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#52433 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:43 AM 19.Oct.2005)
TCDAT4
HURRICANE WILMA DISCUSSION NUMBER 16
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT WED OCT 19 2005

IN ADDITION TO THE SPECTACULAR CLOUD PATTERN OBSERVED ON SATELLITE
...AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE MEASURED 168 KNOTS AT 700 MB
AND ESTIMATED A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 884 MB EXTRAPOLATED FROM 700MB.
UNOFFICIALLY...THE METEOROLOGIST ON BOARD THE PLANE RELIED AN
EXTRAPOLATED 881 MB PRESSURE AND MEASURED 884 MB WITH A DROPSONDE.
THIS IS ALL IN ASSOCIATION WITH A VERY SMALL EYE THAT HAS BEEN
OSCILLATING BETWEEN 2 AND 4 N MI DURING EYE PENETRATIONS. THIS IS
PROBABLY THE LOWEST MINIMUM PRESSURE EVER OBSERVED IN THE ATLANTIC
BASIN AND IS FOLLOWED BY THE 888 MB MINIMUM PRESSURE ASSOCIATED
WITH HURRICANE GILBERT IN 1988. HOWEVER...ONE MUST BE VERY CAREFUL
BEFORE IT IS DECLARED A RECORD MINIMUM PRESSURE UNTIL A FULL AND
DETAILED CALIBRATION OF THE INSTRUMENTS AND CALCULATIONS IS
PERFORMED. SO PLEASE DO NOT JUMP INTO CONCLUSIONS YET...BE PATIENT.

WILMA IS A CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE THAT IS MOVING OVER
VERY WARM WATERS...TYPICAL OF THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA...AND
WITHIN AN ENVIRONMENT OF LIGHT SHEAR. HOWEVER...DESPITE THE
FAVORABLE LARGE SCALE ENVIRONMENT...WILMA IS NEAR ITS MAXIMUM
POTENTIAL INTENSITY AND FURTHER STRENGTHENING IS NOT ANTICIPATED.
MOST LIKELY...THE SMALL EYE WILL COLLAPSE FOLLOWED BY SLIGHT
WEAKENING OR SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY. EYEWALL REPLACEMENT
CYCLES WILL LIKELY CONTROL THE INTENSITY FOR THE NEXT 2 TO 3 DAYS
WHILE THE HURRICANE IS OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA.
THEREAFTER...ONCE WILMA REACHES THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO AND
ENCOUNTERS THE WESTERLIES AND HIGH SHEAR...WEAKENING SHOULD BEGIN.

THE HURRICANE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 295 DEGREES AT
7 KNOTS. IT SEEMS THAT DATA FROM THE HIGH ALTITUDE NOAA JET
INGESTED BY MODELS CAUSED THE TRACK GUIDANCE ENVELOPE TO SHIFT
SLIGHTLY WESTWARD FOR THE 2 TO 3 DAY PERIOD. HOWEVER...NO CHANGE IN
TRACK IS INDICATED OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO AND GUIDANCE CONTINUES
TO TURN WILMA SHARPLY TO THE NORTHEAST OVER FLORIDA. BASED ON THE
LATEST GUIDANCE...THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED
SLIGHTLY WESTWARD BUT IS KEPT ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE ENVELOPE.
THIS IN CASE THE TRACK GUIDANCE SHIFTS BACK TO THE EAST IN THE NEXT
RUN.

IN SUMMARY...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST BRINGS THE CORE OF THIS
CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE NORTHWARD THROUGH THE YUCATAN CHANNEL AND
THEN SHARPLY TURNS A WEAKER HURRICANE TO THE NORTHEAST TOWARD
FLORIDA WITH AN INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED. NO CHANGE IN WARNINGS
OR WATCHES IS REQUIRED AT THIS TIME.

FORECASTER AVILA


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 19/0900Z 17.2N 82.5W 150 KT
12HR VT 19/1800Z 17.7N 83.4W 150 KT
24HR VT 20/0600Z 18.5N 84.7W 145 KT
36HR VT 20/1800Z 20.0N 85.5W 140 KT
48HR VT 21/0600Z 21.0N 85.7W 130 KT
72HR VT 22/0600Z 22.5N 86.0W 115 KT
96HR VT 23/0600Z 26.5N 81.0W 90 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 24/0600Z 33.0N 72.0W 70 KT