING OFF DIRECTLY OVER THE CENTER. WILMA
CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN A STRONG UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN...ONE
WHICH IS FORECAST TO PERSIST BY THE GLOBAL MODELS. CONTINUED
DEVELOPMENT IS EXPECTED...WITH BOTH THE SHIPS AND GFDL MODELS
MAKING WILMA A MAJOR HURRICANE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN. ONCE
WILMA GETS INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE UPPER FLOW WILL BECOME
MORE HOSTILE AS SHEAR INCREASES...AND SOME WEAKENING IS THEREFORE
EXPECTED AT THAT TIME.

WILMA CONTINUES TO DRIFT MOSTLY SOUTHWARD...OR 190/2. CERTAINLY
THERE HAS BEEN MORE SOUTHWARD MOTION THAN ANTICIPATED...WITH THIS
POSSIBLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONVECTIVE ASYMMETRY OBSERVED
OVERNIGHT AND THROUGH MUCH OF THE DAY TODAY. HOWEVER...THE CORE
CONVECTION HAS BECOME MORE SYMMETRIC THIS AFTERNOON...AND I AM
EXPECTING WILMA TO SOON BEGIN MOVING SLOWLY WESTWARD IN BETTER
ACCORD WITH THE GUIDANCE. THE BASIC SYNOPTIC REASONING IS
UNCHANGED FROM PREVIOUS ADVISORIES. HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN
GULF OF MEXICO IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN AS THE LARGE LOW OFF OF BAJA
CALIFORNIA MOVES EASTWARD. THIS IS EXPECTED TO ALLOW WILMA TO
GRADUALLY TURN NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE NEXT TWO TO THREE DAYS. FOR
REASONS UNKNOWN...THE MODEL GUIDANCE HAS COME INTO MUCH BETTER
AGREEMENT THIS AFTERNOON. THE 12Z RUNS OF THE NOGAPS AND UKMET
MODELS HAVE SHIFTED NORTHWARD BY ABOUT 200 MILES AND NO LONGER
DRIVE WILMA INTO BELIZE. THE GFS AND GFDL...ON THE OTHER
HAND...HAVE SHIFTED WESTWARD...RESULTING IN A RATHER NARROW
GUIDANCE ENVELOPE RATHER CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS OFFICIAL FORECAST.
CONSEQUENTLY...LITTLE CHANGE HAS BEEN MADE TO THE PREVIOUS
ADVISORY...EXCEPT THAT BY THE VERY END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD WILMA
IS EXPECTED TO BE ENCOUNTERING WESTERLY FLOW IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
THAT SHOULD FORCE A FAIRLY SHARP RIGHT TURN. HOW SHARP A TURN WILMA
TAKES IS OBVIOUSLY OF INTEREST TO ALL ALONG THE EASTERN GULF OF
MEXICO...BUT IT IS FAR TOO EARLY TO IDENTIFY SPECIFIC AREAS AT
GREATEST RISK.


FORECASTER FRANKLIN


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 17/2100Z 15.8N 79.9W 45 KT
12HR VT 18/0600Z 15.9N 80.7W 55 KT
24HR VT 18/1800Z 16.3N 81.8W 65 KT
36HR VT 19/0600Z 16.9N 82.8W 75 KT
48HR VT 19/1800Z 17.7N 84.0W 85 KT
72HR VT 20/1800Z 19.5N 85.5W 100 KT
96HR VT 21/1800Z 21.5N 86.5W 100 KT
120HR VT 22/1800Z 23.5N 85.0W 90 KT