Tropical Storm *"Ophelia"* is making the most of a lukewarm environment for
classic tropical cyclone development. Sea surface temperatures are
marginal, around 27°C (81°F, or about 2°F above average for this time of
year), with negligible oceanic heat content, and the atmosphere is not
especially moist (mid-level relative humidity around 55%).
However, temperatures are unusually cold at upper levels, and this is boosting
atmospheric instability, helping to compensate for the tepid ocean.
Moreover, Ophelia appears to be tucked into a location with less wind shear
than the overall surrounding environment.
After a midweek relaxation of steering currents around Ophelia, a stronger
midlatitude trough is expected to begin carting the storm east or
northeast. The GFS and ECMWF operational runs from 0Z Monday suggest that
Ophelia could threaten the Azores this weekend.